• Dow Jones Futures: Stock Market Rally Awaits Trump's China Trade War Decision
    Investor's Business Daily

    Dow Jones Futures: Stock Market Rally Awaits Trump's China Trade War Decision

    Futures: The stock market rally and China-tied Apple, AMD and Alibaba await President Donald Trump's China trade war decision on Dec. 15 tariffs.

  • Banks Facing Data Crisis May Need Political Help, Denmark Warns
    Bloomberg

    Banks Facing Data Crisis May Need Political Help, Denmark Warns

    (Bloomberg) -- First there was the financial crisis of 2008. Then years of negative interest rates. Now, banks face what one financial regulator calls the “real game changer.”Jesper Berg, the head of the Financial Supervisory Authority in Denmark, says the next big threat for banks is the rapid spread of big tech into financial services. The competitive tool is personal data and the playing field is far from even, he says.“The banks are constrained in what they can do with data, even using data across business lines, not to mention sharing it,” Berg said in an interview in Copenhagen.The concern is that banks need to comply with strict regulatory requirements to protect client data. But their industry is being infiltrated by competitors that aren’t necessarily subject to the same rules. Berg suggests that political intervention might be the way forward, if banks are to have a fighting chance.“The biggest issue that needs to be decided at a high level of politics is, do we somehow make rules in relation to sharing and use of data similar, or do we keep a difference?” Berg said. “We need to think about whether, and when, we set rules that are different for different types of companies, where the activity is basically the same.”Berg oversees a financial industry that has dealt with negative interest rates longer than any other, after Denmark’s central bank first went below zero in 2012. That’s weakened the finance sector, potentially putting it on the back foot as it tries to strengthen its defenses against new competitors. Lars Rohde, the governor of the Danish central bank, has warned that banks will need to rethink their entire business model to adapt to the new world.The BehemothsBecause of the vast pools of information they collect, tech giants like Google, Amazon and Alibaba already enjoy a competitive advantage over banks, Berg says.According to a February report by the global Financial Stability Board, the proprietary consumer data that big tech extracts from social media, combined with the industry’s access to cheap funding, mean it “could achieve scale very quickly in financial services.”Part of the ascent of tech companies within financial services has to do with PSD2, a European directive designed to open up the payments industry to competition. In practical terms, it means banks need to pass on their data for free to non-banks, provided customers agree.“You could say that we’ve gone to the extreme with PSD2,” Berg said. “Not only can banks not use the data fully internally, but they cannot sell it. They have to give it away.”ChinaThe FSB’s February report makes the point that reducing entry barriers for big tech might ultimately hurt competition in financial services. As an example, the FSB highlights China, where just two big tech firms account for over 90% of the mobile payments market.“Big data lives off selling information about you and me, so that other companies can target us more specifically,” Berg said. “The potential real game changer is big data, depending on what they choose to do.” That’s because “they know more about us than anyone else.”Tech companies that offer loans or take deposits will need to apply for licenses and abide by the same rules as banks, Berg said. But the requirements are far murkier for those that decide to operate as a platform for other financial service providers, and that puts banks at a competitive disadvantage.“The link to customers would essentially be with big tech,” Berg said.“And everyone knows that whoever has the link to the customers” ends up being able to “cream the profit,” he said.To contact the reporter on this story: Frances Schwartzkopff in Copenhagen at fschwartzko1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Tasneem Hanfi Brögger at tbrogger@bloomberg.netFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • NAIOP Industrial Deal of the Year: Seefried Properties wins for Amazon
    American City Business Journals

    NAIOP Industrial Deal of the Year: Seefried Properties wins for Amazon

    "The sheer size and scale of the Amazon deal are really what stood out to make it the 2019 Deal of the Year."

  • Do Hedge Funds Love Groupon Inc (GRPN)?
    Insider Monkey

    Do Hedge Funds Love Groupon Inc (GRPN)?

    Like everyone else, elite investors make mistakes. Some of their top consensus picks, such as Amazon, Facebook and Alibaba, have not done well in Q4 of 2018 due to various reasons. Nevertheless, the data show elite investors' consensus picks have done well on average over the long-term. The top 20 stocks among hedge funds beat […]

  • GuruFocus.com

    Top Insider Buys Highlight for the Week of Dec. 6

    Insiders invest in Cigna, Dollar Tree, Keurig Dr Pepper and Expedia Continue reading...

  • Microsoft, AMD Lead Top Stocks With 'Tight' Buy Points
    Investor's Business Daily

    Microsoft, AMD Lead Top Stocks With 'Tight' Buy Points

    Microsoft and AMD are trading tightly amid sideways market action, offering new buying opportunities. So do Fortinet, Copart and Jabil.

  • When To Buy Growth Stocks: Why A Late Burst In Volume Can Still Power A Solid Breakout
    Investor's Business Daily

    When To Buy Growth Stocks: Why A Late Burst In Volume Can Still Power A Solid Breakout

    Big volume when a stock breaks out signals institutional buying, which is just what you'd like to see. But in rare instances, volume may surge later.

  • Another Hedge Fund Bites The Dust: $350 Million in Sales Coming
    Insider Monkey

    Another Hedge Fund Bites The Dust: $350 Million in Sales Coming

    Matthew Iorio's White Elm Capital is returning money to its investors at the end of the year. Based in Greenwich Connecticut, Matt Iorio's White Elm Capital is a top-tier hedge fund that flied under many investors' radar screens. A former managing director at Stephen Mandel's Lone Pine Capital, Matt Iorio is a Tuck School of […]

  • Benzinga

    Bulls And Bears Of The Week: Facebook, Intel, Netflix, Tesla And More

    Benzinga has examined the prospects for many investor favorite stocks over the past week. Bullish calls included e-commerce, electric vehicle and semiconductor leaders. Bearish calls included video streaming giant and biotech giants.

  • Bloomberg

    France’s Le Maire Calls on U.S. to Back Global Digital Tax Plan

    (Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire urged the U.S. to support a global overhaul of how the digital economy is taxed.Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said the U.S. supports the efforts of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, but he has suggested the first part of the OECD’s plan should be optional. Le Maire said on Sunday that this proposal “won’t work.”The U.S. needs to show “good faith” in the talks, Le Maire said on France 3 television, calling on Washington to back the plan that’s on the table. If no global deal can be reached, Europe will restart talks on introducing its own tax, he said.Read more: Why Digital Taxes Are the New Trade War Flashpoint: QuickTakeThe debate over how to tax big tech companies is heating up, with the U.S. threatening to impose tariffs on about $2.4 billion of French products in retaliation for a new French digital levy. Washington maintains that the tax will discriminate against U.S. companies, including tech giants such as Facebook Inc. and Amazon.com Inc.Le Maire said the French tax isn’t discriminatory, because it also hits European and Asian companies. Any retaliatory tariffs would have no legal basis, and France is prepared to fight them in the World Trade Organization if necessary, he said.“This is uselessly aggressive toward France,” Le Maire said.To contact the reporter on this story: Helene Fouquet in Paris at hfouquet1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Ben Sills at bsills@bloomberg.net, Patrick Henry, James AmottFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bloomberg

    Stop With the ‘Gifting’ and Just Give

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Considering an expensive gift this season for someone you love?  CNBC urges you to be careful: “What to think about before you gift a Peloton or other big-ticket item this holiday.” And if by chance you’re as curmudgeonly about grammar as I, you bristle at this casual use of “gift” as a verb.Yet the usage is everywhere. “Holiday gifting made easy!” we’re assured by Nordstrom. Amazon offers what it calls “Prime Gifting.”  US News and World Report actually manages to use the word as verb and noun in the same headline: “How to Gift Stock and Other Financial Gifts.”Grammarians have battled for years over whether “gift” and “give” are interchangeable verbs. It’s time somebody gave a definitive answer. And the answer this Grammar Scrooge gives is no. Except in a narrow set of circumstances — I will describe them shortly — we can never gift a thing to another person. We can only give. To those who would give a different answer, let me give you the gift of explaining why you’re wrong.The use of “gift” as a verb has ancient roots. Everyone who puzzles over this conundrum points out that the Oxford English Dictionary attests this usage as early as the 16th century. True enough. The OED lists early examples aplenty. But these early examples share a vital aspect that’s been left unremarked by the commentators. Once we understand that aspect, we’ll understand why our current fad for “gifting” is misguided.The oldest citation is from a British poem, “A Merry Jest of a Shrewd and Curst Wife Lapped in Morel’s Skin,” probably published around 1550 and believed to have provided the foundation for “The Taming of the Shrew”: “The friendes that were together met He gyfted them richely with right good speede” — “He” in this case meaning “God.”(1) Among the OED’s many other examples we find a 1639 reference to “a parcel of ground which the Queen had gifted to Mary Levinston” and an 18th century reference from Henry Fielding to “the Inspiration with which we Writers are gifted.”But notice what they have in common. The Queen already owned the parcel before gifting it; she did not acquire it in order to make a present of it. As for Fielding, he is referring to a natural-born quality, gifted if at all by God – precisely the point being made by the unknown author of “Morel’s Skin.” Nearly all the OED’s early examples involve either a giver who gifts what the giver already owns, or a situation in which the giver is Nature or God.(2)This distinction is subtle but important. There’s a world of difference between gifting a thing you already own and going out to buy a thing you don’t. As it happens, the distinction is also consistent with the traditional usage in law. Every case I have found prior to the 20th century that uses “gift” as a verb refers to a transfer of an asset that the giver already owns.  Most involve inheritance. (Quite a few, I sorrow to report, involve slavery, for the courts in the antebellum South adjudicated many a dispute over the ownership of human beings.) Similarly, books published in the 19th century overwhelmingly reserve the usage for gifts either from God or from the giver’s existing assets.This usage is in keeping with one of the important but vanishing uses of gift as a noun: a reference to a right or honor that can be transferred, as in the phrase “within my gift.” The grant of certain titles is within the gift of the monarch. The imposition of terms of surrender is within the gift of the winning side. “Keep on improving,” wrote a New York pastor in 1868 to a misbehaving parishioner, “and you shall have the highest title within my gift.” This is the sense in which the word is used in an old and much-quoted Pennsylvania case: “There is a virtual unanimity of opinion among all reasonable men that it is against public policy for a public official to appoint himself to another public office within his gift.”(3)Historical usage isn’t always the best guide, but here we would do well to preserve the older sense in which “gift” and “give” are both verbs but carry two different meanings. So let’s reserve “gifting” for the situation in which we part with something we already own. I can gift to Goodwill that sweater I no longer wear, but the sweater I buy new at the mall as a Christmas present I can only give. If I buy you a gift card for the bookstore, I can only give it to you. But if you gave me the card last year and it’s not to my taste, I can gift it to a friend. (Apparently that’s no longer considered impolite.)And for those who believe no column is complete without a mention of Donald Trump, let’s use coverage of the president to supply two closing examples of proper praxis. Earlier this year, when the prime minister of Israel visited the White House, Newsweek headlined: “Benjamin Netanyahu Says He’s Gifting Donald Trump Case of Wine.” This usage was incorrect unless Netanyahu already owned the wine before deciding to give it as a gift. On the other hand, when Donald Trump Jr. told an interviewer last year that his father was a “re-gifter,” he was using the word correctly, because his example was Trump Sr.’s evident habit of passing on to his son monogrammed gifts he himself had received but didn’t want.Re-gifting a shirt isn’t the same as transferring land or title. Still, the distinction I’m advocating preserves both verbs but gives them independent meanings. To separate our usage this way also imbues the verb “to gift” with a particular power. Gifting becomes a sacrifice in a way that giving never quite is. When we gift, we part with a thing that has been with us for a while; when we give, our possession was always planned to be brief. (1) As printed, the poem reads “Be gifted,” but this is widely agreed to be a typographical error.(2) I say “nearly all” because two or three admit of more than one interpretation.(3) Yes, this view, if correct, might bear on the question whether a president has the power to pardon himself.To contact the author of this story: Stephen L. Carter at scarter01@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Sarah Green Carmichael at sgreencarmic@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Stephen L. Carter is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is a professor of law at Yale University and was a clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. His novels include “The Emperor of Ocean Park,” and his latest nonfiction book is “Invisible: The Forgotten Story of the Black Woman Lawyer Who Took Down America's Most Powerful Mobster.” For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Financial Times

    Jeff Bezos warns US military it risks losing tech supremacy

    Jeff Bezos has warned American military leaders that the US risks losing its superiority in technologies that have been key to its national security. Speaking at the Reagan National Defense Forum, an annual gathering of US military leaders and defence contractors, the Amazon chief executive officer suggested that China’s attempt to steal an edge in important technologies represented a new type of threat to US military supremacy, which has been based for decades on a clear technological superiority.

  • Financial Times

    How to take back control from the Big Tech barons

    It’s a question that’s been on my mind because of a recent conversation I had with a famous technology investor in Silicon Valley. Railroad tycoon Thomas Scott allegedly helped tip the 1876 presidential race to Rutherford B Hayes by using his wealth and connections to secure Hayes southern political support in exchange for his blessing Scott’s efforts to create the second transcontinental railroad. The deal done, Hayes was inaugurated four days later, having ridden to Washington aboard Scott’s private railway car.

  • Billionaire Ken Fisher: Legendary Investor or Marketing Genius?
    Insider Monkey

    Billionaire Ken Fisher: Legendary Investor or Marketing Genius?

    Billionaire Ken Fisher is in hot water because of his sexual comments at a financial services conference. Fisher is known for his prestigious Forbes column, titled “Portfolio Strategy”, which he has been writing since 1984, which makes him the longest-running columnist in the publication’s history. He also has written 11 books, four of which became New […]

  • AOC, Sanders Say I Told You So, as Amazon, Facebook Come to NYC
    Bloomberg

    AOC, Sanders Say I Told You So, as Amazon, Facebook Come to NYC

    (Bloomberg) -- Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders are taking a victory lap after Amazon.com Inc. and other technology giants leased millions of square feet of office space in New York City -- without the billions of dollars in government support that Amazon tried to negotiate earlier this year.Amazon signed a lease on Friday for 335,000 square feet in the Hudson Yards neighborhood, enough space for more than 1,500 workers. The largest U.S. e-commerce company said it wasn’t getting tax benefits or other incentives.A few weeks earlier, Facebook Inc. leased more than 1.5 million square feet in the city, and the social-networking giant is looking for 700,000 more square feet, according to the Wall Street Journal. Google is also in the midst of a major expansion in the city, adding thousands of employees in coming years.The moves suggest that New York’s deep pool of talented workers is still attracting tech companies even after Amazon abandoned a much larger expansion in the area following fierce public criticism of almost $3 billion in tax breaks and subsidies promised to the company.https://t.co/AC64pG0nZI pic.twitter.com/xzCepkX4AV— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) December 6, 2019 Ocasio-Cortez, who represents parts of the Bronx and Queens, was a vocal critic of Amazon’s doomed HQ2 deal, and she tweeted that the company’s recent lease proved she was right.Sanders, who has slammed Amazon for warehouse working conditions and the company’s low federal tax rate, weighed in this weekend, too.​Their comments were pilloried by some on Twitter, who said that 1,500 Amazon jobs are a fraction of the company’s earlier plan to bring about 25,000 workers to the area.Ocasio-Cortez responded by arguing that Amazon’s larger jobs pledge was longer-term and would have cost the city more.To contact the reporter on this story: Alistair Barr in San Francisco at abarr18@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tom Giles at tgiles5@bloomberg.net, Virginia Van Natta, James LuddenFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Jeff Bezos says Amazon wants to work more with the Pentagon
    Reuters

    Jeff Bezos says Amazon wants to work more with the Pentagon

    Amazon.com Inc founder Jeff Bezos said it would support the U.S. Department of Defense as technology companies vie for more defense contracts and the Pentagon seeks to modernize itself. "We are going to support the Department of Defense, this country is important," Bezos said at an annual defense forum at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California. Tech companies have faced challenges when trying to work with the Pentagon.

  • One year after Amazon’s HQ2 announcement, here’s what happened to house prices in Northern Virginia
    MarketWatch

    One year after Amazon’s HQ2 announcement, here’s what happened to house prices in Northern Virginia

    It’s official: Northern Virginia has felt the Amazon effect. A year ago, Amazon (AMZN) announced its plans to build a pair of new headquarters as part of its so-called “HQ2” project: One in New York City, and another in Virginia. In Virginia, home prices remain seriously elevated, while in New York prices have fallen since Amazon backed out of its plans for a large campus there.

  • Part time, flex time, remote: There are all sorts of job types for older workers — here’s how to find them
    MarketWatch

    Part time, flex time, remote: There are all sorts of job types for older workers — here’s how to find them

    Admittedly, I work for several employers, but it’s all virtual. Over the last five years U.S. workers working remotely grew 44% to around 4.7 million, according to research by job board Flexjobs.com in partnership with Global Workplace Analytics. In a study conducted by Condeco Software, 41% of global businesses surveyed say they already offer some degree of remote working.

  • Amazon Web Services sees stronger competitors, but believes it will still rule the cloud
    MarketWatch

    Amazon Web Services sees stronger competitors, but believes it will still rule the cloud

    A series of product announcements highlighted Amazon’s intentions to weave its services more closely with on-premises data centers, an area where Microsoft is particularly strong.