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Is it possible that market breadth is so good that it's bad? Absolutely! It's called being overbought from an internal standpoint -- and sometimes leads to a quick and dirty reset to the downside. But we also can rephrase this. "Is it possible that market breadth is so bad, that it's good?" Certainly! It's called a washout -- and usually is associated with an intermediate- to longer-term bottom. In a bull market, we'll take strong market-breadth statistics over not so strong any day. What's giving us pause is that the largest sector, Technology, is again leading in early 2020 and is about as extended internally as it can get.
The long-running contest between Microsoft and its Teams service and Slack's eponymous application continued this morning, with Redmond announcing what it describes as its first "global" advertising push for its enterprise communication service. Enterprise productivity software, of course, is a large percentage of Microsoft's bread and butter. Slack owns that record, having welcomed Microsoft to its niche in a print ad that isn't aging particularly well.
Shares of Google parent Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL) have jumped 9% in 2020 to help it ascend into the $1 trillion market cap club. Is it time to buy?
(Bloomberg) -- Major technology and internet companies have long fueled the U.S. stock market’s climb to record levels, but that trend has come with one notable exception: Amazon.com Inc., which has languished in a fairly narrow trading range for months.Amazon shares haven’t notched an all-time high since September 2018, in contrast to mega-cap peers like Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet and Facebook, which have been hitting records on a near-daily basis. Many of these names experienced pronounced draw-downs over the past year and a half, mostly due to disappointing earnings reports or outlooks. But they regained their momentum last year, as their growth assuaged investor caution. Amazon, however, remains about 8.5% below its own peak.Because of its long-term prospects, Amazon is about as close as a stock can be to a consensus choice among Wall Street firms. Over the near term, though, it is “the most hotly debated among investors” as “debates persist on both AWS and next day shipping efforts,” according to UBS analyst Eric Sheridan, referring to its Amazon Web Services cloud-computing business.Since the start of 2019, Amazon shares are up about 24%, below the 32% rise of the S&P 500, as well as the much larger gains seen in other bellwethers. Microsoft and Facebook are both up more than 60% since the start of last year, while Apple has doubled. The rally resulted in trillion-dollar valuations for Apple, Microsoft and Google-parent Alphabet, a milestone that Amazon briefly eclipsed in 2018.The underperformance reflects concerns over Amazon’s earnings trends, even as it has continued to grow revenue at a double-digit clip. Major investments into initiatives like one-day shipping are seen as headwinds, and shares “may be range bound ‘tactically’” given the impact of this spending, Morgan Stanley wrote on Thursday. The firm added that “near-term profitability is likely to still disappoint” because of these investments, even as it sees the effect as temporary and one-day shipping deepening Amazon’s competitive moat within e-commerce.Another key issue is the waning dominance of Amazon Web Services, which has long been a major driver for earnings and margins, but has faced growing competition from rivals like Alphabet and especially Microsoft. According to Bloomberg Intelligence, which cited IDC data, Amazon Web Services was 12 times larger than Microsoft’s cloud business in 2014. By 2018, the most recent year for which data is available, it was just four times larger.James Bach, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, wrote that Amazon was particularly facing “stiffer competition” with government contracts. “Microsoft’s extensive sales experience, installed base within U.S. agencies and broad range of edge-computing products all make a compelling offering,” he wrote. Microsoft is “uniquely positioned to claim market share as federal agencies upgrade and secure IT systems.”In October, Microsoft beat out Amazon for a $10 billion Pentagon cloud contract, a deal Amazon had been seen as the favorite to win. The company subsequently claimed it lost the contract because of political interference by President Donald Trump, and filed a lawsuit challenging its validity.Amazon earlier this week named a new sales chief for AWS. Deutsche Bank wrote that the “magnitude of personnel changes” at AWS, along with rising competition, underscored the “increased risk of further deceleration” at the business.Separately, Morgan Stanley this week wrote that a quarterly survey of chief investment officers suggested some cause for caution about AWS growth. “Quarterly survey results can be volatile, but AWS saw a notable [quarter-over-quarter] drop in net expected budget share gains” over the next three years, analyst Brian Nowak wrote. “It will be important to continue to monitor these metrics going forward as we think about AWS forward growth.”Amazon is expected to report fourth-quarter results later this month. According to data compiled by Bloomberg, Wall Street is looking for revenue growth of nearly 19% and expecting net income to fall by nearly a third. AWS revenue is seen growing more than 30% on a year-over-year basis, according to a Bloomberg MODL estimate.Wall Street remains almost unanimously positive on the stock. According to data compiled by Bloomberg, 53 firms recommend buying the stock, compared with the four with a hold rating. None advocate selling the shares.To contact the reporter on this story: Ryan Vlastelica in New York at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Catherine Larkin at firstname.lastname@example.org, Steven Fromm, Janet FreundFor 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.
Tractor Supply (TSCO) is set to launch Triple Crown premium horse feed products. The move is likely to aid the top line and revive the stock's performance.
* Poland's CD Projekt shares slump 12% Welcome to the home for real-time coverage of European equity markets brought to you by Reuters stocks reporters and anchored today by Julien Ponthus. While the spotlight is on the STOXX 600 new record of 424.54 points, let's not forget to cast a wary eye towards Paris and Frankfurt where big milestones seem ripe for the picking. At 6,109 points, its session high so far, the CAC 40 was 0.95% from its ante financial crisis high hit on June 1, 2007.
Welcome to the home for real-time coverage of European equity markets brought to you by Reuters stocks reporters and anchored today by Julien Ponthus. With Alphabet hitting the trillion-dollar mark, its worth noting that Wall Street's top five listed companies -- Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet, Amazon and Facebook -- are actually worth more than Europe's top 50 stocks. The 'fantastic five', as they are called by Vincent Deluard at INTL FCStone, have a combined market cap of about 5.3 trillion dollars, so roughly 4.7 trillion euros.
We found three cloud computing stocks with the help of our Zacks Stock Screener that investors might want to consider buying for 2020...
(Bloomberg) -- Alphabet Inc. hit a milestone on Thursday, as a rally in the stock took it above a $1 trillion valuation for the first time, solidifying the dominance of technology and internet stocks as the biggest titans of Wall Street.Shares rallied in the last half hour of trading to close at $1,450.16, up 0.8% on the day.With the gain, Alphabet became the newest member of an elite club to trade with the historic 13-digit market capitalization. Only two other U.S. names are past the threshold: Apple Inc., valued at about $1.38 trillion, and Microsoft Corp., at $1.27 trillion. Globally, the list is topped by Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia’s national oil company, which went public last month and currently has a market cap of about $1.8 trillion.Amazon.com Inc. flirted with the level last year, but the e-commerce company would have to rise more than 7% for its current valuation of $931.1 billion to return above $1 trillion.These four companies are by far the largest on Wall Street, and their huge size gives them an outsized impact on overall market direction. Together, they represent more than 15% of the weight of the S&P 500.The rest of the market is, at best, hundreds of billions of dollars away from trillion-dollar valuations. The fifth-largest U.S. stock by market cap, Facebook Inc., currently has a valuation of $632.9 billion. The biggest company outside the tech or internet sector is Berkshire Hathaway Inc. in sixth place, valued around $559 billion.Alphabet’s move above the level is just the latest step higher for the Google parent company. Shares are up about 40% from a June low, with the rally largely fueled by optimism over its 2020 prospects, particularly with respect to ad revenue. Alphabet will report fourth-quarter results on Feb. 3.Among recent commentary, Evercore ISI raised its price target on the stock to $1,600 from $1,350, writing that it expects the company will continue “to compound on its defensible dominance in Search and video advertising with YouTube.” Earlier this week, Deutsche Bank raised its own target to a Street-high view of $1,735, writing that the stock “trades too cheaply.” The firm cited more ad product launches, an expanded stock buyback program, and “improving competitiveness in the Cloud business.”To contact the reporter on this story: Ryan Vlastelica in New York at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Catherine Larkin at firstname.lastname@example.org, Steven Fromm, Jeran WittensteinFor 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.
Microsoft said it would be carbon negative by 2030, and that by 2050 it hopes to have sequestrated enough carbon to account for all the direct emissions the company has ever made. The Windows operating system maker said it would fund the program with an internal carbon fee, and that its new climate innovation fund would invest $1 billion over the next four years into new technologies to reduce its carbon footprint. Microsoft expects to generate 16 million metric tons of CO2 in 2020, including indirect emissions from activities like corporate travel.
The S&P 500 hit the 3,300 mark for the first time on Thursday and the other main U.S. indexes also broke record highs, fueled by solid retail sales data and upbeat Morgan Stanley earnings. Morgan Stanley jumped 7.5% to lead the S&P 500 after it beat quarterly profit estimates and raised its performance goals, closing out several big U.S. lenders' earnings on a strong note.
(Bloomberg) -- When Salesforce.com Inc. emerged two decades ago, it lashed out at the software establishment: large companies that allegedly locked clients into dated products. Now, a coalition of newer rivals have extended that criticism to the cloud applications pioneer. Ten software upstarts kicked off a public campaign Thursday that knocks customer relationship management, or CRM, titans, including Salesforce, Oracle Corp. and SAP SE, by saying the large companies keep clients trapped in subpar software suites, potentially shutting out smaller rivals with newer technology.The “Platform of Independents” leading the effort include Segment Inc., Amplitude Inc., Outreach Inc., Pendo.io Inc. and Drift.com Inc. Some of the companies are privately held unicorns, with valuations exceeding $1 billion. Each caters to a different software niche. The campaign began with a two-page ad in Thursday’s print edition of the Wall Street Journal and includes a web page and information sessions for prospective clients. More than 190 companies co-signed the main tenet of the campaign, that CRM software “isn’t enough” to provide good customer experiences to consumers.“We, as independent software companies, have built our products with the belief that a business should never be locked into a suite, never forced to have a one-size-fits-all technology approach, and its data should never be siloed,” the companies said in a statement. “It’s time to break free of the data monopoly.”The smaller companies argue the large software makers focus more on selling bundled packages of products than serving their clients’ needs with continuous innovation. Large technology companies have come under increasing antitrust scrutiny for their business practices, including how they wield power to maintain advantages over smaller firms. Beyond panning the quality of the bigger players’ technology, the chief executive officers of the startups said their larger rivals use acquisitions to bolster their market power.“If any of these guys becomes too big, that’s a threat to all of us in this ecosystem,” said Spenser Skates, CEO of Amplitude, which helps clients understand user behavior to improve product experiences. “Salesforce bought MuleSoft, Cisco bought AppDynamics. This is continuing to happen. It’s definitely a concern.”Representatives for Salesforce, Oracle, SAP, and Microsoft didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Salesforce has been well served by its strategy in the CRM market. The company’s shares climbed about 19% last year. Oracle’s stock rose about 17%. Salesforce led the market for customer-management applications with 16.8% as of 2018, the last full year for which data is available, according to research firm IDC. Oracle was next with 5.7% while SAP came in third with 5.6%. Adobe Inc. and Microsoft Corp. rounded out the top five.Salesforce, founded in 1999, is the youngest company in the group. The others have been around for about four decades.“I think there’s something significantly broken that there’s been no big CRM company built in the last 10, 15, or 20 years,” Peter Reinhardt, the CEO of Segment, which helps companies compile their data about consumers, said in an interview.Reinhardt, who spearheaded this campaign, said he isn’t interested in being acquired. Rather, he wants to work more closely with his Platform of Independents peers to jointly sell packages of software solutions to clients, as a way to counter the selling advantages and software product bundles of larger companies. And Reinhardt is optimistic that a shakeup is possible in enterprise technology.“I think we have a temporarily dominant set of companies,” he said. “But I think there’s a huge opportunity for another rewrite of the CRM world.”(Updates with 2019 share performance in the eighth paragraph.)To contact the author of this story: Nico Grant in San Francisco at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Pollack at firstname.lastname@example.org, Mark MilianFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Microsoft Corp. unveiled plans to invest $1 billion to back companies and organizations working on technologies to remove or reduce carbon from the earth’s atmosphere, saying efforts to merely emit less carbon aren’t enough to prevent catastrophic climate change.The company’s Climate Innovation Fund will provide money over the next four years for equity investments, debt financing and other support for the development of carbon-removal technology. The fund won’t be used for Microsoft's philanthropic efforts on climate, although those will continue separately. The software maker is also pledging to be “carbon negative”, meaning it will remove more carbon than it emits, by 2030. “This is the decade for urgent action for Microsoft and all of us,” Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella said at an event Thursday at the company’s Redmond, Washington, campus.Engineers have devised ways to capture carbon dioxide, either pulling it from the exhaust of smokestacks or sucking it directly from open air. The gas can be stored underground or put to use — for example, it can be incorporated into products such as cement. Because most governments don’t impose a penalty or tax for carbon emissions, there’s currently no monetary incentive for companies to buy the technologies, and developers have struggled to turn them into viable businesses. Most remain stuck at the demonstration stage, building showcase projects that illustrate what could be done, if someone were willing to pay for it.“A billion dollars is a lot and a little at the same time when you think about the investment level that's probably going to be needed,” Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith said Monday in a meeting with editors in New York previewing the event. It’s not clear what efforts or companies Microsoft will back — it will now start to consider options for deploying the fund. But there are various ideas and efforts already under development. Switzerland's Climeworks, for example, employs a reusable membrane to capture CO2 pulled through machinery by fans. It then sells the concentrated gas, marketing it to beverage companies and plastic makers. Carbon Engineering, based in Canada, uses a chemical reaction to remove carbon dioxide directly from the air, with the gas either stored underground or used to make fuel.Carbon capture, the vacuum cleaner the climate needs: QuickTakeAs it cuts its emissions, Microsoft plans to tackle the amount of carbon it generates and the emissions released into the environment by suppliers and customers. The company said it will use 100% renewable energy for all its buildings and data centers by 2025, and electrify all campus vehicles by 2030. That’s part of Microsoft’s plan to be carbon negative in 10 years, meaning it will remove more carbon from the atmosphere than it emits. Two decades after that, the software maker said it will have removed from the environment all the carbon it has emitted either directly or by electrical consumption since its founding in 1975.Some companies and local governments have been stepping up action on the environment, following the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris climate accord and amid rising concern about the pace of climate change. Companies like Microsoft and Amazon.com Inc. are also under pressure from employees to do more, with Amazon facing vocal protests from a group called Amazon Employees for Climate Justice. In September, Amazon announced what it called the Climate Pledge, a commitment to meet the goals of the Paris agreement 10 years early, and invited other companies to sign on. Microsoft last year joined the Climate Leadership Council to advocate for a carbon tax. And on Jan. 14, BlackRock Inc. Chief Executive Officer Larry Fink said climate change is “almost invariably the top issue that clients around the world raise with BlackRock.” Microsoft co-founder and board member Bill Gates is increasingly focusing on climate issues and plans a book on the topic later this year.Microsoft and Amazon, along with other technology companies, have also been criticized for supplying software and cloud services to large oil and gas companies like Chevron Corp. and BP Plc. BlackRock’s Fink has been trailed to work and public engagements by protesters decrying the investment firm for inaction on global warming and other issues. Greenpeace praised Microsoft for its pledge Thursday, but said the software maker needs to do more.“While there is a lot to celebrate in Microsoft’s announcement, a gaping hole remains unaddressed: Microsoft’s expanding efforts to help fossil fuel companies drill more oil and gas with machine-learning and other AI technologies,” Greenpeace’s Elizabeth Jardim said in an emailed statement. “To truly become carbon negative, Microsoft must end its AI contracts with Big Oil.”Part of Microsoft’s announcement Thursday addresses the actions of customers, and the company will begin a plan to have clients and suppliers use Microsoft technology to reduce their own carbon footprints. Starting next year, Microsoft will make carbon reduction part of its procurement deals. The company is announcing an Azure Sustainability Calculator that lets cloud customers look at their own carbon output and shows the benefits of moving to the cloud from in-house server farms—a shift that could benefit Microsoft’s Azure business."Microsoft is at the helm of what could be a new movement towards negative emissions; it’s a big step beyond what most companies have committed to. But to really shift the needle on climate change, we need 1,000 other Microsofts to follow-suit and turn rhetoric into action," the Environmental Defense Fund said in a statement.The company said it intends to take action on several types of emissions, including direct and electrical and heat use, but also the indirect carbon emissions that come from things like manufacturing, materials in its buildings and the electricity consumers use when deploying Microsoft products. At Microsoft, that indirect category is about three times the others combined. While the company said it has been “carbon neutral” since 2012, “our recent work has led us to conclude that this is an area where we’re far better served by humility than pride. And we believe this is true not only for ourselves, but for every business and organization on the planet,” Smith wrote in a blog post announcing the plans. Microsoft accomplished carbon neutrality, like most companies, by reducing and avoiding emissions, Smith said, but that’s no longer enough.“We will not solve this problem by doing nothing,” Smith said. (Updates with comments from Greenpeace in 10th paragraph.)\--With assistance from David R Baker and Max Chafkin.To contact the author of this story: Dina Bass in Seattle at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at firstname.lastname@example.org, Andrew PollackFor 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.
The focus on clearing carbon from the atmosphere sets Microsoft's climate goals apart from other corporate pledges which have focused on cutting ongoing emissions or preventing future ones. "If the last decade has taught us anything, it's that technology built without these principles can do more harm than good," Chief Executive Satya Nadella said at a media event at Microsoft's headquarters in Redmond, Washington. The plan includes the creation of a "Climate Innovation Fund," which will invest $1 billion over the next four years to speed up the development of carbon removal technology.
With most blue-chip companies' earnings scheduled over the coming weeks and sentiments being mixed, investors should closely monitor the movement of the Dow ETF.