|Day's Range||94.92 - 94.92|
Another looming antitrust investigation could be headed for Silliocn Valley's biggest players.
Google says it’s moving Nest devices over to a unified Google ecosystem for the sake of simplicity. IFTTT’s popular applets for the company’s camera, smoke detector and thermostat are among those exceptions. Do not migrate your Nest account to a Google account.
(Bloomberg) -- Palantir Technologies Inc. agreed to extend a contract to provide U.S. immigration authorities with data-mining software, dismissing concerns from activists who say the technology enables unethical policies, including the separation of migrant families.The contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement will continue through 2022, according to a redacted document made public this week. The value of the deal wasn’t disclosed. The agreement strengthens a longstanding relationship, wherein immigration officials use Palantir’s data management software to build profiles on people.Peter Thiel, the billionaire supporter of President Donald Trump, is a founder and primary backer of Palantir. The privately held company got its start working with U.S. intelligence agencies and also counts the Defense Department among its major clients. Officials have described the software as an essential investigative tool.Palantir is the only company capable of upgrading its own software, and switching providers would be an extremely costly prospect for a government agency. For those reasons, the contract extension would be seen as routine in a less politically charged environment. Yet, Alphabet Inc.’s Google faced a similar decision last year, when employees fiercely opposed a project to provide artificial intelligence tools to the U.S. military. Workers said Google was effectively supplying a weapon, and the company decided to let the contract lapse.Although Palantir hasn’t faced a major protest from its workers, activists have taken up the cause. Picketers from the Latino advocacy group Mijente and other organizations swarmed the company’s headquarters in Palo Alto, California, last week, the latest in a months-long campaign against the company.Alex Karp, the chief executive officer of Palantir, has said companies have a civic duty to defend American interests. Thiel, meanwhile, called for a federal investigation of Google for its decision to abandon the military project while maintaining a presence in China. The White House said it looked into the matter and found nothing of concern. A spokeswoman for Palantir didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.To contact the reporter on this story: Lizette Chapman in San Francisco at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Mark Milian at firstname.lastname@example.org, Anne VanderMeyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- To satisfy regulators, YouTube officials are finalizing plans to end “targeted” advertisements on videos kids are likely to watch, according to three people familiar with the discussion. The move could immediately dent ad sales for the video giant -- though not nearly as much as other proposals on the table.The Federal Trade Commission is looking into whether YouTube breached the Children’s Online Privacy Act (COPPA). The agency reached a settlement with YouTube, but has not released the terms. It is not clear if YouTube’s changes to ad targeting are a result of the settlement. The plans could still change, said the people, who asked not to be identified citing an open investigation.A spokeswoman for YouTube declined to comment. A spokeswoman for the FTC declined to comment. The agency is expected to levy a multimillion-dollar fine.Since targeted, or “behavioral” ads, rely on collecting information about the viewer, COPPA effectively bars companies from serving them to children under 13 without parental permission. These commercial messages that rely on mountains of digital data, such as web-browsing cookies, are integral to the business of Alphabet Inc.’s Google, YouTube’s owner.YouTube has long maintained that its primary site is not for children. (The company says kids should use YouTube Kids app, which does not use targeted ads.) But nursery rhymes and cartoon videos on the main site have billions of views. The platform’s many issues with children’s content-- horrific imagery, problems that led to disabling comments-- have troubled its video creators, worried parents and empowered rivals.Getting rid of targeted ads on children’s content could hit Google’s bottom line -- but this solution would be far less expensive than other potential remedies that aim to placate regulators.In April 2018, a slew of consumer groups complained to the FTC that YouTube regularly collected information about minors to use in targeted advertising. Once the FTC picked up the case, these groups suggested that the agency force YouTube to move all kids’ videos to its designated app for children, YouTube Kids. Joseph Simons, the FTC chairman, has floated another idea. He asked the complainants in a July 1 call whether they would be content with YouTube disabling ads on these videos, Bloomberg News reported earlier.YouTube’s new proposal is even less drastic.Right now, YouTube sells two different types of video ads, broadly speaking. One simply pairs the context of a video with a commercial message. So, a YouTube clip about basketball might have an ad from Adidas. The other type uses an array of digital signals. With these ads, marketers can reach viewers in a demographic group, such as homeowners or new parents, based on Google’s vast data troves -- websites people visit, searches they make and so on.YouTube doesn’t disclose ad sales or prices, but most digital ads are more lucrative when paired with targeting data. Other tech giants, such as Apple Inc., have tried to cull back data-collecting tools in services that kids use.Loup Ventures, a research firm, estimates YouTube’s revenue from children’s media between $500 million and $750 million a year. Paring back targeted ads would dent that revenue, although Google has the ability to make its contextual ads more compelling to mitigate the damage, said Doug Clinton, a Loup Ventures analyst. He pegged the potential impact of YouTube curbing targeted ads at 10% of its overall intake from kids’ videos-- so about $50 million. “That would be the worse case, in my mind,” he said.It’s not clear how YouTube would deliver this targeting ban with the thousands of video channels with whom it splits ad sales. It’s also unclear how YouTube would define which videos are “directed at children” and which aren’t.One certainty: This proposal is unlikely to please complainants. In a July letter to the FTC, the groups argued that bans on YouTube ad targeting would be difficult to enforce. Removing the feature from select kids’ videos doesn’t guarantee that YouTube stops tracking web habits if children watch other clips, said Josh Golin from Campaign for Commercial-Free Childhood, a complainant. “Is Google still going to be collecting all the data and creating marketing profiles?” he said. “That wouldn’t be satisfactory either.”Jeff Chester, executive director of Center for Digital Democracy, another complainant, said that if the FTC settlement only forced YouTube to curb targeting, his group would likely challenge the decision.(Updates with other companies in 10th paragraph.)\--With assistance from Ben Brody and Lucas Shaw.To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Bergen in San Francisco at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at firstname.lastname@example.org, Emily Biuso, Andrew PollackFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
A new Bank of America Merrill Lynch report lays out a dozen stocks to have during the recession. Half of them are for companies either based in Silicon Valley or that have a strong presence here.
(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Justice Department intends to work with state attorneys general in a broad review of whether large technology companies are harming competition, the department’s top antitrust official said.More than a dozen states are interested in the issue and will likely cooperate with the Justice Department, Makan Delrahim, the head of the antitrust division, said Tuesday at a technology conference in Aspen, Colorado.“We will be taking a broad look, and we look at it with no preconceived agendas,” he said. “I anticipate it would be in cooperative manner,” he added about the state and federal efforts.The Justice Department in July said it intended to scrutinize the conduct of the largest tech platforms. It didn’t specify which firms it would look at but strongly suggested Facebook Inc., Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Amazon.com Inc. are in the cross-hairs, saying it would examine concerns about search, social media and online retail.A group of state attorneys general is also gearing up to investigate tech companies, Bloomberg reported in June.Facebook-Instagram Deal Warrants New Scrutiny, Colorado AG Says“We continue to engage in bipartisan conversations about the unchecked power of large tech companies,” New York Attorney General Letitia James’s office said in a statement. “We must ensure we protect competition, protect our economy, and protect consumers.”Delrahim said cooperation between the Justice Department and the states would reduce the burden on the companies being investigated. His comments are likely to be welcome news to the tech companies. Separate state and federal investigations could mean multiple requests for documents and depositions as well as multiple penalties.Companies that are subjects of the Justice Department investigation are cooperating with investigators to provide information, Delrahim said. He said there is no specific time line for the probe.(Updates with comments on why companies would welcome joint investigation in 7th paragraph.)To contact the reporters on this story: David McLaughlin in Washington at email@example.com;Vicky Graham in Arlington at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sara Forden at email@example.com, Paula Dwyer, Mark NiquetteFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
During the heated run-up to the 2020 election, Alphabet (GOOGL) has faced frequent criticism from President Trump. Google stock has fallen 1.5% this month.
Fears of a trade war with China, coupled with the specter of an upcoming recession, have hit the market hard. But shares of Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) have so far managed to stay afloat, falling from a 52-week high of $1,289 down to a recent close of $1,164. This modest fall of just under 10% shows just how resilient Alphabet stock is.Source: Valeriya Zankovych / Shutterstock.com By comparison, both Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) are both down by nearly 15% from their 52-week highs.With last week marking the fourth anniversary of the creation of Alphabet stock, which has Google as its core operating unit, there is still plenty of gasoline left in the tank.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsThe restructuring of the company separated the core internet business, www.Google.com, from the peripheral mega-tech moonshots, which may take a decade or more to pay off. Whether its self-driving vehicles, artificial intelligence or healthcare, buying Alphabet stock is like placing many different bets on many different areas of the global economy that technology will re-invent. At the same time, GOOGL's core business generating internet advertising revenues remains rock-solid and growing.With all of that in mind, here are three key reasons why GOOGL stock is a strong buy. GOOGL Is Unaffected by the Threat of a China Trade WarThe bulk of Alphabet's revenues are generated in Western economies, particularly North America and Europe. Advertising sales in these markets are not affected by a slowdown in exports to China nor increased tariffs of cheap Chinese imports. * The 10 Best Cheap Stocks to Buy Right Now Goldman Sachs has recommended a service sector strategy, as opposed to goods manufacturers, for investing around the threat of a trade war."Services stocks have less exposure to trade conflict given they have lower foreign input costs that might be subject to tariffs and lower non-US sales than Goods firms," said Goldman Sachs strategist David Kostin.In his client note, Kostin recommends buying stocks such as Alphabet as well as Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), JP Morgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) and Amazon as a part of a greater strategy to circumvent trade war woes. Alphabet Stock Is Backed by Strong Top Line RevenuesGoogle has consistently delivered growth in top lines revenues for the last five years. There is little reason why this trend will stop anytime soon.Further, GOOGL posted net positive earnings every year for the previous five years. At the same time, GOOGL is heavily invested in moonshots that should help bolster the GOOGL stock price in the future when the ideas behind these businesses are fully realized and start to pay off. And many of these moonshots should pay off just when the internet sector becomes a mature industry, just like steel, autos and telecom from decades past with ever-dwindling profit margins.This aspect alone makes GOOGL stock an appealing long-term stock to buy. Google Cloud Is Driving GrowthGoogle cloud revenues are not broken down separately but instead reported within the broader Alphabet segment "Google Other Revenues." While Alphabet management has made it clear that Google Cloud Services (GCS) is their fastest-growing business, they have not given specific numbers.However, the management consulting firm Gartner estimates that the total global cloud market is expected to grow to $331.2 billion in 2022 at a CAGR of 16.1%. Google has invested heavily in cloud technology with many analysts estimating that GCS alone could generate $20 billion form Alphabet stock by the end of 2020. Bottom Line on GOOGL StockAlphabet has covered the roulette table with chips. From their proven core business of internet advertising to the further-off possibility of autonomous vehicles -- propelled by a dynamic cloud business in-between -- Alphabet is undoubtedly holding out well in the current market storm.When the selloff in tech stocks finally plays out, the GOOGL stock price could be set for a strong bounce back.As of this writing, Theodore Kim did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Cheap Dividend Stocks to Load Up On * The 10 Biggest Losers from Q2 Earnings * 5 Dependable Dividend Stocks to Buy The post 3 Reasons Alphabet Stock Is Still a Bargain Amid Trade War Peril appeared first on InvestorPlace.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Get ready, TV fans, because the next few months are going to be wild. Apple Inc., AT&T Inc., Netflix Inc. and Walt Disney Co. are spending billions of dollars on so much new streaming content that there will be little reason to leave your couch this winter – or to keep your cable subscription.Apple gave a taste yesterday of what it’s been working on by releasing a trailer for “The Morning Show,” an original series that looks so good it could easily be mistaken for an HBO production. With an all-star cast led by Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carell, Apple is said to be spending $300 million alone for the first two seasons. The company has committed a whopping $6 billion overall to produce original shows and movies, according to the Financial Times, which would match what Netflix spent in 2017 and would also be in the same ballpark as Amazon.com Inc.’s expected content investment for this year. Other outlets have disputed that Apple’s budget is quite so large. Either way, it’s clear the iPhone maker is serious about streaming. The Apple TV+ and Disney+ video-on-demand apps will both be available by mid-November, followed by AT&T’s HBO Max product. They are game-changers for the pay-TV industry, already littered with live-TV streaming products from Sling TV to YouTube TV.Disney has spent about $15 million per episode to make “The Mandalorian,” a live-action “Star Wars” series that will serve as the flagship of Disney+, according to the Wall Street Journal. That’s about $120 million for the first season, which isn’t far from what Disney shelled out for “Captain Marvel,” the third-biggest movie of the year in terms of U.S. box-office ticket sales. The company expects to invest more than $1 billion in original content for the app next year and another roughly $1 billion for licensed content. These streaming wars are risky. Studio owners generally have a sense of what a TV program could deliver in advertising revenue and how large of a theater audience a film might draw. But Disney+ will charge just $7 a month and contain no ads. The company is betting it can build a large enough customer base so that all these pricey investments that have shareholders wincing right now will pay off some day.In the Apple TV trailer above, Aniston’s character at one point says, “I just need to be able to control the narrative so that I am not written out of it.” It struck me as funny because that’s exactly what Disney and its peers are trying to do as they flood the market with content and turn a blind eye to the cost. Disney predicts it will have 60 million to 90 million Disney+ subscribers globally by the end of fiscal 2024, when the app finally begins making money. Analysts see Apple TV+ topping 100 million in the next five years, according to Bloomberg News. While both are starting from zero, they do have the advantage of strong, far-reaching customer relationships – Disney through its movies and theme parks, and Apple by physically being in most of our pockets already. Netflix is protecting its turf by lighting it on fire. It’s projected to spend about $15 billion for in-house and licensed content this year while burning $3 billion of free cash flow. The company paid $100 million just to keep “Friends” on its platform through 2019. Even though the sitcom hasn’t aired new episodes in more than 15 years, it’s the second-most-watched program on Netflix. After this year, AT&T is reclaiming the rights to the show for its HBO Max product.A little over a year ago, Casey Bloys, HBO’s programming chief, referred to such spending as “irrational exuberance.” But then earlier this year, his boss, HBO Chairman Richard Plepler, left the company in a shake-up by its new parent AT&T. HBO is now ramping up its production slate to reduce churn, or the rate at which bored subscribers are canceling, and HBO Max is reportedly paying $425 million to carry “Friends” for five years starting in 2020. Likewise, the Wall Street Journal reported that Comcast Corp.’s NBCUniversal has its own $500 million five-year exclusive rights deal for “The Office,” the No. 1 show on Netflix. There is a potential fallacy in the companies’ thinking around these lavish deals: What if Netflix subscribers were streaming “Friends” and “The Office” for hours on end simply for background noise, something to mindlessly tune in and out of as they scrolled Instagram or did chores? In that case, perhaps users won’t necessarily miss those specific shows and won’t switch to other services at a rate that would come close to justifying nearly $1 billion for two old sitcoms. In any case, I keep writing about the frustration of needing to pay for and toggle between numerous apps just to access all your favorite content and the confusion that comes with doing so. It’s only going to get worse once Apple TV+, Disney+ and HBO Max launch. But at least there will be no shortage of stuff to watch, and with all this money being thrown around, you know it’ll be good. To contact the author of this story: Tara Lachapelle at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Beth Williams at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Tara Lachapelle is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering deals, Berkshire Hathaway Inc., media and telecommunications. She previously wrote an M&A column for Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- European Union antitrust regulators are already probing Facebook Inc.’s two-month-old Libra digital currency project, according to a document seen by Bloomberg.The European Commission is "currently investigating potential anti-competitive behavior" related to the Libra Association amid concerns the proposed payment system would unfairly shut out rivals, the EU authority said in a questionnaire sent out earlier this month.Officials said they’re concerned about how Libra may create "possible competition restrictions" on the information that will be exchanged and the use of consumer data, according to the document, which is a standard part of an early-stage EU inquiry to gather information.The investigation into founder Mark Zuckerberg’s ambitions to take on traditional cash adds to another preliminary EU investigation into how Facebook may unfairly use its power to squeeze rival apps. The Brussels-based commission, Europe’s most feared regulator, has already targeted Google and Apple Inc.Facebook and the commission both declined to comment on the investigation. The Menlo Park, California-based company has previously promised to appease all regulators before launching the cryptocurrency, a process that could take some time.Global CurrencyLed by a social network with more users than the combined population of China and the U.S., Libra represents a potential challenge that the guardians of money have never faced: a global currency they neither control nor manage.The EU questionnaire said regulators are also examining the possible integration of Libra-backed applications into Facebook services such as WhatsApp and Messenger. It said their investigation focuses on the governance structure and membership of the Libra Association.Facebook has previously promised to appease all regulators before launching the cryptocurrency, a process that could take some time.Visa Inc. declined to comment while the Libra Association representatives didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. Mastercard Inc. had no immediate comment.Aside from the antitrust division, other EU regulators are "monitoring market developments in the area of crypto assets and payment services, including Libra and its development," a spokesman for the commission’s financial services department said.Data-protection supervisors are also worried about how Libra will share information. They said earlier this month that Facebook had the potential to combine "vast reserves of personal information with financial information and cryptocurrency, amplifying privacy concerns about the network’s design and data-sharing arrangements."\--With assistance from Alexander Weber, Alastair Marsh and James Hertling.To contact the reporters on this story: Lydia Beyoud in Arlington at firstname.lastname@example.org;Aoife White in Brussels at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at firstname.lastname@example.org, Peter Chapman, Alistair BarrFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Despite a new report that said up to 20 or more states might participate in a joint antitrust investigation of big technology companies, shares of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google parent Alphabet weren’t moving much.
Google’s (GOOGL) Android software will continue to dominate the global mobile operating system market. Android will also widen its market share.
The recent history of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock has been consistent -- even if trading in AAPL stock has been anything but. Investors generally have followed the iPhone upgrade cycle. As the cycle nears, investors buy Apple stock. Once it passes, fears about the seemingly inevitable end of iPhone growth dominate the coverage of the stock -- and AAPL shares fall.Source: View Apart / Shutterstock.com Indeed, Apple stock fell sharply starting in late 2012 amid worries that the company couldn't offer much innovation beyond that contained in the iPhone 5, which launched that year. It faded in 2015-2016 as investors grew impatient waiting for the iPhone 7. And AAPL shares fell in the fourth quarter last year, not long after the launch of the $1,000-plus iPhone XS seemed to cement the fact that the iPhone's best days were behind it.Apple stock of course has rallied again, gaining around 31% in 2019 alone. And the bullish focus has turned away from the iPhone, to services, wearables and other offerings.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsBut I've long believed that the company, and the stock, are at significant risk from potentially declining smartphone sales. That's still the case. And with AAPL stock hitting technical resistance, and the news surrounding the company still not quite that impressive, recent levels may in retrospect prove to be another iPhone-driven peak -- even if it doesn't appear to be at the moment. Why AAPL Stock Fell (Briefly) After EarningsAAPL stock didn't get much mileage out of its fiscal third-quarter earnings beat at the end of July. In fact, Apple shares actually lost 9% of their value over the following three sessions. * 7 Safe Dividend Stocks for Investors to Buy Right Now To be sure, tariff and Federal Reserve concerns played a role. But given that Apple's numbers were nicely ahead of the Street earnings per share of $2.18 beating consensus by 8 cents and revenue increasing 0.7 points better than expected -- it might have seemed like Apple gave enough to offset external fears.Perhaps it did: AAPL stock has climbed steadily since tariffs were delayed through December. It's now back to basically the same level at which it traded before earnings. That said, from here, Q3 earnings, despite the headline beat, look somewhat concerning.The key reason is that Apple's earnings actually were pretty good looking close. Services revenue grew 18% excluding the effects of currency and a one-time legal settlement boost in the prior-year quarter. Wearable sales, per the Q3 conference call, increased "well over 50%" year-over-year. Revenue in Greater China, which includes Taiwan and Hong Kong, after a nearly 25% decline in the first half of the fiscal year, bounced back to a 4% drop in Q3. According to the call, sales grew in constant currency.Those are three of the key drivers for Apple's growth going forward. Indeed, they are three of the pillars of the bull case for Apple stock. And yet, on a consolidated basis, revenue increased just 1%. Operating income declined 8.5% against Q3 FY18.In other words, Apple did what bulls hoped it would do. Profits (both pre-tax and after-tax) still declined. The Hardware Problem for Apple StockAnd so skeptics, myself included, might see the quarter -- and indeed, year-to-date results -- as validating the bearish thesis here. There's no argument that Apple can and will grow its services business. The Apple Watch is a clear hit and long since has left the likes of Fitbit (NYSE:FIT) in the dust. AirPods are a winner, and even the iPad has made an impressive recovery, with revenue up 15% so far in fiscal 2019.But this still is a company with a market cap of some $950 billion. Those products would be hits for any other company. For a company this size, they barely move the needle. CFO Luca Maestri said on the Q3 conference call that wearables on a trailing four quarters basis were now the size of a Fortune 200 company. The 200th company in the Fortune 500 (which measures companies by revenue) is General Mills (NYSE:GIS), with revenue around $16 billion.$16 billion is less than seven percent of Apple's trailing four quarter revenue. The profit contribution may be even smaller, given that services gross margins are roughly double those of products. Again, the business grew 50%+ in Q3 -- and total revenue rose 1%. Profits fell.This still is an iPhone story, which even with a 15% year-over-year decline has driven 55% of year-to-date revenue. (That says something about just how awe-inspiring that product is in sales and profits.) And that's still a really, really big problem.It's likely unit volumes have peaked, as phones last longer. Models that run on the Android OS from Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG,NASDAQ:GOOGL) have much greater market share internationally and will catch up in quality over time.There might be one more demand spike when the 5G model comes out. But over half of Apple's revenue -- at least, depending on the long-term health of the iPad and the Mac business -- is in decline. Q3 shows just how difficult it is for Apple, even running on all cylinders, to offset that problem. The Trillion-Dollar CurseAnd so there's been some reticence for the market to truly jump on board the Apple story over the past year-plus. It's really only Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) that has been able to avoid the so-called "trillion-dollar curse." That market cap level has proven to be resistance for Apple stock -- and may well do so again.Technicals aside, the trade war still can buffet AAPL stock. Apple still needs to prove it can actually grow earnings if iPhone revenues are declining. It hasn't done so yet. And until it does, history suggests that at some point hardware-related worries will return -- and Apple shares will again pull back.As of this writing, Vince Martin held no aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Cheap Dividend Stocks to Load Up On * The 10 Biggest Losers from Q2 Earnings * 5 Dependable Dividend Stocks to Buy The post Why Apple Stock May Be Peaking Again appeared first on InvestorPlace.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Venture capitalists tend to focus mostly on funding software, apps and technology rather than the basic sciences. This created an opportunity for this week's guest on Master in Business, Josh Wolfe, and his partners at Lux Capital. The venture firm was set up to “support scientists and entrepreneurs who pursue counter-conventional solutions to the most vexing puzzles in physical and life sciences.”In our conversation, Wolfe, a Lux co-founder, discusses the process of investing in entrepreneurs in basic sciences, noting that it requires a mix of skill and luck, and a healthy dose of contrarian thinking.One of Lux’s first investments epitomized this: In an era of rising alternative-energy technologies such as solar, wind, biofuels, ethanol and batteries, Lux went in a different direction. Concluding that nuclear energy was being neglected by the venture community, Lux invested in a high-tech solution to nuclear waste. The work required expertise in a variety of basic sciences, including materials, chemicals, physics and vitrification. The firm backed a start-up to address the issue, naming it Kurion (after Marie Curie). When the Fukushima disaster occurred in Japan, Kurion played an important role in the cleanup. The company was eventually sold to French energy giant Veolia Environnement SA, returning a 100-fold return on the initial investment.Wolfe also discussed the advantages of locking up investor capital for seven to 10 years, seeking a threefold return on invested funds. The assumption is that all the gains will be the result of one of two companies out of many seeded with capital, while the others will break even or be losers.His favorite books are here.You can stream/download the full conversation, including the podcast extras on Apple iTunes, Bloomberg, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Overcast and Stitcher. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite hosts can be found here.Next week, we speak Jay Bowen of Bowen Hanes & Co., which has been the sole manager of the Tampa Firefighters’ and Police Officers’ Pension Fund during the past 44 years, outperforming the markets during that period.To contact the author of this story: Barry Ritholtz at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Greiff at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Barry Ritholtz is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He founded Ritholtz Wealth Management and was chief executive and director of equity research at FusionIQ, a quantitative research firm. He is the author of “Bailout Nation.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Alphabet (GOOGL) stock has risen exponentially since its IPO in 2004. Google has grown via acquisitions and technologically-advanced product launches.
Stock futures: About a dozen states reportedly plan a Big Tech antitrust probe, likely ensnaring Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Google. Baidu, spinoff iQiyi and Fabrinet moved on earnings.