|Day's Range||151.80 - 151.80|
India should set up a data regulator to oversee how companies collect, process, store, monetize and even destroy nonpersonal data (or data that has been anonymized), a panel tasked by New Delhi has recommended in a draft report. The eight-person panel said that companies such as Google, Facebook, Amazon and Uber have benefited from a combination of “first mover advantage,” “sizable network effect” and “enormous data” that they have collected over the years. This dominance has “left many new entrants and startups being squeezed and faced with significant entry barriers,” said the draft report, which has been made available to industry players for consultation before it is submitted to the nation's IT ministry next month.
Google said on Monday that it plans to invest $10 billion in India over next five to seven years as the search giant looks to help accelerate adoption of digital services in the key overseas market. Sundar Pichai, chief executive of Google, today unveiled Google for India Digitization Fund through which the company will be making investments in the country.
Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, Netflix, Facebook, and Microsoft are soaring ahead of their earnings reports. Jefferies Global Equity Strategist Sean Darby on Monday moved his position on technology stocks to “modestly bearish” from “modestly bullish,” citing expectations for a mild stock pullback.
Mizuho Securities analyst James Lee asserts that new contract activity for cloud computing has recovered to 85% of pre-Covid levels, and should accelerate into the second half.
Frenzied investors have driven the Nasdaq Composite Index to the top of a trend channel in place for nearly a decade. Is this the perfect storm leading to a Nasdaq crash, as some predict? The Nasdaq-100 chart, below, shows a different channel.
In this episode of Industry Focus: Tech, Dylan Lewis chats with Motley Fool contributor Brian Feroldi about the latest news from Wall Street. They discuss further consolidation happening in the meal-delivery space and how it will impact the companies, restaurants, and consumers.
(Bloomberg) -- Amazon.com Inc. shares rallied on Monday, and the advance lifted the company’s market capitalization above Microsoft Corp. for the first time in more than a year.The stock rose as much as 4.5% in its fourth straight daily advance, giving the e-commerce and cloud-computing company a valuation of about $1.66 trillion, or about $30 billion more than Microsoft’s market capitalization. According to an analysis of Bloomberg data, Amazon last exceeded Microsoft in size in February 2019.Recent gains in Amazon have come amid a growing consensus that it will be a major winner from the pandemic, which has accelerated a shift to online retail and fueled demand for cloud-computing services. Earlier, Cowen raised its price target to the highest on the Street, citing the continued “demand surge” from the pandemic, “in particular as the U.S. faces staggered and sometimes halted re-openings.”Among U.S. stocks, Amazon’s rally means it is second only to Apple Inc. in size; the iPhone maker’s market cap leads at $1.73 trillion. A rally in mega-cap tech and internet stocks has also resulted in Google-parent Alphabet Inc. eclipsing $1 trillion in market cap recently.Globally, the list is topped by Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia’s national oil company, which currently has a market cap of about $1.78 trillion.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Tesla Inc. shares on Monday rose more than 14%, headed for a record high and trading above shares of Google's parent Alphabet Inc. and Priceline.com's Booking Holdings Inc. . The stock's one-day gain is its best since a 16% jump in March. The rally has pushed the Silicon Valley car maker's market value to around $321 billion, the most valued car company in the world after Japan's Toyota Motor Co. . Tesla shares are up nine out of the past 10 sessions as investors await the company's second-quarter results next Wednesday, and the possibility of a surprise quarterly profit that would set the company to joining the S&P 500 index.
Apple shares opened the week with another strong push to the upside, rallying toward a fourth straight record and approaching a $2 trillion valuation. Will it last?
Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOG)(NASDAQ: GOOGL) says its Google division is going to make a big bet on India's digital growth by investing $10 billion in that country over the next five to seven years. Speaking on the company's annual Google for India webcast, CEO Sundar Pichai said, "We'll do this through a mix of equity investments; partnerships; and operational, infrastructure, and ecosystem investments." Second only to China with 500 million internet users, India is attracting massive investments from the largest U.S. tech companies.
Tencent's (TCEHY) expansion strategy to take China-based gaming firm, Leyou Technologies Holdings Ltd. private is expected to stir up competition in the video gaming space.
Alphabet Inc's Google supports a multilateral solution for taxing digital services that is under discussion by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), its chief executive Sundar Pichai told Reuters in an interview. The OECD talks involve over 100 countries on a major rewrite of global tax rules to bring them up to date for the digital era, but they have so far not produced results as the negotiations have been complicated by the coronavirus pandemic. The United States has already initiated investigations of digital services taxes adopted or being considered by countries such as France, India and Turkey, saying it discriminates against U.S. tech firms.
Alphabet Inc’s Google (GOOGL) announced on Monday that it will invest about $10 billion into India over the next 5-7 years through a mix of equity investments, partnerships, and operational, infrastructure investments.The investment will be made through its so-called India digitalization fund as the search giant seeks to tap the country’s fast-growing and unsaturated digital market.“This is a reflection of our confidence in the future of India and its digital economy,” said Google CEO Sundar Pichai. “Our goal is to ensure India not only benefits from the next wave of innovation, but leads it.”Pichai added that “low-cost smartphones combined with affordable data, and a world-class telecom infrastructure, have paved the way for new opportunities”. In 2004, Google opened its first offices in India in Hyderabad and Bangalore.Investments will focus on four areas important to India’s digitization, including affordable access and information for every Indian in their own language, whether it’s Hindi, Tamil, or Punjabi; empowering businesses as they embark on their digital transformation; and leveraging technology and AI in areas like health, education, and agriculture.Shares in Google have fully recovered since dropping to a low in March and are now trading 15% higher than at the start of the year. The stock advanced about 1% to $1,552 in Monday’s pre-market trading.Indeed following the rally, the stock’s upside potential now looks more limited. The average analyst price target of $1,554.33 indicates shares are almost fully priced and have a mere 1% to advance over the coming year. (See Alphabet’s stock analysis on TipRanks)Meanwhile, five-star analyst Brian White at Monness projects some downside potential in the shares amid expectations that Alphabet’s earnings will be depressed in the coming quarters and revenue growth will be well below historical trends due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.“For the foreseeable future, we anticipate Alphabet will struggle with weak digital ad spending trends and other headwinds…including uncertainty over the impact of recent ad boycotts and anti-trust investigations,” White wrote in a note to investors. “However, we believe the stock remains inexpensive and represents a core holding as this crisis accelerates the digital transformation trend.”White has a Buy rating on the stock with a $1,420 price target (7.7% downside potential)Overall, the Wall Street rating outlook for Google remains bullish. The Strong Buy analyst consensus boasts 28 Buys versus 1 Hold.Related News: Google Cloud Forges Multi-Year Deal With Renault Apple’s Integrated Ecosystem Takes the Cake, Says Top Analyst Game Consoles Will Provide Additional Boost to AMD, Says Top Analyst More recent articles from Smarter Analyst: * Pfizer, BioNTech Score Fast Track Status For Covid-19 Vaccine Candidates * Disney World Cautiously Reopens; Analyst Optimistic On Outlook * Equillium Explodes 260% On Positive Covid-19 Results; India Approval * Alibaba Co-Founder Jack Ma Reduces Stake To 4.8%
Shares of Amazon.com Inc. surged 1.9% and Alphabet Inc. rose 0.9% toward record highs in premarket trading Monday, after Mizuho analyst James Lee raises his price targets, citing the ramp in cloud spending in the financial services, retail and health care industries. Lee raised his target on Amazon's stock by 11% to $3,450 and on Alphabet's stock by 5.8% to $1,650, while keeping his buy ratings on both. "Demand in key verticals such as financial services and retail is accelerating, for the migration to cloud," Lee wrote in a note to clients. "For healthcare, which has been lagging in cloud adoption, we believe it reached an inflection point recently as hospitals are migrating to cloud due to increased demand for telemedicine, CRM and patient database management." Amazon's stock, which has gained in 7 of the past 8 sessions, has soared 47.5% over the past three months through Friday, while Alphabet shares, which have gained in 8 of the past 9 sessions, has run up 27.2%. In comparison, the S&P 500 has climbed 15.3% the past three months.
CRM stock has popped over 20% in 2020 amid strength in digital transformation spending. Still, many software growth stocks are doing better during Covid-19.
Google has said it plans to invest $10bn in India in the coming years, including in infrastructure and equity investments, as Silicon Valley companies jostle for a position in one of the world’s fastest-growing internet markets. Sundar Pichai, chief executive at Google and its parent company Alphabet, announced the scheme after speaking with India’s prime minister Narendra Modi on Monday. “This is a reflection of our confidence in the future of India and its digital economy,” Mr Pichai said at an online event.
(Bloomberg) -- Google said it plans to spend $10 billion over the next five to seven years to help accelerate the adoption of digital technologies in India.Sundar Pichai, who was born in the country and is now chief executive officer of parent Alphabet Inc., made the announcement at the annual Google for India event via video conference. He said the outbreak of the coronavirus has made clear the importance of technology for conducting business and for connecting with friends and family.“This is a reflection of our confidence in the future of India and its digital economy,” he said of the India Digitization Fund.The $10 billion will be invested in partnerships, operations, infrastructure, the digital ecosystem and equity investments. Google said the effort will focus on several key areas:Enabling affordable access and information for every Indian in their own language, including Hindi, Tamil and PunjabiBuilding new products and services that are relevant to India’s unique needsEmpowering businesses as they continue or embark on their digital transformationLeveraging technology and artificial intelligence for social good, in areas like health, education, and agricultureGoogle, founded in 1998 in Silicon Valley, entered India six years later with offices in Bangalore and Hyderabad. Its focus at the time was search services to help people find relevant information on everything from Bollywood news to cricket scores, Pichai said.The India business has since grown into one of the company’s most important. The country now has more than 500 million internet users, second only to China, with growth that has drawn all the American technology giants.The U.S. search giant has show signs of struggling in other markets in recent months. In April, Pichai told employees in an email that Alphabet would slow hiring for the remainder of the year as it battled an advertising slowdown from the coronavirus.“The entire global economy is hurting, and Google and Alphabet are not immune to the effects of this global pandemic,” he wrote.This month, Google abandoned plans to offer a new cloud service in China and other politically sensitive countries due in part due to concerns over geopolitical tensions and the pandemic, Bloomberg News reported.Meanwhile, India has seen a surge of foreign interest in its digital economy. In the past few months, investors including Facebook Inc., Qualcomm Inc. and Intel Corp. have put about $16 billion in the digital services unit of India’s largest conglomerate, the retail-to-telecom giant Reliance Industries Ltd.Google, Facebook, Amazon.com Inc. and others are plowing billions into the market to gain users and set the foundation for future revenue growth. The country is fertile ground as the companies vie to become the gateway for first-time internet users going online to buy products, stream content, find information and make payments.In the last decade, Google has successfully launched several products in India, including a Google internet Saathi service to bring women in rural areas online and its popular Google Pay service.“This mission is deeply personal to me,” Pichai said. “When I was young, every new piece of technology brought new opportunities to learn and grow. But I always had to wait for it to arrive from someplace else. Today, people in India no longer have to wait for technology.”(Updates with additional detail from the fourth paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- The stock market has been on a tear for the past three months, and Big Tech gets much of the credit.But how can this possibly be when the coronavirus has inflicted so much damage on the U.S. economy, with the highest unemployment since the Great Depression and gross domestic product headed into a black hole? And anyway, it's not as if tech is untethered from the economy.Yet, maybe tech isn't all that dependent on growth in the U.S. Compared to the rest of the world, and for the first time in ages, many wealthy industrialized countries are doing better -- and in some cases, much better -- than the U.S. Nations such as Japan, South Korea and Germany not only have managed to contain the pandemic, but their economies are well ahead of the U.S.'s into their re-openings. For the past five years, a small group of tech stocks has had an outsized influence on U.S. markets. Two-thirds of the gains in the S&P500 have been driven by just six U.S. companies -- Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Google (Alphabet) -- the so-called FAANG stocks -- and Microsoft. An index of those six stocks is up more than 62% since the March lows, while the S&P 500 is up about 40%.Overseas markets may very well be a key reason shares of the biggest U.S. tech companies are powering higher. These tech companies derive a surprisingly large share of their revenue from foreign markets. According to Standard & Poor's, companies in the S&P 500 derived 42.9% of their sales from overseas markets in 2018 (2019 data is not yet available).But this share is much higher for the big tech companies: Apple generated more that 55% of its revenue outside the U.S. in the year ended in September; in some quarters, overseas accounted for as much as 60% of revenue. International accounted for 54.5% and 53.8% of Facebook and Alphabet revenues, respectively. For Microsoft and Netflix, the split is about half domestic and half overseas (49.0% and 49.4%, respectively). Amazon is the Big Tech exception, generating a sizable majority of its revenue within the U.S.What make overseas so important, though, is because that's where the growth is. Netflix had revenue growth of 21% in 2019, but the domestic side was a laggard at just 7%. Facebook, meanwhile, now has more users in India than in the U.S., with Indonesia and Brazil growing fast. For Alphabet, Asia and Latin America have produced faster revenue growth than the U.S.It isn't a coincidence that these companies that are so reliant on the rest of the globe have seen their stock prices do well. The Covid-19 numbers suggest that much of the world is way ahead of the U.S. not only in terms of managing the pandemics, and that their economies are recovering faster.As of July 9, globally, there were more than 12 million confirmed cases of Covid-19 and almost 550,000 deaths. In the U.S. those figures were 3 million confirmed cases and 132,000 deaths. This data is a report card on how well the country is managing the pandemic: The U.S. has 4.2% of the world’s population, but 25% of the infections and 24% of the deaths.And yet, even this national incompetence has worked to the advantage of the Big Tech companies. All they require of their customers is a computing device and a network connection; users are not limited by geography -- either domestically or internationally. Nor do users need to have a physical presence at an office.Some companies are well positioned to survive the pandemic lockdown, thriving during an era of remote work and social distancing. Many of these same companies are well positioned to benefit from the rest of the world’s economic recovery. As it turns out, tech companies can profit both from the U.S.'s shutdown and a recovering Europe and Asia. It is a very effective one-two punch. It explains so much of the market’s gains.This 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 is chairman and chief investment officer of Ritholtz Wealth Management, and was previously chief market strategist at Maxim Group. He is the author of “Bailout Nation.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Barry Bannister Stifel Head of Institutional Equity Strategy joins the On the Move panel to discuss how COVID-19 is impacting the market.
(Bloomberg) -- Type a query into the Google search bar on a smartphone and there's a good chance the results will be dominated by advertising.That stems from a decision in 2015 to test a fourth ad, rather than three, at the top of search results. Some employees opposed the move at the time, saying it could reduce the quality of Google’s responses, according to people familiar with the deliberations. But the company brushed aside those concerns because it was under pressure to meet Wall Street growth expectations, one of the people said.By 2016, the extra marketing slot was a regular feature. It’s one of the many ways the search leader has altered how it presents results since its early days. Another example is the pre-packaged information Google often displays in a box at the top of a page, rather than sending users to other websites. Phased in gradually over years, changes like these have gone largely unnoticed by legions of consumers who regularly turn to Google to call up information and hunt for bargains. The company says these changes support its mission to organize the world’s information and make it useful and accessible to everyone.But to many web publishers and other businesses that have historically relied on the internet giant to send users to their sites, Google's subtle tweaks have siphoned off vital traffic and made it harder -- and costlier -- to reach customers online. Debate over Google's influence is gathering intensity as U.S. regulators prepare an antitrust case against the company in what will be one of the biggest legal clashes between the government and a corporation since the U.S. sued Microsoft Corp. in 1998. Google controls about 85% of the U.S. search market, and the changes it’s made have piled pressure on businesses to pay more to appear at the top of search results. That’s already a focus of regulators. Last year, David Cicilline, head of the House Subcommittee on Antitrust, asked Google if a 2004 statement from co-founder Larry Page that the company wants to get users “out of Google and to the right place as fast as possible,” still described its approach. In a written response, Google simply skipped the question.The government is wading into a complex business with many competing interests that Google must balance. Users want the best answers. Web developers need eyeballs. Shareholders demand growth. From the beginning, websites have tried to trick Google’s algorithm into feeding them traffic, and they complain when the company cracks down. However, some web developers and advertisers say this balance has swung too far in Google’s favor. In the early 2000s, the company’s search engine offered a simple deal: Produce quality information and Google will send you traffic so you can make money showing ads. Reinvest some of that cash to make better experiences, and the web will grow, giving Google more territory to explore and organize.“Our search results are the best we know how to produce. They are unbiased and objective,” Page and co-founder Sergey Brin wrote when the company went public in 2004. Ads would be few, helpful and unobtrusive, they said. This deal has been slowly changing, though. A turning point came in June 2019. That was when more than half of searches kept users on Google for the first time, rather than sending people to other sites through a free web link or an ad, according to data from digital marketing company Jumpshot.“We’ve passed a milestone in Google’s evolution from search engine to walled-garden,” said Rand Fishkin, who has advised businesses on how to work with Google’s search engine for nearly two decades. “They used to be the good guys.”On smartphones, the change has been more pronounced. From June 2016 to June 2019, the proportion of mobile searches that led to clicks on free web links dropped to 27% from 40%. No-click searches, which Fishkin says suggests the user found the information they needed on Google, rose to 62% from 56%. Meanwhile, clicks on ads more than tripled, Jumpshot data show. When the search engine can give straightforward answers and save users a click, it will do that, and some sites have embraced this as a new way to gain traffic, according to Danny Sullivan, public liaison for Google’s search team. The company knows “the best information is coming from the web” and it wants to support the ecosystem, he added. Google also argues that ads keep the search service free for users and are confined to the small percentage of queries that suggest someone is looking to buy something.In some cases, Google pays to summarize other companies’ content. Sports scores are one example, according to a May 20 blog post. The company is also planning to pay select media outlets in a news service later this year. But Google doesn’t think everyone’s content is worth paying for.Mike Moloney runs FilterGrade, a marketplace for custom filters photographers use to edit their work. He gets most of his traffic from articles on his website, such as lens reviews and camera-related top 10 lists. Recently, he noticed Google pulling photos and text straight off the site and showing it at the top of search results. There’s a link to Moloney’s company at the bottom of the section, but clicking on any of the photos brings the searcher to another Google page full of shopping ads for film stock. None of these ads are related to, or benefit, FilterGrade -- unless Moloney chooses to pay Google for placement.“They’re doing a good job of making it subtle, almost like it’s an accident half the time,” Moloney said.When Moloney tweeted his frustration in April, Google's Sullivan said the company would review the practice. Several months later, the situation remained the same.It's often unclear who owns content online, especially when it's relatively easy to scrape information from one site and re-purpose it quickly on a new web page. But even when ownership is not in dispute, Google's combination of direct answers and extra ads has pushed free links to sites further down the search results page. Fishkin’s former colleague, Pete Meyers, has been testing the same list of 10,000 search terms for years. On average, users now have to scroll down twice as far to find the first organic free link, compared with 2013. “This has been the slowest but most consistent march in tech,” venture capitalist Bill Gurley wrote on Twitter last year. “If you are still holding out hope for a SEO strategy you must be intentionally ignoring all of the data in front of you,” he added, referring to search engine optimization, a popular way of improving websites to rank higher in Google’s free results. While businesses struggle to adjust, Google’s revenue and profit have surged. In 2009, the company generated sales of $24 billion and profit of $6.5 billion. Last year, parent Alphabet Inc. reported $162 billion in revenue and $34 billion in net income. The Search business alone brought in almost $100 billion in sales.Much of that growth has come from adding more ads. On mobile phones, ads now take up the entire first screen for some searches. In 2015 and early 2016, when the company tested adding a fourth ad to the top of search results, there was push-back from some employees, according to people familiar with the situation who asked not to be identified discussing internal debates. The main concern was that the fourth ad was often lower quality than the first free web link right below, one of the people said. Google dismissed those worries and went ahead with the fourth ad slot because it was under pressure to keep revenue and profit growing to meet analysts’ expectations, this person added.Google said it removed an ad slot on the side of the page when it added the fourth ad on top, leading to a lower number of overall ads for “highly commercial queries.” Fewer than 2% of all searches result in four or more text ads on the first page, according to the company.Kevin Hickey, chief executive officer of Online Stores Inc., said these changes have forced him to spend more on Google search ads to keep traffic flowing to his e-commerce businesses. More than a decade ago, about two-thirds of Hickey’s Google traffic came from free, or organic, listings. But as Google increased ad slots to the top of results, that mix flipped. Organic results account for about 20% of visitors to his sites now, and he spends about 10% to 15% of his revenue on Google ads. He has raised prices, but his profit margins have shriveled. “The prices that consumers are paying are now higher because of Google’s business model,” Hickey said.Google doesn’t have a responsibility to pad the bottom lines of for-profit businesses. But one of the internet’s most beloved not-for-profit services has been caught up in this, too.Wikipedia pages were some of the first that Google mined to answer search queries directly. The company would often fail to credit the digital encyclopedia clearly, leaving Wikipedia managers wondering if they were Google partners or simply bystanders, according to a person familiar with the situation. The concern inside Wikipedia is that its relevance will slip away the more its content is read in other places. The thousands of volunteers who write and edit the site’s articles may stop contributing if they see their hard work benefiting a trillion-dollar corporation instead of a non-profit, this person said. They asked not to be identified to preserve their relationship with Google. “We regularly consider the impact of third-party use of Wikipedia’s information, especially as the public increasingly consumes content outside our sites,” a Wikipedia spokeswoman said. “We’ve worked with Google over the years to improve the way they credit content from Wikipedia in the knowledge panel so that the public clearly knows when they’re reading information from Wikipedia.” For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
In 2020, media companies can’t avoid streaming. As cord-cutting accelerates, major media companies need to have direct-to-consumer (DTC) apps, analyst Richard Greenfield writes. For instance, while HBO Max launched in May, consumers still can’t get it on (ROKU) (ticker: ROKU) or (AMZN)’s (AMZN) Fire TV platforms.