GOOG Jan 2020 1150.000 put

OPR - OPR Delayed Price. Currency in USD
-0.3500 (-20.00%)
As of 12:52PM EST. Market open.
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Previous Close1.7500
Expire Date2020-01-17
Day's Range1.4000 - 1.4000
Contract RangeN/A
Open Interest753
  • Urbem's 'Wonderful Business' Series: Craneware

    Urbem's 'Wonderful Business' Series: Craneware

    An annuity SaaS opportunity Continue reading...

  • Noked Capital: Best Performing Hedge Fund in 2019 Q3?
    Insider Monkey

    Noked Capital: Best Performing Hedge Fund in 2019 Q3?

    Every quarter Insider Monkey publishes its list of best performing hedge funds. Our goal is to identify the best hedge funds to replicate and thus avoid large hedge fund fees. I am going to explain this point a little bit later. First, last quarter's best hedge fund: Noked Capital. Noked Capital is an Israeli hedge […]

  • Google Culture War Escalates as Era of Transparency Wanes

    Google Culture War Escalates as Era of Transparency Wanes

    (Bloomberg) -- Each morning, workers at Google get an internal newsletter called the “Daily Insider.” Kent Walker, Google’s top lawyer, set off a firestorm when he argued in the Nov. 14 edition that the 21-year old company had outgrown its policy of allowing workers to access nearly any internal document. “When we were smaller, we all worked as one team, on one product, and everyone understood how business decisions were made,” Walker wrote. “It's harder to give a company of over 100,000 people the full context on everything.”Many large companies have policies restricting access to sensitive information to a “need-to-know” basis. But in some segments of Google’s workforce, the reaction to Walker’s argument was immediate and harsh. On an internal messaging forum, one employee described the data policy as “a total collapse of Google culture.” An engineering manager posted a lengthy attack on Walker’s note, which he called "arrogant and infantilizing." The need-to-know policy "denies us a form of trust and respect that is again an important part of the intrinsic motivation to work here,” the manager wrote.The complaining also spilled into direct action. A group of Google programmers created a tool that allowed employees to choose to alert Walker with an automated email every time they opened any document at all, according to two people with knowledge of the matter. The deluge of notifications was meant as a protest to what they saw as Walker’s insistence on controlling the minutiae of their professional lives. “When it comes to data security policies, we’ve never intended to prevent employees from sharing technical learnings and information and we are not limiting anyone’s ability to raise concerns or debate the company’s activities,” said a Google spokeswoman in an email. “We have a responsibility to safeguard our user, business and customer information and these activities need to be done in line with our policies on data security.” The actions are just the latest chapter in an internal conflict that has been going on for almost two years. About 20,000 employees walked out last fall over the company’s generous treatment of executives accused of sexual harassment, and a handful quit over Google’s work on products for the U.S. military and a censored search engine for the Chinese market. Earlier this year, Google hired IRI Consultants, a firm that advises employers on how to combat labor organizing, and it recently fired four employees for what it said was violation of its policies on accessing sensitive data.The extent of Google’s employee rebellion is hard to measure—the company has tried to portray it as the work of a handful of malcontents from the company’s junior ranks. Nor are the company’s message boards unilaterally supportive of revolt. “We want to focus on our jobs when we come into the workplace rather than deal with a new cycle of outrage every few days or vote on petitions for or against Google’s latest project,” wrote one employee on an internal message board viewed by Bloomberg News.  Still, the company seems stuck in a cycle of escalation. Walker’s internal critics say his Nov. 14 email is part of a broader erosion of one of Google’s most distinctive traits—its extreme internal transparency. The fight also illustrates the lack of trust between Google’s leadership and some of its employees, according to interviews with over a dozen current and former employees, as well as internal messages shared with Bloomberg News on the condition it not publish the names of employees who participated.The conflict comes as Google is changing in other ways, too. On Dec. 3, Sundar Pichai, who took over as Google’s chief executive office in 2015, became the head of Alphabet, its parent company. His elevation marks the end of the active involvement of Sergey Brin and Larry Page, who established Google’s distinctive culture when they founded the company as Stanford graduate students. Pichai has at times supported internal activism. He spoke at an employee protest against the Trump administration’s immigration policies and apologized to employees for Google’s track record on sexual harassment. His executives met repeatedly with critics of the company’s military work. Some Google managers began signaling that they're losing patience with internal activism even before the firings, according to one person who worked with them. Executives have not met with dissenting staff leadership in many weeks, according to one of the employees.While Walker wrote in the “Daily Insider” that organizations have to change as they grow, he simultaneously argued that the policies he described had always existed. “It was that way since the early days of Google, and it’s that way now,” he wrote. This particularly offended several long-time Googlers, who said on internal message boards that Walker’s comments didn’t square with their own memories. For some of them, the incident illustrated a broader breakdown in their trust of leadership. “I want to believe that executive management is saying everything—disclosing the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth,” said Bruce Hahne, a Google technical project manager. “I don’t think we are currently under those conditions.”Hahne, 51, doesn’t meet the Google management’s profile of internal protestors. He joined the company in 2005, a year after Pichai, partly because he was attracted to its mission to organize the world’s information. His disillusionment crept in gradually during the company’s myriad controversies. In an online essay, Hahne compared Google to a “rogue machine” that was “originally created for good but whose psyche has turned corrupt and destructive,” much like Hal 9000 from the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. “You don’t treat a rogue machine like family,” wrote Hahne, “instead you come up with a plan, you disable or dismantle the dysfunctional parts of the machine, and you seek to reprogram the machine to serve its original purpose.” When it was founded two decades ago, Google established an unusual corporate practice. Nearly all of its internal documents were widely available for workers to review. A programmer working on Google search could for instance, dip into the software scaffolding of Google Maps to crib some elegant block of code to fix a bug or replicate a feature. Employees also had access to notes taken during brainstorming sessions, candid project evaluations, computer design documents, and strategic business plans. (The openness doesn’t apply to sensitive data such as user information.)The idea came from open-source software development, where the broader programming community collaborates to create code by making it freely available to anyone with ideas to alter and improve it. The philosophy came with technical advantages. “That interconnected way of working is an integral part of what got Google to where it is now,” said John Spong, a software engineer who worked at Google until this July.Google has flaunted its openness as a recruiting tool and public relations tactic as recently as 2015. "As for transparency, it’s part of everything we do," Laszlo Bock, then the head of Google human relations, said in an interview that year. He cited the immediate access staff have to software documentation, and said employees "have an obligation to make their voices heard."Google’s open systems also proved valuable for activists within the company, who have examined its systems for evidence of controversial product developments and then circulated their findings among colleagues. Such investigations have been integral to campaigns against the projects for the Pentagon and China. Some people involved in this research refer to it as "internal journalism."Management would describe it differently. In November, Google fired four engineers who it said had been carrying out “systematic searches for other employees’ materials and work. This includes searching for, accessing, and distributing business information outside the scope of their jobs.” The engineers said they were active in an internal campaign against Google’s work with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and denied violating the company’s data security policies.Rebecca Rivers, one of the fired employees, said she initially logged into Google’s intranet, a web portal open to all staff, and typed the terms: “CBP” and “GCP,” for Google Cloud Platform. “That’s how simple it was,” she said. “Anyone could have stumbled onto it easily,” she said.In an internal email describing the firings, Google accused one employee of tracking a colleague’s calendar without permission, gathering information about both personal and professional appointments in a way that made the targeted employee feel uncomfortable. Laurence Berland, one of the employees who was fired recently, acknowledged he had accessed internal calendars, but said they were not private. He used them to confirm his suspicions that the company was censoring employees. Berland, who first joined Google in 2005, added that he felt the company was punishing him for breaking a rule that didn’t exist at the time of the alleged violations.  Google declined to identify the four employees it fired, but a company spokeswoman said the person who tracked calendars accessed unauthorized information.Other employees say they are now afraid to click on certain documents from other teams or departments because they are worried they could later be disciplined for doing so, a fear the company says is unfounded. Some workers have interpreted the policies as an attempt to stifle criticism of particular projects, which they allege amounts to a violation of the company’s code of conduct. These employees point to a clause in the code that actively encourages dissent: “Don’t be evil, and if you see something that you think isn’t right—speak up!” Workers are "trying to report internally on problematic situations, and in some cases are not being allowed to make that information useful and accessible,” said Hahne. There is now a “climate of fear” inside Google offices, he said.Google’s permissive workplace culture became the prime example of Silicon Valley’s brand of employment. But transparency is hardly universal. Apple Inc. and Inc. demand that workers operate in rigid silos to keep the details of sensitive projects from leaking to competitors. Engineers building a phone’s camera may have no idea what the people building its operating system are doing, and vice versa. Similar restrictions are common at government contractors and other companies working with clients who demand discretion.The specifics of Google’s business operations traditionally haven’t required this level of secrecy, but that is changing. Google’s cloud business in particular requires it to convince business clients it can handle sensitive data and work on discrete projects. This has brought it more in line with its secrecy-minded competitors. The protests themselves have also inspired new restrictions, as executives have looked to cut off the tools of the activists it argues are operating in bad faith.Google’s leaders have acknowledged the delicacy of adjusting a culture that has entrenched itself over two decades. “Employees today are much, much more active in the governance in the company,” Eric Schmidt, Google’s former CEO and chair, said at an event at Stanford University in October. Amy Edmonson, a professor of leadership and management at Harvard Business School, said that Google’s idealistic history increases the burden on its executives to bring along reluctant employees as it adopts more conventional corporate practices. “It’s just really important that if you’re going to do something that is perceived as change that you’re going to explain it,” she said.Bock, the company’s former HR director who is now CEO of Humu, a workplace software startup, suggested that Google hasn’t succeeded here. “Maybe Alphabet is just a different company than it used to be,” he wrote in an email to Bloomberg News. “But not everyone’s gotten the memo.” (Corrects Berland comment in 19th paragraph.)\--With assistance from Josh Eidelson.To contact the authors of this story: Ryan Gallagher in London at rgallagher76@bloomberg.netMark Bergen in San Francisco at mbergen10@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Joshua Brustein at jbrustein@bloomberg.netFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • The next decade belongs to Africa as technology ripples through the continent

    The next decade belongs to Africa as technology ripples through the continent

    Now get ready for Africa. Twitter (TWTR) CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted about his plans to move to Africa in 2020, saying he wants to live there for up to six months. Africa may be the last continent to undergo rapid economic development, but Dorsey nevertheless believes it has a lot of potential.

  • Google, Apple asked if apps like TikTok must disclose foreign ties

    Google, Apple asked if apps like TikTok must disclose foreign ties

    The chair of a U.S. congressional panel wrote to Alphabet's Google and to Apple on Friday to ask what if any disclosures mobile apps are required to make regarding overseas ties, a concern that follows reports of Chinese investment in popular apps such as TikTok and Grindr. Rep. Stephen Lynch, chairman of a subcommittee of the House of Representatives Oversight Committee, said in a statement that he had asked both Google and Apple to tell Congress whether they required app developers to disclose any non-U.S. ties. Concern over China acquiring sensitive data about U.S. citizens through social media apps is one of several sore areas in relations between the United States and China even as U.S. President Donald Trump's trade war with China fans suspicion between the world's two largest economies.

  • Bloomberg

    Palantir Wins New Pentagon Deal With $111 Million From the Army

    (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Army will spend $111 million next year in a new contract with Palantir Technologies Inc., deepening ties between Peter Thiel’s data analytics company and the Pentagon.The new Defense Department deal will represent about 10% of Palantir’s revenue next year, according to people familiar with the company’s finances. It’s the first step in what could be a four-year, $440 million deal with the Army.The Silicon Valley company will provide software to connect human resources, supply chains and other Army operations systems into a single dashboard. The Army considered earlier proposals for related work from Accenture Plc, Deloitte, Ernst & Young and Microsoft Corp.“We started Palantir in 2004 to help the war fighter and solve difficult problems,” Doug Philippone, head of Palantir’s global defense business, said in an emailed statement. “In helping the Army make better use of its own data, we accomplish both goals.”The Defense deal solidifies a relationship between the U.S. government and the Palo Alto, California-based company, which was co-founded and partly bankrolled by Thiel. The billionaire venture capitalist and adviser to President Donald Trump has chastised other technology companies, in particular Alphabet Inc.’s Google, for their reluctance to work with the Defense Department. After Google abandoned a Pentagon effort known as Project Maven, Palantir stepped in to help develop video recognition software as part of the project, a move reported earlier by Business Insider.On Saturday, a company spokeswoman said Palantir will run its first-ever commercials, which will air during the Army-Navy football game, in a bid to show its support for the U.S. military.In recent years, Palantir has sought to work more with companies and be less reliant on government contracts. Airbus SE and Merck KGaA are among its customers, but government clients still make up a significant portion of revenue.To contact the reporter on this story: Lizette Chapman in San Francisco at lchapman19@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Mark Milian at, Anne VanderMeyFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Google’s Shopping Comparison Draws Justice Department Scrutiny

    Google’s Shopping Comparison Draws Justice Department Scrutiny

    (Bloomberg) -- U.S. antitrust enforcers are examining Google’s conduct in the online shopping comparison market as they continue their probe of the search giant.Richard Stables, chief executive officer of the shopping comparison site Kelkoo Group, said he spent more than an hour with Justice Department officials on Thursday to discuss how Alphabet Inc. allegedly hurt his European-based business.The meetings show that the Justice Department, which opened its investigation of Google with a document seeking a wide swath of information on the company, has an interest in at least one of three landmark European antitrust cases.A Justice Department spokesman said the department has had numerous productive meetings with third parties, but declined to comment on specific discussions.Stables said he also met with congressional staff members for lawmakers on antitrust committees in the House and Senate earlier this week.In 2017, the European Union fined Google 2.4 billion euros ($2.8 billion) and ordered the company to stop promoting its own shopping search results over those of competitors. Stables, who has been trying to convince the EU to toughen its remedy, outlined to the U.S. antitrust enforcers what he said was harm to consumers stemming from Google’s practices.Google’s practice of elevating its own services raises prices for consumers by limiting access to rival shopping comparison sites, Stables said.In the meetings, Stables said he raised concerns that Google could squash not just other European comparison sites, but also travel companies, searches for local businesses and services, and other firms in the U.S.U.S. companies that fear Google have been reluctant to speak out, he said, but he was was willing to help enforcers in Washington understand the market because the political moment made him more optimistic about getting a remedy.In addition to the Justice Department and Congress, 48 state attorneys general are probing Google, and some Democratic presidential candidates have ramped up their rhetoric on the dominance of tech giants.The states began their investigation by focusing on Google’s position in online ads, but some states have recently broadened their focus.Google spokesman Jose Castaneda directed reporters to a September blog post when Google Chief Legal Officer Kent Walker pledged to work with antitrust officials.(Updates with context on the states’ investigation, in second-to-last paragraph. An earlier version corrected the day of the meeting, in second paragraph)\--With assistance from David McLaughlin.To contact the reporters on this story: Ben Brody in Washington, D.C. at;Naomi Nix in Washington at nnix1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sara Forden at, Ros KrasnyFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Alphabet Seeks Quiet End to Investor Suits Over Sex Harassment

    Alphabet Seeks Quiet End to Investor Suits Over Sex Harassment

    (Bloomberg) -- Alphabet Inc. is pursuing mediation to settle investor litigation alleging the company let senior leaders at Google get away with sexual harassment and misconduct for years.Company directors this year set up a special committee to evaluate the claims after several shareholder groups sued, alleging that the board failed in its duties by allowing harassment, approving big payouts to departing executives and keeping the details under wraps. The committee recommended that the case go through private mediation, a closed-door process, according to a filing in California state court in San Jose.Both sides agreed to extend Alphabet’s deadline to respond to the claims until Feb. 14 to accommodate the mediation, according to the filing.Google’s handling of sexual harassment and misconduct has been a major flashpoint over the last two years. Thousands of employees walked off the job last year to protest the company’s policies after a New York Times report detailed how Google paid Android founder Andy Rubin $90 million in severance even after an employee accused him of sexual harassment.Google has since changed some of its policies and no longer bars employees from signing away their right to bring complaints in court.A Google spokesman declined to comment on the litigation. Louise Renne, a lawyer representing investors, didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment.The lead case is In Re Alphabet Inc. Shareholder Derivative Litigation, 19CV341522, California Superior Court, Santa Clara County (San Jose).To contact the reporters on this story: Gerrit De Vynck in New York at;Joel Rosenblatt in San Francisco at jrosenblatt@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at, ;David Glovin at, Peter Blumberg, Andrew PollackFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Buy The Trade Desk Stock on Dips Heading Into 2020

    Buy The Trade Desk Stock on Dips Heading Into 2020

    Programmatic advertising leader The Trade Desk (NASDAQ:TTD) is one of those stocks that investors should buy and hold for the long haul. It's a high-growth company, with a leadership position in a high-growth industry and huge, non-cyclical tailwinds which should generate high growth for a long time. Meanwhile, it also has a high gross-margin business, so its rapid revenue growth should drive very high profit growth in the long-run.Source: Shutterstock As go profits, so go stocks. The Trade Desk's profits will surge higher over the next five to ten years. So will TTD stock. That's why I named TTD stock one of the five best tech stocks to buy and hold for the long haul. It's also why I named TTD stock as one of my five favorite tech stocks to buy for the next decade.All in all, TTD stock is a great addition to long-term portfolios.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsHaving said that, price matters, even for high-growth stocks that look poised to deliver big long-term returns. And, right now, the price of TTD stock is pretty high. That is, its shares seem fully valued and are trading exactly where they should be heading into the end of 2019.I don't like to buy stocks at fair value. I like to buy them below their fair value. So, with TTD stock on the heels of an enormous 120% 2019 rally, I'm not chasing the stock up here. * These 7 S&P 500 Stocks Will Deliver a Repeat Performance in the Next Decade Instead, I'll let the stock cool down. Inevitably, it will. When it does, that will be the time to buy it because this stock will make its way towards $300 in 2020. The Trade Desk Is a Long-Term WinnerThe background and fundamentals of The Trade Desk make it a long-term winner.The Trade Desk is an ad-tech company that has created a demand-side platform (DSP) which programmatically buys and sells ads for advertisers. DSP uses data, machine learning, and algorithms to carry out those tasks. At first glance, that may sound complex. But the underlying idea is pretty simple. In the old days, advertisers had to sit down, think about where to put their ad dollars, have human-to-human negotiations with ad platforms, and then -- after all that -- finally put their ad dollars to work. This arduous, labor-intensive process had to be repeated every time new ads were placed and ad budgets were adjusted.The Trade Desk has automated this process. As a result, the process has become much simpler, smarter, faster, and cheaper. There's no more thinking about where to put ad dollars. The Trade Desk's data answers those questions. There's no more human-to-human negotiations. The Trade Desk programmatically buys ads. Tasks don't have to be repeated. The Trade Desk dynamically adjusts ad campaigns based on real-time data.In other words, The Trade Desk simply makes advertising easier and better for ad buyers. Because of that, more and more companies are pivoting bigger and bigger chunks of their ad budgets onto The Trade Desk.That pivot will continue for three main reasons.First, The Trade Desk services the digital ad market, and many ad dollars continue to shift into the digital ad market. Second, automation technology is only scratching the surface of its potential. In the 2020s, it will get better and go more mainstream. As it does, programmatic advertising will become the norm across the entire digital ad landscape. Third, open internet initiatives are gaining traction. As they do, more companies will use third-party DSPs -- like TTD -- as opposed to using in-house DSPs.In short, The Trade Desk is a high-growth company whose growth should remain strong for a long time. The Trade Desk Stock is Going HigherPropelled by favorable non-cyclical growth trends, The Trade Desk stock will march higher in the long run. But its gains over the next few months are likely to be limited.The Trade Desk's revenue is rising at a 30%-plus rate. Gross ad spending on the platform came to less than 1% of total digital ad spending in 2018. The non-cyclical positive catalysts of programmatic advertising and the open internet indicate that TTD's share of gross ad spending will continue to expand at a steady rate over the next few years. It has been expanding roughly 0.15 percentage points per year since 2016. That trend will likely persist into 2025.Assuming the trend does continue and given that the digital ad market is growing by double-digit percentage levels, the company's top line should increase 20%-25%.Its gross margins are up near 80%. They should stay there for the foreseeable future, since the gross margins of most ad tech companies are around that level. Meanwhile, sustained 20%-25% revenue growth should be enough to increase the profitability of the company's revenue, pushing the operating spending rate down towards a more normal 40%-45% level by 2025.Putting all that together, my modeling calls for The Trade Desk's earnings per share to reach roughly $12 in 2025. Based on a 35-times forward earnings multiple, which is average for application software stocks with low capital spending rates, that equates to a 2024 price target for TTD stock of $420. Discounted back by 10% per year, that yields a 2019 price target of $260 and a 2020 price target of over $285. The Bottom Line on TTD StockTTD stock is a long-term winner, supported by non-cyclical positive growth catalysts, a favorable financial profile, and huge profit growth prospects. Having said that, a lot of the good stuff is already fully priced into TTD stock today. So, there's no rush to buy the shares at their current price of $255.But if or when TTD stock starts to drop, that will be the time to buy the shares. In 2020, TTD will make a run towards $300.As of this writing, Luke Lango was long TTD. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * These 7 S&P 500 Stocks Will Deliver a Repeat Performance in the Next Decade * 7 Tech Stocks to Stuff Your Stocking With * 7 Sinfully Good Casino Stocks That Could Win the Jackpot in 2020 The post Buy The Trade Desk Stock on Dips Heading Into 2020 appeared first on InvestorPlace.

  • Energy Efficiency Is a Hot Problem for Big Tech’s Data Centers

    Energy Efficiency Is a Hot Problem for Big Tech’s Data Centers

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Electrons aren’t much of a growth industry in the U.S., the second-largest electricity market in the world after China. Electricity sales rose last year, after nearly a decade of being flat or falling slightly, but are still only up 3% since 2007. There is one market, though, where demand for electrons is booming: data centers. That power-hungry growth market, though, is also where some of the world’s biggest, most capitalized and most innovative companies are bringing their might to bear. Before getting into that innovation, though, there’s a crucial equation to consider: the power usage effectiveness ratio, or PUE. PUE is a measure of a data center’s energy efficiency — the ratio of total energy used divided by energy consumed specifically for information technology activities. The theoretical ideal PUE is 1, where 100% of electricity consumption goes toward useful computation. All the other stuff — power transformers, uninterruptible power supplies, lighting and especially cooling — uses power but doesn’t compute, and as a result raises a data center’s PUE. A 2016 Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory study listed what was, at the time, PUE for facilities at various scales: a server sitting in a room, a server in a closet, a “hyperscale” extremely large data center. The smaller the server, the higher its ratio and the lower its efficiency. For the smallest server spaces, the PUE is above 2, meaning that more than half of its energy use is for things other than computing. For hyperscale, the PUE is 1.2 — meaning that most of the energy is going to computation. Here are that same data, expressed a bit differently, to show a server or data center’s power consumption by use. Here you can see that the smallest applications used more power for cooling than for computation. But at hyperscale data centers, more than 80% of power consumption went to IT (servers, networking and storage), and only 13% went to cooling. But now, with so much computation happening in the cloud (and, in reality, in hyperscale data centers), it’s worth finding out what today’s PUEs are and just how close they can get to that theoretical ideal of 1.0. A recent Uptime Institute survey of 1,600 data center owners and operators found that 2019’s average PUE is 1.67, and that “improvements in data center facility energy efficiency have flattened out and even deteriorated slightly in the past two years.” That PUE means that 60% of data center electricity consumption is going to IT, and the rest to cooling, lighting and so on. However, some operators are doing much better than that. Google says that its data centers have a PUE of 1.1, with some centers going as low as 1.06. There’s some seasonality in play, particularly because most of Google’s data centers are in the Northern Hemisphere; its Singapore data center has the highest PUE and is the least efficient of its sites. That’s not surprising given Singapore is hot and humid year-round. One key way to lower the cooling demand for a data center is to cool only to the temperature at which the machines are comfortable, not to where humans are most comfortable. For Google, that’s a temperature of 80 degrees Fahrenheit. There’s another approach, and one that draws on computation itself: machine learning. Google unleashed its DeepMind machine learning platform on the problem of data center energy efficiency three years ago; last year, it effectively turned over control to its own artificial intelligence: In 2016, we jointly developed an AI-powered recommendation system to improve the energy efficiency of Google’s already highly-optimised data centres. Our thinking was simple: even minor improvements would provide significant energy savings and reduce CO2 emissions to help combat climate change.Now we’re taking this system to the next level: instead of human-implemented recommendations, our AI system is directly controlling data centre cooling, while remaining under the expert supervision of our data centre operators. This first-of-its-kind cloud-based control system is now safely delivering energy savings in multiple Google data centres.It seems likely that more of that sort of approach will be adopted by Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, IBM and other major cloud computing firms. Even with efficiency gains, data center electricity demand is voracious and growing; that growth has a number of implications for the power grid and for power utilities. The first is that many of these major consumers of electricity are also contracting for wind and solar power to meet their demand. The second is that, with many data centers clustering in locations such as Northern Virginia, data center loads are becoming a meaningful share of utility peak demand in a given service territory. Recent BloombergNEF research finds that data centers could make up 15% of Dominion Energy Inc.’s summer peak demand by 2024. Given that data center operators have every incentive to economize on electricity, utilities need to compete to provide service. Preferential — and confidential — contracts for power supply are one way to do that, with the result being that other rate payers bear the cost, as Bloomberg News reported last year. Gains in efficiency don’t mean that data center demand for electricity is going down. Their scale and growth is a testament to their power usage effectiveness. Their preferential contracts for electricity, on the other hand, feel like a testament to their effective usage of a different kind of power: buying power. Weekend readingChevron Corp.’s $10 billion to $11 billion impairment charge, related mostly to its Appalachian natural gas assets, “ushers in oil’s era of the sober-major.” Chevron has also called time on the Kitimat liquefied natural gas export plant in British Columbia, writing off years of development while also planning to sell its 50% stake. Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd. has launched the world’s first liquefied hydrogen carrier. Tesla Inc. has lost its third general counsel in the course of a year. Vancouver-based Harbour Air Ltd.’s electric seaplane has taken flight. I looked at the environmental implications of electrifying aviation last month. Stanford University has released its 2019 Artificial Intelligence Index Report.  Venture capital fund Piva, funded by $250 million from Malaysia’s Petronas, has launched with a focus on energy and industry. Bloomberg Media will acquire CityLab, a news site covering “urban innovation and the future of cities.” Nomura Holdings Inc. will acquire sustainable technology and infrastructure boutique investment bank Greentech Capital Advisors. Hiro Mizuno, the chief investment officer of Japan’s $1.6 trillion Government Pension Investment Fund, has “embraced ESG principles so enthusiastically” that the fund will not award new mandates to managers without environmental, social and governance credentials. Considering the legacy of Xie Zhenhua, a key architect of the Paris Agreement and China’s climate negotiator for more than a decade. Greta Thunberg is Time Magazine’s Person of the Year. Get Sparklines delivered to your inbox. Sign up here.To contact the author of this story: Nathaniel Bullard at nbullard@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Brooke Sample at bsample1@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Nathaniel Bullard is a BloombergNEF energy analyst, covering technology and business model innovation and system-wide resource transitions.For more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • YouTube’s Music App Outpaces Spotify, Local Rivals in India

    YouTube’s Music App Outpaces Spotify, Local Rivals in India

    (Bloomberg) -- YouTube has signed up more than 800,000 subscribers for its paid services in India since debuting in March, according to people familiar with the matter, vaulting it past some competitors in one of the world’s fastest-growing media markets.The services have been growing faster than rival paid music offerings in India, including Spotify and local players Gaana and JioSaavn, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the subscriber data hasn’t been released. Apple Music also competes in the market, but it’s been tight-lipped about its subscriber figures.Gaana, owned by Times Internet, has more than 1 million paid subscribers, according to a representative. But it’s been around for almost a decade and has more than 125 million monthly users, who mostly use the free version of the service.YouTube has long struggled to to gets users to pay for its services, especially since the company’s main website is synonymous with free videos. But the Google division has started to gain traction, and the numbers out of India suggest it’s having particular success in the world’s second-most-populous country.YouTube sells two paid services in India: YouTube Music Premium and YouTube Premium. The music service offers a library of songs on-demand, much like Spotify, as well as the ability to download tracks, listen to music without ads and play tunes while using other apps. YouTube Premium offers the traditional YouTube video service without ads -- and the ability to play clips offline. But music is the driving force behind YouTube’s appeal, especially in India.Bhushan Kumar, the Bollywood Boss Behind YouTube’s Top ChannelThe country has emerged as a battleground for online music services, which are eager to sign up users in a country with more than 1.3 billion people. Unlike China, where online media services are tightly controlled by the government, India offers a similarly massive population without the same level of regulation.Western companies such as Apple Music, Spotify and YouTube compete with local services, and will soon contend with Resso, a platform from Chinese tech giant ByteDance.ByteDance is testing Resso in India and Indonesia before rolling out a paid version of the app next year. ByteDance’s short-form video app TikTok has more than 200 million users in India, enough to be a real challenger to YouTube and Instagram.Major PresenceBut YouTube already has a big presence in India, giving it an edge as it tries to get subscribers to pay fees. More than 265 million people use the free YouTube service in the country, making it YouTube’s largest market. India is also home to the channel with the most subscribers, T-Series, the country’s largest record label. Google has plowed resources into India in its bid to find new internet users and markets.The growth is also notable because India isn’t typically hospitable to paid services. The country is one of the poorer major economies, making its average citizen very sensitive to price. The leading free music services, Gaana and JioSaavn, have tens of millions of users, but few paying subscribers.Representatives for Gaana and JioSaavn didn’t immediately respond to emails seeking comment.Netflix Inc., the world’s most popular paid online video service, has had to cut its price to compete in the country. It introduced a cheaper, mobile-only plan in India earlier this year and said this week it’s testing other pricing models.Netflix Is Spending $420 Million on Indian Content, CEO SaysYouTube has convinced people to pay by selling its service at a low price -- less than $2 a month -- and offering special features to subscribers. People who want to listen to music while not actively using the app -- a popular feature known as background listening -- must pay for it. The other apps offer background listening for free.Spotify has said that its Indian service has outperformed its expectations so far, though most of its growth has been from users of its free service.(Updates with Gaana subscriber figures in third paragraph.)\--With assistance from Ragini Saxena.To contact the reporter on this story: Lucas Shaw in Los Angeles at lshaw31@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Nick Turner at, Dave McCombsFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


    Urbem's 'Quality Strategy' Series: 3 Types of Savings Accounts

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  • AMZN Stock Is Building a Base to Set New Highs

    AMZN Stock Is Building a Base to Set New Highs

    I have written about Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) stock many times before and I have been consistent with my message. Long term, AMZN stock will be higher. This management team under the leadership of Jeff Bezos has earned the benefit of the doubt. They have executed very well on their plans for over a decade. That's how they've come to dominate so many verticals including the cloud.Source: Hadrian / In the last five years, Amazon stock continues to clobber the averages and all of the top five tech mega-cap companies. It's up more than 472% while the S&P 500 is up only 52%. For reference, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) are up 120% to 160%. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is up 220% for the same period. There is no doubt that AMZN is a star among giants. * These 7 S&P 500 Stocks Will Deliver a Repeat Performance in the Next Decade In spite of the winning record, lately the consensus on Wall Street is that AMZN is not a stock to buy today. The reason they cite is that management is in spending mode. This to me is the opportunity because whenever AMZN spends money, it usually results in a new revenue source. But for now and from the report the company delivered on their last earnings call, the critics have their reasons to avoid the stock.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsFor the long term, dips are buying opportunities. Since I am not a perma-bull just for the sake of being one, I prefer to trade the AMZN price action based on the short-term levels.Amazon stock looks like a stock that is consolidating around its five-year point of control. This is the level where most of the price action occurred during that stretch of time. As buyers and sellers fight it out around $1,760 they establish a strong base. Bulls then use this base to mount another breakout rally. This is also the case on lower time frame charts. The 12-month daily chart also shows the AMZN stock price has been pivoting around the $1,777 point of control. These levels tend to be sticky as they provide support, but are also tough to break through. Resistance Is AMZN Stock's Upside OpportunitySource: Charts by TradingView If and when AMZN stock rises above the zone it will overshoot much higher. Depending on the investor trading speed there are a few different bullish trigger levels, the slowest of which is near $1,833 per share. Above it the bulls can launch a rally that can bring about $150 of upside potential. This would bring it close to filling a gap just below $2,000 per share.Shorter term, there are resistance levels at $1,766 and $1,789. But these are also bullish triggers when they are taken out. It is important to note that $1,808 was a major failure point from late November which will also be strong resistance on the way up. Amazon Needs to Hold Important LevelsI promised you that I won't be a perma-bull, so it is not all coming up roses for AMZN stock these days. Yes, there is strong support near $1,740, but if it closes below $1,730 or $1,723, sellers will gain momentum downward. But even then the damage should be contained.There is a very clear bounce level from the earnings reaction near $1,690 per share. Usually emphatic rejections of a level like the one from the earnings report and from Oct. 19 are tough levels to breach.There are other ways of trading Amazon stock without being in immediate danger through options. A few weeks ago I wrote about selling the Amazon January $1,550 puts and collecting $6 for the risk. This trade is now a huge win with $4 of profit without any money out of pocket to do it. The risk then would have been to own AMZN stock but with an 11% buffer. The options markets offer hundreds of ways to trade AMZN bullish, bearish, or both.Nicolas Chahine is the managing director of As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. Join his live chat room for free here. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * These 7 S&P 500 Stocks Will Deliver a Repeat Performance in the Next Decade * 7 Tech Stocks to Stuff Your Stocking With * 7 Sinfully Good Casino Stocks That Could Win the Jackpot in 2020 The post AMZN Stock Is Building a Base to Set New Highs appeared first on InvestorPlace.

  • Wearables Sales Surge, Bolstering Apple Stock

    Wearables Sales Surge, Bolstering Apple Stock

    Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) investors have had a lot to celebrate in 2019. Despite a continued slide in iPhone revenue, Apple stock just keeps climbing. In a year where iPhone revenue is down 13.6%, AAPL stock has increased in value by nearly 72%. Services like Apple Music, Apple TV+ and Apple Arcade get some of the credit.Source: Anna Hoychuk / There is also anticipation that the arrival of 5G support in next year's iPhones will lead to a big upgrade cycle in 2020, along with at least a temporary resurgence in iPhone's slumping revenue. Increasingly, though, it's wearables that are helping to power that Apple stock price. Some analysts are betting it will be a $100 billion business for the company within a decade. Apple Revenue (and AAPL Stock) Powers On, Despite the iPhone Sales SlumpThe massive growth in Apple stock value is tied directly to the iPhone. Just look at pre-iPhone revenue to see the effect.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsBefore the smartphone's launch in 2007, Macs and iPods were AAPL's primary sources of revenue. In fourth-quarter 2006, the Mac division brought $1.87 billion, with the iPod generating $1.50 billion. Total revenue was $4.37 billion. It's estimated that Apple has sold over two billion iPhones since then. * The 10 Worst Dividend Stocks of the Decade In Q4 2019, despite a continued slump, the iPhone generated $33.36 billion in sales. Macs generated $6.99 billion. Total revenue for the quarter was $64.04 billion, a new record for the company. While record-setting quarterly Services revenue of $12.51 billion is a big part of the story, so are the sales of wearables.Apple's Wearables, Home and Accessories division posted $6.52 billion in revenue -- surpassing iPad sales and nearly at Mac levels. More importantly, revenue for that Wearables division was up a whopping 54% compared to the previous year. Apple's Wearables Sales SkyrocketingIDC just released Q3 numbers for the global wearables market and they show just how dominant Apple has become in a very hot market. Worldwide, sales of the devices surged 93% in the quarter as consumers snapped up smartwatches, fitness trackers and wireless earbuds.AAPL seriously outperformed the pack. Sales of the Apple Watch, AirPods and Beats headphones nearly tripled year-over-year. The 29.5 million units Apple shipped (compared to 10 million in Q3 2018) captured 35% of the market.Being the dominant player in a rapidly growing market segment -- and charging premium prices -- is a very nice position to be in. There is competition, but it's no contest at this point.China's Xiaomi is in second place (with a 14.6% market share) primarily because of its cheap Mi bands, while Samsung (9.8%) continues to offer smart watches and wireless earbuds. Alphabet's (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) Google is in the process of acquiring Fitbit (NYSE:FIT) in an attempt to finally challenge the Apple Watch. But none of the competition comes close to Apple's level of sales. Marching Toward $100 Billion?Loup Venture analysts Gene Munster told Fortune that he sees Apple's revenue from wearables growing at a 20% clip for the next five years, making it worth $75 billion in annual revenue by 2025.He's not alone in his bullish outlook. An analyst for Strategy Analytics told Fortune that with products such as AR glasses expected to be in the pipeline, wearables could be a $100 billion business for Apple by 2030. Bottom Line for Apple StockWearables like the Apple Watch and AirPods are on track toward being a massive business for Apple. But the beauty in these devices is that they also help to drive consumers toward laying down the cash for more expensive hardware like an iPhone and to subscribe to Apple services.As it approaches $271, Apple stock continues to climb. It's more valuable now than the heady days when every iPhone launch weekend set new records, and has more than recovered from last year's iPhone panic-induced slump.With a holiday season of wearables like the Apple Watch and AirPods among this year's most popular gifts, AAPL's next quarter is going to see another big win for the Wearables division. And you can expect wearables to be an increasingly important part of Apple stock price growth over the next decade.As of this writing, Brad Moon did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * The 10 Worst Dividend Stocks of the Decade * 7 Game-Changing Tech Stocks to Buy Now * 5 Chinese Stocks to Buy for the Big 2020 Rebound The post Wearables Sales Surge, Bolstering Apple Stock appeared first on InvestorPlace.

  • Is Amazon Stock A Buy Right Now? Here's What Earnings, Charts Show
    Investor's Business Daily

    Is Amazon Stock A Buy Right Now? Here's What Earnings, Charts Show

    Amazon stock sank then rebounded in the wake of its third-quarter earnings report that had a mix of good and bad news. Here's an in-depth analysis about whether to buy Amazon now.


    ‘Transportation Is Broken.’ Cruise CEO’s Blog Post Offers a Glimpse Into the Future of Self-Driving Cars

    Dan Ammann, CEO of General Motors’ Cruise automation division, rallied against the automobile’s place in society.

  • FTC Eyes Suit to Block Facebook Plan to Merge Apps

    FTC Eyes Suit to Block Facebook Plan to Merge Apps

    (Bloomberg) -- U.S. antitrust enforcers are considering going to court to stop Facebook Inc.’s plan to merge technology systems so that users can communicate across the company’s apps, according to a person familiar with the matter.The Federal Trade Commission is studying whether to seek a court order to block the company’s effort to enable messaging among users of WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger, said the person, who declined to be named because the investigation is confidential.Facebook’s integration plan, announced in January, has come under criticism from those who say the move would make it harder to break up Facebook as part of any antitrust case against the company. The FTC, the U.S. Justice Department and a group of states are investigating whether Facebook has violated antitrust laws.FTC Chairman Joe Simons signaled he agreed with that view in an interview with Bloomberg in August. Asked how difficult a breakup of Facebook would be once the services had been well integrated, he said it would make the case “very messy.”“It’s hard,” he said. “It’s really hard.”Simons told Bloomberg at the time that he’s willing to go to court to seek a breakup of a tech company. Any decision by the FTC to sue would need a majority vote by the five-member commission.Facebook shares fell as much as 4% after the Wall Street Journal reported on the FTC’s deliberations. The shares fell 2.7% to $196.75 in New York.Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg wants to allow users of the messaging service on Instagram to chat with those using similar functions on WhatsApp and on the original Facebook site and app. Facebook says that would allow it to better view and control foreign election interference, the spread of terrorism and other content it deems bad. Currently users can’t communicate between services.The company has already begun to integrate messaging systems for Instagram, a photo app, with Facebook Messenger, Bloomberg has reported. The massive undertaking will stitch together the underlying technology and require corporate reorganization, but won’t change much about users’ interaction with the services.Critics including co-founder Chris Hughes have focused on Facebook’s ownership of the apps and its plans to knit them more tightly together. Such detractors have cast the integration as a source of danger to user privacy. They also say it would allow the company to further abuse its dominance and fend off enforcers’ attempts to curb its behavior.Facebook says it faces robust competition, even accounting for its ownership of the services.Many technological services are able to work together even when provided by different companies -- a concept known as interoperability. Users of Google’s email service, for instance, can easily communicate with friends who get their messages through Microsoft, and phones call one another regardless of wireless providers.Mobile chatting is not as well integrated, however. Those who study competition say that interoperability between rivals bolsters competition, but Facebook’s plan would allow the company’s apps to talk to one another rather than to outside services.The Justice Department has previously pushed back on the integration plan because it will involve encrypting Instagram and Messenger and make messages invisible to Facebook the way that already occurs on WhatsApp. The department, along with officials from Australia and the U.K., said in October that the company should pause its efforts until it can ensure lawful access to user communications. Facebook said in a letter released Tuesday that it rejected that call.The FTC’s investigation of Facebook, which became public in July, is examining in part whether the social media company’s acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp should be unwound even though they were previously approved by the agency.Advocates for aggressive antitrust action against Facebook, including Senator Elizabeth Warren, have argued both deals allowed Facebook to fend off emerging competition by acquiring platforms that posed a threat to its dominance. Warren has said she would seek to unwind both deals if elected president in 2020.(Updates with Facebook plan starting in fifth paragraph)\--With assistance from Kurt Wagner and Sarah Frier.To contact the reporters on this story: David McLaughlin in Washington at;Ben Brody in Washington, D.C. at btenerellabr@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sara Forden at, Paula DwyerFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Alphabet Lawyer Sold $145 Million of Stock Before Page Exit

    Alphabet Lawyer Sold $145 Million of Stock Before Page Exit

    (Bloomberg) -- Alphabet Inc. legal chief David Drummond unloaded about $145 million of stock -- his biggest share sale on record -- in the weeks before co-founder Larry Page stepped down as chief executive officer.Drummond sold $72 million of stock in early November and an additional $73 million on Dec. 2, regulatory filings show. The latter disposal occurred a day before the Google parent announced that Sundar Pichai would succeed Page as CEO and become Drummond’s boss.While he has sold stock periodically since joining the firm in 2002, Drummond has divested almost twice as much this year as he did in 2018. He was Google’s first lawyer and ran the search giant’s legal and corporate development arms for years before shifting to Alphabet in 2015.Last year, Drummond was accused of having had a relationship with a female employee in the legal department. The woman, Jennifer Blakely, later came forward, saying Drummond abandoned her and their child and repeatedly violated rules governing workplace relationships.Drummond, 56, has said the two underwent a difficult breakup and that he never started a relationship with anyone else at company.But the details, coupled with accusations of misconduct by other senior Google executives, gave more fuel to critics who said that the company hadn’t done enough to reform a culture where powerful men weren’t penalized for inappropriate relationships or sexual misconduct. Last year, thousands of Google employees worldwide walked off the job in protest.This year, Alphabet’s board began investigating how misconduct matters were handled. The company no longer requires that workers sign away their right to challenge it in court. Some other executives accused of misconduct have left the company.A Google spokeswoman declined to comment or to make Drummond available for comment.Insider sales are closely watched by some investors to gauge management’s confidence in the business. That said, executive stock sales are hardly unusual. Most public-company bosses receive the bulk of their compensation in equity and periodically dispose of some of it to diversify their wealth.Drummond, whose most recent transactions were made under a pre-arranged stock-trading plan, has sold about 120,000 shares worth roughly $157 million so far this year. Regulatory filings suggest he collected most of those shares by exercising stock options with expiration dates from December 2020 through April 2022. The sales figures don’t exclude the cost of exercising those options.Drummond married another Google employee earlier this year, according to Axios.(Updates with stock-trading plan in 10th paragraph)\--With assistance from Mark Bergen.To contact the reporters on this story: Anders Melin in New York at;Gerrit De Vynck in New York at gdevynck@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at, ;Pierre Paulden at, Peter Eichenbaum, Molly SchuetzFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Michael Burry's Top 5 Holdings

    Michael Burry's Top 5 Holdings

    'Big Short' investor’s top holdings include 3 retail companies Continue reading...

  • The Fate of Facebook Stock Will Come Down to Its Risks

    The Fate of Facebook Stock Will Come Down to Its Risks

    By the numbers, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) stock looks far too cheap. Its 2019 earnings per share, excluding a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, should come in over $8 per share. Back its out over $18 per share of cash, and Facebook stock is trading at something like 22 tines this year's earnings.Source: justplay1412 / That's basically the market's average multiple. Yet Facebook is growing much faster than the market. Its revenue should rise 26% this year and at least 20% in 2020.Indeed, there is no shortage of tech stocks with lower growth and substantially higher valuations. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is one. Smaller names like Intuit (NASDAQ:INTU) and Adobe (NASDAQ:ADBE) might qualify as well. Simply considering growth and valuation, there are few better stocks out there than Facebook stock.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsTo some extent, investors have come around to that realization. FB stock has gained 53% so far this year. But its shares also trade below their July peak -- and they haven't returned to the all-time highs they reached in 2018.There are reasons for that, and Facebook stock faces real risks going forward. One of those risks became quickly and stunningly apparent last year.I've argued for much of this year that Facebook stock was too cheap. But with Facebook stock price back at $200, the outlook of FB stock is increasingly dependent on the extent to which Facebook can avoid, or at least mitigate, those risks. * The 10 Worst Dividend Stocks of the Decade Will FB's Spending Slow?The biggest hit to Facebook stock ever came last July. In fact, it was the biggest hit to any stock ever. On Jul. 26, 2018, Facebook's market capitalization fell a staggering $119 billion in a single trading session. The decline easily eclipsed one-day losses during the dot-com bubble-era by Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) and Microsoft.The catalyst was a statement FB made on its earnings conference call, Facebook said its operating expenses would rise meaningfully in 2019. That guidance mostly has come to pass: excluding the FTC settlement, total costs and expenses have risen 35% so far this year, while FB's revenue has climbed just 27%. Facebook stock price may not fully reflect this news.After Q3, Facebook said its expenses would rise rather sharply again. Its total expenses are expected to increase to $54 billion to $59 billion in 2020 from $41 billion to $43 billion in 2019 (again, excluding the FTC settlement).At the midpoints, that's a 35% increase -- roughly equivalent to the percentage increase through the first three quarters of 2019 . And the guidance suggests that the company's margins will further compress in 2020, resulting in relatively lower profit growth.But this time around, the market has shrugged at the guidance. One key reason for that might be that analysts don't believe the company. The Street appears to think that Facebook is being conservative about 2020.Those analysts probably need to be right for Facebook stock price to reach new highs. The concerns about its margin compression are legitimate; Facebook's spending on security and user safety isn't going to slow. To drive the earnings growth needed to move Facebook stock higher, the company needs to be able to cut its other costs. Are Regulators Coming?Another obvious risk is on the regulatory front. The FTC already has fined Facebook $5 billion. One FTC commissioner said this week the settlement didn't go far enough.Regulators in Europe are watching both Facebook and Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG,NASDAQ:GOOGL) closely. Federal antitrust authorities in the U.S. have opened their own investigations, as have state attorneys general.So far, political risk has been mostly much ado about nothing for Facebook stock. Both the June revelation of the federal antitrust probes and the drama surrounding the company's Cambridge Analytica scandal simply created buying opportunities. The $5 billion fine is less than 1% of Facebook's market capitalization.For now, political risk still seems relatively minimal. A federal government that can't agree on anything seems unlikely to agree on how to manage Facebook. The step of actually separating the company from its WhatsApp and Instagram businesses seems extreme and to require more political capital than it's worth.Many Americans are outraged at Big Tech, but there's little evidence yet that politicians have the stomach for a years-long legal battle that would likely dwarf the infamous Microsoft antitrust case that took nearly a decade to resolve.Still, recent trading shows that any kind of news on the regulatory front can move Facebook and other internet stocks. And with the 2020 elections less than a year away, Facebook, Google, and Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) likely will be in the headlines, and in candidates' statements, much more often than they would like. User Growth and Facebook StockOne potential irony surrounding FB stock is that the most widely-discussed risk hasn't played out. For years, skeptics have worried that Facebook's user growth was going to slow. Reports of teenage users fleeing the platform to escape their parents have persisted for years. Snap Inc (NYSE:SNAP) platform Snapchat was highlighted as a potentially legitimate competitor.The Cambridge Analytica revelations supposedly turned off users. Conservatives in the West see bias on the platform; liberals decry the spread of "fake news" on FB. For years now, it's seemed like multiple demographics were on the verge of exiting Facebook for good, and, for some time, that exodus was seen as a key risk to the stock.It simply hasn't happened. Facebook's daily active users (DAUs) increased 9% year-over-year in Q3, to a stunning 1.62 billion. Facebook wrote in its Q3 earnings press release that an estimated 2.2 billion people use at least one of the company's four services (Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger) each day. That's nearly 40% of the world's adult population; excluding China, its daily penetration rate is almost 50%.That said, slowing user growth could be a risk going forward, particularly if the trend is combined with higher spending. In the West, Facebook's DAU numbers have stagnated. The daily active user base in the U.S. and Canada increased just 2% year-over-year in Q3; DAU growth in Europe was just 3.5% YoY. Elsewhere, the platform's reach is expanding, but a ceiling might loom.Competitive fears do seem markedly lower. Snapchat's user growth has started to rise again, but its DAU base is barely one-eighth that of Facebook. Twitter has evolved into a different tyoe of platform. Still, lower user growth will lead to lower revenue growth. It's possible that at least some of those who were skeptical about Facebook stock weren't wrong, but just early. The Case for FB StockWith FB stock back at $200, the bull/bear argument comes down to the risks outlined above. If Facebook stays on a relatively "normal" path, with its revenue and spending growth decelerating as the company matures, Facebook stock will likely outperform the market. The company has too much cash and generates too much cash to be trading at a market-level valuation. At the moment, from a financial perspective, FB is one of the best businesses in the world, with operating margins near 40% and revenue growth above 20%.The key qualifier there, however, is "at the moment." The world changes quickly, and the volatility of social media stocks shows the industry isn't immune to changes. Regulators can be fickle. Customers can be unpredictable. I still believe that Facebook stock is worth buying, despite these risks. But the risks are real -- and the owners of FB stock should keep that in mind.As of this writing, Vince Martin has no positions in any securities mentioned. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * The 10 Worst Dividend Stocks of the Decade * 7 Game-Changing Tech Stocks to Buy Now * 5 Chinese Stocks to Buy for the Big 2020 Rebound The post The Fate of Facebook Stock Will Come Down to Its Risks appeared first on InvestorPlace.

  • Quantum computing will be the smartphone of the 2020s, says Bank of America strategist

    Quantum computing will be the smartphone of the 2020s, says Bank of America strategist

    Israel argues quantum computing could be an ‘even more radical’ technology in terms of its impact on businesses than the smartphone has been

  • Cyber Monday's record sales day, Google co-founders step down

    Cyber Monday's record sales day, Google co-founders step down

    This week's most important stories include a record-breaking Cyber Monday, Google's co-founders stepping down and a new prediction that Apple's 2021 iPhone will be completely wireless.

  • Google Workers Rising Up After Employees Are Fired

    Google Workers Rising Up After Employees Are Fired

    Dec.13 -- Google fired four employees for what the technology giant said were violations of its data-security policies, escalating tension between management and activist workers at a company once revered for its open corporate culture. Rebecca Rivers, a former Google employee, and Bloomberg's Mark Bergen appear on "Bloomberg Technology."