GOOG - Alphabet Inc.

NasdaqGS - NasdaqGS Real Time Price. Currency in USD
1,343.56
+2.94 (+0.22%)
At close: 4:00PM EST
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Previous Close1,340.62
Open1,338.04
Bid0.00 x 1200
Ask0.00 x 1100
Day's Range1,338.04 - 1,359.37
52 Week Range970.11 - 1,359.37
Volume1,290,045
Avg. Volume1,282,538
Market Cap926.21B
Beta (3Y Monthly)1.02
PE Ratio (TTM)28.83
EPS (TTM)46.60
Earnings DateN/A
Forward Dividend & YieldN/A (N/A)
Ex-Dividend DateN/A
1y Target Est1,501.98
  • Why this stealth tech company's stock has surged 80%
    Yahoo Finance

    Why this stealth tech company's stock has surged 80%

    Smartsheet has flown completely under Wall Street's radar. Yahoo Finance speaks with the company's CEO Mark Mader.

  • Benzinga

    Huawei Ban Is Hurting Other Smartphone Makers, Including Apple

    The rise in Huawei’s market share has displaced the other top five companies. Dongguan-based Vivo Communication Technology Co. Ltd, saw its market share slipped from 22.6% to 17.9% in the same time period. Guangdong OPPO Mobile Telecommunications Corp. Ltd, which continues to have the third-largest market share, slipped from 21.1% to 17.4%.

  • Bloomberg

    YouTube to FTC: Don’t Assume Only Kids Are Watching Kids Videos

    (Bloomberg) -- Google asked the government to eliminate rules that categorize anyone watching “child-directed” content online as under 13 while regulators revamp privacy regulations that could have a sweeping impact on the company’s YouTube video service.The Alphabet Inc. unit filed comments with the Federal Trade Commission on Monday as the agency considers changing its rules under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, or COPPA, which regulates how internet companies collect data on young people.In September, Google agreed to pay $170 million to the FTC to resolve claims that YouTube violated COPPA by serving targeted advertisements to children under 13. In response, YouTube agreed to end personalized ads on any videos deemed “made for kids” starting in January, a potential hit to sales for the company and its thousands of video creators. The FTC settlement also holds creators on the site responsible for future violations, which has sparked panic among some producers on YouTube’s sprawling network.In its comments, the company argued against FTC rules that automatically identify viewers younger than 13 based on the content of videos.“This does not match what we see on YouTube, where adults watch favorite cartoons from their childhood or teachers look for content to share with their students,” YouTube wrote in its public comments. “This is why we support allowing platforms to treat adults as adults if there are measures in place to help confirm that the user is an adult viewing kids content.”One critic of YouTube said the company’s response was inadequate.“This is a COPPA cop-out by Google,” Jeff Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy, one of the groups that complained to the FTC about YouTube. “They should be telling creators that they apologize for involving them in their massive multiyear violation of the U.S. law.”The popularity of kids’ programming has put YouTube in an uncomfortable position. The company has maintained that the site isn’t for children, and doesn’t allow viewers under the age of 13. It created a separate app for kids, but its audience is tiny compared to the full site.After the FTC settlement, YouTube told creators that they would have to identify when videos are aimed at children under 13. When that happens, YouTube now turns off ads that rely on web browsing behavior and other targeting data, which earn more for YouTube and creators.On Monday, YouTube also asked the FTC for “balanced and clear guidelines” to help creators comply with COPPA. The company said that content not intended for kids can sometimes involve a traditional kids activity, such as gaming and art. “Are these videos ‘made for kids,’ even if they don’t intend to target kids? This lack of clarity creates uncertainty for creators,” YouTube said.YouTube doesn’t disclose its sales or break out what portion of the videos on its service are “child-directed.” Indeed, the company likely can’t automatically make such nuanced judgments on the millions of videos it runs online, despite having some of the world’s best technology for identifying and categorizing images and clips.Read more: YouTube Will Rely on Spotty AI to Comply With FTC SettlementIn recent weeks, some YouTube creators launched a campaign to tell the FTC that rewriting the COPPA rules and the settlement could hurt them financially and reduce the quality of programs. The agency has received thousands of comments on what has previously been a sleepy area of law.The FTC has issued guidance under COPPA for what constitutes videos “directed to children.” YouTubers in have expressed frustration that the definitions are still too vague.The FTC also allows sites that aren’t aimed at kids to put in place an age screening for viewers. That way, if kids do end up there, the site’s operators can reduce data collection, although children often lie about their age online. Some creators, including one of those who helped launch the petition to the FTC, have urged YouTube to adopt a comparable solution. YouTube didn’t address that on Monday in its blog. To contact the reporters on this story: Ben Brody in Washington, D.C. at btenerellabr@bloomberg.net;Mark Bergen in San Francisco at mbergen10@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at jward56@bloomberg.net, Alistair BarrFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • MarketWatch

    Alphabet appoints Nobel Prize-winner to board

    Alphabet Inc. on Monday appointed Nobel Prize-winner Frances Arnold to its board of directors. Arnold, the Linus Pauling professor of chemical engineering, bioengineering, and biochemistry at the California Institute of Technology, won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2018. Her appointment is effective immediately and she will serve on Alphabet's nominating and corporate governance committees. Last week, Alphabet named Google CEO Sundar Pichai as its new CEO, company co-founder replacing Larry Page.

  • Cisco Stock: Shift To Sell Chips To Impact Broadcom, Arista, Juniper?
    Investor's Business Daily

    Cisco Stock: Shift To Sell Chips To Impact Broadcom, Arista, Juniper?

    Cisco may announce a shift in its business model to sell semiconductors at a "Future of the Internet" event on Wednesday, says one analyst. Cisco's move would challenge Broadcom and Arista.

  • ‘Fangirls’ Defend China From Hong Kong Protesters and the World
    Bloomberg

    ‘Fangirls’ Defend China From Hong Kong Protesters and the World

    (Bloomberg) -- For Li Mo, the footage of black-clad people clashing with police and vandalizing storefronts proved the final straw. The images of Hong Kong protesters fighting for greater autonomy from Beijing incensed the mainland-born postgraduate student and she could no longer remain on the sidelines. So, she joined China’s fangirl army.Ever since anti-government demonstrations in Hong Kong turned violent this summer, China’s celebrity-obsessed young generation have patrolled Facebook, Twitter and Weibo, ready to pounce on perceived slights and defend their motherland. Nicknamed “fangirls” because they exhibit the same fervor most often reserved for pop-culture icons, these women and men flood social media with slogans and memes shaming brands -- sometimes with far-reaching consequences.Fangirls called out Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey for supporting Hong Kong protesters, prompting China’s state broadcaster to drop National Basketball Association games. They triggered boycotts of brands from Coach to Apple. Many got swept up by Facebook and Twitter account takedowns. And in a recent incident, the onslaught of vitriol they directed at Hong Kong pop-star Joey Yung forced her to apologize for a single Facebook selfie, but not before she got canned from a high-profile gala.The Hong Kong unrest spurred Li into action. She quickly picked up typical fangirl behavior -- endlessly liking and re-posting trending anti-protest diatribes on Weibo for example -- encouraged that hundreds of thousands shared her values. “I couldn’t remain silent any longer,” the 28-year-old said. “I don’t idolize anyone, I only idolize China.”Read More: Moment of Truth on China Is Coming for Rest of Corporate AmericaWhile many Westerners, particularly Americans, see China’s citizens as forced into supporting Beijing or muzzled from expressing their true feelings, fangirls suggest more earnest and resilient backing for their country’s government. They show how large pockets of China’s youth are rising up to defend their country against what they perceive as mistreatment and misrepresentation by outsiders, and they underscore a growing sentiment that’s shaping how China interacts with the world.China’s government has increasingly taken its propaganda efforts overseas, but fangirls’ deep convictions set them apart -- and perhaps make them more potent -- from often wooden, state-sponsored online commentators. Known as wumao, or the “50-cent army,” those bloggers are named after the amount they are said to make from each patriotic posting.The emergence of fangirls comes at a time Beijing is trying to engage younger Chinese by using rap music, cartoons and chat-app stickers to deliver Communist Party ideology. Homegrown corporations like Tencent Holdings Ltd. often aid such efforts. A system of education that often stresses the humiliation China suffered at the hands of foreigners also prepared the ground for their rise.They’re also the latest online patriots to hop the Great Firewall dividing the internet in mainland China from the rest of the world -- with a decidedly millennial twist. They call their nation “Brother Ah Zhong” (Brother China), describing it as a pop idol who debuted 5,000 years ago and now boasts a fan base of 1.4 billion.Fang Kecheng, assistant professor of communication and journalism at the Chinese University of Hong Kong sees state influence working hand-in-hand with young nationalist netizens, including fangirls who take note of the narrative on state media, then act upon it. “That’s not to say they are entirely manipulated, or being passively used as a tool,” he says. “There are things they’re searching for, such as a common identity and the ability to express their opinions.”Read More: Here’s What China Is Telling Its People About Hong Kong ProtestsJack Zhou, a 20-year-old hair stylist in central China, is one of a score of volunteer leaders of a 20,000-strong fangirl community. People like him help focus and channel raw emotions that often threaten to spill out of control. In between haircuts, he monitors a chat group of 400 users on messaging app QQ. Participants are charged with spawning content for the group’s main Weibo account. One of their latest productions is a three-minute video showcasing protester violence in Hong Kong, from setting a man on fire to ganging up on a police officer and trying to snatch his pistol. They called on those who can access sites like Facebook and YouTube to share the clip, which has English captions. “Let the world know the truth,” is their slogan.Zhou’s group has participated in several major online crusades to defend Beijing’s line on Hong Kong over the past three months, he said. They spammed Instagram accounts of pro-Beijing celebrities with emojis of the Chinese flag, infiltrated Facebook live streams to clash with pro-democracy sympathizers, and plastered Communist Party slogans on the sites of news outlets from CNN to the Washington Post. Their hard work paid off when the Communist Party’s Youth League and state media came out in praise of the campaigns, he said.Read More: China Celebrities Help Fan New Generation of NationalistsTheir motivations are widely misunderstood, said Zak Dychtwald, author of Young China: How the Restless Generation Will Change Their Country and the World. English-language media writing off Chinese pride as a product of propaganda and brainwashing only fans the flames of nationalism, he said. “There’s ardent pride in the country and fangirls want to defend it,” he added. “The energy and sentiment driving the movement in China is genuine.”Zhang Dong, 30, emigrated to Laos in 2013 to work as a tour guide after he graduated from college in China. Only then did he understand how the world depicts his country in such a “horrible” manner. Every day, he churns out dozens of posts on the accounts he registered for the purpose of discrediting Hong Kong’s protesters. He’s called them “cockroaches,” “traitors,” and “HKIS,” juxtaposing images of them with Islamic State terrorists. There’s “essentially no difference” between the two groups, he said.Zhang is proud of his independence. “I’ve never received any money from the Communist Party,” said Zhang. “If we were wumao, the Chinese government would have owed us hundreds of millions yuan by now.”Fangirls represent another front in social media giants’ efforts to curb disinformation campaigns. In August, Twitter suspended nearly 1,000 accounts originating from China, which the company identified as part of a state-backed operation to undermine Hong Kong’s protests. Facebook and Google took similar action. That take down didn’t have a lasting effect as new accounts emerged to replace those that were removed, a study from social media research firm Astroscreen shows.Read More: How Fake News and Rumors Are Stoking Division in Hong KongFangirls like Trista Wang say they have been unfairly targeted by these platforms. “Just one Chinese flag can get your account suspended,” said Wang, a traditional Chinese medicine therapist in the port city of Qingdao. She insists Facebook is biased toward Chinese patriots like her, pointing to Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg’s recent China-bashing remarks. “I used to have good feelings about Zuckerberg,” Wang said.A Facebook representative said the company only removes content that violates its community standards. In response to inquiries on two specific fangirl accounts that were disabled or restricted, the representative pointed to policy violations in relation to the use of fake identities, bullying and harassment. A Twitter representative said it acts against accounts for policy breaches but declined to comment on individual examples citing privacy and security reasons.Fangirls could disappear as fast as they emerged. That’s because nationalist movements are always a double-edged sword for the government, said Chinese University’s Fang. “When something self-organizes to a certain size, it becomes a taboo -- even if it’s only online.”Or they could morph into something more alarming. Zhou, the volunteer leader, has already become a kind of online vigilante, notifying the police about a China-based Weibo user expressing support for Hong Kong. He said he was content that the police quickly identified and arrested the blogger. “We must rally all the forces we can to eradicate the soil that breeds Hong Kong separatists,” he said.To contact the reporter on this story: Zheping Huang in Hong Kong at zhuang245@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom at pelstrom@bloomberg.net, Edwin Chan, Colum MurphyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bloomberg

    Apple to Speak at CES Conference for First Time in Decades

    (Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc. is officially returning to the Las Vegas CES technology conference for the first time in decades to discuss its stance on consumer privacy -- rather than pitch a new hardware product.The company’s senior director of privacy Jane Horvath will be speaking on a “Chief Privacy Officer Roundtable” on Jan. 7, according to the CES agenda.Horvath, along with executives from Facebook Inc., Procter & Gamble Co., and a commissioner from the Federal Trade Commission, will discuss how companies build privacy at scale, regulation and consumer demands.Apple’s last major official appearance at CES was in 1992 when then Chief Executive Officer John Sculley gave a presentation at a Chicago version of the summit to introduce the failed Newton device.More recently, Apple’s technology has influenced CES despite the company not officially presenting. It made news last year for a privacy billboard during the Vegas event that exclaimed, “What happens on your iPhone, stays on your iPhone.” Samsung Electronics Co. and LG Electronics Inc. also touted Apple launching video streaming directly on third-party TVs.Each year, accessory makers fill the CES exhibit halls with cases and other peripherals for Apple devices. Behind the scenes, Apple managers roam the halls to identify future technology and scan the competitive landscape, while members of Apple’s supply chain team meet with component makers to potentially source parts for future devices.While Apple has taken a backstage approach to the conference, rivals including Google, Microsoft Corp. and Amazon.com Inc. have used the event to promote their latest voice-based products, spur interest from potential partners and try to beat Apple to the punch ahead of major product announcements.To contact the reporters on this story: Mark Gurman in Los Angeles at mgurman1@bloomberg.net;Ed Ludlow in San Francisco at eludlow2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tom Giles at tgiles5@bloomberg.net, Alistair Barr, Andrew PollackFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Barrons.com

    ‘Kubernetes’ Is the Future of Computing. An Insider Explains Why.

    The future of the cloud -- a major engine for tech growth -- is being driven in part by a non-profit foundation.

  • Top Technology Penny Stocks for First Quarter 2019
    Investopedia

    Top Technology Penny Stocks for First Quarter 2019

    These are the technology penny stocks with the best value, fastest growth, and most momentum for the first quarter.

  • Johnson on Defensive Over Boy on NHS Hospital Floor: U.K. Votes
    Bloomberg

    Johnson on Defensive Over Boy on NHS Hospital Floor: U.K. Votes

    (Bloomberg) -- Sign up to our Brexit Bulletin, follow us @Brexit and subscribe to our podcast.Prime Minister Boris Johnson was forced onto the defensive over the U.K.’s National Health Service after a newspaper published a picture of a 4-year-old child being treated for pneumonia on the floor of a hospital emergency room.Johnson initially refused to look at a picture of the boy when confronted with it in an ITV interview, but later apologized for the poor treatment and said only his Conservatives could solve the free-to-use health system’s problems. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said Johnson’s party had failed to properly support the NHS during its nine years in power and pledged to increase investment.Must Read: Britain’s Latest Battle of Hastings Is Really About the EconomyFor more on the election visit ELEC.Key Developments:Labour’s John McDonnell lays out Labour’s early priorities in speech in LondonJohnson denies knowledge of online tricks ahead of Thursday’s voteLabour leader Jeremy Corbyn appeals for support for the NHS at rally in BristolThe BBC will hold a Question Time debate for an audience of under-30s to be broadcast at 8.30 p.m.The chance of a Conservative majority has risen to 80% -- the highest level so far -- according to BetfairHealth Secretary ‘Horrified’ by Hospital Photo (5 p.m.)Health Secretary Matt Hancock apologized for the hospital treatment of four-year-old Jack Williment-Barr, who was taken to the emergency department with suspected pneumonia and photographed lying on a pile of clothes on the floor because no bed was available (see 2:45 p.m.).Hancock said in a broadcast interview that he was “horrified” when he saw the photo.“It’s not good enough and I’ve apologized.”Hancock said Leeds General Hospital had already realized there was problem with space on the unit and had committed to trebling its size next year. He denied the situation was a result of under-funding by Conservative governments, but rather a result of increased demand on the NHS.Corbyn Blames Tories for Child on Floor (3 p.m.)Jeremy Corbyn blamed Boris Johnson’s Tories for causing the crisis in the National Health Service that saw a 4-year-old boy being treated for pneumonia on the floor of an emergency department (see 2:45 p.m.).“The Tories have had nine years to fund the NHS properly, it’s time to bring their regime to an end,” Corbyn said at a rally in Bristol, western England, as he questioned Johnson’s commitment to the U.K.’s free-to-use health service. “Elect a Labour government that’s determined to fund it properly.”Corbyn also repeated his claims the NHS is under threat in a trade deal with the U.S. after Brexit and warned that Johnson would “sell-out” the widely loved service by allowing access for U.S. corporations and pharmaceutical companies.Johnson Takes Reporter’s Phone in NHS Row (2:45 p.m.)Prime Minister Boris Johnson has faced questions all day over the case of four-year-old Jack Williment-Barr, who was taken to the emergency department with suspected pneumonia.The boy became an instant symbol of the pressures on the National Health Service after he was photographed in a newspaper lying on a pile of clothes on a hospital floor because no bed was available.On Monday, Johnson was asked for his reaction to the photograph during an interview with ITV News journalist Joe Pike. Johnson said he hadn’t seen the picture, so Pike showed it to him on his phone. The premier then took Pike’s phone and put it in his pocket, declining to look at the image.“I’ll study it later,” Johnson said. Later, he gave the journalist back his phone and said he was sorry for the ordeal the boy had suffered.“It’s a terrible, terrible photo and I apologize obviously to the family and all those who have terrible experiences in the NHS,” Johnson said. “But what we are doing is supporting the NHS.”Johnson Denies Knowledge of Web ‘Diversions’ (2:30 p.m.)Boris Johnson was cornered by factory workers at a question-and-answer session in northeast England who asked him about allegations his Conservative Party paid Google to route searches for Labour’s manifesto to a fake website it set up to criticize the opposition party’s program.Repeatedly asked about the claims, Johnson said he knew nothing about it and accused the other parties of trying to divert attention away from Brexit, which he described as the key issue in the election.“We’re accused of interfering with the internet or whatever else, it might be a lot of distractions are being brought into this debate,” Johnson said. The other parties are “throwing up more diversions to conceal what this is all about,” he told staff.The Conservatives ran into criticism in the first televised debate when they changed the name of their official twitter feed to look like a fact-checking service that was critical of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.Johnson Says Nissan Safe After Brexit (2:15 p.m.)Boris Johnson said the U.K.’s motor manufacturers will be protected after Brexit, suggesting their supply chains won’t be disrupted by Britain’s divorce from the European Union.On a visit to Sunderland in northeast England, which is home to a Nissan factory that’s the country’s largest car-making plant, the premier was asked whether he can guarantee its continued existence.“Of course. It’s absolutely vital we protect supply chains, we protect Nissan Motors, we make sure people continue to want to invest in our country,” Johnson said. “As we come out it’s all protected from the point of view of big motor manufacturing investors in our country.”McDonnell: No Blank Check for Shareholders (11:45 a.m.)Labour economy spokesman John McDonnell said the amount he would pay to nationalize key industries would not amount to a “blank check” for shareholders after he was asked if there was a price a Labour government would be unwilling to pay. He said he expects the process of bringing sectors under public control to be a “smooth transition.”“We’ll go through the normal exercises every other element of private ownership have been done in the past,” he said. “Parliament will determine the price and bonds will be issued for shares.”McDonnell: Won’t Be Capital Flight If Labour Win (11:35 a.m.)John McDonnell rejected the idea there would be a run on the pound or capital flight if Labour wins Thursday’s election.“In fact, my fear is the pound will start going up because of our investment plans,” McDonnell, Labour’s economy spokesman, said in response to a question at a campaign event in central London. “When Labour comes into power we’ll be implementing our manifesto, we’ll have a large-scale investment program where private investors will be able to get a decent rate of return, but we will not be ripped off.”McDonnell took a swipe at the Tories’ economic record by referencing sterling’s performance under recent Conservative governments. The pound fell significantly in the aftermath of the 2016 Brexit referendum, and remained volatile as negotiations with the EU proceeded.“It’s interesting when people start talking about runs on the pound and all the rest of it,” he said. “I’d just ask them to explore the recent history of the pound under the Tory government and suggest to commentators the instability brought about by a combination of incompetent management of the economy, exaggerated claims about what’s potentially available in terms of a Brexit deal, the threat of a no-deal.”“The market recognizes we have a prime minister whose word cannot be trusted,” he said.McDonnell Lays Out Labour’s First 100 Days (11:15 a.m.)Labour economy spokesman John McDonnell said he would put forward a budget “which ends austerity once and for all” on Feb. 5, if his party wins. He also said Labour would start the process of bringing the water and energy sectors under public ownership within their first 100 days.“This is the budget that will save the NHS, that starts to rebuild the public services the Tories have brought to their knees,” McDonnell said in a speech in a central London. “When they attack me, or Jeremy, we know it’s not really about us. It’s about you, they hate the people of this country.”McDonnell also said he agreed with the DUP on the issue of Boris Johnson’s trustworthiness. “I agree with Arlene Foster -- you won’t hear those words very often,” he said, in reference to the DUP leader saying Johnson broke his word on Brexit and cannot be trusted (see earlier). “You can’t trust him, you can’t trust a word he says,” McDonnell said.Johnson: Tories Making Case in ‘Every Seat’ (9 a.m.)Prime Minister Boris Johnson said his Conservative party is trying to make the case for power in “every seat” as it seeks a majority in the House of Commons in Thursday’s general election.In an interview with LBC radio from Grimsby, where the Conservatives are trying to take a seat from Labour, Johnson was asked if he wanted to break through Labour’s so-called red wall of seats in the Midlands and Northern England. “Of course, because we’re a one-nation Conservative Party and we want to make our case everywhere in the country,” Johnson replied.Johnson’s travels in the final days of the campaign show the party is trying to secure seats that have been Labour preserves for decades, an illustration of how Brexit has changed Britain’s electoral politics.Read more: Britain’s Brexit Election Is Now a Referendum on Jeremy CorbynDUP’s Foster: Johnson Broke His Word (Earlier)Democratic Unionist Party Leader Arlene Foster said Boris Johnson broke his word on Brexit and suggested she’d struggle to trust him in the future.“It says more about the person who broke their word than me and the leadership of the unionist party,” Foster told BBC Radio when asked if voters should conclude she’d lost the fight for a Brexit deal that keeps Northern Ireland on the same terms as the rest of the U.K. On the subject of taking Johnson at his word in the future, she said: “Once bitten, twice shy.”She said contrary to the premier’s assurances, tax officials told her team the Brexit deal would necessitate checks on goods coming from Great Britain to Northern Ireland -- regardless of whether they were destined for Ireland. She said she’d listened to Rishi Sunak on the radio just before her own interview (see earlier). “He very carefully didn’t say that there would be unfettered access” for trade from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, Foster said.Minister Sees EU Trade Deal Ready by 2021 (Earlier)The U.K. will meet its deadline to broker a new trade agreement with the European Union by the end of 2020, meaning there’s no need to prepare for a no-deal exit, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Rishi Sunak said. He said the outline of the deal is already enshrined in the withdrawal agreement.“The trade deal, the outlines of it, the framework of it, is already there, contained in the political declaration in quite a lot of detail,” Sunak told BBC radio. “We can go on and sort the details of that over the course of next year.”He also pushed back against the suggestion that new trade barriers will be put up between Northern Ireland and the rest of the U.K. “The prime minister has been unequivocal,” he said. “There will not be checks, there will be no new barriers to trade.”McDonnell Challenged by Billionaire Caudwell (Earlier)Labour’s finance spokesman John McDonnell was challenged in a radio conversation with billionaire Phones4U Co-founder John Caudwell, who accused the main opposition party of “destroying confidence.” Caudwell said he and other wealthy people were likely to leave the country if Labour won Thursday’s election, because of the party’s “destructive” rhetoric.Labour, Caudwell said, would “create an environment where wealthy people feel like they’re almost pariahs.”McDonnell replied that Labour was not against entrepreneurs and that all the party wanted to do was create a fair society and end “grotesque” inequality. “We’ve had a lot of discussion about how we redistribute wealth; we need to have a proper discussion about how we create it,” he said.Swinson Swings Back to People’s Vote (Earlier)Liberal Democrat Leader Jo Swinson said her party is publishing legislation to pave the way to a second referendum on European Union membership so Parliament can act quickly after the election.“The most likely way we can stop Brexit is through a people’s vote,” Swinson told BBC Radio on Monday. “There’s a much brighter future ahead if we are able to remain in the European Union.”It’s a change of direction for the Liberal Democrats, who have campaigned on a platform to cancel Brexit altogether -- though Swinson said that remains the policy in the event of a Liberal Democrat majority. She also reiterated she would not support Jeremy Corbyn as prime minister, but held out the prospect that in a hung parliament, the Labour leader might change.Earlier:Johnson Returns to Key Brexit Message as Polls Put Him AheadRemainers’ Dreams Are Dying in Boris Johnson’s Brexit ElectionBritain’s Latest Battle of Hastings Is Really About the EconomyTo contact the reporters on this story: Alex Morales in London at amorales2@bloomberg.net;Greg Ritchie in London at gritchie10@bloomberg.net;Tim Ross in London at tross54@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tim Ross at tross54@bloomberg.net, Stuart Biggs, Thomas PennyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Benzinga

    Analyst Names Facebook, Twitter Top Online Media Stock Picks For 2020

    The global advertising business will continue its shift online in 2020, and Bank of America named Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ: FB ) and Twitter Inc (NYSE: TWTR ) as the two best stock plays in digital media. ...

  • The Venture-Capital Firm That No One Needed
    Bloomberg

    The Venture-Capital Firm That No One Needed

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Andreessen Horowitz is lauded today as one of the most influential and innovative firms in venture capital. But when it started a decade ago, the approach taken by co-founders Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz, this week's guest on Masters in Business, was derided as “crazy.” At the time, in the midst of the 2009 financial crisis, Horowitz was told “nobody needed yet another venture capital firm.” But they pushed ahead anyway.  The result was firm that disrupted the Silicon Valley disruptors. Today, A16Z (as it is known) has $12 billion in assets under management across multiple funds. It was an early investor in startups such as Facebook, Airbnb, Lyft, Groupon, Twitter, Pinterest, Box and many more.Horowitz also credits the firm’s general partners, most of whom came of age in technology as founders, operators, chief executive officers or chief technology officers. He describes their experiences building successful companies as “crushingly hard,” and very much influencing the firm's thinking about startups. His latest book is “What You Do Is Who You Are: How to Create Your Business Culture.” His first book was “The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers.” His favorite books can be seen here; a transcript of the conversation is here.You can stream/download the full conversation, including the podcast extras on Apple iTunes, Overcast, Spotify, Google, Bloomberg and Stitcher. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here.Next week, we speak with Peter Mallouk, CEO of Creative Planning Inc., a $46 billion investment advisory firm, and author of "The 5 Mistakes Every Investor Makes and How to Avoid Them."To contact the author of this story: Barry Ritholtz at britholtz3@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Greiff at jgreiff@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Barry Ritholtz is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is chairman and chief investment officer of Ritholtz Wealth Management, and was previously chief market strategist at Maxim Group. He is the author of “Bailout Nation.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • TV Industry Suffers Steepest Drop in Ad Sales Since Recession
    Bloomberg

    TV Industry Suffers Steepest Drop in Ad Sales Since Recession

    (Bloomberg) -- Global TV advertising sales fell almost 4% in 2019, the steepest drop since the depths of the economic recession in 2009, in the latest sign that advertisers are following viewers to the internet.Declines in TV viewership have suppressed the medium’s advertising dollars, according to research firm Magna Global, which released the data as part of report on the global ad business. Viewership fell sharply in Europe, compounding the trend in the U.S., China and Australia.Traditional television has hemorrhaged viewers in recent years, as people trade cable and satellite packages for online services Netflix and YouTube. Cord cutting has been especially pronounced in the U.S., the world’s largest media market, and should continue to accelerate as media giants Walt Disney Co. and AT&T Inc. introduce their own streaming services.Even with the retreat from TV, overall ad revenue climbed for the 10th year in a row. The industry was buoyed by digital sales, which rose 15%.The TV business had previously eked out gains in advertising sales by charging higher prices. And it’s still seen as a useful medium when marketers need to reach a large, live audience. Technology companies excel at allowing advertisers to target individuals who have searched for a sweater on Google, liked a movie’s page on Facebook or looked for detergent on Amazon.Yet declines in viewership now outpace the rise in TV ad pricing. So-called linear TV viewership has been declining by 10% in the U.S., Australia and China for a few years, according to Vincent Letang, the author of the report. European TV channels suffered drops of 7% to 8% among viewers age 18 to 49, worse than the 5% decline last year.Worldwide Decline“Almost everywhere now, we have linear viewing declining double digits, or high single digits,” Letang said in an interview. He blamed the proliferation of streaming services, which took hold in Europe a few years later than in the U.S., as well as the slowing economies in the region.U.S. TV ad sales will return to growth in 2020 thanks to the Summer Olympics and the presidential election, but that is a temporary boost.The TV industry isn’t the only one suffering. Technology companies Google and Facebook Inc. have siphoned advertising dollars away from print publications and radio in recent years. Online companies garnered more than half of global advertising sales in 2019 for the first time, accounting for $306 billion of the $595 billion spent globally.Radio advertising sales stabilized in 2019, while the out-of-home category -- namely, billboards -- was the only traditional media to actually grow. That’s due in part to technology companies, which use billboards to tout their services. Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google all rank among the 20 largest out-of-home advertisers.To contact the reporter on this story: Lucas Shaw in Los Angeles at lshaw31@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Turner at nturner7@bloomberg.netFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Financial Times

    Brussels asks news groups to describe their data deals with Google

    The European Commission has sent detailed questionnaires to news publishers as it tries to understand whether the way Google collects data from their websites allows it to stifle competition in online advertising. The questions also ask whether Google provides any technical support or compensation in exchange for the data. In a sign of how the commission’s antitrust investigators are trying to shape a case against Google, the questions focus on whether the internet company is using its dominance to force publishers into sharing data, and whether that data is then repackaged and sold on by Google to third parties, giving any of its advertising clients the same information that news websites have about their readers.

  • Barrons.com

    Sundar Pichai Could Turn Google Into an Even Bigger Autonomous Vehicle Powerhouse, According to Analysts

    Alphabet’s Waymo unit is the clear leader in the race for autonomous driving leadership, according to a team of analysts at Wedbush.

  • Banks Facing Data Crisis May Need Political Help, Denmark Warns
    Bloomberg

    Banks Facing Data Crisis May Need Political Help, Denmark Warns

    (Bloomberg) -- First there was the financial crisis of 2008. Then years of negative interest rates. Now, banks face what one financial regulator calls the “real game changer.”Jesper Berg, the head of the Financial Supervisory Authority in Denmark, says the next big threat for banks is the rapid spread of big tech into financial services. The competitive tool is personal data and the playing field is far from even, he says.“The banks are constrained in what they can do with data, even using data across business lines, not to mention sharing it,” Berg said in an interview in Copenhagen.The concern is that banks need to comply with strict regulatory requirements to protect client data. But their industry is being infiltrated by competitors that aren’t necessarily subject to the same rules. Berg suggests that political intervention might be the way forward, if banks are to have a fighting chance.“The biggest issue that needs to be decided at a high level of politics is, do we somehow make rules in relation to sharing and use of data similar, or do we keep a difference?” Berg said. “We need to think about whether, and when, we set rules that are different for different types of companies, where the activity is basically the same.”Berg oversees a financial industry that has dealt with negative interest rates longer than any other, after Denmark’s central bank first went below zero in 2012. That’s weakened the finance sector, potentially putting it on the back foot as it tries to strengthen its defenses against new competitors. Lars Rohde, the governor of the Danish central bank, has warned that banks will need to rethink their entire business model to adapt to the new world.The BehemothsBecause of the vast pools of information they collect, tech giants like Google, Amazon and Alibaba already enjoy a competitive advantage over banks, Berg says.According to a February report by the global Financial Stability Board, the proprietary consumer data that big tech extracts from social media, combined with the industry’s access to cheap funding, mean it “could achieve scale very quickly in financial services.”Part of the ascent of tech companies within financial services has to do with PSD2, a European directive designed to open up the payments industry to competition. In practical terms, it means banks need to pass on their data for free to non-banks, provided customers agree.“You could say that we’ve gone to the extreme with PSD2,” Berg said. “Not only can banks not use the data fully internally, but they cannot sell it. They have to give it away.”ChinaThe FSB’s February report makes the point that reducing entry barriers for big tech might ultimately hurt competition in financial services. As an example, the FSB highlights China, where just two big tech firms account for over 90% of the mobile payments market.“Big data lives off selling information about you and me, so that other companies can target us more specifically,” Berg said. “The potential real game changer is big data, depending on what they choose to do.” That’s because “they know more about us than anyone else.”Tech companies that offer loans or take deposits will need to apply for licenses and abide by the same rules as banks, Berg said. But the requirements are far murkier for those that decide to operate as a platform for other financial service providers, and that puts banks at a competitive disadvantage.“The link to customers would essentially be with big tech,” Berg said.“And everyone knows that whoever has the link to the customers” ends up being able to “cream the profit,” he said.To contact the reporter on this story: Frances Schwartzkopff in Copenhagen at fschwartzko1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Tasneem Hanfi Brögger at tbrogger@bloomberg.netFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Amazon Faces U.K. Antitrust Decision to Allow Stake in Deliveroo
    Bloomberg

    Amazon Faces U.K. Antitrust Decision to Allow Stake in Deliveroo

    (Bloomberg) -- Want the lowdown on European markets? In your inbox before the open, every day. Sign up here.Amazon.com Inc.’s bid to buy into one of the U.K.’s most successful startups may get caught up in antitrust authorities’ fear that they made mistakes in the past.The Competition and Markets Authority has until Wednesday to decide whether to continue a two-month-old probe that froze Amazon’s bid of around $500 million for a minority stake in food-delivery service Deliveroo.“The CMA is very interested in tech giants extending their tentacles into other markets,” said Alan Davis, a competition lawyer at Pinsent Masons in London. Antitrust regulators “are paranoid about it at the moment because they are concerned they have not looked at these mergers enough in the past, like Facebook-WhatsApp.”Authorities were put off over Facebook Inc.’s change of position on how it handled data from WhatsApp, prompting EU officials to accuse the company of misleading them to win approval for the takeover in 2014. Big Tech is a flash point now for antitrust across the globe. In the U.S., there are probes into Google, Facebook and Amazon over allegations they unfairly hinder competition. The CMA is investigating how Google plans to use Looker Data Sciences Inc. data before approving that $2.6 billion takeover.While the CMA’s mission is in part to ensure big deals won’t hamper competition, it doesn’t usually investigate bids for minority stakes. It may have been moved to act this time because of Amazon’s access to an unending reservoir of data from its many businesses. And CMA’s Chief Executive Officer Andrea Coscelli has said that it was a mistake to allow deals like Facebook’s purchase of Instagram.“U.K. regulators may have some antitrust concerns with the proposed investment,” said Bloomberg Intelligence analysts Aitor Ortiz and Diana Gomes. “One of them could be whether Amazon could get access to Deliveroo’s user data, leveraging the delivery giant’s position in other markets besides on-demand restaurant delivery, such as online groceries.”Amazon, Deliveroo and the CMA declined to comment on the matter.Cut-Throat CompetitionThe food-delivery business is no stranger to the regulator’s attention. Two years ago the agency began investigating Just Eat Plc’s merger with a smaller rival Hungryhouse, eventually allowing it to go through because of the competition in the sector.Since then the delivery business has seen a wave of acquisitions and international expansion. Just Eat agreed to a 5 billion-pound merger ($6.6 billion) with Dutch firm Takeaway.com NV in July, while Uber Technologies Inc. was reported to be showing interest in Spanish startup Glovo. However, according to food-service consultant Peter Backman, competition in the sector remains strong.“It’s getting more intense because the pressure to get scale is becoming more intense,” said Backman, a former director of Horizons FS. “Although the market has gotten bigger, they are under huge pressure to become profitable.”Deliveroo has never turned a profit, losing 232 million pounds last year despite a 72% increase in global sales. A ruling against Amazon would be a setback for the U.K. company, which has already raised $1.53 billion in investor funding.In August, it was forced to make an abrupt retreat from Germany after struggling to get a grip on the market.For Amazon, the stakes aren’t as high, but if the CMA decision goes the wrong way, it faces yet another embarrassing exit from a market it has found difficult to crack. It closed its own U.K. food delivery unit Amazon Restaurants U.K. in December 2018, with its American counterpart following suite last summer.To contact the reporter on this story: Eddie Spence in London at espence11@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net, Christopher Elser, Molly SchuetzFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Global financial watchdogs take aim at Big Tech's data dominance
    Reuters

    Global financial watchdogs take aim at Big Tech's data dominance

    Google, Alibaba and other "Big Tech" companies could be forced to share data on financial services customers with banks and financial technology firms to prevent unfair competition. As Facebook's plan for its Libra "stablecoin" faces scrutiny, a global body of regulators from the world's main financial centres said that Big Tech's growing tentacles raised questions for financial stability, competition and data privacy. The Financial Stability Board (FSB) called in a report released on Sunday for "vigilant monitoring" of Big Tech's shift into financial services, which it said could crimp the ability of banks to generate capital through retained profits.

  • Game Creek Capital’s Picks Beating The Market in 2019
    Insider Monkey

    Game Creek Capital’s Picks Beating The Market in 2019

    We talked about Game Creek Capital about 8 months ago. Game Creek Capital is founded by Scott Mayo and taken over by Sean Murphy after Scott's death in 2010. Before Game Creek, Sean Murphy cut his teeth at Vardon Capital Management as a senior analyst covering telecom, media, and consumer stocks. Murhpy has a B.A. […]

  • Benzinga

    Barron's Picks And Pans: Alphabet, Capital One, Macy's, Skechers And More

    Other featured articles discuss a consumer finance stock that looks attractive now and a struggling retailer in need of a miracle. "5 Funds and 5 Stocks to Ride the Small-Caps Rally" by Avi Salzman and John Coumarianos examines why shares of companies with market values of $5 billion or less, such as Darling Ingredients Inc (NYSE: DAR), could thrive if the economy holds up. See why Barron's thinks Capital One Financial Corp. (NYSE: COF) is cheap and looks attractive right now.

  • Bloomberg

    Is This Goldilocks Moment Too Good to Be True?

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- At this time last year, everyone was waiting for Santa Claus and his rally — and he never showed up. Instead, there was a brutal stock market sell-off. A year later, we have a surprise visitor: Goldilocks.The cliche has it that a Goldilocks economy is neither too hot (to push up rates and inflation) nor too cold (to push down share prices and employment). It is an irritating way to describe ideal conditions for markets and the economy. For the decade since the financial crisis, it has seemed absurd to suggest the U.S. economy is in any such fairy tale. The Federal Reserve saw a risk of over-heating and spent 2018 tightening monetary policy, only to be forced by the horrified market reaction into executing a U-turn in 2019.As the year comes to an end, Goldilocks is back. The unemployment rate, at 3.5%, is as low as it has been in half a century, while core inflation, at 2.4%, remains comfortably within the target range of between 1% and 3% — which it has occupied for a quarter of a century.If we use President Jimmy Carter’s old concept of the Misery Index, adding the core inflation and unemployment rates, we find misery is close to its lows of the last 50 years:There’s also something distinctly Goldilocksy about market views of the Fed. After two years of persistent bets that the U.S. central bank would be forced to cut far further than it wanted, fed funds futures are now implicitly pricing only one more quarter-point reduction from the current level, and see any additional cuts as unlikely until 2020 is half over. Fed Chair Jerome Powell has already said that he thinks monetary policy is in a good place and that he sees little reason to move it; approaching the last rate-setting meeting of the year in a few day’s time, it appears the market at last cautiously agrees with him.Many believe that the Powell Fed has listened to good advice, and thus thwarted an incipient recession. That helps to explain why the S&P 500 Index is now up more than 25% for the year, and within a whisker of its all-time high set in November, amid low volatility. But the very strength of that sense of relief now opens the risk that the economy moves in short order toward running too hot.It is very unusual for the Fed to cut rates three times in quick succession when the economic backdrop otherwise looks this strong. The only comparison that comes close is 1998, when the central bank under Alan Greenspan cut the fed funds rate by 75 basis points in the wake of the market disruption caused by the meltdown of the Long-Term Capital Management hedge fund. That fueled one of the most dramatic stock market rallies in history, which ended with the bursting of the dot-com bubble in 2000, and a recession.In retrospect, those rate cuts appear to have been a mistake. Will history come to view this year’s U-turn toward cheaper money in the same way?The LTCM debacle, which followed Russia’s debt default and the Asian crisis, was a special and very different case. Corporate credit markets ground to an almost total halt, in a dry run for the credit crisis that would follow a decade later. The Fed felt obliged (rightly or wrongly) to act to stop a financial accident, and in the process provided the money for a stock market mania.Markets have at no point this year looked anything as extreme as they did during the LTCM crisis. But there is a critical similarity: As in 1998, we saw a sudden summer resurgence of recession fears. Google searches for the word “recession” in the U.S. spiked in August to levels unseen since the country was last in recession:  There were reasons for the fear. The trade war intensified during the summer; the European Union’s manufacturing sector fell into recession; long-term bond yields went negative in much of the world; and the U.S. Treasury yield curve inverted in what is usually a sure-fire indicator of an imminent slump. This was enough to “create a recession in the minds of most,” as Leuthold Group’s chief investment strategist Jim Paulsen put it. Hence the unambiguously strong employment data for November — published at the end of a week which had also revealed plenty of data suggesting a recovery in global manufacturing — feels almost like exiting a recession to many investors. The reality is, as in 1998, the U.S. economy has remained strong throughout. The 1998 analogy cuts both ways. The economic recovery carried on for a while, and late 1998 proved to be a great time to buy stocks. The problem was that this soon turned into an economic over-heating, prompting the Fed to begin a series of rate hikes in May 1999. And of course anyone who bought stocks needed to be prepared to sell them quickly. Even though economic misery is near all-time lows, then, we will probably soon start questioning whether the Fed cut rates too much. And while the conditions seem good for a Goldilocks boom in share prices, the Fed has cut at a point when stocks already looked very expensive (in another echo of 1998). Just as in 2000 (also a presidential election year), we can expect questions about asset-price bubbles in 2020. To contact the author of this story: John Authers at jauthers@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Beth Williams at bewilliams@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.John Authers is a senior editor for markets. Before Bloomberg, he spent 29 years with the Financial Times, where he was head of the Lex Column and chief markets commentator. He is the author of “The Fearful Rise of Markets” and other books.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • EU's Vestager Weighs How to Review Mega Deals
    Bloomberg

    EU's Vestager Weighs How to Review Mega Deals

    Dec.09 -- Margrethe Vestager, the European Union’s competition and technology czar, will review how EU antitrust regulators weigh industries, following criticism that they’ve been too rigid in fining Google and blocking mobile-phone, steel and rail deals.