• WhatsApp introduces new limit on message forwards to fight spread of misinformation

    WhatsApp introduces new limit on message forwards to fight spread of misinformation

    WhatsApp is imposing additional restriction on how frequently a message can be shared on its platform in its latest effort to curtail the spread of misinformation. The Facebook -owned instant messaging service said today that any message that has been forwarded five or more times will now face a new limit that will prevent a user from forwarding it to more than one chat (contact) at a time. A spokesperson told TechCrunch that WhatsApp will roll out this change to users worldwide today.

  • Coronavirus sparks biggest drop in hiring since the financial crisis in 2009
    Yahoo Finance UK

    Coronavirus sparks biggest drop in hiring since the financial crisis in 2009

    The coronavirus outbreak has brought a record UK jobs boom to a halt, with job vacancies plummeting and the unemployment rate expected to soar.

  • Bloomberg

    Dorsey Pledges $1 Billion of Square Stake for Virus Relief

    (Bloomberg) -- Jack Dorsey pledged $1 billion of his stake in Square Inc., the payments firm he co-founded, to coronavirus relief efforts, the largest pandemic-related donation yet.“I hope this inspires others to do something similar,” Dorsey said Tuesday in a tweet. “Life is too short, so let’s do everything we can today to help people now.”It will likely take several quarters or even years to complete the transfer, according to a Square spokesperson. The proceeds from the initial sales will fund coronavirus relief efforts. So far, $100,000 has been donated to America’s Food Fund to “help fund meals to people impacted by COVID,” according to a publicly available spreadsheet Dorsey linked to in his tweet.“After we disarm this pandemic, the focus will shift to girl’s health and education, and UBI,” Dorsey said in the tweet, referring to universal basic income, the idea that all citizens should be provided with a certain amount of money each month. The pledge represents about 28% of his wealth, he said.Dorsey has been working from his home in San Francisco’s affluent Sea Cliff neighborhood, following shelter-in-place orders that are keeping many people from their regular activities. Also the co-founder and chief executive officer of Twitter Inc., he has a net worth of about $3.9 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The bulk of his fortune -- about $3 billion -- is made up of Square equity.Shares of San Francisco-based Square, which were little changed during regular trading, dropped about 1% in the extended session.While other billionaires have announced significant donations to combat the pandemic and the anticipated economic turmoil, Dorsey’s pledge is by far the biggest so far. Before his announcement, $2.85 billion had been committed in the U.S. by companies, public charities, family foundations and individuals, according to Candid, a nonprofit research and support organization.Amazon.com Inc.’s Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest person, is donating $100 million to Feeding America. Michael and Susan Dell have committed another $100 million, mostly for global relief efforts. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation pledged a similar amount to develop a vaccine and pay for detection, isolation and treatment initiatives. Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan announced a $25 million commitment last month to help research a possible drug for Covid-19. The couple’s philanthropic organization, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, is working with Bay Area hospitals to offer free Covid-19 tests.Black, Ken Griffin Donate to Coronavirus Fight: Donation TrackerThis is not the first time Dorsey has announced a large stock pledge. In 2015, shortly after Twitter cut roughly 8% of its employees, Dorsey said he was donating almost $200 million in Twitter stock back to the employee grant pool. “I’d rather have a smaller part of something big than a bigger part of something small. I’m confident we can make Twitter big!” he tweeted at the time.On Tuesday, Dorsey wrote that he wants to be more transparent with his philanthropy so he and others can learn from it, adding that he’s donated $40 million in the past, mostly anonymously.Across the world, there have been more than 1.41 million virus cases and over 81,000 deaths. The San Francisco Bay Area, where Dorsey and his companies are based, had some of the earliest U.S. cases and authorities in the region took aggressive action to rein in the virus.Aside from the physical and mental toll the virus will take, the economic impact is also severe. The U.S. jobless rate has jumped to 4.4% -- the highest since 2017 -- from a half-century low of 3.5%, and is expected to surge in coming months.“Why now?,” Dorsey said in his Tuesday tweet. “The needs are increasingly urgent, and I want to see the impact in my lifetime.”(Updates with details throughout)For 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

    Trump Ousts Inspector General Set to Oversee Relief Spending

    (Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump has removed the head of a team of U.S. auditors that will oversee the $2 trillion in federal coronavirus relief spending, his latest move against inspectors general who are supposed to serve as independent watchdogs.Trump ousted Glenn Fine from his position as acting Defense Department inspector general, which also made him ineligible to continue as chairman of the new Pandemic Response Accountability Committee. Michael Horowitz, head of a council of federal inspectors general, chose Fine for the new role of pandemic-spending watchdog last week.“Mr. Fine is no longer on the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee,” Dwrena Allen, a spokeswoman for the Defense Department inspector general’s office, said in a statement Tuesday.Trump has increasingly taken action against inspectors general he considers insufficiently loyal. He tweeted criticism of another inspector general on Tuesday. Last week, he fired Michael Atkinson, the intelligence community inspector general, who informed Congress -- over White House objections -- of the whistle-blower’s complaint that ultimately led to Trump’s impeachment. The president told reporters Atkinson “did a terrible job -- absolutely terrible.”At a White House briefing on Tuesday, Trump said, “I don’t know Fine. I don’t think I ever met Fine.”Representative Adam Schiff, the California Democrat who is chairman of the House Intelligence committee and led the House proceedings in Trump’s impeachment, said in a tweet Tuesday that the job of inspectors general “is to uncover the truth. Exactly why Trump fears them.”‘Truth to Power’Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer of New York said in a statement that “President Trump is abusing the coronavirus pandemic to eliminate honest and independent public servants because they are willing to speak truth to power and because he is so clearly afraid of strong oversight.”On Tuesday, Trump tweeted his denunciation of the inspector general’s office at the Department of Health and Human Services for issuing a report that found “severe shortages of testing supplies and extended waits for test results” at hospitals as well as “widespread shortages of personal protective equipment” and “anticipated shortages of ventilators.”Trump called the report “Another Fake Dossier” and questioned the inspector general’s honesty.“Why didn’t the I.G., who spent 8 years with the Obama Administration (Did she Report on the failed H1N1 Swine Flu debacle where 17,000 people died?), want to talk to the Admirals, Generals, V.P. & others in charge, before doing her report,” Trump said in a tweet. “Another Fake Dossier!”Jim Mattis, Trump’s first defense secretary, praised Fine in an email as a “public servant in the finest tradition of honest, competent governance,” Yahoo News reported.Earlier, Horowitz, who serves as the Justice Department’s inspector general, said oversight would persist despite the president’s actions.“The inspector general community will continue to conduct aggressive, independent oversight,” Horowitz said in an April 4 statement posted online after the dismissal of Atkinson, the intelligence community watchdog. Horowitz specified that includes the accountability panel that Fine was going to lead.The body would work to “ensure that over $2 trillion dollars in emergency federal spending is being used consistently with the law’s mandate,” Horowitz said in the statement.Allen, the spokeswoman for the Pentagon inspector general’s office, said Trump has named Sean O’Donnell, who remains inspector general for the Environmental Protection Agency, to also take over for Fine as acting inspector general at the Pentagon. For the longer term, the president has chosen Jason Abend for the inspector general’s position, a position that would require Senate confirmation.Fine is reverting to his previous position as principal deputy inspector general and remains at the Defense Department, Allen said.Before his work at the Pentagon, Fine had spent 11 years in the inspector general’s role at the Justice Department. His work there included reports on President George W. Bush’s firing of four U.S. Attorneys and on politically driven hirings in the department’s civil rights division. His audits also included one in 2010 alleging FBI misuses of national security letters to obtain telephone records.(Updates with Trump comment, in fifth paragraph)For 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.

  • Facebook (FB) Gains As Market Dips: What You Should Know

    Facebook (FB) Gains As Market Dips: What You Should Know

    Facebook (FB) closed the most recent trading day at $168.83, moving +1.98% from the previous trading session.

  • Amazon (AMZN) Gains As Market Dips: What You Should Know

    Amazon (AMZN) Gains As Market Dips: What You Should Know

    In the latest trading session, Amazon (AMZN) closed at $2,011.60, marking a +0.7% move from the previous day.

  • Netflix rolls out more features for parental control globally

    Netflix rolls out more features for parental control globally

    Netflix also said parents can remove individual series or films on their kids profiles, and review those under "profile and parental controls" within account settings. Netflix led rivals on most number of app downloads in the first quarter of 2020 but more time was spent on YouTube's Kids service, indicating parents are letting the kids soak it in for longer periods, according to a report by Apptopia and Braze last week.

  • Cloud Computing Seen as Tech Haven Amid Pandemic Uncertainty

    Cloud Computing Seen as Tech Haven Amid Pandemic Uncertainty

    (Bloomberg) -- The coronavirus pandemic has pressured nearly every corner of the global economy, but analysts continue to see sunny days ahead for cloud computing and the ecosystem that surrounds the technology.The sub-sector is seen as a rare bright spot in the current environment, particularly as the outbreak pushes more people to work remotely, contributing to a long-term trend of rising demand. The boost is expected to be broad based, helping software companies, communication firms, and chipmakers that focus on data-center products, which are processors used in cloud computing.“The lasting impact of Covid-19 could actually be a net positive,” wrote Richard Baldry, an analyst at Roth Capital Partners. Cloud-based communication companies “should see increased customer activity, at least once operational bandwidth returns to a somewhat more normal level for prospects.” He listed Five9, Medallia, eGain and LivePerson as names that could see stronger demand and which were trading at valuations he views as attractive.So far this year, the Global X Cloud Computing ETF -- an exchange-traded fund that tracks an index of companies involved in the space -- is down 6.4%. A different ETF, the First Trust Cloud Computing ETF, is down 9.2%. Both have outperformed the S&P 500’s drop of more than 15% over the same period.According to Wedbush, the pandemic has thrown “sales cycles, procurement/IT departments, and budgets into a tornado-like state of chaos,” resulting in unprecedented risks to IT spending. Even in this environment, analyst Daniel Ives wrote, “cloud remains a theme”; he expects $1 trillion to be spent on cloud computing over the coming decade.Ives named Microsoft as “the Rock of Gibraltar cloud stock to own,” but said the trend would also support the cloud-computing businesses of both Amazon and Alphabet.Earlier this week, Bank of America referred to cloud-focused chipmakers as a “shining house in [a] tough neighborhood,” referring to the headwinds facing other areas of the industry. Analyst Vivek Arya expects cloud capex to rise 13% in 2020. While this is down from a prior view of 16% growth -- the lower estimate reflects “the most current Covid-19 headwinds” -- it represents a “robust acceleration” from 2019, when capex grew just 3.5%.The firm listed Broadcom, Nvidia, Advanced Micro Devices, Marvell Technology and Intel among the chipmakers most exposed to this trend. Nvidia has been one of the rare semiconductor gainers this year, and analysts have pointed to its data-center business as a tailwind.For 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.

  • ECB Helps Greek Plans for New Debt to Fight Virus Pandemic

    ECB Helps Greek Plans for New Debt to Fight Virus Pandemic

    (Bloomberg) -- The European Central Bank’s decision to accept junk-rated Greek government bonds as collateral paves the way for the country to finance its fight against the coronavirus while bolstering banks’ liquidity.It means the nation is confronting its latest economic crisis -- this time one shared by the entire euro zone -- in a far better position than a decade ago. In May 2010, Greece was deep in a financial meltdown with so little liquidity that it would have been bankrupted without international aid.Now Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has the luxury of a cash buffer of around 36 billion euros ($39 billion), and a way to raise more when needed.The ECB has taken three decisions in the past month that clear the way to issue new bonds and support banks’ liquidity.First it ended the limit imposed since early 2015 on the exposure of Greek lenders to the country’s sovereign debt. Then it decided to include Greek notes in its new pandemic bond-buying program.On Tuesday, it took multiple temporary steps to support credit to the economy. While those measures mostly apply across the bloc, Greece, accounting for less than 2% of euro-zone GDP, is clearly a winner. The country’s 10-year bond held onto gains after the announcement.The measures significantly broaden Greek banks’ funding sources and so helps them support businesses and households, Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said after Tuesday’s decision. It should also boost the tradeability and valuation of Greek debt, he said.At the end of the last bailout in August 2018, the nation’s creditors granted loans to create a cash buffer of 15.7 billion euros for use in any emergency. It also has an extra cushion of around 20 billion euros in state cash reserves, which can be used at any time without prior approval from creditors.The government has already allocated some 12 billion euros to fund measures to contain the economic effects of coronavirus outbreak through the end of June, according to people familiar with the issue, who requested anonymity as details haven’t yet been made public.Greece, with a population of close to 11 million people, has almost 2,000 coronavirus cases and has reported 81 deaths so far.To maintain current measures, the government needs around 5 billion to 6 billion euros a month, one of the people said, meaning the 36 billion euros can last until at least the end of September. The government’s baseline scenario is that it won’t use the cash buffer of 15.7 billion euros.Staikouras said on Tuesday in a TV interview it is possible the administration could also issue new bonds in the coming two months if needed.For 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.

  • Facebook launches new chat app for couples

    Facebook launches new chat app for couples

    The Information, which first reported the news, said the product was made by a small team inside Facebook called New Product Experimentation (NPE) team, which is tasked with building new social media products from scratch. NPE describes the app as "a private space where you and your significant other can just be yourselves". Tuned is currently ranked No. 872 in the United States and No. 550 in Canada in the social networking category, Sensor Tower said.

  • GBP/USD Price Forecast – British Pound Reverses
    FX Empire

    GBP/USD Price Forecast – British Pound Reverses

    The British pound initially fell during the trading session on Tuesday but turned around to show signs of strength during the day. That being said, there is still a significant amount of resistance above.

  • EU antitrust regulators raise more questions about Facebook's online marketplace

    EU antitrust regulators raise more questions about Facebook's online marketplace

    EU antitrust regulators want to know if Facebook's online marketplace benefits unfairly from its treasure trove of data, according to a questionnaire seen by Reuters, a sign that they are building up a case against the U.S. social media giant. The EU document sent to industry players and other parties is a follow-up to a questionnaire that the European Commission sent to the same parties last August focusing on Facebook's Marketplace. Launched in 2016, Facebook Marketplace is used by 800 million Facebook users in 70 countries to buy and sell items.

  • Facebook (FB) Shares Location Data With Coronavirus Researchers

    Facebook (FB) Shares Location Data With Coronavirus Researchers

    Facebook (FB) boosts user location data collection initiatives to help researchers understand and derive measures to combat coronavirus outbreak.

  • Will Amazon (AMZN) Postpone Prime Day Due to Coronavirus?

    Will Amazon (AMZN) Postpone Prime Day Due to Coronavirus?

    Amazon (AMZN) is reportedly delaying its mid-year shopping holiday, Amazon Prime Day 2020, until at least August.

  • Amazon (AMZN) Delivery Network to Aid Canada Fight Coronavirus

    Amazon (AMZN) Delivery Network to Aid Canada Fight Coronavirus

    Amazon (AMZN) has entered into an agreement with the Canadian government to deliver the essential medical equipments to combat coronavirus spread.

  • Online meal delivery firms knocked off course by coronavirus crisis

    Online meal delivery firms knocked off course by coronavirus crisis

    The lockdown of millions of people at home across the globe due to the coronavirus should have been the perfect recipe for success for the burgeoning online meal delivery market. While many restaurants have switched to offering takeaway, giving the online services a bump in members signing up, some of the world's biggest food chains using the apps, such as McDonald's and Wagamama, have closed in the United Kingdom for the time being. Data from SimilarWeb, which tracks downloads and use of smartphone apps and websites across key European markets, highlights the scale of the slowdown across Europe as the pandemic spread and governments ordered people to stay at home.

  • Bloomberg

    India’s Massive Lockdown Sees Trucking Skid to a Halt

    (Bloomberg) -- The world’s biggest lockdown has brought transportation of goods in India close to a halt, even though the federal government has exempted the sector from restrictions to halt the spread of coronavirus.Daily movement of trucks has collapsed to less than 10% of normal levels, according to All India Motor Transport Congress, an umbrella body of goods-vehicle operators representing about 10 million truckers. Road transport accounts for about 60% of freight traffic in India and 87% of its passenger traffic, according to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.Trucking has emerged as a major chokepoint in global supply chains from food to medical supplies as governments around the world take ever more stringent steps to contain the pandemic, restricting the movement of vehicles as well as people to drive them. The stoppages in India, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi imposed a three-week lockdown on the nation’s 1.3 billion people from March 25, are a harbinger of the damage the measures are wreaking on the economy amid forecasts the country could see its first contraction in at least two decades.“Though the government has allowed movement of both essential and non-essential goods, the situation is very different at the ground level,” said Naveen Kumar Gupta, secretary general of AIMTC, the largest grouping of transporters in India. Almost daily clarifications by the government take time to trickle down to officials enforcing the rules, making operations difficult, according to the organization’s president, Kultaran Singh Atwal.The decline in road transport is another major setback for fuel demand in the world’s third biggest oil market, which has already been hit by the collapse in air travel. Fuel sales in March by India’s three biggest state-run retailers shrank by  as much as 33%.One of the major problems facing truckers is loading and unloading because of a shortage of labor, according to AIMTC. And with the lockdown shutting highway food establishments and workshops, truckers can’t get the services they need even if they are on the road.How will the coronavirus pandemic shift power around the world? Join us on Tuesday at 10 am ET for a live virtual conversation exploring how a post-virus world might look. Register here for Bloomberg New EconomyCharting the Trade TurmoilThe world could be on the brink a food scare as the coronavirus upends supply chains and sends prices for key staples higher. Prices of rice and wheat — crops that account for a third of the world’s calories — are rapidly climbing.Today’s Must ReadsAbout face | President Donald Trump eased restrictions on exports of masks and other protective equipment needed to fight the Covid-19 pandemic after a backlash from allies around the world. Stranded sailors | Port restrictions and canceled flights are straining the ability to replace seafarers on board ships, further weakening global supply chains already snarled by the coronavirus pandemic. Supply concession | India partially lifted a ban on the exports of a malaria drug after Trump sought supplies for the U.S., according to government officials with knowledge of the matter. Plane challenge | The most dramatic contraction in civil aviation history poses a challenge for Airbus in how to balance its response. Pose a strike | The global health crisis is shining a spotlight on how Amazon and many of the world’s biggest companies treat essential workers. Swiss nonplussed | Switzerland, whose penchant for preparing for emergencies has won it praise, is facing a possible shortage of alcohol used to make hand sanitizer.Bloomberg AnalysisFunctions for the market | Food supply-chain risks persist even as panic buying ebbs. Rent effects | The coronavirus will reduce apartment REIT revenue and funds from operations in 2020, potentially by more than the 4% drop at the depths of the 2008-09 crisis. Swift response | On Feb. 27, ECB President Christine Lagarde said there was no obvious need for a monetary response to the pandemic. Four weeks later, she unleashed massive stimulus. Use the AHOY function to track global commodities trade flows. See BNEF for BloombergNEF’s analysis of clean energy, advanced transport, digital industry, innovative materials, and commodities. Click VRUS on the terminal for news and data on the coronavirus and here for maps and charts.For 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

    Why Bankers Don't Want to Lend to Your Local Hair Salon

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- It’s hard to overstate the importance of small and medium-sized enterprises, or SMEs, to Europe’s economy. They make up 99% of all non-financial businesses in the European Union (by number) and account for about two-thirds of private-sector jobs. Their survival through the coronavirus lockdowns is essential. So is their swift return to health once people can get back to daily business.Hence the speedy government measures to alleviate the SME cash crunch. Within days of cutting back economic activity, policymakers rolled out plans to disburse hundreds of billions of dollars to keep companies alive, packages that would typically take months to hammer out. But designing state-funded schemes that get the money where it’s needed quickly is a huge challenge. The evidence so far suggests that, while banks can help facilitate this process, there’s a limit to how much of the financial burden they’re prepared to take on. And their reticence is understandable. The long-term consequences of policy errors could be severe. Propping up companies that face a long-term solvency threat beyond the coronavirus outbreak will merely delay the inevitable; and loading up firms with yet more debt could hold back their recovery.Getting financing to SMEs is hard at the best of times. Banks are typically reluctant to lend without borrowers’ pledges of collateral, and the costs involved are high, especially for young companies. In Europe, lenders have been given incentives to lend to SMEs by being told they can set aside less of their capital to cover their overall loans. But many banks are only just recovering from the last “bad-loan” crisis, and they still see huge risks in the SME world. Even when government guarantees are in place, they would still like collateral on their loans from the company concerned.While Europe’s governments looked first to the banks to help mitigate the economic carnage cause by coronavirus lockdowns, the limits of what the industry was prepared to take on has become apparent.Take the U.K. Of the 130,000 applications submitted by SMEs as of last week, only about 1,000 have been approved, totaling a paltry 90.5 million pounds ($112 million). Under the terms of the country’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, lenders have been told they cannot demand personal guarantees for loans below a certain threshold, a requirement that had rightly incensed borrowers.British banks will be on the hook for 20% of the coronavirus scheme’s loans, with the government guaranteeing the rest, and any losses will probably be shared proportionally from the outset. Other countries have taken the view that this is too much to ask of their lenders.From the EU to the U.S., other national policymakers have concluded that their banks can offer little more than their processing services to get money to companies fast. Expecting them to take on the credit risk for 10% or 20% of the loans is seen as unrealistic when borrowers might run out of cash within weeks.Following guidance from the EU that member states could back 100% of these loans for up to 800,000 euros ($870,000), Germany this week presented a new “limitless” loan program for companies with between 11 and 250 employees. Italy will start offering similar.Switzerland’s SME program has been a model, including a first tranche of loans that are backed fully by the government for up to 500,000 Swiss francs ($514,000). Companies have been receiving funds within hours. A second tranche can follow with an 85% state guarantee.However, it’s not just banks who need to be careful about the danger of non-performing loans. Governments do too when they’re loading up on debt, especially Europe’s weaker economies. While keeping companies alive is essential, policymakers need to keep weighing up the longer term implications. Rather than letting banks off the hook completely, an alternative would be providing longer-dated debt where lenders share the risk.After all, not all businesses will survive and the banks can help be a little more cool-headed about assessing to whom that might apply — notwithstanding the inevitable howls of political anger that may be forthcoming. For example, the retail sector was already struggling with the dominance of Amazon in pre-Covid-19 days, and casual dining chains also faced severe challenges. Lenders should play a role in working through businesses’ probable chances of success.There’s also a risk in the current approach of handing out loans to companies based on a percentage of their sales. That may work for some industries, but it might leave companies that principally trade goods — whose revenues are often much higher than their profits — with too high a debt burden. One size does not fit all.Governments are doing the right thing by rushing to meet the funding needs of business through the shutdown. Which companies exit the crisis, and how, will need equal attention.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Elisa Martinuzzi is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering finance. She is a former managing editor for European finance at Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Amazon Actionable
    Investor's Business Daily Video

    Amazon Actionable

    Amazon edged higher (for now!!), holding above 50-day line and recent highs. Aggressive entry. Has traditional 2186.05 buy point.

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