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This basket consists of stocks expected to benefit from self-driving cars.
As we kick off 2020, we're taking a look at the past year's most popular stocks and the trends that fueled them. To do this, we took a peek within our award-winning technical analysis product Technical Insight to see which U.S. instruments yielded the highest search rate from our global investor base throughout 2019.
Earlier today, Google announced that it would be redesigning the redesign of its search results as a response to withering criticism from politicians, consumers and the press over the way in which search results displays were made to look like ads. Google makes money when users of its search service click on ads. It doesn't make money when people click on an unpaid search result.
(Bloomberg) -- YouTube secured the exclusive rights to broadcast some of the biggest esports leagues, giving Google a boost in its efforts to push into the lucrative world of video games.The deal, signed between Alphabet Inc.’s Google and video game publisher Activision Blizzard Inc., gives YouTube the rights to broadcast the new Call of Duty League and the already-popular Overwatch League, which was broadcast on Amazon.com Inc.’s Twitch for the past two years at a reported cost of $90 million. As part of the agreement, Google will provide cloud infrastructure for Activision’s online games. Financial terms of the multiyear deal were not disclosed.Gaming is a significant new frontier for Google. Last year, it released a game-streaming service called Stadia, which lets people play games through the internet without having to buy a console or high-powered computer. YouTube has always been a major destination for watching people play video games, but the company is trying to take even more territory by poaching well-known game players from Twitch.‘All-Out Talent War’ in Video Gaming Sparked by Ninja Defection“In 2020 Google is going all out to claim a piece of the $120 billion games market,” said Joost van Dreunen, managing director of Nielsen’s video-game research arm. “Google is off to a great start to building strong relationships with content creators which it will need to differentiate as it tries to penetrate the industry via different avenues.”The news isn’t good for Amazon, which hasn’t announced a competitor to Stadia and still faces uncertainty about its in-house gaming studio, van Dreunen said. “The longer Amazon remains on the sidelines of technological shifts in the games business, the harder it will be to capture share down the line,” he said.The deal offers a strong boost to the central thesis of Activision’s esports efforts. The publisher pitched investors on the Overwatch League and the Call of Duty League, which launches later this month, as esports equivalents to traditional sports leagues like the National Basketball Association or National Football League. Selling media rights to companies like YouTube is a central piece of how these leagues make money.Providing hosting services to Activision is also a win for Google’s cloud division, which is trailing Amazon and Microsoft Corp. in that market.(Updates with comment from analyst in the fourth paragraph.)\--With assistance from Eben Novy-Williams.To contact the reporter on this story: Gerrit De Vynck in New York at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at email@example.com, 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.
(Bloomberg) -- Attorneys general from nine states urged a federal judge to toss out Google’s $13 million settlement of a class-action lawsuit blaming its Street View mapping technology for a massive violation of consumer privacy.The proposed accord in a debacle that became known as “Wi-Spy” doesn’t offer compensation for millions of people whose confidential data was captured off their Wi-Fi networks by Street View vehicles. Instead, the deal divvies up funds among a handful of privacy rights organizations, a small number of individual consumers who led the case and their lawyers, the state officials said in a court filing.The lawsuit, filed a decade ago, was once called the biggest U.S. wiretap case ever and threatened the internet giant with billions of dollars in damages. The settlement was reached in July and won preliminary approval in October from U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer in San Francisco, who found it to be “likely fair, reasonable, and adequate.”“Without receiving any of the $13 million cash fund or any meaningful injunctive relief, class members receive no direct benefit from the settlement,” the attorneys general said.An attorney for the consumers and Google’s press office didn’t immediately respond to messages seeking comment.Read More: Why a Dead Kennedys Punk Isn’t Buying Google’s Privacy DealsArizona State Attorney General Mark Brnovich submitted the filing, joined by Alabama, Alaska, Missouri, Ohio, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana and Louisiana. The states plan to urge Breyer to reject the deal at a Feb. 28 final approval hearing in San Francisco.Google agreed in the settlement to delete all collected data and educate people on how to set up encrypted wireless networks. But the company had already made those promises in a 2013 agreement with 39 attorneys general, according to Mark Brnovich’s filing.Any “injunctive relief is illusory,” the attorneys general said.The Street View suit is a rare instance in privacy litigation where consumers gained the upper hand, notably when the U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco in 2013 rejected Google’s argument that it was legal to intercept open Wi-Fi networks because they were akin to AM/FM radio transmissions. The court’s conclusion that the federal Wiretap Act applied meant that if Google went to trial to fight the allegations and lost, it could be hit with $10,000 in damages for every violation.But in July, the plaintiffs’ lawyers said the settlement was justified, in part, because there was a risk that they could still lose the case -- and end up with nothing. They also argued that the accord would deter privacy violations and that the funds designated for privacy-oriented groups will help teach future information technology workers to “to become safeguards of internet privacy rather than exploiters of personal information communicated over the internet.”The case is In re: Google Inc. Street View Electronic Communications, 3:10-md-02184, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).To contact the reporter on this story: Malathi Nayak in San Francisco at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: David Glovin at email@example.com, Peter Blumberg, Joe SchneiderFor 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 British pound broke above the highs of the previous session on Thursday, but then turned around to show signs of weakness. At this point, the market is likely to grind back and forth but I think the most important thing to pay attention to is that we have a lot of support underneath.
Wall Street is betting that the most popular U.S. technology and internet stocks can keep outshining the broader equities market but their latest rally leaves little room for error this earnings season. Investors dashed for the exits after Tuesday's less-than-stellar quarterly report from Netflix - the N in FAANG - an acronym for the group of U.S. tech companies that have been the biggest drivers of the bull market. Hopes remained high for the other FAANGs - Facebook, Apple, Amazon.com and Google parent Alphabet, as well as Microsoft, ahead of their financial reports.
The British pound rallied a bit against the US dollar during the week, breaking above the 200 week EMA, and using a major uptrend line as a crutch.
A U.S. senator on Friday urged Tesla Inc to rebrand its driver assistance system Autopilot, saying it has "an inherently misleading name" and is subject to potentially dangerous misuse. The electric automaker introduced new warnings for red lights and stop signs last year "to minimize the potential risk of red light- or stop sign-running as a result of temporary driver inattention," Tesla said in the letter. Senator Edward Markey said he believed the potential dangers of Autopilot can be overcome.
(Bloomberg) -- Google engineers said a tool Apple Inc. developed to help users avoid web tracking is fundamentally flawed and creates more problems than it solves.The Intelligent Tracking Prevention feature on Apple’s Safari web browser, which is meant to block tracking software used by digital advertisers, can be abused to do the exact opposite, according to a paper released Wednesday by Google researchers. Google told Apple about the problem in August, and in December the iPhone maker published a blog post saying it had fixed the issues and thanking Google for its help.But Wednesday’s paper concluded that the problems go beyond the issues that Apple addressed. Instead of making a big list of cookies to block, Apple’s ITP continuously learns what websites users visit and which kinds of cookies try to hitch a ride. Over time, this creates unique cookie-blocking algorithms for each web surfer that can be used to identify and track them, according to the paper.“I can assure you that they still haven’t fixed these issues,” Justin Schuh, engineering director for Google’s Chrome browser, said on Twitter. Apple’s December blog post “didn’t disclose the vulnerabilities or appropriately credit the researchers,” he added. Apple said the bugs mentioned in the report were patched in December, but declined to comment further. “Our core security research team has worked closely and collaboratively with Apple on this issue,” a spokesman for Google said. This isn’t the first time the two tech giants have clashed over privacy. Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook has criticized internet companies for collecting too much personal information, and last year Google researchers reported a two-year long vulnerability in the iPhone maker’s software.Google’s Chrome and Apple’s Safari are two of the most popular web browsers, with Chrome used by more people overall but Safari dominating on iPhones. Apple has been touting Safari privacy features to persuade more consumers to use it. Apple first introduced Intelligent Tracking Prevention in 2017. The tool targets cookies, bits of code that let marketers follow people around the web and send them targeted ads.Google refused to block cookies for years, arguing that targeted ads help publishers and keep the internet free. But last week, the internet giant said it would eventually phase them out, setting off a race among advertisers to adapt. Privacy advocates have lauded Apple’s approach to tracking, and criticized Google for taking so long to do the same. But the paper suggests Apple may have to go back to the drawing board to find a new way to block tracking.“This bug is quite counter-intuitive, but rather very serious,” said Lukasz Olejnik, an independent cybersecurity researcher.(Updates with Google statement in fourth paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Gerrit De Vynck in New York at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Alistair Barr at email@example.com, Jillian WardFor 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) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. Having just persuaded France to hold off on a digital tax that would hurt its biggest technology firms, the U.S. is facing a similar threat from another part of Europe.The Czech Republic is debating plans to impose one of the world’s highest levies on global internet companies -- albeit as a stop-gap measure -- brushing aside possible U.S. retaliation.The initiative comes as transatlantic trade tensions once again bubble over. Shortly after agreeing on the truce with France, President Donald Trump’s tone changed as he complained that Europeans are “more difficult to do business with than China.”Cars are another bone of contention. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said this week at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that the U.S. was still considering slapping levies on European auto imports, even as it hopes for a “peaceful resolution” of differences.Czech Foreign Minister Tomas Petricek said Thursday that he’s aware of the risks in imposing the 7% levy, which would target local revenue because the majority of profits are booked and taxed in other jurisdictions.“I understand the United States perceives this negatively,” he said in televised comments. “We’re trying to explain that this step is only temporary until an international solution is found.”Petricek met U.S. Ambassador Stephen King after the envoy wrote a newspaper opinion piece saying America may respond with proportional countermeasures against the Czech Republic.The local unit of Google last year reported a net income of 15.9 million koruna ($697,000) and paid 8.8 million koruna in tax, while the Czech arm of Amazon made a profit of 19 million koruna and paid 9.7 million koruna of tax, according to regulatory filings.That’s a fraction of the income recorded and taxes paid by the U.S. companies’ local competitors, which include search engine and online media group Seznam.cz and internet retailer Alza.cz.Billionaire Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis is trying to impose the digital tax alongside higher levies on gambling, alcohol and tobacco to boost public-sector wages and fund welfare spending. He’s previously enjoyed warm relations with Trump.Other European countries that have introduced a similar tax or are planning to do so include the U.K., Italy and Austria.France agreed this week to delay collecting its 3% digital levy until the end of the year to avoid the threat of higher U.S. tariffs. The two countries said they’d made progress toward a global pact on the taxation of digital services.(Updates with local internet companies in ninth paragraph.)\--With assistance from Lenka Ponikelska.To contact the reporter on this story: Krystof Chamonikolas in Prague at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Blaise Robinson at email@example.com, Andrew Langley, Michael WinfreyFor 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 Opinion) -- Intel Inc. closed out 2019 learning the hard lesson that making cutting-edge semiconductors is truly difficult.Like a prizefighter who refuses to admit he just hit the mat, the world’s biggest chipmaker is coming out swinging. And it should, because how it gets through 2020 could decide the company’s fate. Once the most advanced supplier of semiconductors, Intel struggled last year to ramp up production of chips that use its latest 14-nanometer process node, “letting customers down,” as CEO Bob Swan said in October. Its full-year results released Thursday showed that revenue climbed 2% and that net income was flat — hiding the fact that Intel dodged a bullet when it wasn’t able to supply enough of its most advanced products when clients needed them most.It tried to offer some reassurance three months ago by noting that it would increase 14-nanometer capacity 25% this year while raising capital spending to nose-bleed levels. To help overcome that slip-up, executives are keen to tell investors how many customers have signed up for its latest offerings, including a chip dubbed Ice Lake and an upgrade to its Comet Lake mobile processor, which use the next-generation 10-nanometer process. In reality, Intel is badly lagging behind both contract manufacturer Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co. TSMC, for example, started selling its 10-nanometer chip technology in mid-2017 and last year boosted revenue from its more advanced 7-nanometer offerings by more than 200%. When Intel eventually hits 7 nanometers in 2021, it will be almost three years behind.Intel’s rebuttal is that so-called process-node technology isn’t the only thing. It’s right, and clients should look at total system performance to see how all the parts — the processor, memory and controllers — all slot together. No other company in the world can offer the breadth and depth that Intel can.But with Advanced Micro Devices Inc. back in the game after a decade in the wilderness and a raft of chip designers ready to tap TSMC’s technology advantage, Intel would be foolish to rest on the belief that it can stay ahead of the game while lagging behind on technology. It knows this and has committed to speeding up its migration from the pace of a new node every five to seven quarters to as little as four quarters. Yet investors ought to also note that the introduction of a new node compresses margins during the early stages before better yields provide economies of scale later. A quicker timetable won’t allow as much time to enjoy the upside before the next margin crunch comes.Intel’s strategy to offset this squeeze is to tap continued growth in the data-center market. Cloud providers like Amazon.com Inc., Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. are among customers for its 14-nanometer Cascade Lake products, while the global 5G rollout is expected to provide a couple of solid growth years. Its Data Center Group accounts for 32.6% of revenue but 46.4% of operating income, making it Intel’s most lucrative business unit by operating margin.But that business relies on Intel’s ability to churn out leading-edge chips that, even if not equivalent to what TSMC can offer clients, won’t be too far behind. A data center operator might be willing to forgive a single-generation lag, reasoning that the broader platform integration Intel offers can provide the cost-benefit metrics it needs. A two-generation delay is hard to overlook, though. Intel’s size and strength means it won’t be easily knocked out. But it needs to get through this year unscathed if it’s to remain the undisputed heavyweight champ.(Updates with details about Intel’s 10-nanometer offerings in the fourth paragraph.)To contact the author of this story: Tim Culpan at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Daniel Niemi at email@example.comThis 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.
(Bloomberg) -- Londoners on their morning commute or evening stroll will be scanned as police deploy live facial-recognition cameras around the city, an effort that human-rights groups say is a “dangerous and sinister step.”The technology will focus on people in specific parts of the city where offenders are most likely to be caught, the Metropolitan Police said Friday. Each system will have its own “watch list” made up of images of criminals wanted for serious and violent offenses.Facial-recognition is an emerging technology that has been heavily criticized by human-rights groups and regulators for its intrusion on privacy. In 2018, the European Union introduced data protection laws in a bid to crack-down on how citizens’ data is collected and used.British human-rights group Liberty condemned the decision by police as a “sinister step” which will push the U.K. into a surveillance state. The group called for the ban of the technology in September after losing a legal fight over its use in Wales, branding it a “dystopian technology” that infringes on democracy.“This is a dangerous, oppressive and completely unjustified move,” Clare Collier, advocacy director at Liberty, said in a statement. “Facial-recognition technology gives the state unprecedented power to track and monitor any one of us, destroying our privacy and our free expression.”“Rolling out an oppressive mass surveillance tool that has been rejected by democracies and embraced by oppressive regimes is a dangerous and sinister step,” she said.Facial-recognition and artificial intelligence was a hot topic this week at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Alphabet Inc.’s Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai said it can be used for good, such as finding missing people, but also could have “negative consequences,” such as mass surveillance.He called for a global framework, similar to the Paris climate accord, to ensure such technology is developed responsibly.The U.K.’s data regulator, which warned the technology could risk violating privacy laws, said it’s received assurances that the authorities are taking steps to reduce intrusion and comply with data-protection legislation. The system used by in London is made by NEC Corp., the police said.“This is an important new technology with potentially significant privacy implications for U.K. citizens,” the Information Commissioner’s Office said Friday in a statement. “We reiterate our call for government to introduce a statutory and binding code of practice for LFR as a matter of priority.”The cameras will be signposted and officers will hand out leaflets about the activity at each site, the Met police said. The cameras may also help to locate missing children or vulnerable adults, it said.(Updates with comments from Liberty, Google CEO from fourth paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Ellen Milligan in London at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at email@example.com, Christopher Elser, Amy ThomsonFor 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.
Record vehicle deliveries, aided by Model 3 sales, and improved performance of the energy and storage business are likely to have buoyed Tesla's (TSLA) Q4 earnings.
While lower sales in the U.S. and EMEA market may have dented the top line, Harley-Davidson's (HOG) cost-containment initiatives are likely to have had a positive impact on the firm's Q4 earnings.
(Bloomberg) -- Sign up here to receive the Davos Diary, a special daily newsletter that will run from Jan. 20-24.Volkswagen AG Chief Executive Officer Herbert Diess is preparing to muscle Elon Musk out of the electric-car lead.While Tesla Inc. is paving the way in sustainable mobility, the world’s biggest automaker is buying software companies and ramping up investments in electric vehicles and battery cells, Diess said Friday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.“It’s an open race,” Diess said in an interview with Bloomberg TV. “We are quite optimistic that we still can keep the pace with Tesla and also at some stage probably overtake” the U.S. carmaker.Tesla’s market value surpassed Volkswagen’s for the first time this week, even as the U.S. company sells a fraction of the cars VW churns out and has yet to record an annual profit. Volkswagen rose as much as 1.7% in Frankfurt trading after Diess’s comments.Still, Tesla has a competitive edge in electric cars and software, technologies that are underpinning a shift toward cleaner mobility. The threat is underscored by Musk’s plan to establish a factory near Berlin, in the heart of Germany’s automotive industry.While they’re competitors, Diess and Musk have cultivated somewhat friendly ties. The German CEO in October hailed Tesla as a serious competitor that’s pushing the industry toward sustainability -- just a few weeks after the South African-born billionaire tweeted that Diess is doing more than any big car CEO to go electric. Diess repeated his respect for Musk in Davos, saying Tesla’s product lineup “describes the future of the auto industry.”Last week, the German CEO called on his top managers to speed up Volkswagen’s overhaul efforts to make the German industrial giant more agile or risk being pushed aside. Volkswagen has earmarked about $66 billion to invest in electrification, hybrids, and digitalization, and in October plans to start churning out e-cars at a factory near Shanghai, where Musk opened a plant last year ahead of schedule.“The company which adopts fastest and is most innovative but also which has enough scale in the new world will make the race,” Diess said Friday.Trade ThreatTesla isn’t Diess’s only concern. The CEO was among executives who attended a dinner with U.S. president Donald Trump in Davos on Tuesday. While the meeting was “positive,” the threat of U.S. tariffs on European carmakers hasn’t been averted, he said.“It’s very difficult to read President Trump but he stated that he’s still not happy with Europe,” Diess said. “We’re doing what we can to avoid tariffs.”Volkswagen has been relatively resilient so far to industry headwinds exacerbated by trade friction, higher tariffs and a slowdown in China, the German manufacturer’s largest market. The company also will have to comply with Europe’s new fleet emission targets, he said, meaning VW will have to sell more sustainable cars or face penalties.“2020 for the auto industry will be a very difficult year,“ Diess said. “But we’re doing the right things to be competitive.”(Updates with Volkswagen shares in fourth paragraph.)To contact the reporters on this story: Christoph Rauwald in Frankfurt at firstname.lastname@example.org;Francine Lacqua in London at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at firstname.lastname@example.org, Stefan NicolaFor 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.
Better than expected PMI data out of the UK triggered a spike higher in GBP/USD to levels not seen since January 7th. However, the pair quickly retreated after the report to give back the gain.
The pound has enjoyed a good week, with gains of close to one percent. There are two more hurdles for the currency before the weekend, with the release of manufacturing and services PMIs (release time – 9:30 GMT).