|Day's Range||49.40 - 50.50|
It will set up digital news sites in three British regions that will experiment with “different commercial approaches” such as building direct relationships with local businesses with the aim of attracting both advertising and philanthropy. The project will run over three years, after which Archant hopes the new news outlets will be self-sustaining.
(Bloomberg) -- Facebook Inc. Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg is visiting Washington as the company confronts growing scrutiny over its privacy and marketplace practices.Zuckerberg will “meet with policy makers and talk about future internet regulation,” Facebook spokesman Andy Stone said in a statement.He is scheduled to meet with Senator Maria Cantwell of Washington State, according to a person familiar with the plans. Cantwell is the top Democrat on the Senate Commerce Committee, which is weighing privacy legislation.Zuckerberg will also meet with House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff of California, said another person familiar with the matter, who on Wednesday night declined to say exactly when the meeting would take place or provide additional information.Senator Jerry Moran, a Kansas Republican, is also working on scheduling a get-together with Zuckerberg, a senior Senate aide said.He is not scheduled to meet with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, according to a person familiar with the matter. Democrats castigated the company earlier this year after it failed to remove a doctored video of Pelosi. She has snubbed at least two meetings with him, Bloomberg has reported.Zuckerberg’s Washington visit comes as Facebook is battling criticism from lawmakers over its handling of users’ personal information, the proliferation of violent content and election interference by foreign operatives. The company is also facing antitrust investigations of its business practices from federal, congressional and state authorities.On Wednesday, lawmakers from the Senate Commerce Committee grilled executives from Facebook, Twitter Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google over the spread of extremism and violence on digital platforms.Separately, the Federal Trade Commission has opened an antitrust probe of the company, and New York is leading a coalition of states in a wide-ranging investigation of the social media giant. In July, Facebook agreed to pay $5 billion to settle FTC allegations it violated users’ privacy.The House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee is also investigating competition issues in the technology industry. Last week, the panel sent a letter to Facebook seeking information about its acquisitions as well as communications from Zuckerberg, Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, former general counsel Colin Stretch and policy chief Kevin Martin.The company is trying to win over lawmakers threatening to stymie its launch of a new digital currency called Libra that its executives say can lower costs and expand access to the banking system in third-world countries. The project faced bipartisan scorn during congressional hearings in July, even leading to legislative proposals that would kill it.(Updates with Zuckerberg meetings with Schiff and Moran from fourth paragraph.)\--With assistance from Billy House, Joe Light and Ben Brody.To contact the reporters on this story: Naomi Nix in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org;Rebecca Kern in Arlington at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sara Forden at firstname.lastname@example.org, John HarneyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Huawei [HWT.UL] launches what could be the world's most powerful and feature-packed 5G smartphone on Thursday, but the fate of the device in Europe will hang on whether it can overcome a U.S. ban to give customers the Google software they expect. The Chinese telecoms giant will showcase its Mate 30 range in Munich, Germany, in its first unveiling of an all-new phone since President Donald Trump hit the Shenzhen-based company with an export ban in May. Holding the launch in Europe underlines the importance of the region's 500 million consumers to Huawei.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Singapore is a major Asian refining hub, though it doesn’t have a drop of crude petroleum. Now, the tiny country is punching above its weight in data. The upshot for investors: An asset class that pays 51% in a world where earning even zero is increasingly a luxury.There’s a limit to how many bits and bytes even a busy financial center of 5.6 million people can produce. Yet, measured by power supply, Singapore is now the world’s largest repository for storing and processing data. Facebook Inc. alone is setting up an 11-story facility, its first such custom-built center in Asia. Data-center real-estate investment trusts, or landlords who take money from public shareholders to own and manage server farms for rent-paying tech clients, are now a globally popular investment. Singapore has unique attractions. Some are technical, such as low-latency connectivity. Another is that its investors are wealthy and old. Assured returns today excite them more than uncertain growth tomorrow. If global tech is a gold rush, Singaporeans are happy to pour money into the picks and shovels.Consider two current deals. Keppel DC REIT, which is seeking a combined S$478.2 million ($347.8 milion) from a private sale of shares and a preferential issue, saw the placement fully covered within the first hour of bookbuilding at the top of the price range. Shares have risen 44% over the past year. Including dividends, the returns have been 51%. Keppel DC will use the newly raised funds to expand its portfolio to S$2.58 billion, spread across 17 data centers globally.A world awash in cash helps boost the attractiveness of REIT dividends for small savers who would otherwise have to lunge for risk to earn decent yields. Not surprisingly, Mapletree Industrial Trust increased the size of its private placement to S$400 million after it was covered 6.3 times. The Singapore REIT, which wants to acquire data centers in North America, has handed 30% returns to investors over the past year. Will the good times last? Singapore has its drawbacks. The island became the “Houston of Asia” because it had a deep-water seaport and a large rig-building industry.The oil of the 21st century is a different industry. Data travels along copper wires and gets stored in micro-thin wafers of metal compounds, which have a tendency to heat up. The ideal storage center would be in a place where the electricity consumed in keeping servers cool isn’t as high as in tropical Singapore. Every watt of power that goes into computing as much as 0.78 watts has to be set aside to beat the year-round heat and humidity.Neither does it help that real estate is scarce. Even with land reclaimed from the sea, Singapore remains smaller than Rhode Island.Still, Singapore’s long-term advantage comes from being tiny, especially if Hong Kong founders as a rival.Sprawling data centers in China’s Inner Mongolia, as well as India or Indonesia, will primarily serve domestic digital content and commerce. They’ll also be fraught with politics. Populous countries will insist on being able to trace their citizens’ online behavior in the name of national security. Localization is one price global tech firms will have to pay to access these sizable markets. With New Delhi weighing a law that would make local storage mandatory, mining tycoon Gautam Adani wants to invest $10 billion in server farms in just one state. He’s waiting to sign up the likes of Amazon.com Inc. and Google. Alphabet Inc.’s Google, which has no data centers in China, has been in talks with Tencent Holdings Ltd. and several other Chinese firms to bring in its cloud services. However, in China’s case, an additional complication is the trade war. It’s not clear if Alphabet’s plans to offer Google Drive and Google Docs on the mainland will proceed apace amid increasing scrutiny by a hawkish establishment in Washington.Singapore, run by the same political party since 1959, offers predictable rule of law and infrastructure to give tech companies a comfort level for storing their most valuable resource. On land costs alone, neighboring Malaysia would be cheaper. But when deciding to set up a data center, investors assign a far bigger weight to future risks. And that’s where small, stable Singapore earns its big payoff.To contact the author of this story: Andy Mukherjee at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Patrick McDowell at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Andy Mukherjee is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering industrial companies and financial services. He previously was a columnist for Reuters Breakingviews. He has also worked for the Straits Times, ET NOW and Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Form4 Architecture wanted to retrofit Google’s ground-floor amenities — the café, fitness center and reception area — to reflect a celebration of place. Designers were influenced by the water’s edge — the confluence of industry and nature.
Facebook Inc. Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg is going to Washington on Thursday -- his first visit to Capitol Hill since he testified before Congress last year. "Mark will be in Washington, D.C., to meet with policymakers and talk about future internet regulation. There are no public events planned," Facebook spokesman Andy Stone told MarketWatch. The visit, first reported by Axios, comes a week after the House Judiciary Committee asked the CEOs of Facebook , Alphabet Inc.'s Google , Amazon.com Inc. , and Apple Inc. to fork over email and other documents as part of an ongoing federal government investigation into their business practices and considerable marketing sway.
Thunberg’s remarks came during a joint hearing of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis titled “Voices Leading the Next Generation on the Global Climate Crisis.”
The remarks from Sen. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois come during a hearing of the Senate Commerce Committee that aims to look at how social media giants are handling violent or threatening content on their platforms.
(Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc. and Ireland’s court room clash with the European Commission finally lived up to its billing as the world’s biggest tax case.A two-day hearing into their appeal of the EU’s record 13 billion-euro ($14.4 billion) tax bill heated up on Wednesday as Apple rebutted claims that Irish units at the center of its fight are just “phantoms” and Ireland hit back at regulators for saying the country would willingly forgo one-fifth of its corporate tax takings.Ireland is the victim of "wholly unjustified criticism of its tax system and its approach" from the EU in "the biggest state aid case ever," said Paul Gallagher, the government’s lawyer, in closing arguments of an EU General Court hearing in Luxembourg.EU officials "have not produced to this court a single example of Apple being preferred to anyone else" and Irish tax law didn’t require Apple to pay any more.Apple and Ireland are battling the European Commission’s 2016 order that ruled illegal a tax deal that saw the company channel sales through two Irish units. The iPhone maker is the biggest target of EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager’s crusade against corporate tax deals that allow big firms to reduce their fiscal burden.Irish BranchesThe five-judge panel homed in on the exact functioning of the Irish branches that allowed Apple revenues to be covered by a national tax deal labeled as illegal by regulators.The EU asserts the units received selective tax treatment that allowed Apple to allocate all sales profits to two companies that “existed only on paper.” Apple attempted to show that each business wasn’t a ghost while saying strategic decisions over products and sales were made elsewhere and profits should also be taxed elsewhere.“This wasn’t some kind of shell company, this was a company doing things in the U.S.,” Apple’s lawyer Daniel Beard responded, citing one of the firms. He said that no critical decisions on intellectual property were made in Ireland.Marc van der Woude, a Dutch judge and the court’s vice-president, had quizzed the EU’s lawyer late Tuesday on what evidence the European Commission had to show whether the Apple units determined strategy or drew up business plans.The business "looks like a phantom company,” he said at one point. Other judges dug into details of how the branches were run and how the Irish government determined that the revenue should be taxed there.The EU’s lawyer Richard Lyal sought to dismiss Apple’s arguments that the revenue at stake should have been taxed in the U.S. where its products are developed."Apple should not now pretend" that its Irish units "make all that money but that only a tiny proportion of it should be attributed to Ireland," he told the court. "All arguments as to tax being paid in the U.S. are completely irrelevant."Amazon, AlphabetA court ruling, likely to take months, could empower or halt Vestager’s tax probes into complicated corporate structures used by many American technology firms. The EU has also scrutinized fiscal deals done by Amazon.com Inc. and Alphabet Inc. and may draft new rules to net digital companies’ revenue.The first hints of how the Apple case may turn out will come from a pair of rulings scheduled for Sept. 24.The General Court will rule on whether the EU was right to demand unpaid taxes from Starbucks Corp. and a Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV unit. Those judgments could set an important precedent on how far the EU can question tax decisions national governments make on how companies should be treated.To contact the reporters on this story: Aoife White in Luxembourg at email@example.com;Stephanie Bodoni in Luxembourg at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at email@example.com, Peter Chapman, Molly SchuetzFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Ari Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell built their careers negotiating contracts for some of the world’s top celebrities. They’re about to ink one of their biggest deals yet -- this time for themselves.The duo and other senior executives have a combined interest in Endeavor Group Holdings Inc. that will be worth at least $1.5 billion if the company lists at the midpoint of its estimated price range. Emanuel and Whitesell are also in line to collect millions in salary and bonuses for years to come.An initial public offering would make Endeavor the biggest publicly traded Hollywood agency, cementing its rise from a four-person talent-management firm to a media giant. The Beverly Hills-based company, with $3.6 billion of revenue last year, runs sports leagues, hosts fashion events and represents clients including YouTube stars and pro athletes. Endeavor posted a $317 million profit for 2018 after four straight years of losses.The IPO could raise as much as $619 million and value the firm at about $7.6 billion, according to details disclosed Monday in a regulatory filing. The two agents and private equity firm Silver Lake Partners LP, which became an investor in 2012, will control the firm through a special class of shares.Read more: Endeavor debt means IPO not for ‘Faint of Heart’Emanuel, 58, founded Endeavor in 1995 with three colleagues from International Creative Management, one of Hollywood’s largest talent shops. Whitesell, 54, joined five years later. They have struck more than 20 deals in the past decade, including merging with the century-old William Morris Agency in 2009 and acquiring Ultimate Fighting Championship, the world’s biggest mixed martial arts promoter, for $4 billion in 2016, with backing from Silver Lake, KKR & Co. and Michael Dell’s investment firm.Representing talent such as tennis star Maria Sharapova and celebrity chef Bobby Flay now accounts for less than half of Endeavor’s revenue.“We saw an opportunity to use disruption to our benefit and build a company and a platform for where the world was headed,” Emanuel, who was the inspiration for foul-mouthed and mercurial agent Ari Gold on HBO’s “Entourage,” wrote in the registration statement for the IPO.Endeavor returned $400 million from Saudi Arabia’s investment fund after the government was linked with the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.Emanuel and Whitesell’s combined stake is composed of multi-pronged equity interests that are convertible into Class A shares. Most of it is parked in several holding companies that they control. Endeavor didn’t provide details about other executives’ stakes that are also held within those entities.Death BenefitWhitesell and Emanuel each will receive an annual salary of $4 million -- among the highest for chief executive officers at companies in the Russell 3000 Index -- and a life insurance policy with a $4 million death benefit.Whitesell, the executive chairman, is also set to receive annual bonuses with a guaranteed payout of $2 million. Emanuel, the CEO, has a $6 million performance-based target bonus.Emanuel, the brother of former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, has strong incentives to grow the market value of both Endeavor and its UFC subsidiary. He’s eligible to receive as much as $28 million of stock when Endeavor’s valuation tops $7.53 billion. For the next decade, he’ll get additional payouts of equity, each worth as much as $14 million, if the market value of Endeavor or UFC exceeds certain thresholds.Two years ago, Endeavor repurchased $330 million of equity units from Emanuel and Whitesell.\--With assistance from Sophie Alexander.To contact the reporters on this story: Anders Melin in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org;Tom Maloney in New York at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Pierre Paulden at firstname.lastname@example.org, ;Nick Turner at email@example.com, Peter EichenbaumFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
With the major indices scoring a fairly strong September, recession fears may have subsided for some. Plus, certain metrics for the U.S. economy appear healthy, suggesting that the bears are overplaying their hand. Thus, loading up on dividend stocks to buy for a coming downturn seems unnecessary.Of course, I don't have a crystal ball: none of us do. Perhaps President Trump can convince the Federal Reserve to perform some fiscal voodoo, keeping the party going. Still, I believe that no matter what your perspective is, dividend stocks represent an important component of your portfolio, and especially at this juncture.First, let's look at reality. According to data from the Federal Reserve Economic Research, the average price of a house sold jumped over 37% since the beginning of this decade. In contrast, the hourly earnings of all employees only gained a little over 25% during the same period. In many markets, housing affordability greatly exceeds personal income. That's probably not a sustainable situation, which bolsters the case for recession-resistant dividend stocks to buy.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsSecond, it's not just the U.S.-China trade war that drives the case for contextually defensive dividend stocks. Because we live in a globalized economy, nothing occurs in a vacuum. Germany is finding that out the hard way, with exports to China suffering due to geopolitical conflicts. And if Germany goes down, it could send a ripple effect everywhere else. * 10 Defense Stocks to Buy During Rising Geopolitical Tensions Finally, the stock market's total market capitalization is 144% of the last reported GDP. That's extreme speculation, meaning you better be right about your non-recession call. Otherwise, here are eight dividend stocks to buy: Dividend Stocks to Buy for a Recession: Dollar General (DG)Source: Jonathan Weiss / Shutterstock.com I usually don't like to start off my list with speculative or overheated names. However, I'm going to make an exception for Dollar General (NYSE:DG). Yes, DG stock has absolutely soared so far this year, gaining over 48% since January's opening session. Also, I concede that after a huge jump late August, shares are liable to come down.When or if they do, however, I'd look into picking up shares. Primarily, the enthusiasm over DG stock has fundamental justification. Both Dollar General and rival Dollar Tree (NASDAQ:DLTR) produced solid earnings results overall. For Dollar General, the discount retailer raised its full-year guidance despite the ongoing U.S.-China trade war.Secondly, I think investors can reasonably expect bullishness to underline DG stock if our economy weakens. With wage growth not keeping pace with housing prices, a good-sized shock could disproportionately impact our labor market. That would drive increased traffic to discount retailers.Of course, compared to other dividend stocks to buy, Dollar General's yield is nothing to write home about. But with its relevant business, DG may offer some capital growth to compensate. Home Depot (HD)Source: Helen89 / Shutterstock.com Logically, recessions make everything worse. Not only must you complete your usual routine, you also must do so with potentially less funds. But what's truly problematic is that recessions don't coincide to fit your timetable conveniently. If something goes wrong, it'll go wrong when it wants to. And that simple thesis underlines Home Depot (NYSE:HD) and HD stock.As with Dollar General, HD stock has outperformed many other dividend stocks. Therefore, I'm not necessarily fishing to buy shares right now, especially near all-time highs. But with every dip and dive, HD stock becomes increasingly appealing.First, in my opinion, Home Depot has a moat against Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN). While modern shoppers have gravitated toward the e-commerce platform, many shoppers prefer the brick-and-mortar experience. A big reason why is because they can see and test out products before purchase. This is especially crucial for home repair or renovation projects. * 7 Stocks the Insiders Are Buying on Sale Second, cash-strapped families are more likely to shop at Home Depot during an economic downturn. Video platforms like Alphabet's (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) YouTube have made do-it-yourself projects more accessible. Indirectly, this benefits HD stock as people are financially incentivized to roll up their sleeves. Procter & Gamble (PG)Source: Jonathan Weiss / Shutterstock.com A common theme among defensive dividend stocks to buy is that they have outperformed this year. For those who don't believe that we're facing a recession, they may want to consider why names like Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) have delivered robust market returns. On a year-to-date basis, PG stock has jumped 36%.In a world where drones fly your online purchases to your door, what Procter & Gamble offers seems incredibly boring: toothpaste, tampons, hair products, dishwashing liquid and laundry detergent, among many other product categories. At the same time, these are also necessities: unless it's an extremely severe one, recessions don't prevent people from taking care of themselves. Hence, you have your case for PG stock.Moreover, as a stalwart among blue-chip dividend stocks, Procter & Gamble represents a safety valve for your portfolio. This is not a get-rich-overnight investment. It might not make you rich at all. However, the secular demand for the company's products should help PG stock weather the storm. PepsiCo (PEP)Source: Shutterstock While recession-resistant consumer dividend stocks tend to emphasize the necessities, PepsiCo (NASDAQ:PEP) demonstrates that's not always the case. Since the start of this year, PEP stock has jumped over 27%. For traditional soft drink makers, the bullishness in this arena is a welcome change.For many years, investors avoided PEP stock and rival Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) because of shifting consumer behaviors. The major problem was that younger consumers eschewed sugary, carbonated drinks for healthier alternatives. That has led to frustrating sideways consolidation for shares of Coca-Cola, as well as PEP stock.To their credit, neither PepsiCo nor Coca-Cola took the consumer behavioral change lying down. Specifically for PepsiCo, management shifted their priorities to higher-growth beverage segments, such as energy drinks. They've also invested heavily in Bubly, Pepsi's sparkling water brand. * 10 Recession-Resistant Services Stocks to Buy Best of all, these changes are working. PepsiCo scored an earnings and revenue beat for its second-quarter report. Also, a recession might provide an unexpected lift for PEP stock. In a downturn, beggars can't be choosers. Therefore, don't be surprised to see a lift in cheap, sugary soft drinks. Disney (DIS)Source: ilikeyellow / Shutterstock.com Among dividend stocks to buy, Disney (NYSE:DIS) presents a very tricky case. On the bearish end of the spectrum, the trade war has a direct impact on the global tourism industry. Recently, the Financial Review noted that fewer Chinese tourists are visiting Australia, sounding alarm for the nation's tourism industry.If the Chinese aren't visiting countries close to them, they're certainly less inclined to visit the U.S. Naturally, this may hurt DIS stock, which enjoys a dominant presence in the theme park and resort space.On the other hand, Disney owns multiple resorts and entertainment properties throughout Asia. Even in economically rough circumstances, many families like to treat themselves to an excursion.Plus, other elements of Disney's businesses are quite compelling in a slump. For example, the company is rolling out their streaming service called Disney+. It features the Magic Kingdom's lucrative content library, along with shows inspired by marquee franchises like Star Wars. That's a huge plus for DIS stock.As far as the yield goes, many other dividend stocks offer superior passive income. However, Disney has a very stable business that becomes net more attractive in a recession. AT&T (T)Source: Lester Balajadia / Shutterstock.com Although it frequently pops up in lists of dividend stocks to buy, AT&T (NYSE:T) is somewhat of a controversial name. That's because the telecom giant has been very acquisitive, and many observers don't view this as a positive attribute. Principally, AT&T's $85 billion buyout of TimeWarner seemed excessive to conservative investors.For a while, the detractors were dead-on with their assessment. Since the early spring of 2017, T stock was mired in an ugly bearish trend channel. At its worst, shares closed below $30 in December of last year.However, since hitting that bottom, T stock has looked much more interesting. I'll admit that the capital growth narrative is a more of a slow grind. But that's what dividend stocks do, right? Additionally, while it inched higher, shareholders received a nice payout. * 10 Defense Stocks to Buy During Rising Geopolitical Tensions Over the long run, I believe T stock has potential. First, the 5G rollout cannot occur with giants like AT&T and rival Verizon (NYSE:VZ) investing in the infrastructure. Second, while the TimeWarner deal was expensive, it does give the company a valuable content empire. Cinemark (CNK)Source: Rennett Stowe via Flickr (modified)Over the past few months, I've consistently forwarded the argument that recessions place a premium on sources of entertainment. Although Americans are generally hard-working and have a history of working harder when the times get tough, we're not robots. We do need our downtime, a distraction from our daily troubles. This is where Cinemark (NYSE:CNK) and CNK stock come into the picture.Under the Cinemark umbrella, the company has multiple brands: its namesake brand, Century Theatres, Tinseltown USA, CineArts and Rave Cinemas. This allows the company to cater to different tastes. Audience members can watch summer blockbusters in Century Theatres, often located in major metropolitan areas. For those who prefer classier affairs, they can enjoy films showing at CineArts.But what really drives interest for CNK stock is its comparatively low overhead. Cinemark features fewer locations in high-rent areas. Therefore, the company is more profitable than its rivals.Another important factor for CNK stock is Cinemark's lower ticket prices relative to the competition. With a possible recession on the horizon, low-cost leaders will look more attractive. Therefore, don't overlook Cinemark in your short list of dividend stocks to buy. AMC Entertainment (AMC)Source: Sundry Photography / Shutterstock.com Touting Cinemark's comparatively low overhead, there doesn't seem to be much reason to talk about AMC Entertainment (NYSE:AMC). Sure, people want a distraction from their troubles. Additionally, as I've mentioned before about AMC stock, it's money well spent. When you compare buying movie tickets to watching professional sports live, there's no comparison.However, you can also say the same about Cinemark. So what makes AMC stock worth buying, especially considering the company's lower margins relative to Cinemark? It comes down to that one word repeated three times: location, location, location.Take a look at Cinemark's southern California locations: I count a whopping 22 theaters. This covers Los Angeles County and a handful of locations in Riverside and Orange counties. Interestingly, San Diego gets zero love.Now compare that to AMC. Throughout high-market areas, you get extensive representation. Plus, AMC Theatres tend to be located in nicer neighborhoods. * 7 Fantastic Fidelity Funds for a Range of Investors If these factors aren't enough to convince you to buy AMC stock, it also pays a nearly 7% dividend yield for your troubles.As of this writing, Josh Enomoto was long T stock and AMC stock. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 7 Momentum Stocks to Buy On the Dip * 7 Dow Titans Breaking Higher * 5 Growth Stocks to Sell as Rates Move Higher The post 8 Dividend Stocks to Buy for a Recession appeared first on InvestorPlace.
(Bloomberg) -- In 2014, the big U.S. tech companies did something surprising: They told the world how few women they employed. Men comprised 70% of Google’s workforce; Facebook, Apple, and Twitter looked similar. The mix was even more lopsided in more senior leadership and technical roles.Most of the business world has come to believe that workforce diversity is good for the bottom line, and tech companies hoped their new transparency would lead to more equality. It didn’t. But new research suggests that investors were paying attention.In a study released today by the Stanford Graduate School of Business, a group of researchers found that share prices jumped when companies reported better-than-expected gender diversity; they fell when firms announced demographics that underwhelmed.The same pattern held when the academics turned their attention to finance companies. A lab experiment demonstrated the same trends, and participants reported a handful of beliefs that explained why they were more likely to invest in companies with more gender diversity.Google was the first to release its figures, and after accounting for other factors, the researchers calculated that the company’s stock fell 0.39 percentage points on the news. They projected that if Google had reported that women made up 31% of its workforce, instead of 30%, it could’ve added $375 million in market value. “This is a huge response,” said Margaret A. Neale, a distinguished professor at Stanford who worked on the study. The group of researchers also included academics from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, Northwestern University and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.They also used Google as a benchmark to see how the market reacted when firms reported more or less diversity compared with an industry leader. The stock price was “affected strongly” by how companies looked compared to Google, they found. A tech firm whose workforce was 1 percentage point more diverse than Google’s saw shares gain, on average, 1.91% in the short term.After the first year companies released diversity reports, the stocks didn’t react much at all, which Neale attributed to the fact that the demographics hadn’t changed much. “Their bad news has already been priced into the stock,” Neale said.Next, the researchers turned their attention to the banks and financial firms. The researchers used data 50 financial institutions shared with the Financial Times in 2017. The big banks looked more equal than the tech companies: Women made up 54.4% of employees at JPMorgan Chase, according to the report; Bank of America was split about equally. Companies without a retail presence, like Morgan Stanley, are more lopsided.The researchers found companies with greater gender diversity saw shares rise relative to companies that reported having fewer women, the same trend they saw in the tech industry.The initial findings didn’t explain why investors reacted positively to companies with more gender balance, so the researchers devised a third lab study to try to parse the reasons. In it, they simulated the diversity report experiment, giving a dollar to participants to invest in companies based on their diversity announcements. As they’d observed in finance and tech, participants were more willing to invest in companies with more gender equality.When they measured participants’ existing ideas about diversity, they found investors’ interest in companies with more gender equality was based in beliefs that those companies are more likely to innovate, less likely to attract negative regulatory attention and less likely to settle lawsuits, among other beliefs.Considering the market benefits, the researchers conclude that organizations are systematically under-investing in gender diversity. Despite public commitments, these figures haven’t budged since companies started publicly reporting. This year, Google said women made up 31.6% of its company, up just 1.6% from five years ago.“People are not confused. They know the population of women is greater than 30%,” Neale said. “If Google moved up to 40%, there would be champagne toasts.”To contact the reporter on this story: Rebecca Greenfield in New York at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Janet Paskin at email@example.comFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Facebook Inc., which last month said it stopped using humans to review and transcribe users’ voice messages, will resume that practice for some audio collected from its Portal video-calling device.Facebook “paused human review of audio” around August. Bloomberg reported at the time the company hired contractors to transcribe private voice messages sent via its Messenger app. In that case, users had not been alerted to the possibility that their communications might be subject to human review. It was also unclear at the time that some of the clips Facebook had been collecting were coming from Portal.Facebook confirmed Wednesday that it was indeed collecting audio from Portal users who make a request from the device using the command “Hey Portal.” By default, those commands were recorded and stored on Facebook servers, and some of them were transcribed by contractors working with the company to improve the software algorithms used to understand the commands, according to Andrew Bosworth, Facebook’s head of hardware. That practice was paused last month at the same time Messenger stopped using humans to transcribe messages.Facebook Paid Contractors to Transcribe Users’ Audio Chats“We paused human review of the ‘Hey Portal’ voice interactions last month while we worked on a plan that gave people more transparency and control, including a way to turn it off,” Bosworth said in a statement.Portal is now reinstating human audio transcriptions but will offer consumers an option to turn off that service in a new version of its Portal software, which will be distributed to existing devices and its updated Portal lineup shipping in October.The Messenger transcriptions are separate, Bosworth added, and that program is still on pause.“The reason they’re separate isn’t because the back-end systems are separate, it’s because the data is coming in from a different place,” he told Bloomberg in an interview Tuesday. “And therefore you have a different kind of user expectation.”Facebook shares were little changed at $187.49 at 10:34 a.m. in New York.Apple Suspends Listening to Siri Queries Amid Privacy OutcryThe controversial practice of transcribing user audio clips has gotten a lot of attention in recent months because of privacy concerns. Apple Inc. and Google have both suspended similar human transcription programs, and Bloomberg first reported in April that Amazon.com Inc. was transcribing some commands from its Alexa voice assistant without people’s knowledge. Amazon now lets users opt out of that human review.Facebook decided to reinstate this practice because it’s important for training the company’s software programs to accurately understand requests, Bosworth says. He’s also aware that the idea of having humans review user audio is unsettling to many people.“The consumer reaction the last several months to these practices, not just at Facebook but other companies, gave us insight into the fact that this was something people weren’t entirely comfortable with or weren’t sure about,” he said when explaining the new privacy setting.Facebook will still collect and transcribe “Hey Portal” commands if users don’t change the default settings. Portal’s data usage policy states that the company does collect “voice queries and commands” after a user wakes the device with “Hey Portal.” The policy does not say that those audio clips may be reviewed by third-party contractors.Facebook Quizzed by Watchdog for Listening to Users’ ChatsThe importance of audio transcriptions and recordings has increased alongside the rise of digital assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Assistant. Tech companies improve the accuracy of their software by transcribing millions of clips, which help the machines learn language and speech patterns. The practice has, however, served up a new privacy trade-off: users want the help of smart assistants but not the threat that strangers might be listening to their private conversations or messages.Facebook does not yet have an advanced standalone audio assistant to compete with the other tech giants, though its Portal device can carry out some basic commands after users wake it by saying “Hey Portal.” For more complicated requests, Portal also comes equipped with Amazon’s Alexa software.Bosworth says that while Facebook is working to improve and further develop its “Hey Portal” software, it doesn’t have any plans to completely replace Alexa on Portal devices with its own proprietary software, and Alexa is indeed present on Facebook’s newly announced set of devices.The new Facebook Portal and Portal Mini will open Facebook’s distribution of the video-calling platform beyond the U.S. and into Europe, where higher privacy standards have already saddled the social media giant with increased regulator scrutiny.(Updates with Facebook shares. An earlier version of this story corrected the spelling of executive’s name in sixth paragraph.)\--With assistance from Sarah Frier.To contact the reporters on this story: Kurt Wagner in San Francisco at firstname.lastname@example.org;Mark Gurman in San Francisco at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at firstname.lastname@example.org, Vlad Savov, Edwin ChanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Deals for two major London buildings leased mostly to WeWork are on the ropes.Saudi Arabia-based Sidra Capital has pulled out of a 90 million-pound ($112 million) deal as the flexible-office giant’s planned initial public offering got an increasingly rocky reception from investors, according to people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified discussing private negotiations.Separately, talks have stalled on the sale of WeWork Waterloo, which the company describes as the largest co-working facility in the world, according to other people with knowledge of the negotiations. Singapore-based Bright Ruby Resources Pte Ltd. had agreed last month to buy it and an adjoining property leased to Royal Dutch Shell Plc for about 850 million pounds. It’s not clear what impact WeWork’s roller-coaster IPO has had on Bright Ruby’s appetite for the deal, the people said.We Co., which owns WeWork, pushed back its IPO this week to buy time to overcome concerns about its governance, slashed valuation and business prospects. The decision sent the company’s bonds plunging and added a sour note to a medley of high-profile, but frequently disappointing, IPOs this year. Shortly after the announcement, WeWork made a small round of job cuts in a New York City unit.Read more: WeWork’s Breakneck Growth Hits Resistance as Banks Get Cold FeetThe delay also comes at a critical time for major backer SoftBank Group Corp., which is trying to raise money for a successor to its Vision Fund. SoftBank’s biggest investors, including Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, are reconsidering how much to commit to the new vehicle as the Japanese conglomerate’s bet on WeWork sours.WeWork has lease obligations of $47 billion and continues to burn cash to fund its rapid expansion, putting pressure on the company to raise new capital. But the company’s model of signing long leases, then renting out short-term space to members, as well as its complex relationship with co-founder Adam Neumann, have polarized investors assessing the planned offering.Skate RampWeWork Waterloo, originally known as Two Southbank Place, is fully leased to WeWork and boasts a skate ramp, retro arcade games and a library in its cavernous lobby. Negotiations on a sale, which were first reported by React News in August, are ongoing and there’s no certainty about their outcome, one of the people said.Representatives of Almacantar SA, the developer selling the buildings in London’s Waterloo district, and WeWork declined to comment. A representative for Bright Ruby wasn’t immediately able to comment.Sidra Capital was in talks to buy 70 Wilson Street near London’s financial district from a venture led by Columbia Threadneedle Investments, the people said.Representatives of Sidra Capital, Columbia Threadneedle and WeWork declined to comment.(Adds background in fourth paragraph.)\--With assistance from Lucca de Paoli and Alfred Cang.To contact the reporter on this story: Jack Sidders in London at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Shelley Robinson at firstname.lastname@example.org, Patrick HenryFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Facebook is preparing to challenge Roku in the video streaming device market as the social media giant looks to a future beyond advertising.
Jack Ma phasing out of the Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) lineup wasn't a shocking revelation that took Wall Street by surprise. The initial announcement certainly made headlines last year, causing some concern about what it might mean for the future of Alibaba stock.Source: Colin Hui / Shutterstock.com But largely, investors have embraced the fact that Ma would slowly exit the company he started twenty years ago, growing it from a tiny unknown entity to a global powerhouse worth more than $450 billion.Last week Ma stepped down from the executive chairman role. The move was announced roughly a year ago, so investors have had time to grow acclimated with it. In short, BABA stock is not a sell simply because Ma is stepping down.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips * 7 Momentum Stocks to Buy On the Dip While we would love to have him along for the ride as executive chairman, he is stepping aside with the company in good hands. Let's see what else Alibaba Group has going for it. Alibaba's Business Is StrongAlibaba didn't just build an e-commerce platform benefiting from a rise in online sales. Granted, it does have a very strong online presence, but it's more than that. E-commerce is a secular trend as more retail sales continue to shift online. The fact that the Chinese middle class continues to boom is a huge tailwind for a company like Alibaba.As this shift continues, Alibaba benefits, as does its Taobao unit (an online shopping platform). All one needs to see is Alibaba's Singles Day sales total to know of its dominance. It registered sales of more $30.8 billion in last November's event, crushing the previous year's record of $25.3 billion. Where do you think Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) got the idea for Prime Day?Then there's Ant Financial, which has become China's largest fintech platform, that was started five years ago next month. Alibaba's Ant Financial has an estimated value of $150 billion.Finally, Alibaba's cloud business is now 10 years old, but the company is still very optimistic on its future. The unit is its fastest-growing revenue segment and second-largest revenue source at the moment. This should come as little surprise, given the emphasis mega-cap tech stocks have put on the cloud here in the U.S. BABA Stock GrowthHere's the thing with Alibaba stock: BABA stock has been weighed down thanks to the recent trade war developments. This has kept a lid on the stock, allowing the valuation to fall while the company continues to rack up growth.Estimates call for 32% revenue growth to $72.2 billion this year and another 29% growth next year to $93 billion. It won't be long before Alibaba stock is churning out $100+ billion in annual sales.On the earnings front, analysts expect 23.3% growth this year to $6.88 per share. Next year, estimates call for an acceleration to 26% earnings growth, to $8.67 per share.Currently Alibaba stock trades at just under 26 times this year's earnings. Some may scoff and say that's too much. But compared to its U.S. counterparts, it looks cheap.BABA stock valuation is about in-line with with Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL, NASDAQ:GOOG) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT). However, it has roughly double the expected earnings growth this year and next year, nearly double the expected revenue growth of GOOGL and nearly triple the forecasted revenue growth of MSFT.Against Amazon, Alibaba stock is much cheaper, yet has better growth as well. Take that for what it's worth. Trading Alibaba Stock Click to EnlargeFinally, the charts are setting up favorably for Alibaba stock.After hitting a low of $151.85 in early August, shares have been chugging higher since. A series of higher lows has led to an uptrend support mark (blue line), while BABA has pushed through all of its major moving averages.Now bumping up against $180 resistance, Alibaba stock has a very clear ascending triangle setup. That is, when rising support continues to push a stock price into a static level of resistance.Traders will be looking for a breakout over $180 and a possible run to $190+ should the breakout stick. If support fails, I want to see support between $168 and $171 hold strong. That's where BABA stock will find its 50-day and 200-day moving averages, as well as the 38.2% retracement.Remember, while the setup looks promising, Alibaba stock is extra susceptible to a trade-related headline dealing a hearty blow to the charts.Bret Kenwell is the manager and author of Future Blue Chips and is on Twitter @BretKenwell. As of this writing, Bret Kenwell is long AMZN and GOOGL. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 7 Momentum Stocks to Buy On the Dip * 7 Dow Titans Breaking Higher * 5 Growth Stocks to Sell as Rates Move Higher The post Does Jack Ma's Exit Make Alibaba Stock a Sell?Â appeared first on InvestorPlace.
Huawei’s search for more developers is made urgent by the fact that its new series of smartphones, to be launched later this week, will not have licensed access to Google’s apps. As part of its outreach Huawei has also offered to sell its 5G technology to foreign companies — a move that rotating chief executive Ken Hu on Wednesday said was meant to “lessen people’s security concerns”. The US government views Huawei as a potential spy on behalf of the Chinese government, an allegation the company denies.
(Bloomberg) -- Amazon.com Inc.’s Alexa has mastered Hindi in just a few years.The voice assistant introduced to India in 2017 gets a major local makeover for one of the largest retail markets. From Wednesday, Amazon launches a version that now speaks Hindi and Hinglish -- a unique blend with English. It can also switch automatically between all three. The new, improved Alexa and Echo speakers hit the market in time for the Diwali shopping season.The voice assistant lets customers to ask for music, get Bollywood news, cricket updates and more in Hindi and Hinglish on its Echo and other voice-controlled smart speakers. It will respond in an unmistakably Indian accent to Hinglish questions such as “Alexa, Bollywood ke hottest gane sunao” and “Volume badhao” (to ask for the latest Bollywood hits and increase the volume, respectively). “Alexa, latest cricket score batao” yields the latest scores.Technology giants from Apple Inc. to Google are targeting this nation of 1.3 billion people by training virtual assistants in the heterogeneity of its languages and subcultures. Alphabet Inc. too has introduced a Hinglish-speaking Google Assistant, while Apple has hired native speakers to evolve and enrich Siri. In Amazon’s case, Alexa may prove key in a battle against Walmart Inc. in one of the world’s fastest-growing e-commerce arenas, a battle the Seattle online retailer has staked at least $5.5 billion on.Until now, Amazon’s virtual assistant had a limited vocabulary of names, places and popular songs in Hindi and a few others of the country’s roughly one dozen official languages.Read more: Amazon Teaches Alexa to Speak Hinglish. Apple’s Siri Is NextUnderstanding Hindi and Hinglish is critical for companies targeting first-time internet users in the countryside, who are coming online rapidly thanks to cheap devices and cut-rate wireless data. The Hindi internet user base will outgrow India’s English internet users by 2021, according to consultancy KPMG. But even Hindi has dozens of dialects and regional variations.“Hindi changes every 100 kilometers or so,” Rohit Prasad, Amazon’s head scientist of Alexa AI, said in an interview. Alexa can handle varied regional accents and dialects. “Alexa has an Indian personality.”Prasad, 43, grew up in Ranchi in India’s Hindi-speaking heartland, hailing from a family of engineers. Computers were still new then and as a teenager, he abandoned cricket games to run home and catch Star Trek episodes on the government-run TV channel. “It was in the realm of science-fiction then but I was endlessly fascinated by computers and humans communicating with each other.”He studied engineering in the same city before heading to the Illinois Institute of Technology, later working in speech recognition at Raytheon before joining Amazon in 2013. “Having grown up in diverse India, it was indelibly etched in my brain that Alexa has to work for everyone, and not just English speakers,” said Prasad, clad in a casual shirt and jeans and seated in a hotel conference room in New Delhi. “It’s a daunting task.”For instance, the virtual assistant was trained to differentiate between the oft-used Hindi word “achcha” or “okay,” which can sound close to its wake word. In many households, a single conversation can have Hindi and English words liberally interspersed. Alexa will be able to respond in either language without the user having to change settings. The AI will keep learning and improving with time, he said. Alexa in Hindi will also be available on Bose smart speakers, and soon in brands like Motorola and Sony.“It took me 20 years to get here,” Prasad said. “There’s a big deep learning wave right now and if I think of something new in conversational AI, I know I have a fighting chance of getting it right.”To contact the reporter on this story: Saritha Rai in Bangalore at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at firstname.lastname@example.org, Colum MurphyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Huawei Technologies Co. is offering up its most valuable 5G secrets and $1.5 billion to software developers, courting the global tech community at a time the U.S. is heightening scrutiny of the Chinese giant.China’s largest technology company aims to ramp up investment in its developer program over the next five years, Deputy Chairman Ken Hu told attendees at an annual conference. That effort is gaining urgency with Huawei in danger of losing access to American circuity and code, including the Google software it needs to run the world’s No. 2 mobile device business.Huawei is accelerating its outreach after the Trump administration imposed sanctions on the sale of U.S. technology, encouraging allies to cut ties with a Chinese company it accuses of aiding Beijing in espionage. In response, Huawei offered to sell a license to its vaunted fifth-generation wireless technology -- needed to drive future modern economies -- to create a viable competitor and prove its gear is free of security loopholes.“There are a lot of concerns over Huawei’s 5G solutions. We believe those concerns are groundless,” Hu told reporters in Shanghai. “By allowing others to acquire these technologies via commercial methods, it will help reduce the concerns.”China’s perceived lead in 5G is at the heart of President Donald Trump’s campaign to contain the country’s rise. Already, Huawei has inked more than 60 commercial contracts to build the wireless standard globally, Hu said. China itself is ready to finish the first phase of its 5G rollout by the middle of next year, he added.How Huawei Became a Target for Governments: QuickTakeHuawei executives turned out in force in the country’s financial capital Wednesday, roping in foreign executives -- such as the director-general of interstellar research project Square Kilometre Array -- to showcase the tech giant’s road map for dominating future technologies.It’s developing alternatives to U.S. technology to help safeguard the world’s largest networking business. Part of that involves ensuring a thriving community of partners. Huawei established a developer program to encourage external parties to create apps for Huawei services, including its just-unveiled in-house smartphone platform, HarmonyOS.The company intends to build its base of partner-developers to 5 million eventually, Hu said. That army of firms and individuals could help craft apps optimized to run on Huawei’s Kunpeng and AI chip computing architecture, which will power everything from internet servers to machine learning solutions.“This work has already started and we’ve received very good feedback,” he told an audience of technology executives in Shanghai. “We have implemented this strategy and we’re looking forward to more partners joining us.”Read more: Huawei Tries to Romance a Washington That Spurns Its OverturesHuawei’s rapid advances have, however, raised hackles in Washington, for which the Chinese company symbolizes a geopolitical rival’s growing technological might. Executives sought to tamp down those fears.Hu, one of three main people who run Huawei’s day-to-day operations, reiterated an offer first voiced by billionaire founder Ren Zhengfei to share 5G blueprints. While he was vague on how that would work, Hu said Huawei would be willing to open up its tech vaults for a fee, to help another company catch up on a technology that will drive applications from smart homes to self-driving cars.“Customers and the entire industry will benefit from more competition, which is something that Huawei is willing to see,” Hu said.\--With assistance from Vlad Savov.To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Gao Yuan in Beijing at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at firstname.lastname@example.org, Colum MurphyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Five National Health Service trusts have signed partnerships with Google to process sensitive patient records, in what are believed to be the first deals of their kind. The deals came after DeepMind, the London-based artificial intelligence company, transferred control of its health division to its Californian parent. DeepMind had contracts to process medical data from six NHS trusts in Britain to develop its Streams app, which alerts doctors and nurses when patients are at risk of acute kidney injury, and to conduct artificial intelligence research.
The smart TVs in our homes are leaking sensitive user data to companies including Netflix, Google and Facebook even when some devices are idle, according to two large-scale analyses. Researchers from Northeastern University and Imperial College London found that a number of smart TVs, including those made by Samsung and LG, and the streaming dongles Roku and Amazon’s FireTV were sending out data such as location and IP address to Netflix and third-party advertisers. The data were being sent whether or not the user had a Netflix account.