• This Week On IBD Live (Feb. 21)
    Investor's Business Daily Video

    This Week On IBD Live (Feb. 21)

    This week, stocks sold off after Apple, Walmart and multiple other U.S. companies warned that revenue will be lower than expected for Q1 2020 due to the China coronavirus outbreak. Actionable stocks making moves on IBD Live included Nvidia, Netflix, Domino's Pizza, Microsoft and more.

  • Mnuchin Says Congress Key Hurdle to Europe’s Digital Tax Demands
    Bloomberg

    Mnuchin Says Congress Key Hurdle to Europe’s Digital Tax Demands

    (Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world threatened by trade wars. Sign up here. European finance chiefs arrived at a meeting of their global peers in Riyadh demanding the urgent creation of a new global tax system for the 21st century that would capture the profits of tech multinationals. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin responded: it’s not that simple.New rules for taxing companies like Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Facebook Inc. have stirred intense debate at this weekend’s Group of 20 meeting of finance chiefs. Finding a solution this year is key to maintaining a tariff truce the U.S. and Europe struck after France agreed to delay the collection of a national levy.While finance ministers from France and Germany were among those expressing confidence on Saturday that a compromise could be found in time, Mnuchin warned that he is somewhat hamstrung. “Let me emphasize: in the U.S., depending upon what the solutions are, these may require congressional approval,” he said during a discussion, sitting alongside France’s Bruno Le Maire.The pair have held tense discussions since France introduced a 3% levy last year on the digital revenue of companies that make their sales primarily online. The move was supposed to give impetus to international talks to redefine tax rules, and the government has pledged to abolish its national tax if there is agreement on such rules.The U.S. has argued the French measure discriminates against American companies, and threatened tariffs as high as 100% on $2.4 billion of French goods. Donald Trump’s government agreed to hold fire on import duties and France pushed back collecting the digital tax until the end of 2020.“One of the things we’re balancing is sticking with the fundamental issue of taxing based upon where companies are -- the more we change that to broaden this, the more we run into other issues,” Mnuchin said. He indicated Congress as a hurdle before any major changes on taxes can be agreed upon, but added “there’s a tremendous desire to get this done.”Spain, Italy and Austria also want to impose a digital service tax. Turkey, a G-20 member, introduced a 7.5% levy in December, targeting companies from Google and Facebook to Netflix Inc.“It is our collective responsibility to reach a global agreement on this issue by the end of this year,” the finance ministers of the euro area’s four largest economy said in an editorial published in European newspapers. “We now have a unique opportunity to recast the global tax system to make it fairer and more effective.”Sticking PointThe key sticking point is a U.S. proposal to make the new digital tax rules a safe-harbor regime. Doing that, the U.S. has said, would address concerns of taxpayers about mandatory departure from longstanding rules. France and others have contested that could render the rules effectively optional, which would make agreement impossible.In Riyadh, Mnuchin countered this interpretation.“What a safe harbor is -- and there’s lots of safe harbors that exist -- you pay the safe harbor as opposed to paying something else, and you get tax certainty,” he said. “People may pay a little bit more in a safe harbor knowing they have tax certainty.”Le Maire said he welcomed Mnuchin’s clarification.“We are in the process of technically assessing what it really means and what might be the consequences of such a solution,” he said. “It is fair and useful to give all the attention to this U.S. proposal.”To get agreement, Le Maire also said France would be open to a “phased” or “step-by-step” approach.German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said there’s more than a 50% chance that a deal is struck before the end of the year.“Everyone has understood that it would be bad to push the debate into the next year or the year after that,” he told reporters. “We need something that helps protect us against the race to the bottom on taxes.”The framework -- developed under the leadership of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development -- will also include a deal on a global minimum tax, which the group is close to agreeing on, according to Mnuchin.Most countries want any OECD deal to be accepted as a package: the digital service tax along with a global minimum tax. The OECD has said both reforms together could boost government tax revenues by around $100 billion.To contact the reporters on this story: Saleha Mohsin in Washington at smohsin2@bloomberg.net;William Horobin in Paris at whorobin@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Alex Wayne at awayne3@bloomberg.net, Jana Randow, Paul AbelskyFor 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.

  • Don't Buy Dominion Energy, Inc. (NYSE:D) For Its Next Dividend Without Doing These Checks
    Simply Wall St.

    Don't Buy Dominion Energy, Inc. (NYSE:D) For Its Next Dividend Without Doing These Checks

    Dominion Energy, Inc. (NYSE:D) stock is about to trade ex-dividend in 4 days time. You will need to purchase shares...

  • Google Settles With States Over Consultants in Antitrust Probe
    Bloomberg

    Google Settles With States Over Consultants in Antitrust Probe

    (Bloomberg) -- Alphabet Inc.’s Google has reached a settlement with state attorneys general over the states’ use of consultants in their antitrust investigation of the internet search giant.Google in October went to court to restrict the Texas Attorney General’s office from disclosing sensitive information to consultants who have worked for competitors and other companies such as News Corp. and Microsoft Corp that have complained about Google to regulators.Both sides reached a settlement that places some restrictions on how the experts can access confidential business information, Google said on Friday.Google had raised concerns over Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s hiring of consultants including Cristina Caffarra, an economist with Charles River Associates. She has worked for Google adversaries News Corp. and Microsoft as well as Russia’s Yandex NV, according to court filings.“We remain concerned with the irregular way this investigation is proceeding, including unusual arrangements with advisers who work for our rivals and vocal critics,” Google said in a statement.Paxton later released a statement saying, “With this agreement, experts retained by the state will not be burdened with the unreasonable prohibitions sought by Google. They will be able to lend their important expertise to the state without fear of being frozen out of other employment within their field.”(Updates with Paxton statement, in final paragraph.)To contact the reporters on this story: David McLaughlin in Washington at dmclaughlin9@bloomberg.net;Ben Brody in Washington, D.C. at btenerellabr@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sara Forden at sforden@bloomberg.net, John HarneyFor 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.

  • Amazon Seeks Internal Pentagon Documents in JEDI Cloud Case
    Bloomberg

    Amazon Seeks Internal Pentagon Documents in JEDI Cloud Case

    (Bloomberg) -- Amazon.com Inc. has asked a court to force the government to hand over documents related to Defense Secretary Mark Esper’s decision to recuse himself from making decisions on a $10 billion cloud-services contract.In a court filing made public on Friday, Amazon seeks a trove of documents to bolster its challenge of the Pentagon’s Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, or JEDI, cloud contract that was awarded to Microsoft Corp. in October.Amazon Web Services, Amazon’s cloud unit, is also asking the U.S Court of Federal Claims to require the government to turn over materials that shed light on the role that Stacy Cummings, a deputy assistant secretary of defense, played in the procurement.Cummings communicated with the team evaluating JEDI bids and worked on preparations for JEDI-related meetings involving Esper, the lawsuit said. She recused herself from working on the procurement in September 2019, according to the lawsuit.In a previous filing, government lawyers argued that Amazon is “not entitled” to all materials relating to the recusals of Cummings and Esper. They added that Cummings had a conflict with Microsoft, that “did not impact the procurement.”Other files Amazon seeks include “informal notes” between the bid selection team members, JEDI-related content on digital channels and procurement documents that were presented to Esper and Deputy Secretary David Norquist.Representatives for the Defense Department and Microsoft didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.Amazon filed a lawsuit in November in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims alleging that the Defense Department failed to fairly judge its bid because President Donald Trump viewed Amazon Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos as his “political enemy.”Amazon asked the court earlier this month to allow it to question Trump, Esper, former Defense Secretary James Mattis, and Dana Deasy, the Pentagon’s chief information officer.In August 2019, the newly confirmed Esper ordered a review of the procurement after Trump endorsed criticism that the Pentagon had given Amazon an unfair advantage with the contract’s design.The Pentagon announced in October that Esper would recuse himself from any decisions involving the contract to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest. Esper’s son worked as a consultant for International Business Machines Corp., which along with Oracle Corp., had earlier been eliminated from the competition.Three days after Esper’s recusal, the Pentagon announced it had chosen Microsoft, an upset victory for the company that many in the industry viewed as a distant second to Amazon.“A complete factual record on the bases for these recusals is especially critical in light of the well-grounded allegations AWS has made about the troubling circumstances surrounding the recusals of DoD personnel,” the lawsuit said.The Pentagon’s JEDI project is designed to consolidate the department’s cloud computing infrastructure and modernize its technology systems. Earlier this month, a judge agreed to block Microsoft from working on the contract while Amazon’s lawsuit is being litigated.To contact the reporter on this story: Naomi Nix in Washington at nnix1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sara Forden at sforden@bloomberg.net, Paula DwyerFor 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.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    US STOCKS-Coronavirus fears, U.S. business data drag down Wall Street

    U.S. stocks sold off and the Nasdaq had its worst daily percentage decline in about three weeks on Friday as a spike in new coronavirus cases and data showing a stall in U.S. business activity in February fueled investors' fears about economic growth. Declines were led by the technology sector for a second straight session. Tech-related heavyweights Microsoft Corp , Amazon.com Inc and Apple Inc were the biggest drags on the S&P 500.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    US STOCKS-Wall St drops as coronavirus fears, business activity data weigh

    U.S. stocks sold off on Friday as a spike in new coronavirus cases in China and other countries and as data showing U.S. business activity stalled in February fueled investors' fears about the economy. Declines on Friday were led by heavyweights Microsoft Corp , Amazon.com Inc and Apple Inc for a second straight day. Chipmakers, with strong ties to China for revenue, also fell sharply, with the Philadelphia Semiconductor index falling 3%.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks slide as coronavirus fears spur safe-haven buying

    Global equity markets slumped on Friday as the fast-spreading coronavirus drove investors into safe havens, with gold hitting a fresh seven-year high and the yield on the 30-year U.S. Treasury bond sliding to an all-time low. The virus has emerged in 26 countries and territories outside mainland China, killing 11 people, according to a Reuters tally. Data shows mainland China had 889 new confirmed cases and 118 deaths, with most of those in the provincial capital of Wuhan, which remains under virtual lockdown.

  • Bloomberg

    DOJ Solicited Outside Law Firm for Help With Tech Antitrust Case

    (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Justice Department has sought outside legal help to bolster its antitrust investigations of large technology platforms, according to two people familiar with the matter, in a sign that the government may be preparing a lawsuit against one or more of the companies.The department approached at least one law firm about working on the government’s behalf, said the people. That firm -- Kellogg Hansen Todd Figel & Frederick PLLC -- declined to take on the assignment because of a conflict, according to one of the people, who asked not to be named because the investigation is confidential.The agency has opened investigations into Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Facebook Inc., following a July announcement of a broad probe into whether tech platforms are stifling competition. It wasn’t clear which case the department was seeking help for, or whether it will ultimately go through with hiring an outside firm.The move, however, may be a sign the Justice Department is preparing for litigation against the tech companies. Attorney General William Barr said in December that the probe was moving “very quickly” and that he wanted to complete it some time this year.A nationwide coalition of states is also investigating the companies and is working with the Justice Department.The Justice Department declined to comment. Michael Kellogg, one of the founding partners of Kellogg Hansen, where Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch once worked, didn’t respond to a request seeking comment.Earlier: DOJ Plans ‘Expeditious’ Antitrust Probe Into Big Tech PracticesWhile the hiring of outside lawyers is rare, it’s not unheard of. The department in the past has turned to private counsel to take on high-profile litigation, most notably when it hired David Boies to spearhead the landmark antitrust case against Microsoft Corp. two decades ago.In 2012, the Federal Trade Commission similarly hired a top Washington litigator, Beth Wilkinson, then a partner with Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, to help with its antitrust investigation of Google. The agency ultimately closed that investigation without taking action.An outside firm would enhance the department’s resources if it decided to sue. Litigation against one of the tech giants could be a monumental, years-long undertaking. The Justice Department’s case against Microsoft started in 1998 and ended in 2002, when a court approved a settlement.To contact the reporter on this story: David McLaughlin in Washington at dmclaughlin9@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sara Forden at sforden@bloomberg.net, Paula DwyerFor 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.

  • Self-driving car companies complain California test data may mislead
    Reuters

    Self-driving car companies complain California test data may mislead

    Companies such as General Motors Co's Cruise and startup Aurora have said the metric, called disengagements, is not an accurate or relevant way to measure their technical progress, even though it is widely used to do just that. The debate is taking on more importance amid delays in the rollout of self-driving vehicles and concerns over a lack of regulation and the prospects for profitability for the companies that make such vehicles. The focus on disengagements -- when a human driver must take manual control from a self-driving system -- and the backlash from self-driving companies have been growing since the California Department of Motor Vehicles began releasing annual disengagement reports five years ago.

  • Results: Synopsys, Inc. Exceeded Expectations And The Consensus Has Updated Its Estimates
    Simply Wall St.

    Results: Synopsys, Inc. Exceeded Expectations And The Consensus Has Updated Its Estimates

    Synopsys, Inc. (NASDAQ:SNPS) shares fell 5.1% to US$155 in the week since its latest quarterly results. Revenues were...

  • BLMN vs. CMG: Which Stock Should Value Investors Buy Now?
    Zacks

    BLMN vs. CMG: Which Stock Should Value Investors Buy Now?

    BLMN vs. CMG: Which Stock Is the Better Value Option?

  • Bloomberg

    Ex-Goldman Banker’s Little M&A Shop Is Having a Breakout Moment

    (Bloomberg) -- When Chris Cole walked away from his post as one of Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s top investment bankers back in 2016 to co-found a small advisory firm, it wasn’t the best moment. The business his new firm would specialize in -- transactions in the financial services industry -- was sluggish.But after four low-profile years, Cole’s firm, called Ardea Partners, exploded onto the scene this week when it scored back-to-back mandates on marquee Wall Street deals: Franklin Resources Inc.’s agreement to buy asset manager Legg Mason Inc. on Tuesday, and Morgan Stanley’s purchase of E*Trade Financial Corp. on Thursday, which would be the biggest merger in the financial industry since the crisis a decade ago.The deals are a coup for Cole, validation of his bet on financial services M&A. Transactions in that sector are off to a red-hot start in 2020, with credit card company Visa Inc. and auto lender Ally Financial Inc. announcing large deals as well.That suggests that banks, asset managers, specialty lenders and others are back to seeking game-changing acquisitions after a long, post-crisis dealmaking slump across the industry.The E*Trade deal is Ardea’s second largest, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The firm co-advised insurer XL Group Ltd. on its $15.3 billion sale to Axa SA in 2018.“The consistent thing is that they have a very direct view, which they’re not afraid to give us even when it might not be what we want to hear,” said Martin Flanagan, chief executive officer of Invesco Ltd., which used Ardea for its acquisitions of Oppenheimer Funds and Guggenheim ETFs.Chickens, CowsArdea declined comment, as did Cole, who largely stayed out of the headlines during his 30-year rise at Goldman. The 60-year-old Cole commutes most days to Ardea headquarters in New York City’s Hudson Yards from his home in rural New Jersey where he farms cows, chickens and peacocks, according to a person familiar with his situation.Ardea’s success at the moment is running counter to larger, publicly traded boutique banks whose business is showing signs of stalling as a broader merger boom sputters. Global boutique banks, such as Evercore Inc. and Lazard Ltd., advised on the fewest number of deals last year since 2016, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That led to the first annual decline in advisory revenue for the six biggest U.S. boutique firms since 2011.Ardea, on the other hand, seems to be benefiting by focusing on a small cluster of industries.Of the four founders, three came directly from Goldman, forfeiting stock to start Ardea. These include James Del Favero, the former head of cross border M&A, and financial institutions banker Donald Truesdale, who both joined in 2017. The fourth, Ivan Ross, spent 19 years at Goldman before a spell at hedge fund Mason Capital.Indeed, the founders wanted to recapture the essence of the Goldman partnership before it went public in 1999: highly focused on advice rather than trying to cross-sell products. All 45 staff members share in deal fees and partners are required to give up their equity upon leaving the firm.Cole came up with the name of the firm. Ardea is taken from the Latin word for heron, a genus of bird that visits his farm.To contact the reporter on this story: Ed Hammond in New York at ehammond12@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Liana Baker at lbaker75@bloomberg.net, ;David Papadopoulos at papadopoulos@bloomberg.net, Matthew Monks, Larry ReibsteinFor 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 Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Microsoft, Netflix, Adobe, International Business Machines and Apple
    Zacks

    The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Microsoft, Netflix, Adobe, International Business Machines and Apple

    The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Microsoft, Netflix, Adobe, International Business Machines and Apple

  • Trump’s Big Ad Buy Shows That YouTube Still Matters
    Bloomberg

    Trump’s Big Ad Buy Shows That YouTube Still Matters

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- When it comes to advertising revenue, Alphabet Inc.’s Google continues to dominate Facebook Inc. as the place to spend digital marketing money — except for political campaigns, where Donald Trump’s triumph showed the power of social media. Google still has a dog in the election fight, however. According to a report from Bloomberg News, Trump bought the coveted space atop YouTube’s homepage for the days leading up to his November showdown for a second presidential term, ensuring that he’ll be featured prominently. This isn’t new; Barack Obama did something similar ahead of his election-day battle with Mitt Romney in 2012.Alphabet brought in $135 billion of total ad revenue last year through its Google platforms, almost double Facebook’s $70 billion. That ratio flips when it comes to political advertising. Data from the Center for Responsive Politics show that Facebook took in $67 million in total ad spending by U.S. presidential candidates, double the $32 million that went to Google as of Nov. 14. Figures published just this month and collated by eMarketer —  which also track advertising related to federal, state and local politics, including elections and lobbying — put the digital divide in that broader metric at a 3-to-1 ratio in favor of Facebook. Facebook’s powerful role in politics was highlighted by the Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which the consulting firm harvested data from the social media platform and used it for targeted campaign ads, helping Trump win election in 2016. YouTube.com is the world’s second-most popular website behind Google.com, according to rankings from Alex Internet Inc.(1)  Yet it accounted for only 9.4% of Alphabet’s revenue last year, with most of the company’s money coming from search-engine advertising. Expect the video platform’s contribution to rise in 2020, however, as candidates take to online video to target voters directly while still holding their attention long enough to watch a video in ways that Facebook cannot. Leading the spending is Michael Bloomberg, who is using his own money to seek the Democratic presidential nomination rather than procuring donations. (Disclaimer: Bloomberg is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.) Bloomberg spent $48 million on Facebook between Jan. 1, 2019, and Feb. 19 this year, almost double the $25 million for Trump during the same period, according to data from the social media company. What’s interesting, though, is that Alphabet isn’t so far behind in drawing presidential campaign dollars. Bloomberg spent $42 million on Google, YouTube and partner properties between May 30, 2018, and Feb. 18, 2020, ahead of Trump, whose campaign teams have spent around $18.1 million, according to data published by Alphabet.(2) This election campaign is shaping up to be the most expensive ever. Presidential candidates have already put together more than $1.18 billion — led by Trump and Bloomberg — with the primary season only just beginning, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. By comparison, war chests for the 2016 campaign totaled $1.5 billion, with Hillary Clinton and Trump between them accounting for 60%, data from CRP show.While Facebook’s strength, and a key cause of criticism, is the ability for advertisers to dive deep into audience preferences and political leanings, Google’s platform isn’t entirely useless in terms of targeting. For example, the campaign of former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who is competing for the Democratic nomination, took out ads focused on audiences in 10 specific Nevada zip codes ahead of the state’s primary Saturday, according to Google data for the week of Feb. 15.Senator Bernie Sanders, who ranks second in Democrat spending across the two platforms, deployed ads aimed at specific Iowa zip codes ahead of his neck-and-neck finish with Buttigieg in the Feb. 3 caucus. Senator Elizabeth Warren, who is fourth in terms of outlays, and Bloomberg have also targeted ZIP codes. The steady flow of advertising videos uploaded to YouTube by candidates shows that they see value in spending money on Google’s video platform. So while Facebook may have earned top spot for campaign dollars, Trump’s big election day purchase shows that YouTube is still in the race.(1) Alex Internet has been a division of Amazon.com Inc. since 1999(2) I count this spending across two organizations: Trump Make America Great Again Committee ($12.69m) and Donald J. Trump for President Inc. ($5.45m). A third, Conservative Buzz LLC, spent $4.76m mostly to promote TrumpTo contact the author of this story: Tim Culpan at tculpan1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Patrick McDowell at pmcdowell10@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Tim Culpan is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering technology. He previously covered technology for 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.

  • Zacks.com featured highlights include: Microsoft, Ruth???s Hospitality, ResMed, Ross Stores and Maxim Integrated Products
    Zacks

    Zacks.com featured highlights include: Microsoft, Ruth???s Hospitality, ResMed, Ross Stores and Maxim Integrated Products

    Zacks.com featured highlights include: Microsoft, Ruth???s Hospitality, ResMed, Ross Stores and Maxim Integrated Products

  • Chipotle (CMG) Soars to 52-Week High, Time to Cash Out?
    Zacks

    Chipotle (CMG) Soars to 52-Week High, Time to Cash Out?

    Chipotle (CMG) is at a 52-week high, but can investors hope for more gains in the future? We take a look at the company's fundamentals for clues.

  • Global telcos join Alphabet, SoftBank's flying cellphone antenna lobbying effort
    Reuters

    Global telcos join Alphabet, SoftBank's flying cellphone antenna lobbying effort

    Alphabet and SoftBank's attempts to launch flying cellphone antennas high into the atmosphere have received backing from global telcos, energizing lobbying efforts aimed at driving regulatory approval for the emerging technology. Loon, which was spun out of Google parent Alphabet Inc's business incubator, and HAPSMobile, a unit of SoftBank Group Corp's domestic telco, plan to deliver high speed internet to remote areas by flying network equipment at high altitudes. Lobbying efforts by the two firms, which formed an alliance last year, are being joined by companies including aerospace firm Airbus , network vendors Nokia and Ericsson and telcos China Telecom , Deutsche Telekom , Telefonica and Bharti Airtel .

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    Top banks' 2019 commodities revenue climbs 11% -consultancy Coalition

    Commodities-related revenue at the world's 12 biggest investment banks gained 11% last year compared to 2018 due to buoyant oil and metals trading, consultancy Coalition said on Friday. Commodities revenue at the 12 banks extended its rebound from 2018, when revenue jumped 45% from its lowest in more than a decade in 2017. During 2019, revenue from commodity trading, selling derivatives to investors and other activities in the sector was $4 billion, the financial industry analytics firm said.

  • Entergy Corporation Just Recorded A 18% EPS Beat: Here's What Analysts Are Forecasting Next
    Simply Wall St.

    Entergy Corporation Just Recorded A 18% EPS Beat: Here's What Analysts Are Forecasting Next

    Entergy Corporation (NYSE:ETR) came out with its full-year results last week, and we wanted to see how the business is...

  • Trump Ads Will Take Over YouTube’s Homepage on Election Day
    Bloomberg

    Trump Ads Will Take Over YouTube’s Homepage on Election Day

    (Bloomberg) -- In the immediate run up to the U.S. presidential election and on Election Day, the homepage of YouTube is set to advertise just one candidate: Donald Trump.The president’s re-election campaign purchased the coveted advertising space atop the country’s most-visited video website for early November, said two people with knowledge of the transaction. The deal ensures Trump will be featured prominently in the key days when voters across the country prepare to head to the polls Nov. 3.While the bulk of digital ad spending typically focuses on targeting specific messages to certain audiences, the top spot on YouTube is more akin to a Super Bowl TV ad. About three-quarters of U.S. adults say they use YouTube, exceeding the reach of even Facebook, according to the Pew Research Center.Ads on the YouTube masthead—as the video on the top of the homepage is known—generally run for an entire day. The exact duration of Trump’s ad buy and financial details were unclear, but estimates for the space range from hundreds of thousands of dollars to more than $1 million a day.YouTube, owned by Alphabet Inc.’s Google, lets advertisers target users based on a variety of factors, though it recently limited those options for political content. The Trump campaign bought the digital real estate nationwide, one of the people familiar with the deal said, both of whom asked not to be identified because they weren’t authorized to discuss the matter publicly.YouTube declined to comment on the deal but said it’s common for political advertisers to purchase masthead ads. After buying an ad, candidates can choose to surrender the space or restrict it to certain regions, a spokeswoman for the company said. “In the past, campaigns, PACs, and other political groups have run various types of ads leading up to Election Day,” she wrote in an email. “All advertisers follow the same process and are welcome to purchase the masthead space as long as their ads comply with our policies.” A spokesman for the Trump campaign didn’t respond to requests for comment.The move is likely to reinforce a feeling among many political analysts that Trump’s embrace of digital advertising gives him a distinct advantage over his Democratic rivals. The Trump campaign could spend as much as $500 million on digital ads and strategies, Brad Parscale, the president’s campaign manager, has said.In 2012, President Barack Obama’s campaign bought the YouTube masthead for Election Day before Mitt Romney had even secured the Republican nomination, according to Teddy Goff, Obama’s former digital director. “This gets to a structural problem inherent in having a contested primary against an incumbent,” said Goff, now co-founder of Precision Strategies, a consulting and marketing firm. Trump and Hillary Clinton each ran masthead ads at various times in 2016. Trump spent more money online that year than Clinton and continues to outspend most Democratic rivals now. A major exception is Michael Bloomberg, whose campaign has spent $36.9 million on Google ads, according to statistics released by Google. That’s double what Trump has spent with the company. Both Trump and Bloomberg ran YouTube masthead ads last year. (Bloomberg is the founder and owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.)Susan Wojcicki, the chief executive officer of YouTube, said in an interview with “60 Minutes” aired in December that some of Trump’s ads were rejected for violating company policies. The news program reported that more than 300 video ads submitted by the Trump campaign were taken down by Google and YouTube.Many digital ads are bought and sold through automated systems, but that wasn’t an option for Trump’s Election Day purchase. To reserve space this far in advance, advertisers must work directly with Google sales representatives.Online political advertising in the current election cycle will total $1.34 billion, more than double the levels of the last presidential election, according to EMarketer. The research firm estimates that digital spending will account for 19% of all political advertising. Facebook Inc. is the favorite platform of political campaigns, and its lenient policies have been a subject of controversy. The social network allows politicians to make false claims in their ads, whereas Google does not. Facebook offers far more granularity for campaigns to target people who fit a specific profile.After Google limited campaigns’ abilities to use demographic targeting last November, some at the company have debated going further. Google has bristled at repeated accusations of political bias, particularly from Trump and other Republicans. One potential policy discussed inside Google was to disallow masthead ads on Election Day in favor of a nonpartisan banner reminding Americans to vote, said a person with knowledge of the deliberations. Ultimately, Google decided to keep its standard practice in place.(Updates with YouTube CEO’s comments in the 10th paragraph.)To contact the authors of this story: Mark Bergen in San Francisco at mbergen10@bloomberg.netJoshua Brustein in New York at jbrustein@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Milian at mmilian@bloomberg.net, 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.

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