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  • State agents nearing big tech formal investigation
    Yahoo Finance Video

    State agents nearing big tech formal investigation

    A bipartisan group of state attorney generals are preparing to move forward with an anti-trust investigation of big tech companies. Loup Ventures Managing Partner Gene Muster joins Yahoo Finance’s Adam Shapiro and Rick Newman to discuss.

  • Disney+ streaming service devices revealed
    Yahoo Finance Video

    Disney+ streaming service devices revealed

    Disney's upcoming streaming service Disney+. The company announced today that the service will launch on almost every major streaming platform, except for Amazon Fire TV. Yahoo Finance's "The Final Round" breaks it down.

  • Google, Facebook, Amazon testify against French digital tax
    Yahoo Finance Video

    Google, Facebook, Amazon testify against French digital tax

    Big tech companies are in the spotlight today as companies like Google, Amazon, and Facebook testify in a U.S. government hearing against the French digital tax. Yahoo Finance's Zack Guzman, and Jessica Smith discuss.

  • Google tightens grip on Android data, Apple Arcade pricing

    Google tightens grip on Android data, Apple Arcade pricing

    Today's major tech headlines include Google's tightening of sensitive Android data, Twitter and Facebook's suspension of suspicious accounts feeding propaganda and a report that says Apple's Arcade subscription service will go for $5 a month.

  • Facebook's Libra Currency Gets European Union Antitrust Scrutiny

    Facebook's Libra Currency Gets European Union Antitrust Scrutiny

    (Bloomberg) -- European Union antitrust regulators are already probing Facebook Inc.’s two-month-old Libra digital currency project, according to a document seen by Bloomberg.The European Commission is "currently investigating potential anti-competitive behavior" related to the Libra Association amid concerns the proposed payment system would unfairly shut out rivals, the EU authority said in a questionnaire sent out earlier this month.Officials said they’re concerned about how Libra may create "possible competition restrictions" on the information that will be exchanged and the use of consumer data, according to the document, which is a standard part of an early-stage EU inquiry to gather information.The investigation into founder Mark Zuckerberg’s ambitions to take on traditional cash adds to another preliminary EU investigation into how Facebook may unfairly use its power to squeeze rival apps. The Brussels-based commission, Europe’s most feared regulator, has already targeted Google and Apple Inc.Facebook and the commission both declined to comment on the investigation. The Menlo Park, California-based company has previously promised to appease all regulators before launching the cryptocurrency, a process that could take some time.Global CurrencyLed by a social network with more users than the combined population of China and the U.S., Libra represents a potential challenge that the guardians of money have never faced: a global currency they neither control nor manage.The EU questionnaire said regulators are also examining the possible integration of Libra-backed applications into Facebook services such as WhatsApp and Messenger. It said their investigation focuses on the governance structure and membership of the Libra Association.Facebook has previously promised to appease all regulators before launching the cryptocurrency, a process that could take some time.Visa Inc. declined to comment while the Libra Association representatives didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. Mastercard Inc. had no immediate comment.Aside from the antitrust division, other EU regulators are "monitoring market developments in the area of crypto assets and payment services, including Libra and its development," a spokesman for the commission’s financial services department said.Data-protection supervisors are also worried about how Libra will share information. They said earlier this month that Facebook had the potential to combine "vast reserves of personal information with financial information and cryptocurrency, amplifying privacy concerns about the network’s design and data-sharing arrangements."\--With assistance from Alexander Weber, Alastair Marsh and James Hertling.To contact the reporters on this story: Lydia Beyoud in Arlington at;Aoife White in Brussels at awhite62@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at, Peter Chapman, Alistair BarrFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


    Tech Companies Might Face More Antitrust Scrutiny From States

    An unspecified number of state attorneys general are taking steps toward a joint antitrust probe of big tech companies, The Wall Street Journal reported.

  • Motley Fool

    Disney Announces Additional Launch Dates for Disney+

    Soon after its U.S. debut, the streaming service will begin rolling out globally.

  • 3 New Ways Macy's Is Trying to Turn Itself Around
    Motley Fool

    3 New Ways Macy's Is Trying to Turn Itself Around

    But will a cloud partnership, subscription rental service, and a clothing resale platform really win back shoppers?

  • Google Android Will Remain on Top for a Long Time
    Market Realist

    Google Android Will Remain on Top for a Long Time

    Google’s (GOOGL) Android software will continue to dominate the global mobile operating system market. Android will also widen its market share.

  • Bloomberg

    The Venture-Capital Opportunity in Basic Sciences

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Venture capitalists tend to focus mostly on funding software, apps and technology rather than the basic sciences. This created an opportunity for this week's guest on Master in Business, Josh Wolfe, and his partners at Lux Capital. The venture firm was set up to “support scientists and entrepreneurs who pursue counter-conventional solutions to the most vexing puzzles in physical and life sciences.”In our conversation, Wolfe, a Lux co-founder, discusses the process of investing in entrepreneurs in basic sciences, noting that it requires a mix of skill and luck, and a healthy dose of contrarian thinking.One of Lux’s first investments epitomized this: In an era of rising alternative-energy technologies such as solar, wind, biofuels, ethanol and batteries, Lux went in a different direction. Concluding that nuclear energy was being neglected by the venture community, Lux invested in a high-tech solution to nuclear waste. The work required expertise in a variety of basic sciences, including materials, chemicals, physics and vitrification. The firm backed a start-up to address the issue, naming it Kurion (after Marie Curie). When the Fukushima disaster occurred in Japan, Kurion played an important role in the cleanup. The company was eventually sold to French energy giant Veolia Environnement SA, returning a 100-fold return on the initial investment.Wolfe also discussed the advantages of locking up investor capital for seven to 10 years, seeking a threefold return on invested funds. The assumption is that all the gains will be the result of one of two companies out of many seeded with capital, while the others will break even or be losers.His favorite books are here.You can stream/download the full conversation, including the podcast extras on Apple iTunes, Bloomberg, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Overcast and Stitcher. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite hosts can be found here.Next week, we speak Jay Bowen of Bowen Hanes & Co., which has been the sole manager of the Tampa Firefighters’ and Police Officers’ Pension Fund during the past 44 years, outperforming the markets during that period.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 founded Ritholtz Wealth Management and was chief executive and director of equity research at FusionIQ, a quantitative research firm. He is the author of “Bailout Nation.”For more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • The Google IPO 15 Years Later: Was It the Best in Tech?
    Market Realist

    The Google IPO 15 Years Later: Was It the Best in Tech?

    Alphabet (GOOGL) stock has risen exponentially since its IPO in 2004. Google has grown via acquisitions and technologically-advanced product launches.

  • Dow Jones Futures: Stock Market Rally Nears Key Level
    Investor's Business Daily

    Dow Jones Futures: Stock Market Rally Nears Key Level

    Stock futures: About a dozen states reportedly plan a Big Tech antitrust probe, likely ensnaring Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Google. Baidu, spinoff iQiyi and Fabrinet moved on earnings.

  • 3 Stocks to Build Your Portfolio Around
    Motley Fool

    3 Stocks to Build Your Portfolio Around

    Some stocks you merely buy. Others are at the core of your portfolio. These three belong in the latter category.

  • Reuters

    REFILE-Inverted what? Searches for obscure financial term spike on Google

    Searches on Google for "inverted yield curve" have spiked after the unusual bond market phenomenon presented itself last week for the first time in over 12 years and helped tank Wall Street amid chatter that an economic downturn was imminent. As it happens, that abnormal bond market dynamic often precedes U.S. recessions, and when it appeared last Wednesday for the first time since 2007, it rattled investors worried that a U.S.-China trade war might kill both a record-long economic expansion and a decade-long bull market for stocks. U.S. web searches for "inverted yield curve" are on track in August for their highest month on record, and more than double the next highest month December 2005, according to Google's Google Trends analysis tool

  • Huawei Founder Sees ‘Live or Die Moment’ From U.S. Uncertainty

    Huawei Founder Sees ‘Live or Die Moment’ From U.S. Uncertainty

    (Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. Huawei Technologies Co.’s founder Ren Zhengfei warned in an internal memo the company is at a “live or die moment” and advised underutilized employees to form “commando squads” to explore new projects. Workers who fail will have their salaries cut every few months and may lose their jobs, the billionaire said yesterday.Since May, Huawei has occupied the uncomfortable position of being both an established global technology brand and a member of the United States Entity List, which bars it from trading with American suppliers. Despite a series of 90-day reprieves, the latest of which came yesterday, the uncertainty caused by American sanctions has already cost the company a great deal. Even if Huawei is eventually brought in from the cold, the impact of this summer’s upheaval will be widespread and painful.The most immediate of Huawei’s losses is the international smartphone market. The company’s internal estimates show it expects to sell 60 million fewer phones in 2019 than it would have done without the U.S. impositions. In 2018, Huawei grew its mobile shipments by 34% to 206 million, according to IDC data, and in the first quarter of 2019 its pace accelerated to a 50% improvement while rivals Samsung Electronics Co. and Apple Inc. both saw shrinking sales. By the second quarter, partially affected by U.S. sanctions, Huawei’s growth had been slashed to 8.3%.Having successfully penetrated the European mobile market, Huawei was on a path to becoming the world’s biggest phone vendor, however the loss of Google’s Android, the brains inside its handsets, and the related Play Store app ecosystem made Huawei devices undesirable outside of China.Ren warned in his memo that redundant staff need to find a way to make themselves useful.“They either form a ‘commando squad’ to explore new projects -- in which case they could be promoted to company commander if they do well,” he wrote. “Or they can find jobs in the internal market. If they fail to find a role, their salaries will be cut every three months.”Read more: Huawei’s Founder Wants an ‘Invincible Iron Army’ to Fight U.S.The consumer division is, according to Huawei itself, its growth engine. Accounting for 45% of its revenue last year, the business that sells phones and other gadgets is instrumental to Huawei’s future health, and it’s taken a substantial reputation blow from all the allegations and sanctions levied against Huawei. That won’t be repaired anytime soon.On the same front is Huawei’s loss of software engineering time as it’s had to scramble to create a potential Android substitute. In the wake of the U.S. ban, the company switched to 24-hour days, working as many as 10,000 developers across three shifts and three offices to eliminate the need for American software and circuitry. Huawei ended up hurrying its HarmonyOS out this month, just to demonstrate it can code its own operating system, though it convinced very few people that it has anything approaching an Android alternative waiting in the wings.Less quantifiable but still significant will be the talent drain that Huawei suffers from the tarnishing of its global reputation and the overwork that’s resulted from its efforts to recover. The company has downsized its workforce in response to its new circumstances.Ren wrote that the company’s priorities are for employees to make “meritorious deeds” and for management “to promote outstanding employees as soon as possible and infuse new blood to our organization.”In explaining the fresh extension to Huawei’s reprieve from U.S. sanctions, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said that some American telecoms are “dependent” on Huawei tech and need time to wean themselves off it. So while the Washington authorities are giving Huawei a little more breathing room, the company’s situation is still very much precarious, as its founder has indicated.Without the U.S. trade intervention, Huawei would be threatening Samsung for the crown of the world’s most prolific smartphone vendor and it would be capitalizing on its lead in 5G technology instead of counting the cost of lost customers. The company remains in a strong position, but the dynamism of its growth and the luster of its cutting-edge technology have both been diminished by the measures taken by the American government.To contact the reporters on this story: Vlad Savov in Tokyo at;Gao Yuan in Beijing at ygao199@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at, Peter Elstrom, Vlad SavovFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Baidu’s CEO Warns of ‘Pain’ After Search Giant Fights Off Rivals

    Baidu’s CEO Warns of ‘Pain’ After Search Giant Fights Off Rivals

    (Bloomberg) -- So challenging are the times for Baidu Inc. that even meager revenue growth is cause for celebration.The Chinese search leader’s shares surged as much as 10% in extended trading after it reported sales inched up 1.4% to 26.3 billion yuan ($3.8 billion) in the June quarter, versus projections for a drop. Baidu foresees current-quarter revenue of 26.9 billion yuan to 28.5 billion yuan, flat to down a tad and roughly in line with estimates.The better-than-expected results will soothe investors’ worries for now that the 19-year-old company is losing steam rapidly as China’s internet evolves from desktop to mobile. Yet it continues to grapple with a broader economic slowdown as well as competition for advertisers from Tencent Holdings Ltd. and ByteDance Inc. The latter is chipping away at Baidu’s ad sales via increasingly popular news and social media apps, and also recently launched a general search engine -- a direct challenge to Baidu’s core business.“Facing severe outside challenges and a weak macro environment, the company has initiated a series of groundbreaking changes from top to bottom, involving company structures, personnel moves and business consolidation,” Baidu Chief Executive Officer Robin Li said in a letter to employees after the results. “Despite periodic pain, these changes will have positive and profound impact, enabling Baidu to walk farther and steadier.”Read more: Baidu’s $66 Billion Dive Knocks It Out of China’s Internet Top 5Net income dropped to 2.41 billion yuan, reversing a loss in the prior quarter -- Baidu’s first since going public in 2005. The company enjoyed a near-monopoly in online search after Alphabet Inc.’s Google exited China in 2010 but has in past years suffered a plethora of troubles from a regulatory clampdown over healthcare ads to the departure of a slew of top executives including Xiang Hailong, a 14-year veteran who ran its core search business.The search giant is betting on new technology such as artificial intelligence and self-driving cars, but these pushes aren’t going to pay off financially any time soon. In the meantime, Baidu is investing in content to hold onto users, backing social media platforms including Q&A site Zhihu and science sharing platform Guokr. Daily active app users climbed 27% in the June quarter to 188 million, while subscribers on its Netflix-style iQiyi service grew by about 50% to 100.5 million in June.Baidu had fallen off the list of China’s five most valuable internet companies, trailing Meituan and NetEase Inc., after shedding more than 40% of its market value this year. Once touted as a member of China’s tech triumvirate alongside Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Tencent, Baidu has been left behind as the country’s internet evolves.Baidu’s forecast “indicates continued pressure from multiple headwinds, including China’s weakening macroeconomic environment hurting advertisers’ sentiment, the company’s cleanup of low quality health-care advertisers, and the large influx of competitive advertising inventory depressing industry prices,” Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Vey-Sern Ling said.To contact the reporter on this story: Zheping Huang in Hong Kong at zhuang245@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at, Colum Murphy, Peter ElstromFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • InvestorPlace

    Alphabet Stock Is Undervalued, But Upside Remains a Challenge for GOOGL

    Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) stock has traded in the $1140-$1265 per share range since announcing earnings July 25. The company saw sales grow 26% year-over-year. With shares trading at a reasonable valuation, is Alphabet stock a buy? A rebound in the company's flagship advertising business, along with growth in the cloud business, are strong catalysts going forward. But several risks remain on the horizon, which could mean downside to the GOOGL stock price.Source: Valeriya Zankovych / Let's take a closer look at GOOGL stock, and see what lies in store for the search giant's shares. A Closer Look at Alphabet StockAlphabet saw quarterly earnings in the second quarter of $14.21 per share. This beat expectations by $2.75 per share. As mentioned above, this was thanks to a rebound in the company's advertising business. Sales bounced from $28 billion in Q2 2018 to $32.6 billion in Q2 2019. Alphabet's non-advertising revenue saw even more impressive growth. Sales grew roughly 40% year-over-year, jumping from $4.4 billion to $6.2 billion.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips * 7 Safe Dividend Stocks for Investors to Buy Right Now Operating income was $9.2 billion, up from an adjusted $8.1 billion in the prior year's quarter. With the market absorbing last month's earning report, what's the next move for Alphabet stock? Shares continue to be down from their 52-week high of $1296.98. Material upside could be a challenge. A myriad of risks could impact the GOOGL stock price. Regulation and Competition Are Risks to GOOGL Stock PriceWith about $50.8 billion in operating cash flow, the company has plenty of capital to boost shareholder value. While the company loses around $1 billion per quarter from their "Other Bets" growth initiatives, this is a mere drop in the bucket. With more cash than opportunities, the company announced a $25 billion stock buyback plan. This is modest compared to Alphabet's market cap ($831 billion). As InvestorPlace contributor Todd Shriber discussed Aug. 15, Alphabet could easily plow their $121 billion of cash on hand into a massive buyback. This would really move the needle for GOOGL stock.The GOOGL stock price faces downside risk from increased regulatory pressure. Last year's $5 billion European Commission fine is just the start. In the U.S., politicians on both sides of the aisle want to rein in Alphabet. Additional movement by U.S. regulators will cause additional downside in the stock.Beyond governmental regulation, Alphabet stock could face headwinds as the tech space evolves. While Google built a license to print money with search advertising, cloud computing is highly competitive. Rivals such as Amazon's (NASDAQ:AMZN) Amazon Web Server rule the market. In this and other growth areas, GOOGL will not have the 80% market share they have in online search. Future growth opportunities will not be cash cows like search advertising.With this in mind, is the current valuation of GOOGL stock justified? Compared to its "FAANG" peers -- Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Amazon, Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) and Google -- Alphabet stock appears undervalued. But given the opportunities and risks, this valuation could be justified. Shares Remain Undervalued Relative to FAANG PeersGOOGL stock is a constituent of FAANG. Compared to this esteemed group of tech giants, GOOGL stocks trades at a discount. Alphabet stock currently has a forward price per earnings ratio of just under 22. The company's Enterprise Value/EBITDA ratio is 16.3.Here are the valuation ratios for the rest of the FAANG components:Facebook: Forward P/E of 19.6 and EV/EBITDA of 18.1Amazon: Forward P/E of 54.7 and EV/EBITDA of 27.7Apple: Forward P/E of 16.5 and EV/EBITDA of 12.4Netflix: Forward P/E of 54.9 and EV/EBITDA of 72.2You can make the argument that GOOGL has less runway than NFLX and AMZN. But both are reaching the limits of scale themselves. Alphabet has the capital to chase the opportunities the rest of FAANG are targeting. Each of them has the opportunity, but not the edge, in dominating these markets. With Alphabet stock offering earnings today and growth opportunities tomorrow, it may just be the best of the bunch to own. Bottom Line on GOOGL StockCompared to the other big tech high-flyers, GOOGL stock is a bargain. Shares trade at a slight discount to Facebook, and a substantial discount to Amazon and Netflix. But unlike the latter two, Google has matured to "cash cow" status. With more capital than they can put to work, Alphabet stock needs a big catalyst to move the needle.Meanwhile, regulation and competition remain big risks. With Washington putting Alphabet in its crosshairs, the company could face substantial headwinds. The new frontiers of tech (cloud computing, artificial intelligence) are highly competitive. Alphabet will likely not find another cash cow to compliment their search advertising business. Both of these threats could cause material downside in the GOOGL stock price.With these factors in mind, what's the call? If you are looking for a growth stock with a reasonable valuation, consider GOOGL. But with the specter of recession just around the corner, investors may soon have the opportunity to enter GOOGL stock at a lower entry point.As of this writing, Thomas Niel did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Cheap Dividend Stocks to Load Up On * The 10 Biggest Losers from Q2 Earnings * 5 Dependable Dividend Stocks to Buy The post Alphabet Stock Is Undervalued, But Upside Remains a Challenge for GOOGL appeared first on InvestorPlace.

  • Trump bashes Fed’s ‘lack of vision’ as White House reportedly mulls payroll tax cut

    Trump bashes Fed’s ‘lack of vision’ as White House reportedly mulls payroll tax cut

    Trump on Monday criticizes Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell ahead of the central banker’s highly anticipated speech later this week.

  • 3 Reasons Why Spotify Is Becoming a Great Investment
    Motley Fool

    3 Reasons Why Spotify Is Becoming a Great Investment

    Life as a public company has so far been a rocky one for the audio streaming platform. Since directly listing on the NYSE in April 2018 at $165.90 a share, the stock has had its ups and downs, and is now sitting more than 10% below its opening price.

  • Bloomberg

    Google, Facebook Unite With Trump to Protest French Tech Tax

    (Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. The relationship between President Donald Trump and the largest U.S. technology companies has often been frosty but a common opponent -- France’s plan to tax U.S. tech giants -- will bring the two sides together, at least temporarily.Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Facebook Inc. and Inc. all testified in Washington on Monday in support of the Trump administration’s efforts to potentially punish France for enacting a 3% tax on global tech companies with at least 750 million euros ($832 million) in global revenue and digital sales of 25 million euros in France.France’s digital tax “is a sharp departure from long-established tax rules and uniquely targets a subset of businesses,” Nicholas Bramble, trade policy counsel at Google, said at the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office hearing in Washington on Monday. “French government officials have emphasized repeatedly that the” tax is intended to target foreign technology companies.How ‘Digital Tax’ Plans in Europe Hit U.S. Tech: QuickTakeThe U.S. is probing France’s new tax, which French President Emmanuel Macron signed into law last month, using a tool that could be a precursor to new tariffs or other trade restrictions. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer could take action as soon as Aug. 26 when a comment period on the issue closes.The effort to crack down on France has created common ground for Trump -- who has called Google and Facebook “on the side of the Radical Left Democrats” and accused Amazon of avoiding taxes -- and technology companies that are both worried foreign governments are looking to use American corporations as a way to collect additional tax revenue.While Amazon has increased its profit margins, even so the French digital tax could eat into profitability, said Peter Hiltz, the online retailer’s director of international tax and policy planning.If another country -- such as Spain -- were to enact a tax similar to France, that tax could compound, he said. If a French buyer were to buy a product from a Spanish seller, that transaction would be taxed by both countries, he said.The U.S. is looking to use France as an example to deter other countries from targeting American technology firms for tax dollars. The U.K., New Zealand, Spain and Italy are among countries considering their own digital taxes, a move that U.S. officials say could lead to companies being taxed multiple times on the same profits.Trump has threatened to tax French wine or other goods in response to the digital tax. Trump said he was considering a 100% tariff on French wine at a fund-raiser last week, though it’s unclear if he was being serious.He also tweeted last month “we will announce a substantial reciprocal action on Macron’s foolishness shortly!” The so-called 301 investigation, which looks into unfair trade practices, is the same tool Trump used to slap tariffs on China over alleged intellectual-property theft.The U.S. says countries considering their own version of a digital tax should focus on ongoing global talks with 130 countries on how to tax tech companies. Any future pact would likely create a whole new set of rules governing which countries have the right to tax the companies, which corporate profits are taxable, and how to resolve the inevitable disputes that would arise. A deal could be reached as soon as next year.Opposition to France’s tax is a rare area of bipartisan agreement in Congress. In a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in June, Senators Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican, and Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, urged the U.S. to look at “all available tools under U.S. law to address such targeted and discriminatory taxation.”The lawmakers included a suggestion to use a section of the tax code that would double the rate of U.S. taxes on French citizens and companies in the U.S.(Updates with Amazon representatives comments starting in the sixth paragrah.)To contact the reporter on this story: Laura Davison in Washington at ldavison4@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Joe Sobczyk at, Sarah McGregor, Robert JamesonFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.