GOOG Jun 2020 1160.000 put

OPR - OPR Delayed Price. Currency in USD
65.55
0.00 (0.00%)
As of 11:40AM EDT. Market open.
Stock chart is not supported by your current browser
Previous Close65.55
Open65.55
Bid65.60
Ask69.80
Strike1,160.00
Expire Date2020-06-19
Day's Range74.50 - 74.50
Contract RangeN/A
Volume2
Open Interest13
  • The highest-paying company in 2019? It's not Facebook or Google
    CBS News Videos

    The highest-paying company in 2019? It's not Facebook or Google

    Palo Alto Networks is a much smaller company, but its cybersecurity business is in demand with corporate customers increasingly at risk of breaches.

  • These are highest paying companies, according to Glassdoor
    Yahoo Finance

    These are highest paying companies, according to Glassdoor

    Glassdoor, an online job and recruiting site, has revealed the highest paying companies in 2019

  • Facebook, Google, and Twitter to address mass violence and extremism online at Senate hearing
    Yahoo Finance

    Facebook, Google, and Twitter to address mass violence and extremism online at Senate hearing

    On Wednesday, U.S. Senators are questioning officials from those three companies at a hearing on extremism online — the latest in a string of inquiries on Capitol Hill that focuses on Big Tech.

  • Financial Times

    Smart TVs sending sensitive user data to Netflix and Facebook

    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 was being sent whether or not the user had a Netflix account.

  • The ‘best job in America’ pays over $108,000 a year — and has a high number of openings
    MarketWatch

    The ‘best job in America’ pays over $108,000 a year — and has a high number of openings

    Is there a job out there that gives you a six-figure income, high job satisfaction and has enough job openings to make it a real possibility? The “Glassdoor Job Score” is determined by weighing three factors equally: Earning potential (median annual base salary), overall job satisfaction rating and number of job openings.

  • AMZN Advertising: A Key Revenue Driver
    Market Realist

    AMZN Advertising: A Key Revenue Driver

    Amazon (AMZN) has underperformed the market in 2019 and has gained just over 18% year-to-date. Comparatively, the S&P; 500 Index is up 20% this year.

  • How Virtual Streamers Became Japan’s Biggest YouTube Attraction
    Bloomberg

    How Virtual Streamers Became Japan’s Biggest YouTube Attraction

    (Bloomberg) -- Kizuna Ai, the most popular streamer in Japan, is an anatomically exaggerated, perpetually adolescent girl in frilly thigh-high socks and a pink hair ribbon. She’s also an entirely virtual character, given life by the actions and voice of an invisible actress.In the home of anime and “Ghost in the Shell” futurism, millions now follow Kizuna Ai online, and that success has spawned thousands of copycat acts and a cottage industry catering to so-called virtual YouTubers, or VTubers. Defying the Western streamer blueprint of young male gamers like PewDiePie and Ninja, Japan has invented a new class of streaming star that’s equal parts digital avatar and interactive anime.“What separates VTubers from regular anime characters is that you can believe they actually exist,” said Takeshi Osaka, founder of Activ8 Inc., the Tokyo-based company behind Kizuna Ai. “That presence is an important part of what makes them so appealing.”Sidestepping the labor-intensive and time-consuming process of traditional animation -- ill-suited to the fast-paced world of YouTube content -- Activ8 uses Hollywood-grade motion capture equipment to crank out music videos, skits and game streams just about every day for more than 4 million subscribers.The technology allows Kizuna to interact with fans in real time at exhibitions, give interviews on live TV and perform in concerts. It’s a virtual influencer that can patronize real-world events.While Activ8 doesn’t disclose technical details, its product is an almost seamless combination of lifelike movements, gestures and facial expressions, all of which contribute to the suspension of disbelief.“The innovation here is in how they combine real-time 3D computer graphics, motion capture and video streaming sites like YouTube to create two-way interactions with audiences,” said Eiji Araki, a senior vice president at Gree Inc. who heads a division specializing in VTubers.Kizuna Ai debuted on YouTube in December 2016 and was responsible for coining the term “VTuber.” The technology that opened the door for its many imitators arrived that same year, in the form of the first commercial virtual reality goggles. Designed to do precise head and hand tracking, the VR kits from Facebook Inc.’s Oculus and HTC Corp.’s Vive turned out to be perfect animation rigs for VTuber aspirants on a budget. With free-to-use animation engines and 3-D models from the likes of Unity Technologies, anyone could create a virtual puppet studio for cheap in their living room.Virtual Beings Get Real With First Emmy From HollywoodIt’s no accident that VTubers found fertile ground in Japan. The country has a long history of user-generated content centered on anime, and performances by virtual idols like Hatsune Miku have drawn real-world crowds for more than a decade. While international audiences may prefer more photorealistic characters -- which are more difficult to create and animate -- their Japanese counterparts raised on comic book heroes have no problem with cartoonish looks.The VTuber phenomenon has so far been almost exclusively Japanese, however its underlying technology and formula of combining popular culture with increased interactivity -- and thus believability -- are universal. And Activ8 already has ambitions to expand its VTuber portfolio beyond Japan.While Japan’s global tech leadership may have faded since the days of the Walkman, its trendsetting habits remain strong in the gaming realm. Three out of four gaming consoles sold in the world today are made by Nintendo Co. and Sony Corp., while free-to-play mobile games are taking over the globe with monetization techniques pioneered by Japanese companies. And then there are globally beloved game series like Super Mario, Zelda, Monster Hunter and Pokémon. Anime, another major Japanese cultural export, is a $20 billion industry whose products range from Oscar-winning high-brow works by Hayao Miyazaki to action-packed light entertainment like “Battle Angel Alita,” which recently got a Hollywood remake. VTubers are a cross between these two Japanese pastimes.Market researcher User Local Inc. estimates there are now over 9,000 VTuber channels. The most popular ones are produced by a handful of professional studios like Activ8, each managing dozens of characters. In the space of less than three years, virtual streamers have morphed from an obscure subculture to a big business. Kizuna Ai can now be found in ads for instant cup noodles and eye drops, appearing at local carrier SoftBank Corp.’s launch event and helping the Japan National Tourism Organization’s promo campaigns.“There is no doubt that this will change the future of entertainment,” said Hironao Kunimitsu, the founder of Gumi Inc., an early investor in Activ8 and about 70 other VR startups. He cautions, however, that “for this type of content to resonate outside of Japan, it will have to be adapted to local tastes and sensibilities.”For now, Japanese VTubers are taking the path of least resistance and exporting their characters to China’s large and underserved anime market. Activ8 earlier this year introduced a Chinese version of Kizuna Ai, changing its dress and voice, and now it has close to 820,000 followers on the country’s Bilibili video-sharing service.Ultimate success for Activ8’s chief means making it into Hollywood, which is already a well-trodden path for Japanese gaming franchises like Resident Evil, Pokémon and Sonic the Hedgehog. Given the world’s appetite for Japanese culture, VTubers might not even have to dilute their product very much.“I started this virtual entertainer business because I believe it can be done worldwide,” Osaka said. “Our goal is to become the next-generation Disney.”To contact the reporters on this story: Pavel Alpeyev in Tokyo at palpeyev@bloomberg.net;Yuki Furukawa in Tokyo at yfurukawa13@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at echan273@bloomberg.net, Vlad Savov, Colum MurphyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Senate panel grills Justice Department and FTC chiefs over their antitrust probes into Big Tech
    MarketWatch

    Senate panel grills Justice Department and FTC chiefs over their antitrust probes into Big Tech

    Officials from the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission may provide more information on Tuesday afternoon about their antitrust probes that are targeting Amazon.com Inc., Apple Inc., Facebook Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google.

  • Facebook Releases Rules for Its Independent Content Board
    Bloomberg

    Facebook Releases Rules for Its Independent Content Board

    (Bloomberg) -- Facebook Inc., ahead of a congressional hearing on violent content, revealed the charter for an independent oversight board that will make irreversible decisions about what posts stay up and come down, even if the company disagrees.The board, which Facebook started talking about in January and which will begin to hear cases early next year, represents the first real check on Facebook’s power to decide who gets a voice on its site. Its members -- at least 11 people at any given time and fully staffed at 40 -- will be the final word on controversial cases that affect Facebook’s 2.7 billion users. The board’s charter outlines a vision that is easier said than done.The members will “exhibit a broad range of knowledge, competencies, diversity and expertise” with no “actual or perceived” conflicts of interest that would affect their decisions on user content, according to the charter revealed Tuesday. They will “collaborate in decision-making to foster an environment of collegiality, and issue principled decisions and policy recommendations using clearly articulated reasoning.” The committee deciding on cases will include one member from the region of the post in dispute.Facebook spent months deliberating with outside experts to ensure the board acts independently, even though members are paid indirectly by the tech giant. Funding is channeled through a trust and the trustees can’t fire board members if they make bad content decisions, only if their conduct is poor. At stake is the trust of Facebook’s users, who sometimes don’t understand why posts are removed, or why questionable content they report remains online.The company is also dealing with increasingly damaging types of content -- like posts to recruit terrorists or influence elections. On Wednesday, executives from Facebook, Twitter Inc. and Google will testify before a Senate committee on violent content and extremism, after a string of mass shootings, some of which were broadcast live on social media.Kate Klonick, an assistant professor at St. John’s University Law School, has been embedded at Facebook to observe the oversight board’s creation, including sitting in on meetings with staff. She described a notable update: The board can provide feedback on Facebook policies, and the company will review that and write a public statement explaining why it did or did not change a policy as a result.“That’s actually kind of a huge deal,” Klonick said. “That’s probably the most accountable we’ve ever seen Facebook.”There are still elements that are unclear, according to Klonick. The charter references “bylaws” -- the “operational procedures of the board” -- and a Code of Conduct outlining the “norms, procedures, and proper practices” expected of board members. Neither exists right now, but both will be important to start the board off in the right direction with the right set of principles, she said.To contact the reporters on this story: Sarah Frier in San Francisco at sfrier1@bloomberg.net;Kurt Wagner in San Francisco at kwagner71@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at jward56@bloomberg.net, Alistair Barr, Molly SchuetzFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Top U.S. antitrust regulators admit to infighting on big tech probe
    Reuters

    Top U.S. antitrust regulators admit to infighting on big tech probe

    The top U.S. antitrust regulators admitted at a congressional hearing on Tuesday that they had wasted time arguing over who would investigate which tech company, as they take on major probes of firms like Alphabet's Google for allegedly using their market power unfairly. The hearing by the Senate Judiciary Committee's antitrust panel was a tough one for Delrahim and Joe Simons, chair of the Federal Trade Commission, who were criticized by lawmakers for overlapping on the probes, and for other matters.

  • Is MSFT Stock a Buy With Earnings and xCloud Launch on the Horizon?
    InvestorPlace

    Is MSFT Stock a Buy With Earnings and xCloud Launch on the Horizon?

    When Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) reported fourth-quarter and full-year earnings in July, the company impressed analysts and investors, blowing past estimates for both earnings and revenue. The next earnings report for the trillion-dollar company is due in five weeks. And after closing at $136.33 yesterday, MSFT stock sits almost exactly where it did the day after those Q4 earnings. That's off from the final week of July and a few days in September, when Microsoft stock topped the $140 level -- but up 34% from the start of the year.Source: Shutterstock With MSFT expected to report Q1 earnings on October 24, and Project xCloud expected to make its debut in October, is now the time to consider an investment in the high-flying tech company? Q1 Earnings Have the Potential to Boost MSFT StockIn July, Microsoft delivered strong Q4 results and a record fiscal 2019. Revenue of $33.7 billion handily beat analyst expectations. Earnings per share of $1.71 also topped expectations and blew past the $1.14 the company delivered in Q4 2018. With cloud computing becoming an increasingly important part of MSFT's game plan, Azure revenue was up 64% in the quarter. InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsThe company is expected to report Q1 2020 earnings on October 24, and analysts are looking for EPS of $1.24 compared to the $1.10 Microsoft delivered a year ago. There's a good chance MSFT stock rises ahead of earnings in anticipation of big numbers. The X-Factor: Project xCloudCloud gaming services have the potential to be one of the more interesting developments of 2019. The big one that everyone has been waiting for is Stadia, from Alphabet's (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) Google. Billed as "the future of gaming," Google Stadia leverages cloud computing hardware to let subscribers play high resolution, AAA PC video games in a browser on very modest hardware. Even a smartphone or a tablet.Google may have been stealing the headlines for the past several years -- and causing some consternation among MSFT investors over the possibility that Stadia might disrupt Xbox console gaming, but Microsoft has hardly been sitting still. * 7 Momentum Stocks to Buy On the Dip Microsoft has 17 years of game console experience and that surging Azure cloud computing division. Naturally, the two are being mashed together. Microsoft's Project xCloud was officially announced last October, with MSFT providing further details in March. Microsoft sees Project xCloud as opening up Xbox-class gaming to consumers who may not otherwise have access to consoles, leveraging 54 global Azure cloud centers to deliver console-quality gaming to mobile devices. At the 2019 EX game conference, Microsoft announced that Project xCloud will be launching as a public beta sometime in October. Pricing, regional availability and launch titles were not announced, but the timing finally sets up MSFT for a showdown against Google Stadia -- which launches in November at $9.99 per month.Project xCloud has the potential to help take the edge off the rapid decline in Xbox revenue (consoles aren't selling as gamers wait for the next generation), while bolstering the number of players in the Xbox camp. If it's a success, it will help to mitigate the threat from Google Stadia. And by adding subscription revenue, it would also help to even out revenue fluctuations (a model that MSFT has employed with great success for its Office productivity suite). There is also some risk involved here, though. If Project xCloud stumbles, the black eye would come at a bad time for Microsoft, especially with its next generation Xbox console launching in 2020. Should You Buy MSFT Now?If you ask the professionals, it's a no-brainer: buy MSFT stock. Of the 33 analysts polled by the Wall Street Journal, 27 of them have MSFT rated as a "buy" with $155.38 as the average 12-month price target for Microsoft stock. That offers a nice bit of upside for investors, with the possibility that Project xCloud could factor into the equation and provide a much-needed gaming boost going into the holiday quarter. 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 * 7 Momentum Stocks to Buy On the Dip * 7 Dow Titans Breaking Higher * 5 Growth Stocks to Sell as Rates Move Higher The post Is MSFT Stock a Buy With Earnings and xCloud Launch on the Horizon? appeared first on InvestorPlace.

  • Self-Driving Cars: Apple-Backed DiDi Gets a License
    Market Realist

    Self-Driving Cars: Apple-Backed DiDi Gets a License

    Apple-backed DiDi Chuxing has received a license to operate a fleet of self-driving cars on a pilot basis in part of the Jiading district in Shanghai.

  • Reuters

    UPDATE 3-Top U.S. antitrust regulators admit to infighting on big tech probe

    The top U.S. antitrust regulators admitted at a congressional hearing on Tuesday that they had wasted time arguing over who would investigate which tech company, as they take on major probes of firms like Alphabet's Google for allegedly using their market power unfairly. The hearing by the Senate Judiciary Committee's antitrust panel was a tough one for Delrahim and Joe Simons, chair of the Federal Trade Commission, who were criticized by lawmakers for overlapping on the probes, and for other matters.

  • Can Tesla Stock Investors Trust Elon Musk?
    InvestorPlace

    Can Tesla Stock Investors Trust Elon Musk?

    There's not a stock in the market with a more pitched bull and bear divide than Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) stock. Bulls cite a massive growth opportunity -- and a company that can help improve life on Earth. Bears point to the company's lack of profitability, a long list of broken promises and an arguably inflated valuation.Source: Hadrian / Shutterstock.com I've long leaned toward the bearish side of the argument (and taken bearish option positions in the stock, though I'm currently on the sidelines) for one simple reason: I don't trust its management. That concern isn't really based on the arguments over the infamous "funding secured" tweet and the still-lengthening list of broken promises.Rather, it comes down to the fact that auto manufacturing is a notoriously difficult and capital-intensive business. As both TSLA bulls and bears will point out (for very different reasons), among U.S. manufacturers, only Tesla and Ford (NYSE:F) have never gone bankrupt.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsYet Tesla, drama aside, has hardly executed well -- or, in my opinion, been managed well. The company announced in late February it was closing all its stores, then reversed field two weeks later. Prices constantly move around. The decision to avoid model years has created issues in parts and services. This is too difficult an industry to not have detailed strategies and top-notch execution.TSLA bulls for the most part have been forgiving, and chosen to put their faith in CEO Elon Musk. At this point, I wonder whether it's still possible to ignore his critics. Do You Believe in Robo-Taxis?At Tesla's Autonomy Day in April, Musk said the company was on its way to fully autonomous driving. He announced that the company would have 1 million "robo-taxis" on the road by the end of 2020.Musk doubled down on that claim on an investor call a little over a week later. He told listeners that in three years existing Tesla models would be worth $150,000-$250,000. In July, that figure came down a bit, but on Twitter Musk still put the value at $100,000-$200,000. * 7 Momentum Stocks to Buy On the Dip So a key question for anyone considering Tesla stock is this: Do you believe those claims?Few do. TSLA stock actually declined 4% in trading on the day of the Autonomy Day (though, to be fair, it regained those losses the following session). Noted TSLA bull Gene Munster of Loup Ventures said in the context of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) that "autonomy is going to take longer than people think." Most auto executives believe it will be at least a decade. Autonomy leader Waymo, a unit of Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG,NASDAQ:GOOGL), believes it's even further away.In fact, it certainly doesn't seem like Tesla itself believes its CEO. After all, the company is cutting the price of both the Model 3 and the Model Y. Why, exactly, is Tesla selling "appreciating assets," as Musk termed them, for 40% of the company's low estimate of their value? Tesla closed the second quarter with $5 billion in cash. Surely, it could lower deliveries and either sell the cars at a bigger profit or keep them for an in-house fleet.After all, Tesla is guiding for total production of 10,000 units a week by the end of the year. 500,000 units annually at $100,000 each would be worth $50 billion. That's roughly equivalent to Tesla's current enterprise value. What Does That Mean for TSLA Stock?The dubiousness of Musk's claims in turn leads to another question: Can an investor buy Tesla stock if he or she doesn't believe the CEO?Obviously, many investors believe the answer is "yes." Tesla has a large retail shareholder base. Institutions -- and Wall Street analysts -- in many cases have stuck behind the company, and behind TSLA stock.And maybe the opportunity is such that the stock is worth the risk. After all, an investor could plausibly argue that even if Musk is exaggerating, TSLA stock still has upside. If the robo-taxis are worth $50,000 and won't arrive for a few years, that still suggests potentially higher prices down the line.That might be true. But remember: This is a brutally difficult industry. It requires huge amounts of capital (as Tesla has learned). It requires execution and strategy that are on point.And Musk is making what appears to be a ridiculously optimistic claim about something that is a big part of the Tesla business model -- and the bull case for Tesla stock. This isn't random musing about life on Mars. The 1 million robo-taxis by next year claim was made at an event specifically designed to highlight the company's plans in autonomy. It wasn't an off-hand remark made on an earnings call or at a conference.From here, if an investor can't believe that goal, that investor can't, and shouldn't, own Tesla stock. For now, many investors see it differently. That may not be the case forever.As of this writing, Vince Martin has no positions in any securities mentioned. 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 Can Tesla Stock Investors Trust Elon Musk? appeared first on InvestorPlace.

  • Google Cloud Head of India Resigns, Joins Disney Unit
    Market Realist

    Google Cloud Head of India Resigns, Joins Disney Unit

    The head of Google’s cloud computing business in India, Nitin Bawankule, is set to leave the company at the end of this month.

  • GuruFocus.com

    Debating Alphabet Inc.

    Positive and negative thoughts on Alphabet Inc. Continue reading...

  • Google’s YouTube: Another Round of Advertiser Boycotts?
    Market Realist

    Google’s YouTube: Another Round of Advertiser Boycotts?

    A BBC investigation recently discovered dozens of YouTube videos promoting fake cancer cures. Could Google's YouTube lose advertisers?

  • Is Google Stock A Buy? Consider Transparency, Buyback, New Ad Products
    Investor's Business Daily

    Is Google Stock A Buy? Consider Transparency, Buyback, New Ad Products

    Here is what fundamental and technical analysis says about buying Google stock. There's also financial transparency, new ad products due in 2020 and stock buyback to consider.

  • Intensified Antitrust Scrutiny Could Weigh on AMZN Stock
    InvestorPlace

    Intensified Antitrust Scrutiny Could Weigh on AMZN Stock

    Many became concerned about Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) stock as an attack on Saudi oil fields sent oil prices (and by extension, delivery costs) soaring. However, a Wall Street Journal report has likely overshadowed that concern due to more intense antitrust scrutiny.Source: Mike Mareen / Shutterstock.com Since Amazon stock that has traded in a range for almost a year and a half, AMZN traders could face a longer period of frustration. Struggles Continue for AmazonBad news greeted Amazon as it began Monday trading, and not just because of higher oil prices. AMZN stock fell by over 2% in Monday trading following the WSJ story alleging that Amazon changed search algorithms in such a way that would boost its products. The algorithms also bolstered products that brought higher profits to the company. This move also supposedly caused turmoil within the e-commerce giant as both lawyers and engineers pushed back against these changes.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips * 7 Momentum Stocks to Buy On the Dip If proven true, these actions could cause Amazon further pain as both U.S. and EU regulators have investigated the company for both operating a marketplace and selling products within that ecosystem. This action also contradicts years of statements from the company stating that its focus hinged on long-term profitability instead of steering customers to specific products for short-term gains.The previous quarterly report did not help matters. Amazon beat revenue estimates, however, they fell short on the bottom line and warned that Q3 would likely fail to meet expectations. This news sent AMZN stock back below the $2,000 per share level. It quickly fell close to the $1,800 per share level where it trades today.Worse, this continues the troubles for Amazon stock, which has become mired in a trading range. For almost 18 months, AMZN has traded at levels between around $1,300 per share and just over $2,000 per share. The current AMZN stock price of just over $1,800 per share places it toward the high end of the range. Can AMZN Stock Move Higher?The question for traders is, what can take AMZN stock beyond this range? Unfortunately for Amazon bulls, that path may have narrowed. To be sure, Amazon remains firmly positioned. Amazon Web Services (AWS) continues to produce the majority of company profits. It also maintains its lead over the likes of Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL, NASDAQ:GOOG), and IBM (NYSE:IBM) in providing cloud services.Moreover, despite the profit warning for Q3, analysts expect earnings to grow by 17.1% for this year and 40.8% in fiscal 2020. This could support the current forward price-to-earnings (PE) ratio of just under 55 under normal circumstances. Expect Short, Medium-Term PainHowever, that PE could give traders pause with the antitrust concerns, at least on a short or medium-term basis. Due to the latest allegations, regulators will probably have a stronger case against Amazon. These accusations could lead to anything in between a slap on the wrist or an outright breakup.Moreover, traders have to assume that the company will remove the algorithms that boosted AMZN profits. I would also surmise that the earnings increases mentioned above will see downward revisions. Paying 55 times forward earnings may not pay off for investors under such circumstances. Final Thoughts on AMZN StockThough higher oil prices could hurt the company, intensified antitrust accusations will likely cause further pain for holders of AMZN stock. The allegations make penalties from regulators on both sides of the Atlantic more likely. Traders can also expect lower profits as antitrust pressure will force a change in the algorithms.Considering the scrutiny faced by Microsoft in the 1990s and early 2000s, I see a breakup as unlikely. Even if a split occurred, the breakups of Standard Oil and AT&T (NYSE:T) in the 20th century ultimately made the sum of the parts greater than the whole.However, shorter-term I see the WSJ story as a negative. From a stock perspective, it could lead investors to question whether they should pay almost 55 times forward earnings under these circumstances.Long-term, I expect AMZN stock will maintain its cloud and e-commerce leadership and post double-digit earnings growth. However, for now, investors should let the dust settle and try to buy later at a lower price.As of this writing, Will Healy did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned stocks. You can follow Will on Twitter at @HealyWriting. 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 Intensified Antitrust Scrutiny Could Weigh on AMZN Stock appeared first on InvestorPlace.

  • TheStreet.com

    Microsoft, Facebook, Other Tech Firms Face Workers' Climate-Change Strike Friday

    Workers at Amazon, Facebook, Google's parent and Microsoft pledge to walk out Friday, joining climate-change protests worldwide.

  • Gig Economy Isn’t Solving Eastern Europe’s Brain Drain Problem
    Bloomberg

    Gig Economy Isn’t Solving Eastern Europe’s Brain Drain Problem

    (Bloomberg) -- Want the lowdown on European markets? In your inbox before the open, every day. Sign up here.The new age in the labor market is shaping up as a missed opportunity in the poorer parts of Europe to stem the outflow of skilled labor.Hundreds of thousands of Serbians, Ukrainians and Romanians make a living through global freelance platforms, working for international clients that pay better than local companies. It could be a perfect way to keep the best minds from leaving their homelands for better opportunities abroad. Instead, outdated regulations force them to live on the edge of legality, and may foil efforts to slow the brain drain.Eastern Europe for centuries has been defined by a desire to catch up with the West. In the past three decades, post-communist countries have transformed their economies and became part of global supply chains. Now the rise of the gig economy offers a chance to take another leap. But the generation that’s grown up since the end of the Cold War is being dragged down by some of Europe’s most corrupt political systems.“This is the moment, just like in Star Wars, when ships make the jump” through hyperspace “from one system to another,” said Branka Andjelkovic, a co-author of Digging Into the Gig Economy in Serbia. “If you want your economy to advance and to have those people stay here, then do something.”It’s already too late for some, like Mateja Miladinovic, a 34-year-old graphic designer in Belgrade. After more than two years as a freelancer, he’s moving to Bali with his wife for a change of lifestyle with less stress from Serbian authorities. The constant pressure of an uncertain tax status within the Serbian system and a lack of access to social, health and retirement benefits were enough to convince him to leave his homeland.“I’m in a gray area,” said Miladinovic, who does magazine layout work for clients from Canada to Ethiopia. He expects to continue the same jobs from his new tropical home.Serbia, along with Ukraine and Romania, is in the vanguard of the gig economy in eastern Europe. The jobs are mostly in technology, graphics, Internet design and media and not necessarily in ride sharing or food delivery that are the hallmarks of the industry, partly because of historically low wages compared to the rest of the continent.They are also among the region’s most unstable politically, which has led to inaction on updating rigid communist-era regulations. Another common thread is widespread graft: Romania ranks 61st, Serbia is 87th, and Ukraine is 120th in Transparency International’s annual corruption perception index.Many western economies already had higher levels of protection and more flexible labor codes when the gig platforms started popping up. And they are going further: the U.K., for example, last year proposed legislation to increase protections for freelancers.California this month passed a bill that could force companies to reclassify gig workers as employees, a move that would secure labor protections. The legislation is emblematic of the debates in countries from Germany to the U.S., which are about defining the industry and regulating employer-employee relations, rather than about the legality of gig work.The good news is that Ukraine, Romania and Serbia have an abundance of high-skill workers in technology. Many of them work remotely, which so far has slowed the brain drain, according to Janine Berg, a senior labor market specialist at the International Labour Organization in Geneva.And the prospect of becoming their own masters as part of a global workforce with seemingly endless opportunities remains seductive.“Every young person that doesn’t have a job wants to be a freelancer, they want to travel the world and still be able to work,” said Belgrade-based tax expert Sofija Popara. “It’s a short-term plan, but young people are doing it more and more.”But the warnings are becoming louder. Romania needs a “redefining and reform of work relations,” according to a European Commission-financed study by the Institute for Public Policy. In Ukraine, the ILO last year urged “policy responses that can enhance the benefits of the work transformation.”The International Monetary Fund in a July study warned that countries in eastern Europe need to do more to “retain and better use the existing workforce” to combat what threatens to become a significant drop in population driven in part by outward migration.Brain drain is a common problem for Romania, Ukraine and Serbia. It contributed to 600,000 people from the three countries combined leaving in 2016 for better jobs and life prospects around the world. That’s three times more than the outflow in 2000, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.Serbia hasn’t addressed freelance workers in the labor code and the ministry hasn’t responded to questions from Bloomberg. Ukraine allows them to register and pay taxes at a favorable rate, but no protections. The new government this month promised changes by the end of the year.And while Romania is required to incorporate European Union legislation, the work has been slow amid near-constant political turmoil. The labor ministry in Bucharest said it’s working on implementation, with a deadline of Aug. 1, 2022.Even the highly skilled and technically savvy gig workers are vulnerable in the cutthroat competition for contracts. The lack of other opportunities means they have little leverage against faraway employers.“Freelancing isn’t an easy life and it’s definitely not for everyone,” said Jelena Novakovic, a graphics designer in Belgrade who works for clients typically in the U.S. or Australia.Some gig workers are trying to take control of the process. Tamara Gavric, a Belgrade architect, has also become an activist for promoting safer freelance labor. The lack of state protection is draining the profession even as it becomes more prevalent in the global workforce, she said.“The situation has to be resolved because we do not want to be underground workers,” Gavric said.Online platforms collect as much as 20% on jobs and offer little comfort to workers. A third of Ukrainian freelancers in a recent survey complained about non-payment with no recourse.“If the platform is going to arbitrate, they usually go with the side of the company,” Berg said. “There’s no regulation at all and you have oversupply, so there is a tendency for wage rates to fall.”Serbian gig workers are arguably the worst off. Without legal recognition, they are considered jobless, which can make taking out a mortgage or a credit card impossible. The only option is to register as self-employed entrepreneurs, which often means an immediate 40% tax rate.One option, of course, is trying to find a traditional job with a local company. But for Miladinovic, the magazine designer, that was never going to be the way out.“I still can’t imagine a permanent position with a company,” he said. “For the time being I can see myself only as a freelancer and depending on cash flow, we’ll see.”(Updates with comment in 22nd paragraph)\--With assistance from Irina Vilcu, Daryna Krasnolutska and Peter Laca.To contact the reporters on this story: James M. Gomez in Prague at jagomez@bloomberg.net;Gordana Filipovic in Belgrade at gfilipovic@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net, Andrew LangleyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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    InvestorPlace

    Why I’m Taking a Wait and See Approach on Snap Stock

    A lot of analysts got it wrong about Snap (NYSE:SNAP) stock. In late 2018, Snapchat stock was in a tailspin. The prevailing sentiment was that the tech startup was about to be another cautionary tale regarding initial public offerings. What happened then has been nothing short of amazing. SNAP stock has grown nearly 200% in 2019, largely fueled by increasing quarterly revenue.Source: dennizn / Shutterstock.com Now, nearly a year later, the SNAP stock price is once again at a turning point. Only now, instead of wondering if Snap is a falling knife, investors wonder if shares have room to grow.But for Snap to see their stock price grow, it will need to generate more advertising revenue. With a growing user base among a desirable demographic, that sounds easy enough. However, this demographic is anything but traditional when it comes to advertising. That's a reason I think it's best to proceed with caution.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips Snap Has a Growing User BaseThe bullish case for Snap stock points to 13 million daily active users. That's how many active users the company added in the second quarter. This growth gave analysts a lift after a disappointing first quarter that saw Snap add just four million users. * 7 Tech Stocks You Should Avoid Now Snap's monthly user base is just above 500 million. That's more than Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) (335 million users) but still far fewer than Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) (2.4 billion). Snap has also flown under the radar while companies like Facebook and Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) draw increased regulatory scrutiny.Snap's CEO Evan Spiegel commented, "Completing these transitions has established a strong foundation for growing our community, increasing engagement and growing advertising demand." Growing Ad Demand Is Easier Said than DoneSnap has been built for, and targeted to millennials and Generation Z. These generations got social media education in middle school.The attraction of Snapchat was the idea of being able to self-produce shareable content that only stays online for a short period of time. Many reject Facebook because their content stays online unless the user deletes it.Despite interacting with multiple social media channels in one day, these generations are intensely concerned about their privacy. Providing what they see as personal information is one reason why email advertising is a non-starter with this demographic. Traditional Advertising Won't WorkAs it relates to ads, these generations want to be entertained, not sold. These target audiences will not engage passively with "traditional" advertising.A recent report titled The Everything Guide to Generation Z by Vision Critical, in partnership with research firm MARU/VCR&C, provides insights into the attitudes, behaviors and value of this generation.One of the key takeaways as it relates to Snap is that 69% of Generation Z finds ads disruptive. While the word "disruptive" can be thrown around by marketers in a good way (i.e., it changes the conventional way of thinking, forcing consumers to pay attention) that is not the context here. This generation, more so than even millennials, want ads to meet them where they are in a very organic manner.Yet, Erin Gade of Yes Lifestyle Marketing reported that one in five Generation Z consumers found Snapchat influential in their purchase decision. This requires a cross-channel model that is far different from banner ads and pop-up videos. In fact, in many cases the ads aren't ads at all.As someone who's worked in marketing agencies, I can confirm that many marketers are not open to new approaches. They want traditional "push" advertising and pre-roll messages because they're measurable. But they frequently don't look at or understand the metrics that matter. It's a soft-sell approach. The payoff is more intrinsic and less measurable. Snap Needs Ad Revenue to Reach ProfitabilityThe fact that Snap is not yet profitable is not a big deal for investors. The company is not expected to be profitable until 2023. However, that revenue growth is largely going to be dependent on the company's ability to monetize their advertising. InvestorPlace contributor Vince Martin wrote in August that Snap would require at least $1 billion in additional revenue to support its current valuation. The stock is already down about 10% from its recent highs. I expect that some investors will look to engage in profit taking as the year comes to an end.The argument for Snap stock is that their target audience is devoted to technology and loyally uses the app. But this is not a captive audience and they can't be marketed to as such.Growing their user base is not enough for Snap stock. For the company to really grow, they have to find a way to monetize that base. I'm not saying it can't be done; I'm just skeptical.As of this writing, Chris Markoch did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Recession-Resistant Services Stocks to Buy * 7 Hot Penny Stocks to Consider Now * 7 Tech Stocks You Should Avoid Now The post Why Ia€™m Taking a Wait and See Approach on Snap Stock appeared first on InvestorPlace.