198.95 +0.50 (0.25%)
After hours: 7:33PM EDT
|Bid||198.76 x 800|
|Ask||198.76 x 800|
|Day's range||195.23 - 200.29|
|52-week range||142.00 - 233.47|
|Beta (3Y monthly)||1.03|
|PE ratio (TTM)||16.69|
|Forward dividend & yield||3.08 (1.76%)|
|1y target est||N/A|
Big tech is under the microscope, now that U.S. regulators investigate whether Amazon (AMZN), Apple (AAPL), Facebook (FB), and Google (GOOG) have too much power. As calls for breaking up these tech titans gain momentum among lawmakers, at least one Silicon Valley insider says “trust” is at the crux of the increased scrutiny. “I think regulators are really responding to a crisis of trust in the tech industry,” Salesforce (CRM) President, Bret Taylor, tells Yahoo Finance’s The First Trade.
How Instagram is exploiting Sudan's deepening political crisis
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi turned ultra-dovish in a speech in Portugal on Tuesday. Is this a motivation for Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and his cohorts to cut interest rates as they meet this week? President Trump on Tuesday blasted Draghi because stimulus in Europe means a lower euro versus the dollar, giving an edge to European companies in their exports to the U.S. On the other hand, the U.S. stock market is encouraged by Trump’s tweet of a “very good” phone call with President Xi of China and the news of an extended meeting with him at the G20.
Next week, S&P Dow Jones Indices will readjust the representation of the 500 companies that constitute the market benchmark.
Wall Street surged on Tuesday and the S&P 500 approached a record high after Washington rekindled trade talks with Beijing, boosting sentiment along with growing investor confidence that the Fed will cut interest rates this year. President Donald Trump said he would meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit later this month, and said talks between the two countries would restart after a recent lull.
Apple (AAPL) is getting ready to launch a streaming service later this year. While the tech giant will likely have to spend billions of dollars in the next few years to have a library similar to Netflix's (NFLX), the company has the financial muscle to do so without raising debt.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- How can technology solve some common investing issues? That was the question Jonathan Stein, this week's guest on Masters in Business, had been mulling when he went off to school.Today, the company he co-founded and heads, Betterment LLC, is one of the best-known so-called robo-advisers -- a computer-driven investing service -- with more than $16.4 billion under management.His academic work, both at Harvard and Columbia Business School, focused on the distinctions between academic theories of economics and how investors behave in the real world. He recognized that this created opportunities that were being overlooked by Wall Street -- particularly the ability of software to measure risk tolerances and figure out an appropriate asset allocation. In his class in entrepreneurial finance, Stein used the idea of an online automated investment adviser as his case study. The feedback allowed him to enhance many of the financial services now offered by Betterment.In our conversation, he explains how the industry has changed since he started the company, notably the acquisition costs of finding new customers. We also discuss some of Betterment’s online competitors. As Stein sees it, online investment advice is at the core of Betterment's DNA, while robo-advisers are merely an add-on service at most of his rivals.His favorite books are here; a transcript of our conversation is here.You can stream/download the full conversation, including the podcast extras on Apple iTunes, Bloomberg, Overcast and Stitcher. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite host sites can be found here.Next week we speak with Christopher J. Brightman, chief investment officer of Research Affiliates LLC.To contact the author of this story: Barry Ritholtz at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Greiff at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Barry Ritholtz is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He founded Ritholtz Wealth Management and was chief executive and director of equity research at FusionIQ, a quantitative research firm. He is the author of “Bailout Nation.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Facebook Inc. and Apple Inc. are most at risk if government regulators are serious about pursuing antitrust actions against Big Tech.
Concerns continue to grow about near-term demand for Apple iPhones as consumers delay purchases ahead of the first 5G models in late 2020.
(Bloomberg) -- Facebook Inc. made a renewed push into payments on Tuesday, announcing plans for a cryptocurrency called Libra.Read More: Facebook Wants Its Cryptocurrency to One Day Rival the GreenbackIt will be governed by the Libra Association, a group of companies that will have an equal say in how the cryptocurrency is managed. Almost 30 firms have joined and Facebook hopes another 70 or more will enter the fold in the future.Read Facebook’s Project Libra white paper hereWho’s In:Visa Inc. and Mastercard Inc., the world’s largest payments networks, as well as PayPal Holdings Inc. are on board. For Visa and Mastercard, it’s a chance to offer the world of cryptocurrencies the same services they provide in card payments. All three companies know the challenges of building a network and can offer expertise in encouraging consumers to use the instrument and cajoling merchants into accepting it.Companies such as Uber Technologies Inc., Lyft Inc., and Spotify Technology SA keep millions of credit cards on file, and they risk losing customers when people get a new card or number. E-commerce firms also pay higher “card not present” rates when processing payments, so anything that can reduce these expenses is welcome.“Libra has the potential to bridge the gap between traditional financial networks and new digital currency technology, while reducing the costs for everyone,” said Peter Hazlehurst, head of payments at Uber.International companies, including e-commerce firm MercadoLibre Inc. and telecom giant Vodafone Group Plc, signed onto Libra, too. Blockchain technology and stablecoins are potential solutions for the messy world of cross-border payments, which suffers from delays and high costs.Who’s Out:Large banks, including JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup Inc., already have their own payments businesses that reap billions of dollars in fees. With regulators still deciding how to treat cryptocurrencies, banks and investment firms are treading cautiously.So far, no large brick-and-mortar retailers, such as Target Corp. and Walmart Inc., are taking part. The industry is always interested in lowering the cost of accepting payments, but traditional merchants have historically been hesitant to accept cryptocurrencies due to volatility and lack of consumer adoption.The largest U.S. technology companies, Microsoft Corp., Apple Inc., Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Amazon.com Inc., are noticeably absent. Many of these firms have their own digital payments businesses and some are experimenting with blockchain technology. Apple has poured scorn on Facebook for repeated privacy missteps and other big tech firms are trying to avoid being associated with the social-media giant.“This is very early -- 27 organizations right now, 100 by the time we launch,” David Marcus, head of the Facebook blockchain team that’s spearheading the project, said in a Bloomberg Television interview. “And by that time, I definitely expect to see banks in there, I definitely expect to see other large technology companies and I definitely expect to see more diversity of organizations in terms of geographical distribution.”Square Inc. Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey is a cryptocurrency fan, but even his firm isn’t part of Libra at launch. Square’s cryptocurrency team made its first hire last week and it’s Cash App is a popular way for consumers to buy and sell Bitcoin.Here’s the full list of founding members and partners:Andreessen Horowitz Anchorage Bison Trails Booking Holdings Inc.Breakthrough Initiatives Facebook’s CalibraCoinbase Inc.EBay Inc. Farfetch Ltd.Iliad SA’s Free Lyft Inc.Mastercard MercadoLibre Inc.’s Mercado Pago PayPal Naspers Ltd.’s PayURibbit Capital Spotify Technology SAStripe Inc.Thrive Capital Union Square Ventures Uber Visa Vodafone Group Xapo Creative Destruction Lab Kiva Mercy Corps Women’s World Banking (Updates with comment from Facebook’s David Marcus in 10th paragraph. A previous version of this story corrected Creative Destruction’s name.)To contact the reporters on this story: Jenny Surane in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org;Julie Verhage in New York at email@example.com;Kurt Wagner in San Francisco at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at email@example.com, Alistair Barr, Andrew PollackFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- If Facebook Inc.’s new digital currency goes according to plan, it could one day compete with payment giants Visa Inc., Mastercard Inc. and PayPal Holdings Inc. But for now, all three are set to work with the social-media company on the venture.The currency, called Libra, will launch as soon as next year. It’s what’s known as a stablecoin, one that can avoid massive fluctuations in value so it can be used for everyday transactions. Industry experts and insiders say the payments companies want a seat at the table to help shape the new currency.Read Facebook’s Project Libra white paper here“It’s not unusual for the incumbents -- Visa, Mastercard, PayPal -- to partner with a disruptor,” Harshita Rawat, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein, said in an interview. “They would at least want to participate in how this product is being developed.”New payment methods such as Apple Pay and other mobile wallets are often slow to take off, so any competition is likely to be years away. Still, the earlier payments companies come to the project, the more time they have to ensure their businesses don’t suffer.None of these companies has been shy about pursuing collaboration or other strategic opportunities. PayPal alone has spent billions of dollars buying or investing in potential partnerships as well as competitors. While PayPal hasn’t ventured into cryptocurrencies before, it was a proponent of the blockchain technology that will be used to build Libra.Visa and Mastercard are always looking to embed themselves in emerging payment forms. Both have developed partnerships with cryptocurrency and blockchain firms. They’ve said that Libra can help more people gain access to financial products.“We think cryptocurrencies can address use cases that are not really well served today,” such as areas where cash-based payments remain prominent, said Jorn Lambert, executive vice president of digital solutions at Mastercard. “As such we think it will be incremental to what we do and not a replacement of it.”The payment companies are part of the Libra Association, giving them a say in how the cryptocurrency is managed. There’s currently no time commitment, so members can leave at any time. Once the group’s charter is finalized, there will be a minimum time commitment, according to some members of the group who asked not to be identified discussing private matters.“My sense is that they will try their best to partner and engage with Facebook,” Rawat said. “If Facebook takes the angle that they want to disintermediate card payments, then I think they may not want to participate.”Facebook shares rose 1.4% to $191.61 as of 11:12 a.m. in New York after announcing the cryptocurrency venture.(Updates with shares in final paragraph.)To contact the reporters on this story: Julie Verhage in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org;Jenny Surane in New York at email@example.com;Kurt Wagner in San Francisco at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Mark Milian at email@example.com, Dan Reichl, Alistair BarrFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
As a negative art, bond investing has become more and more difficult. This is one reason why there has been such a historic rally in municipal bonds, pension nonsense notwithstanding. The credit cycle will turn eventually.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Facebook Inc. on Tuesday launched its ambitious new cryptocurrency, which targets 2.6 billion users and is backed by up to $1 billion in funds. For the blockchain faithful, there was plenty of the usual stuff you see in these kinds of projects: A white paper, a nonprofit consortium to govern the digital coins, geeky technical details on how transactions will be validated, and the promise of open-source code.But for consumers, who will decide ultimately whether or not Libra is a flop, there was only a slightly underwhelming hint of what it might actually be used for: A picture of someone sending money to someone else via a smartphone.Even setting aside the various risks thrown up by the Libra white paper (financial stability, user privacy, and whether it could cope with hundreds of millions of daily transactions), you have to ask why it might be a compelling product. The service described by Facebook, namely sending money “as you might send a text message,” is already offered by plenty of other companies such as Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Apple Cash, PayPal Holdings Inc.’s Venmo and Circle, a peer-to-peer payments provider that lets you transfer traditional fiat currencies.Indeed, Facebook itself lets you send cash through its Messaging app. The company even had its own virtual currency before, called Credits, for the purchasing of content from within apps. It didn’t take off.Libra’s sales pitch says that “in time, we hope to offer additional services for people and businesses, like paying bills with the push of a button, buying a cup of coffee with the scan of a code or riding your local public transit without needing to carry cash or a metro pass.” It’s true that you can’t do that on every payments app. But Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg faces plenty of competition in the race toward a cashless society, with other corporate and government rivals already well advanced in their plans. Sweden, for example, is on the road to becoming cashless as soon as 2023. The local mobile payments service Swish was used by about 60 percent of Swedes in 2018, according to a Riksbank survey. It has more than 6.7 million users in the country.This isn’t to write off Facebook’s chances completely. Maybe its financial heft and vast number of users could turn something that’s already pretty convenient today (money transfers and payments) into something ultra-convenient. Imagine a pot of Libra tokens that could pay directly for every goods purchase or app subscription without the need for any currency conversion or card payment. This would, though, depend on Facebook’s ability to manage the huge technical challenge of designing a single coin that can be used truly anywhere.To become a genuinely universal medium of exchange, the company would need to get rival tech giants like Amazon.Com Inc. and Netflix Inc. on board. And why would they want to do Zuckerberg any favors? The idea that Libra is really at arm’s length from his social media empire of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp is debatable. Facebook plans to lead the Libra consortium for the rest of 2019, and it will be at least five years before the blockchain technology that supports the tokens is completely decentralized. The ultimate dream of any crypto project worth its salt is that the digital currency doesn’t rely on a single point of control. But even if Facebook manages to get there, does Zuckerberg really want to embrace the dangers of a Wild West cryptocurrency? Bitcoin is a lesson here.And what about Facebook’s targeting of the “unbanked,” or those in the developing world struggling with volatile currencies? Bitcoin and its ilk promised to address the same problems, and have failed completely to help anyone other than speculators and criminals.Zuckerberg’s own patchy record on international payments should give pause too. WhatsApp Pay has struggled to gain regulatory acceptance in India, the world’s top remittance market, because its data storage practices didn’t meet national standards. Libra will have to answer a lot of similar questions about its financial structure and treatment of customer information.Facebook has been on a mission over the past year to recapture the trust of its users. Libra certainly demands a lot of faith.To contact the author of this story: Lionel Laurent at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Boxell at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Lionel Laurent is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Brussels. He previously worked at Reuters and Forbes.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
AirDrop is being used by young people to send memes to strangers, which is fun, but it's also being used to send nude pictures to strangers.
Apple (AAPL) is expected to launch 5G-supported iPhones in 2020, much later than other prominent smartphone manufacturers like Samsung, LG, Huawei and Motorola.
(Bloomberg) -- Facebook Inc. unveiled plans for a new, global financial system with a broad group of partners from Visa Inc. to Uber Technologies Inc. on board to create a cryptocurrency it expects will one day trade much like the U.S. dollar and inject a new source of revenue.Called Libra, the new currency will launch as soon as next year and be what's known as a stablecoin–a digital currency that's supported by established government-backed currencies and securities. The goal is to avoid massive fluctuations in value so Libra can be used for everyday transactions across Facebook in a way that more volatile cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, haven’t been. The project is the culmination of a year-long effort as Facebook seeks to spur growth on its various platforms that already count more than 2 billion users. But it will also likely face skepticism–from regulators who already think Facebook has too much power and plays loose with digital privacy, and from those that are dubious of cryptocurrencies, which are known more for speculative investments and blackmarket commerce than for legitimate financial transactions.Read Facebook's white paper on Project Libra here.If successful, Libra could make Facebook a much bigger player in financial services. Cryptocurrency firms have been trying to build cross-border, digital currencies on the blockchain to disrupt traditional banking and payments for a decade, but nothing has caught on at the scale of traditional money yet.Facebook, which announced the project with 27 partners, is already under wide-ranging regulatory scrutiny over how it handles users’ private data. Growth of its main platform has plateaued in some major markets and crypto payments would be a way to turn messaging – across WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram -- into a business that complements its advertising operation, which generates almost all of its revenue. Facebook shares gained early Tuesday as analysts saw the move as a potentially major new profit stream. “We view Facebook’s introduction of the Libra currency as a potential watershed moment for the company and global adoption of crypto,” wrote Mark Mahaney, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets who has an outperform rating and $250 price target on Facebook shares. “In terms of scale and importance, we believe this new financial infrastructure could be viewed similar to Apple’s introduction of iOS to developers over a decade ago.”Still, the announcement was met immediately with political opposition in Europe, with calls for tighter regulation of the company. French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said Libra shouldn’t be seen as a replacement for traditional currencies and called on the Group of Seven central bank governors to prepare a report on the project for their July meeting.“It is out of question’’ that Libra “become a sovereign currency,’’ Le Maire said in an interview on Europe 1 radio. “It can’t and it must not happen.”Read More: Facebook’s Cryptocurrency Project: Who’s In and Who’s OutFacebook Could Be for Crypto What AOL Was for Internet Adoption Crypto Chiefs Novogratz, Allaire Say Facebook Coin Bullish SignFacebook Rallies as Analysts Praise 'Watershed' Crypto Move France Calls for Central Bank Review of Facebook CryptocurrencyTo come anywhere close to matching the U.S. dollar for utility and acceptance, Libra will need to be widely trusted. So Facebook and its partners are mimicking how other currencies have been introduced in the past.“To help instill trust in a new currency and gain widespread adoption during its infancy, it was guaranteed that a country’s notes could be traded in for real assets, such as gold,” the companies wrote in a white paper. “Instead of backing Libra with gold, though, it will be backed by a collection of low-volatility assets, such as bank deposits and short-term government securities in currencies from stable and reputable central banks."The total number of Libra can change, and new digital coins can be issued whenever someone wants to exchange their Libra for an existing fiat currency, so the price shouldn’t fluctuate any more than other stable currencies, according to David Marcus, head of the Facebook blockchain team that’s spearheading the project.“It would make a scenario where there’s a run on the bank completely impossible, because we are backed one-for-one,” he said. Libra will also be audited, he added, an important step in an industry with limited transparency.Facebook has closely guarded its crypto plans for more than a year, though many of the details have already been reported by Bloomberg News and other outlets.Read about how Marcus tapped PayPal talent to build Facebook’s blockchain team.Marcus, who used to run Facebook Messenger, said Facebook plans to build a new digital wallet that will exist inside Messenger and its other standalone messaging service, WhatsApp. Once Libra is up and running, the currency and the digital wallet should make it easier for people to send money to friends, family and businesses through the apps. Libra will run on the so-called blockchain, a database that can use millions of computers to verify transactions, eliminating risks that come with information being held centrally by a single entity. Facebook created a new subsidiary, called Calibra, to build the new wallet and focus on the company’s blockchain efforts.Facebook's track record in payments and commerce has been spotty. A few years ago, it began letting people buy flowers or hail an Uber through its Messenger service. Those features have not been huge hits. In 2010, it began offering Facebook Credits, a way to buy virtual goods inside Facebook games. But in 2012 it scrapped Credits, and in 2013 it started working with third-party services like PayPal process some payments. Facebook's revenue from "payments and other service" was less than 2% of total sales in 2018. When it finally arrives, Libra will be late to a party that’s been going on so long, many of the party-goers have either left or collapsed. Some past attempts to make coins usable for commerce, such as Bitcoin, haven’t widely caught on yet because price volatility mainly attracted traders and speculators. Predecessor stablecoins, like Tether, have been used by some traders to park funds in during times of high volatility, but have not been broadly adopted for commerce.Read more about Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s early plans for cryptocurrency. U.S. regulations may represent another hurdle for Facebook. Creating a digital currency doesn’t just require buy-in from financial institutions who need to accept it, and consumers who need to trust it, but it requires approval from regulators, too. The Securities and Exchange Commission has shut down about a dozen businesses issuing their own tokens for violations of securities law. Marcus said Facebook has been in contact with regulators and central banks, but added that the company hasn’t received a “no-action” letter from the SEC yet. That would have safeguarded the project from regulatory action by the agency.One way Facebook hopes to appease regulators is through the Libra Association, a governing body tasked with making decisions about Libra. Firms including Visa and PayPal Holdings Inc. are part of the group. Marcus described these members as “co-founders,” and said they will have an equal say in how the cryptocurrency is managed.“Facebook will not have any special privilege or special voting rights at the association level,” said Marcus, the former president of PayPal. “We will have competitors and other players on top of this platform that will build competing wallets and services.”All Libra Association members are putting a minimum of $10 million into a reserve to help support the cryptocurrency’s value. This buy-in comes with voting privileges. However, the association’s governance structure is still in flux, and most of the group’s crucial decisions, including the creation of its charter, have not yet been decided, according to several members of the group. They asked not to be identified discussing private details.“Facebook will not have any special privilege”Libra’s timing could also pose challenges. Facebook is being investigated by the Federal Trade Commission over the company’s privacy practices. Some have called for the company to be broken up, including Senator Elizabeth Warren and Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes. Asking consumers to put more trust in the social media giant, and giving Facebook a strong entry into the world of digital payments and banking, will likely draw further criticism.Opinion: Crypto-evangelists hoped digital currencies would challenge Big Tech’s data control. Zuckerberg has other plans.The company plans to keep financial data gathered from Libra users separate from Facebook user data. That’s why Facebook’s digital wallet will exist under the Calibra subsidiary, which will house user transaction data on separate servers, Marcus said. If a WhatsApp user uses her Calibra wallet to send money to a friend or pay a retailer, those interactions won’t be stored alongside her social-media profile.“There’s a clear distinction between Calibra and what Calibra has access to, and what Facebook Inc. has access to,” Marcus said. “It’s very clear that people don’t want their financial data from an account to be comingled with social data or to be used for other purposes.”(Updates with analyst comment, French finance minister, and shares.)\--With assistance from Jennifer Surane.To contact the authors of this story: Kurt Wagner in San Francisco at firstname.lastname@example.orgOlga Kharif in Portland at email@example.comJulie Verhage in New York at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Alistair Barr at email@example.comFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Apple's Arcade service will allow subscribers to download games that they can play on the iPhone, the iPad, and Apple TV. Google is also gearing up to launch a new gaming service called Stadia, which will allow subscribers to stream games to play instead of downloading them.
Goldman Sachs’ chief US equity strategist, David Kostin, thinks that “rising market concentration” and geopolitical tensions pose a “regulatory risk” to companies, which could harm their fundamentals.
Unless there's a negative update about another escalation in the US-China trade war, the expected rate cut decision could trigger market-wide buying, including in tech stocks, in the near term.