|Bid||279.20 x 800|
|Ask||279.21 x 900|
|Day's Range||278.56 - 280.59|
|52 Week Range||171.89 - 280.59|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||0.91|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||46.72|
|Earnings Date||Jul 30, 2019|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||1.32 (0.47%)|
|1y Target Est||286.94|
(Bloomberg) -- It’s long seemed that nothing could unite President Donald Trump and Democrats on Capitol Hill. Then Facebook Inc. decided to create a cryptocurrency.Washington’s bipartisan distrust of the social-networking giant will be on display this week as it defends the digital-money proposal in two congressional hearings. In a sign that the testimony is likely to be an ordeal for Facebook, Trump took to Twitter on Thursday to bash the effort.The presidential lashing was just the latest setback for Facebook, which rolled out its plan for a token called Libra in June –- a move that many policy makers called hubristic and ill-timed, considering the political turmoil that continues to swirl around the company. Last week, Facebook agreed to pay about $5 billion in a record privacy settlement with the Federal Trade Commission.Facebook’s traditional pre-hearing courtesy visits to discuss Libra in the House and Senate aren’t going well, according to interviews with lawmakers and congressional staff. While the company has taken pains to describe its initiative in utopian and futuristic terms, lawmakers have been more interested in data security, the company’s awesome market power and why it decided to base the operation outside the U.S.Facebook’s Libra Crypto Coin: 5 Things We Know, and 5 We Don’t“Look at their arrogance, look at their role in the 2016 presidential campaign, look at the fact that they’ve rarely shown any contrition on much of anything,’’ Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, the Banking Committee’s top Democrat, said in an interview. “There’s going to be a group of us that’s going to demand some real information.’’Complaints about Libra haven’t just come from politicians. Trump-appointed Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told lawmakers last week he has “serious concerns’’ about the token and cast doubt on Facebook’s timeline for launching it by next year. He also warned that the U.S. regulatory system may not be equipped to handle the enormous digital payment system envisioned by Facebook, which has more than 2 billion users.Democrats, including Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters of California, have already demanded that the company put its plans on hold while Congress investigates. Republicans, though less vocal, also haven’t been supportive.Power to DominateThe controversy around the project, however unwanted by Facebook, nevertheless highlights the company’s power to dominate policy debates and, to some extent, set the agenda in Washington. Until Facebook jumped in a few weeks ago, cryptocurrency was more of a fringe issue that attracted an unusual crowd of libertarians, speculators and blockchain geeks. Many in Congress were uninterested.The stakes are high for both Facebook and the broader digital coin industry as David Marcus, a top executive at the company, prepares to testify before the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday and the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday.In his prepared remarks, released by the Senate panel Monday, Marcus acknowledged the extensive criticism and pledged to work closely with regulators and governments across the globe. He also addressed one of Washington’s top concerns, saying Libra isn’t intended to compete with national currencies or interfere with central banks on monetary policy. “We know we need to take the time to get this right,” Marcus said in the testimony. “And I want to be clear: Facebook will not offer the Libra digital currency until we have fully addressed regulatory concerns and received appropriate approvals.”Existing LawsMarcus, whose preparation has included a mock hearing, also told the senators that while Facebook has spearheaded the Libra project, it’s not acting alone. The company has said that it envisions a governing body that would include at least 100 organizations. There are currently 28 listed as founders for the Libra Association, although none has paid the $10 million entrance fee.Libra, he added, will help consumers across the world transfer money much more efficiently and cheaply. And, Marcus warned that if “we fail to act, we could soon see a digital currency controlled by others whose values are dramatically different.” Though he didn’t offer specifics, the People’s Bank of China has already said it’s developing a digital currency.Facebook has been making similar arguments in briefings with lawmakers and congressional aides, according to interviews. The major companies that have partnered with Facebook on the project, including Mastercard Inc., Visa Inc. and Uber Technologies Inc., have been mostly silent about Libra and largely absent from the lobbying effort.Few details on Libra have been disclosed beyond a 12-page white paper issued in June, which said Libra will be built on a new blockchain infrastructure accessible from anywhere in the world. Facebook and its partners have set up a non-profit organization in Switzerland to oversee the payment network. The token will be backed by a reserve of bank deposits and short-term government securities.Trump, in his tweets last week, said he’s “not a fan” of digital coins in general because of their potential use in criminal activity. As for Libra, Trump wrote that it “will have little standing or dependability.” He added that if Facebook really wanted to get into finance it should become a bank -- and be regulated like one.Though the price of Bitcoin and some other cryptocurrencies has gained on the surge in mainstream interest in the concept, a number of competing digital coin companies are distancing themselves from Facebook. Some industry groups are also conducting briefings for congressional staff, pointing out that Facebook’s plan is light on details and not necessarily representative of all tokens.Libra is more of a “company-issued asset” rather than than a true cyptocurrency like Bitcoin, said Coin Center Executive Director Jerry Brito, who’s been involved in some of the meetings on Capitol Hill. A key complaint among purists has been that Libra isn’t decentralized. “There is no company that issues Bitcoin,” Brito added.$5 Billion SettlementBlockchain Association Director Kristin Smith, whose group represents several large crypto companies, said she’s generally not opposed to Facebook’s entrance into the market. She acknowledged, however, that there’s a lot of potential risk.“It’s mixed,” she said. “We certainly don’t want the whole industry to become associated with some of the issues that Facebook has had as a company in the past.’’Along with complaints that it allowed Russia to hijack its platform to support Trump’s election campaign, the company has also drawn fire for numerous consumer privacy breaches. The $5 billion FTC settlement, which still needs final approval from the U.S. Department of Justice, resolves an investigation stemming from Facebook’s involvement with Trump campaign consultant Cambridge Analytica.Need to ClarifySmith attended a news conference at the Capitol last week with four moderate Democratic and Republican members of the House who are strongly supportive of the financial technology industry. They, too, weren’t leaping to endorse the Libra project.Representative Josh Gottheimer, a New Jersey Democrat who sits on the financial services panel, said at the event that he hopes the focus on Facebook’s proposal will prompt lawmakers to consider legislation that clarifies the regulatory landscape. Some of the laws governing digital currency, he noted, go back to the 1930s.“We have to have the conversation,’’ he said. “I don’t want to lose the jobs and innovation elsewhere.’’Gottheimer plans to strike a similar theme at the Facebook hearing this week, but it’s not clear how many other members of the House panel will be interested in the finer details of Libra or digital payments.Some lawmakers predicted that the hearing may quickly devolve into a series of anti-Facebook rants, on issues like fake news in the 2016 campaign, data protection, the company’s market dominance and the FTC settlement. Those topics are often easier to understand for some members of Congress who are decidedly not techies.In what may be a harbinger, Financial Services Committee member David Scott, a Georgia Democrat, mistakenly referred to the digital token Libra as Libor, an interbank lending rate, while questioning the Powell last week. The Fed chief didn’t bother to correct him.(Updates with Marcus testimony beginning in 10th paragraph.)\--With assistance from Lydia Beyoud, Austin Weinstein and Julie Verhage.To contact the reporters on this story: Robert Schmidt in Washington at email@example.com;Ben Bain in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org;Kurt Wagner in San Francisco at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jesse Westbrook at firstname.lastname@example.org, Gregory MottFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
The conventional wisdom often advises caution when boldness is required. When great stocks gap up out of a base, it's natural to think it's too late to buy.
Properly managed, Libra could replace the dollar as the currency of choice for legitimate international transactions, writes Peter Morici.
Seven months ago, global financial markets were in disarray. Rates were rushing higher as the Federal Reserve was tightening monetary policy against the backdrop of record-high corporate debt levels and slowing economic expansion. Trade tensions were running high. The yield curve had inverted. Recession fears were everywhere. Stocks were in free fall. The S&P 500 dropped 20% in a matter of months, and dipped below 2,350.Today, everything has changed.The Fed has considered going into rate-cut mode. Economic expansion globally has stabilized. Trade tensions have cooled. The all-important 10-2 spread on the yield curve remains positive. Recession fears have disappeared. Stocks are in rally mode. Year-to-date, the S&P 500 is up almost 21%, and for the first time ever in early July, the index peaked above 3,000.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsThat's a long and impressive journey from the 2,350 low on Christmas Eve 2018. It's worth taking a closer look at to understand just exactly what is going to happen to stocks going forward.One way to take a closer look: examine the stocks driving this big market rally, and see if they have sufficient firepower to keep the rally alive for the next several months. * 10 Best Dividend Stocks to Buy for the Rest of 2019 and Beyond With that in mind, let's take a look at 10 $100 billion-plus market cap stocks which are all up more than 35% year-to-date, and see where these red hot large cap stocks are going next. Hot Stocks Driving The Market Higher: Facebook (FB)Source: Shutterstock Market Cap: $575 BillionYTD Gain: 49.8%How It Got Here: Social media giant Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) shook off data privacy concerns in 2019, and it reported continued robust user and digital ad revenue growth. At the same time, margins are starting to stabilize as big initial investments in data security are phasing out. Facebook is also pivoting into commerce, and in so doing, unlocking an entirely new revenue stream which could potentially become as big as the digital ad revenue stream. Net net, the growth narrative here has improved dramatically in 2019, and in response, FB stock has rallied around 50% year-to-date.Where It's Going Next: Facebook stock will stay in rally mode for the foreseeable future. The valuation remains reasonable at 22 times forward earnings for what is projected as 20%-plus revenue growth over the next several years. Further, the commerce growth catalyst has yet to even materialize, and won't until 2020. Ahead of that catalyst -- which is arguably the biggest catalyst for this stock ever -- investors will continue to bid up FB stock to much more aggressive valuation levels. Mastercard (MA)Source: Shutterstock Market Cap: $280 BillionYTD Gain: 49.2%How It Got Here: Payments processing giant Mastercard (NYSE:MA) has surged 49% higher so far in 2019 thanks to a more favorable economic backdrop powering continued strong volume, revenue and profit growth. Specifically, as rates have gone down and U.S. consumer confidence has rebounded, consumer spending has picked up. As that has happened, Mastercard's volume and revenue growth rates have likewise rebounded. At the same time, management has exercised disciplined cost control, margins have expanded and profit growth has remained robust. This has powered MA stock to new highs. * 10 Stocks to Sell for an Economic Slowdown Where It's Going Next: MA stock should head higher from here into the end of 2019. That's mostly because the consumer economic backdrop (low rates, low unemployment, big wage gains, etc) lends itself to continued robust volume, revenue, and profit growth at Mastercard. But gains going forward should also be more muted, thanks to what has become a stretched valuation. It sits at 36.5 times forward earnings, versus a five-year average forward multiple of 26.3. Thus, while MA stock will stay in rally mode, future gains will be muted relative to historical gains. PayPal (PYPL)Source: Shutterstock Market Cap: $141 BillionYTD Gain: 42%How It Got Here: Alongside Mastercard, peer payments processor PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL) has also risen more than 40% in 2019 on the back of favorable economic fundamentals and growth trends. Broadly speaking, low rates and a strong labor market have supported strong consumer spending over the past several quarters. A bunch of that spend is being directed into the online channel thanks to the secular shift towards e-commerce. Of that online consumer spending pie, a healthy portion is being processed through PayPal. The platform's volume, account and revenue growth rates have consequently remained robust. Profit growth has similarly remained robust, and that sustained growth has pushed PYPL stock to new highs in 2019.Where It's Going Next: Much like MA stock, PYPL stock should head higher into the end of 2019, but at a more muted pace. Growth trends here should remain favorable thanks to the supportive consumer economic backdrop. But, valuation is also extended, at 40-times forward earnings, versus a five-year average forward multiple of 29. Thus, valuation and growth will be in a tug-of-war over the next several months, and that ultimately means that PYPL stock will grind higher at a tepid pace. Netflix (NFLX)Source: Shutterstock Market Cap: $164 BillionYTD Gain: 47%How It Got Here: Another large-cap winner in 2019 has been streaming giant Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX). NFLX stock is up more than 40% year-to-date on the back of three things. One, the over-the-top (OTT) streaming growth narrative has remained vigorous in 2019. Consumers globally continue to pivot into the OTT channel. Two, Netflix has continued to develop quality original content with high perceived value. That strong original content portfolio has enabled Netflix to continue to win over the lion's share of global OTT subs. And three, the economics continue to grow more favorable as more subscribers join the platform. NFLX stock margins are marching higher, powering doubly robust profit growth. * 7 Retail Stocks to Buy for the Second Half of 2019 Where It's Going Next: The three tailwinds which have driven big gains in NFLX stock year-to-date, should persist into the back half of the year. That should keep NFLX stock on a winning trajectory. The global OTT sub market will continue to grow. Netflix will maintain its market leadership position thanks to its original content portfolio. And margins will stay on an uptrend as scale drives positive operating leverage. Valuation will become more of an issue in the back half of the year, but the growth potential for NFLX stock is so big long-term that, with rates depressed, it should continue to run higher for the foreseeable future regardless of near-term valuation friction. Lockheed Martin (LMT)Market Cap: $104 BillionYTD Gain: 41%How It Got Here: For shares of global aerospace and defense giant Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT), 2019 has been year of steady and consistent gains. LMT stock has benefited from cooling U.S.-China trade tensions, stabilizing global growth trends, continued robust government defense spending, a few sizable contract wins, strong quarterly numbers, a healthy full-year 2019 guide and a plunge in fixed-income yields. That last has made the 2.3% yield on LMT stock that much more attractive.Where It's Going Next: LMT stock should be able to head higher in the back half of 2019, mostly because all of those aforementioned tailwinds will remain in play. But the magnitude of the gains will be substantially lower than what the stock experienced in the first half. That's mostly because the yield and forward earnings multiple are now back to historically normal levels, so further upside through multiple expansion is unlikely. Starbucks (SBUX)Source: Shutterstock Market Cap: $108 BillionYTD Gain: 41%How It Got Here: Global coffee retail giant Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) has rallied to all-time highs in 2019 for three big reasons. First, the China growth narrative has gained momentum as China's economy has shown signs of stabilizing in 2019. Second, the U.S. growth narrative is rebounding thanks to improving traffic trends. Third, margins have remained relatively stable on improving top-line trends. Put together, those three factors have sparked a 41% year-to-date rally in SBUX stock. * 10 Best Stocks for 2019: A Volatile First Half Where It's Going Next: It's tough to see SBUX stock rallying much further from here. Growth trends still aren't great. Traffic trends have been largely negative for several quarters, and remain negative today, implying that indie coffee shop competition is continuing to pressure Starbucks. Further, margins aren't moving higher. They are just flat. Thus, you have a slowing-top-line-growth company with flattish margins. That's not a great growth profile. But, at an above-average 29-times forward multiple, SBUX stock is priced for great growth. This discrepancy could ultimately short-circuit the big 2019 rally in SBUX stock. Citigroup (C)Source: Shutterstock Market Cap: $166 BillionYTD Gain: 39%How It Got Here: Although a flat yield curve and low rates typically aren't good things for bank stocks, shares of major U.S. bank Citigroup (NYSE:C) have nonetheless rallied in a big way (up 39% year-to-date) due to a flurry of other tailwinds. Namely, consumer confidence and spending have both remained healthy in the U.S. Citigroup's numbers have consequently remained healthy. C stock also passed the most recent stress test, and in response, hiked its dividend, which now seems especially attractive next to a depressed 10-Year Treasury yield.Where It's Going Next: It's tough to see Citigroup stock rallying much further into the end of 2019. The valuation is at historically normal levels, while growth trends going forward should be below-normal given low interest rates and a flattish yield curve. A rate cut will help the yield curve situation, some, but not enough to give C stock more firepower. As such, it looks like the best of the Citi rally may be over. Visa (V)Source: Shutterstock Market Cap: $392 BillionYTD Gain: 37%How It Got Here: The third payments stock on this list is Visa (NYSE:V). Much like the other two payment stocks, Visa finds itself up big year-to-date because of favorable market conditions and growth trends. Low rates and continued strong consumer economic conditions have led to sustained strong consumer spending. At the same time, the pivot to non-cash transactions has gained momentum, so most of this consumer spending is happening through card transactions. The king of card transactions? Visa. As such, Visa's numbers in the first half of 2019 have been really good from a volume growth and margin expansion perspective. Those really good numbers have propelled Visa stock higher. * 7 A-Rated Stocks to Buy for the Rest of 2019 Where It's Going Next: At the risk of sounding like a broken record, Visa stock's go-forward growth prospects are nearly identical to those of the other two payments stocks on this list. That is to say, the stock will stay on an uptrend into the end of the year because the underlying growth trends will remain favorable. But, the slope of that uptrend will flatten out because Visa stock is already priced for greatness -- 29 times forward earnings, versus a five-year average forward multiple of 25). Microsoft (MSFT)Source: Shutterstock Market Cap: $1.06 TrillionYTD Gain: 38%How It Got Here: Technology giant Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) has surged 38% higher in 2019 -- and shot to a market cap above $1 trillion -- because the company's core cloud businesses have bounced back in a big way. Ever since Satya Nadella took over the reins in 2014, Microsoft's growth narrative has been all about developing and scaling cloud solutions. Those cloud solutions have been on a secular uptrend ever since. So has MSFT stock. But cloud growth rates dropped in late 2018 as macroeconomic uncertainty weighed on global cloud capex, and depressed Microsoft cloud demand. That uncertainty didn't last very long. By early 2019, as trade tensions cooled and global economic trends stabilized, cloud capex accelerated higher. So did Microsoft's cloud businesses. That growth re-acceleration has driven MSFT stock substantially higher year-to-date.Where It's Going Next: MSFT stock will stay on a healthy medium-to-long-term uptrend so long as the company's cloud businesses continue to grow at robust rate. For the foreseeable future, this is exactly how things should play out. Robust cloud spend is supported by multiple tailwinds, ranging from the fact the data is only becoming more valuable and more abundant, to the fact that global economic conditions are improving. Low rates will also help support what has become a stretched valuation in MSFT stock. As such, Microsoft's cloud businesses project to remain healthy in the back half of 2019. Thus, MSFT stock projects to keep moving higher. Adobe (ADBE)Market Cap: $150 BillionYTD Gain: 38%How It Got Here: Cloud giant Adobe (NASDAQ:ADBE) has soared 38% higher in 2019 as strong numbers have reaffirmed the company's secular growth narrative, against the backdrop of a low rate environment which has supported a richer valuation for ADBE stock. On the first point, Adobe is a visual cloud giant positioned for huge growth as: 1) consumers and enterprises continue to adopt cloud solutions, and 2) consumer and enterprise interactions continue to become more centered around visuals than ever before. Adobe's first half 2019 numbers were very good, and supported the notion that this secular growth narrative remains on track. On the second point, a plunge in the 10-year yield from 2.8% to 2% in 2019 has helped support substantial multiple expansion for ADBE stock from 28 times, to 40 times forward earnings. * 10 Best Dividend Stocks to Buy for the Rest of 2019 and Beyond Where It's Going Next: ADBE stock should continue to move higher in the back half of 2019 so long as two things remain true. First, Adobe needs to keep reporting strong quarterly numbers which reaffirm the secular bull thesis. That should happen, given healthy economic conditions and strong tailwinds supporting visual cloud solution adoption. Second, rates need to remain low to support ADBE's now bigger-than-normal valuation. This, too, should happen, since the Fed appears poised to cut rates, and such cuts should keep rates depressed for the foreseeable future.As of this writing, Luke Lango was long FB, PYPL, NFLX, and ADBE. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Stocks to Buy for Less Than Book * 7 Marijuana Stocks With Critical Levels to Watch * The 10 Best Dividend Stocks to Buy for the Rest of 2019 and Beyond The post 10 Stocks Driving the Market to All-Time Highs (And Why) appeared first on InvestorPlace.
Late Thursday, Trump hurled three tweet bombs at cryptocurrencies, specifically naming Bitcoin and Facebook’s (FB) Libra.
Mastercard (MA), via its payment solution Mastercard Send and Evolve Bank & Trust, will enable funds readily available for gig workers.
Investors have worried that after years of spectacular performance, growth at the credit-card companies would slow down.
- Hertz, Dollar and Thrifty customers can now use a debit card payment option across selected European locations instead of a credit card if they prefer - Debit card car rentals are available at Hertz, ...
WATERLOO, Ontario, July 11, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- OpenText™ (OTEX), (OTEX), a global leader in Enterprise Information Management (EIM), and Mastercard (MA), a technology leader in the global payments industry, today announced a partnership to help companies increase financial efficiencies across global supply chains, starting in the automotive industry. The new solution from OpenText and Mastercard aims to increase the speed, compliance and security for business information, payments and financing in the automotive supply chain.
Mastercard today announced it is expanding its partnership with Zoho to bring small business owners around the world a comprehensive array of products and services to make running their enterprise easier, more efficient and more profitable. With Zoho’s platform, Mastercard is able to offer its small business customers access to a suite of marketing, accounting and CRM tools to automate and digitize time-intensive, paper-based processes. Scaling its existing partnership from India to the rest of the world, Mastercard and Zoho are enabling simpler business operations for SMBs globally.
Fed Chair Powell’s testimony to Congress concluded yesterday. During his testimony, Powell said that Libra, Facebook’s (FB) cryptocurrency project, raises "serious concerns."
Mastercard's (MA) acquisition of Transfast will expand its connectivity worldwide, enhance compliance capabilities and enable it to offer superior foreign exchange tools.
Mastercard today announced that it is using Mastercard Send, the company’s push payment solution to enable pay advances and blend stability with flexibility for those working without traditional paychecks. “Gig workers provide just-in-time services that help both consumers and businesses fulfill real-time needs,” said Jess Turner, executive vice president, Product and Innovation, North America, Mastercard. Mastercard is partnering with Evolve Bank & Trust (“Evolve”) to support companies such as Branch, which work with large organizations to provide interest-free, pay advances to their hourly workers and gig workers.
Mastercard Inc. has wrapped up its takeover of payments company Transfast. The acquisition expands Mastercard’s capabilities when it comes to cross-border transactions, namely when it comes to speed. New York-based Transfast will enable Mastercard to service consumers, businesses and governments when it comes to transferring money to countries like India, Philippines, Mexico, Nigeria, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
PURCHASE, NY and TORONTO, July 9, 2019 /CNW/ - Companies around the world are benefiting from digitizing aspects of their business operations, but for many companies, managing incoming payments from customers can be a labor-intensive challenge. The Virtual Card Receivables Service will aggregate information from Mastercard Issuers related to Virtual Card payments by their corporate customers and compile it into one comprehensive file, available in a digital format that is preferred by suppliers, including Microsoft Excel and CSV.
Red Sox Manager Alex Cora and Dodgers Manager Dave Roberts may seem like unlikely allies, but out of the dugout the two are joining forces to support Mastercard and Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C). The opposing All-Star managers are coming together to encourage people to dine out with long lost friends, family, teammates - or really anyone - and remind them to make sure they bring a Mastercard so together we can support cancer research.
Those with credit card debt may actually be spending more according to a new study by Creditcards.com. The average annual percentage rate for credit cards is at a record high of 17.8%, meaning people using credit cards are spending nearly 18% more on everything. Yahoo Finance's Zack Guzman, Emily McCormick, and Sibile Marcellus are joined by Charreah Jackson, media entrepreneur and author, to discuss.
Believe it or not, Americans owe more than $1 trillion in credit card debt. And according to a new CreditCards.com poll, households with credit card debt outspend those without debt in most discretionary spending categories. What’s more, 18% of households with credit card debt are unwilling to cut back on any nonessentials like takeout and leisure travel. Yahoo Finance's Sibile Marcellus breaks it all down and talks to Dan Roberts, Akiko Fujita and Kristin Myers on "YFi AM."