|Day's Range||21.10 - 22.35|
A few weeks ago, Perla Ni went to the Stanford Health Care hospital system for a breast biopsy. Like many Americans, Perla is on a high-deductible health plan, so she had to pay a lot out of pocket. Perla’s insurance company, which had a negotiated discount, got a bill for $67,088.
Goldman Sachs strategists believe corporate earnings will clear a low bar this year, but there are downside risks and margins will come increasingly under pressure.
(Bloomberg) -- Amazon.com Inc. is denying a Pentagon cloud-computing contract valued at as much as $10 billion was unfairly tailored for the e-commerce giant.In a court filling made public Monday, Amazon countered rival Oracle Corp.’s claims that bidding for the lucrative cloud deal was tainted by relationships between its employees and former Pentagon officials.Oracle is appealing a July ruling from the U.S. Court of Federal Claims that dismissed its legal challenge of the cloud contract based on claims that the bidding violated procurement law and was marred by conflicts of interest. Amazon Web Services, the company’s cloud unit, has filed a separate lawsuit challenging its loss of the contract known as Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, or JEDI, which was awarded to Microsoft Corp. in October. Amazon claims it lost the bid after interference from the White House and is seeking to interview President Donald Trump in that case.Oracle’s lawsuit claims that Amazon offered two former Pentagon employees jobs at the company while they were working on the contract. In one case, Deap Ubhi, who had worked at Amazon before joining the government, allegedly helped craft the JEDI procurement for weeks after accepting a job offer in October 2017 from AWS, according to the lawsuit.Amazon argued that Oracle’s lawsuit is based on “suspicion and innuendo” and that neither employee that Amazon hired disclosed any “competitively useful” information to the company. Government lawyers have also argued in court that the employees’ input on the JEDI procurement was minimal.Representatives for the Pentagon and Oracle didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.The U.S. Court of Federal Claims ruled in July that the Pentagon’s contracting officer properly determined the relationships had no adverse impact on the integrity of the acquisition process and that Oracle didn’t have standing to challenge the contract. The Pentagon eliminated Oracle and International Business Machines Corp. from the competition in April 2019.Last week a federal judge temporarily blocked Microsoft from working on the Pentagon cloud project while Amazon’s lawsuit is litigated. The Pentagon’s JEDI project is designed to consolidate the department’s cloud computing infrastructure and modernize its technology systems. The contract is worth as much as $10 billion over a decade.To contact the reporter on this story: Naomi Nix in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sara Forden at email@example.com, Elizabeth WassermanFor 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.
Gates discussed his new ride last week with YouTube influencer Marques Brownlee. “Certainly Tesla, if you had to name one company that’s helped drive that, it’s them,” Gates said, before telling Brownlee that he bought a “very, very cool” Taycan, which comes with a price tag deep in six-figure territory.
A reorganization is coming to Google Cloud, marking another change occurring under CEO Thomas Kurian as it fights for dominance against the likes of Microsoft Corp. and Amazon.com Inc. As first reported by the Wall Street Journal, Google Cloud — a division of Alphabet Inc.-owned Google Inc. — will make a series of job cuts as it restructures. It did not specify how many employees would be affected, though CNBC reports that it would be fewer than 50. “We made the difficult, but necessary decision to notify a small number of employees that their roles will be eliminated.” Ray Wang, founder of Silicon Valley-based Constellation Research Inc., told the Wall Street Journal that the layoffs are likely part of a shift toward services for large enterprise companies: “Dealing with large enterprises is different than (small businesses) and consumers,” he said.
Microsoft, Tailored Brands, Everi, MGM Resorts International and Churchill Downs highlighted as Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day
(Bloomberg) -- Bill Gates paid Tesla Inc. a compliment for coaxing the car industry to go electric. If he was expecting kind words in return from Elon Musk, he apparently shouldn’t have spoken about challenges that still lie ahead -- or about his new Porsche.Gates, the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft Corp., spoke with a YouTube influencer last week about the challenges of reducing emissions to slow climate change. He called the passenger-car industry “one of the most hopeful” sectors taking action in this regard.“And certainly Tesla, if you had to name one company that’s helped drive that, it’s them,” Gates told YouTuber Marques Brownlee.Then Gates discussed recently buying a Porsche Taycan. While he called the electric sports car “very, very cool,” he acknowledged its premium price -- the initial Turbo S models start at $185,000 -- and said consumers still have to overcome anxieties about EVs offering limited range and taking longer to recharge. Gasoline-powered cars travel longer between quick refuels at stations that outnumber charging points.When a Tesla enthusiast posted about being disappointed in Gates’s decision to buy a Taycan instead of a Tesla and his comments about range anxiety, Musk replied: “My conversations with Gates have been underwhelming tbh.”Musk, 48, is of course no stranger to tweeting dismissively about fellow billionaires. The Tesla chief executive officer questioned Facebook Inc. CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s understanding of artificial intelligence risks in 2017. Last year, he called Jeff Bezos a copycat after the Amazon.com Inc. CEO embarked on an internet-satellite project that could rival one that Musk’s closely held company SpaceX is pursuing.The Tesla CEO’s commentary on Porsche’s Taycan has been mixed. After chiding the sports car brand for using internal combustion engine nomenclature for the high-end version of its debut electric vehicle, he tweeted in September that it “does seem like a good car.”(Updates with Musk’s tweets on Taycan in last paragraph)To contact the reporter on this story: Craig Trudell in New York at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Craig Trudell at email@example.com, Will DaviesFor 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.
With Apple Inc. shares falling 3.1% in premarket trading Tuesday, Microsoft Corp. is on track to take back the No. 1 position on the list of the U.S.'s most valuable companies by market capitalization. Microsoft's stock is down 0.2% ahead of the open, which means the software giant is headed toward a market cap of $1.408 trillion at the open, while Apple is on track to open with a market cap of $1.378 trillion. The last time Microsoft closed as the most valuable company was Feb. 11 and Feb. 10, which ended a 67-session run with Apple at No. 1. The companies were still well ahead of third-place Amazon.com Inc. , which closed Friday with at market cap of $1.063 trillion, and fourth-place Alphabet Inc. at $1.044 trillion.
Investors are aggressively positioning for the market to trade even higher. This has created historically unusual conditions in the options market.
SAN FRANCISCO/NEW YORK (Reuters) - As Wall Street approaches the 20th anniversary of the piercing of the dot-com bubble, today's decade-old rally led by a few small players shows some similarities that cautious investors are keeping an eye on. March 11, 2000 marked the beginning of a crash of overly-inflated stocks that would last over two years, lead to the failure of investor favorites including Worldcom and Pets.com and take over 13 years for Wall Street to recover from.
US tech companies have been among the main beneficiaries as savers seek out investments based on social values instead of just stock returns.
When clients tell financial adviser Catherine Valega that they want to invest their money in women, they are not always clear what they mean. If you have less than $1 million, investing with a gender lens typically means buying shares in mutual funds or exchange-traded funds that pick stocks with the goal of advancing the interests of women. For direct investments in women-led firms or businesses focused on women's issues, you have to meet the high minimum investments of impact venture capital funds.
(Bloomberg) -- Computers using artificial intelligence are discovering medicines, designing better golf clubs and creating video games.But are they inventors?Patent offices around the world are grappling with the question of who -- if anyone -- owns innovations developed using AI. The answer may upend what’s eligible for protection and who profits as AI transforms entire industries.“There are machines right now that are doing far more on their own than to help an engineer or a scientist or an inventor do their jobs,” said Andrei Iancu, director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. “We will get to a point where a court or legislature will say the human being is so disengaged, so many levels removed, that the actual human did not contribute to the inventive concept.”U.S. law says only humans can obtain patents, Iancu said. That’s why the patent office has been collecting comments on how to deal with inventions created through artificial intelligence and is expected to release a policy paper this year. Likewise, the World Intellectual Property Office, an agency within the United Nations, along with patent and copyright agencies around the world are also trying to figure out whether current laws or practices need to be revised for AI inventions.The debate comes as some of the largest global technology companies look to monetize massive investments in AI. Google’s chief executive officer, Sundar Pichai, has described AI as “more profound than fire or electricity.” Microsoft Corp. has invested $1 billion in the research company Open AI. Both companies have thousands of employees and researchers pushing to advance the state of the art and move AI innovations into products.International Business Machines Corp.’s supercomputer Watson is working with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on a research lab to develop new applications of AI in different industries, and some of China’s biggest companies are giving American companies a run for their money in the field.The European Patent Office last month rejected applications by the owner of an AI “creativity machine” named Dabus, saying that there is a “clear legislative understanding that the inventor is a natural person.” In December, the U.K. Intellectual Property Office turned down similar petitions, noting AI was never contemplated when the law was written.“Increasingly, Fortune 100 companies have AI doing more and more autonomously and they’re not sure if they can find someone who would qualify as an inventor,” said Ryan Abbott, a law professor at the University of Surrey in England. “If you can’t get protection, people may not want to use AI to do these things.”Abbott and Stephen Thaler, founder of St. Louis-based Imagination Engines Inc., filed patent applications in numerous countries for a food container and a “device for attracting enhanced attention,” listing Thaler’s machine Dabus as the inventor.The goal, Abbott said, was to force patent offices to confront the issue. He advocates listing the computer that did the work as the inventor, with the business that owns the machine also owning any patent. It would ensure that companies can get a return on their investment, and maintain a level of honesty about whether it’s a machine or a human that’s doing the work, he said.Businesses “don’t really care who’s listed as an inventor but they do care if they can get a patent,” Abbott said. “We really didn’t design the law with this in mind, so what do we want to do about it?”Still, to many AI experts and researchers, the field is nowhere near advanced enough to consider the idea of an algorithm as an inventor.‘Just Computer Tools’“Listing an AI system as a co-inventor seems like a gimmick rather than a requirement,” said Oren Etzioni, head of the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence in Seattle. “We often use computers as critical tools in generating patentable technology, but we don’t list our tools as co-inventors. AI systems don’t have intellectual property rights -- they are just computer tools.”The current state of the art in AI should put this question off for a long time, said Erik Brynjolfsson, director of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy, who suggested the debate might be more appropriate in a “century or two.” Researchers are “very far from artificial general intelligence like ‘The Terminator’.”It’s not just who’s listed as the inventor that is flummoxing patent agencies.Software thus far can’t follow the scientific method -- independently developing a hypothesis and then conducting tests to prove or disprove it. Instead, AI is more often used for “brute force,” where it would simply “churn through a bunch of possibilities and see what works,” said Dana Rao, general counsel for Adobe Inc.Human v. Machine“The question is not ‘Can a machine be an inventor?’ it’s ‘Can a machine invent?”’ Rao said. “It can’t in the traditional way we view invention.”A patent is awarded to something that is “new, useful and non-obvious.” Often, that means figuring out what a person with “ordinary skill” in the field would understand to be new -- for instance, a knowledgeable laboratory researcher. That analysis gets skewed when courts and patent offices have to compare the work of a software program that can analyze an exponentially greater number of options than even a large team of human researchers.“The bar is changing when you use AI,” said Kate Gaudry, a patent lawyer with Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton in Washington. “However this is decided, we have to be consistent.”Iancu likened it to debates a century ago over awarding copyrights to photographs taken with a camera.“Somebody must have created the machine, somebody must have trained the machine and somebody must have pushed the ‘on’ button,” he said. “Do we think those activities are enough to count as human contributions to the invention process? If yes, the current law is enough.”Still, Rao said, there needs to be some way to help companies using AI to protect their ideas. That’s particularly true for copyrights on photographs created through a type of machine learning systems known as Generative Adversarial Networks.“If I want to create images to sell them, there needs to be ways of determining ownership,” Rao said.The evolution of machine learning and neural networks means that, at some point, the role of humans in certain types of innovation will decrease. In those cases, who will own the inventions is a question that’s critical to companies using AI to develop new products.Iancu said he sees AI as full of promise, and notes that agencies have had to address such weighty questions before, such as genetically modified animals created in a lab, complex mathematics use for cryptography and synthetic DNA.“It’s one of these things where hopefully, the various jurisdictions around the world can discuss these issues before it’s too late, before we have to play catch up,” Iancu said.To contact the reporters on this story: Susan Decker in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org;Dina Bass in Seattle at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jon Morgan at firstname.lastname@example.org, ;Jillian Ward at email@example.com, Elizabeth WassermanFor 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.
SoftBank Group Corp has pumped $2.5 billion of its own cash into new investments since October, people familiar with the matter said, hoping to restore its money-making credentials as it courts investors for a successor to its Vision Fund. The Japanese technology conglomerate is also considering investing another $2.5 billion of its own money, one of the people said. SoftBank Chief Executive Masayoshi Son said last week the company may spend up to two years investing its own money in a bridge fund, to build a portfolio that will give investors enough confidence to participate in a second Vision Fund.
Naveen Krishna, the company's chief technology officer, spoke to Atlanta Business Chronicle following Macy’s Feb. 14 confirmation it will open a $14 million U.S. tech hub in Midtown.
Can history point out hidden risks for the stock market or is it clear sailing from here? As it turns out, the data is encouraging.
The impending launch of Xbox Series X by arch rival Microsoft forces Sony Corporation (SNE) to adopt a waiting game in its price-setting decision to avert being too overpriced.
Facebook warned of threats to innovation and freedom of expression on Monday, ahead of the release of a raft of rules by the European Union this week and in coming months to rein in U.S. tech giants and Chinese companies. The social media giant laid out its concerns in a white paper, and Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg was expected to reiterate the message to EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager and EU industry chief Thierry Breton in Brussels on Monday. Referring to the possibility that the EU may hold internet companies responsible for hate speech and other illegal speech published on their platforms, Facebook said this ignores the nature of the internet.
The best tech stocks to buy and watch are strong price performers with healthy fundamentals, thanks to a new product or service that's driving growth.
(MSFT)(INTC) and (AAPL) among the biggest stocks in the S&P 500 index, have well outpaced the market benchmark in the past 12 months. “MIA” stocks is an apt term, given the trio has been underweighted by fundamentally-driven large-cap portfolio managers, according to Harvey. “Ironically, some [portfolio managers] admit they have not gone ‘up-cap’ in order to avoid looking like an index fund (painful mistake!),” he wrote.
Goldman Sachs analysts believe there’s still upside in tech stocks, even if other observers compare the current moment to the bursting of the dot-com bubble two decades ago.
Europe may have lost the battle to create digital champions capable of taking on U.S. and Chinese companies harvesting personal data, but it can win the war of industrial data, Europe's industry policy chief said on Saturday. Vast troves of data from how fast we drive our cars to how much time a robot needs to churn out products in factories have yet to be fully exploited, said Thierry Breton, the European Commissioner in charge of the EU single market.