• Why Pinterest Stock Is Up 19% Through the First Half of the Year
    Motley Fool

    Why Pinterest Stock Is Up 19% Through the First Half of the Year

    After crashing during the coronavirus sell-off in March, shares of Pinterest (NYSE: PINS) bounced back and finished the first half of the year up 19%, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. While the company's advertising business has been challenged by the crisis, investors have enthusiastically returned to growth stocks like Pinterest, believing that the crisis will accelerate a shift in advertising spending to digital platforms like the virtual pinboard. The stock jumped on Jan. 14 when eMarketer said it passed Snapchat to become the third-biggest social media app in the country, finishing 2019 with a projected 82.4 million users in the U.S. The research firm also predicted that the gap between the two apps would widen over the coming years, with Pinterest reaching 90.1 million domestic users by 2022.

  • 2 Hot Stocks to Buy in July
    Motley Fool

    2 Hot Stocks to Buy in July

    Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN) and PayPal Holdings (NASDAQ: PYPL) have been crushing the market all year long, and both look like fantastic buys today -- with or without another game-changing health crisis. The smiling Amazon logo is virtually synonymous with "online retail," and the industry as a whole has been crushing traditional big-box stores and strip malls for a couple of decades. At the same time, Amazon's revenues rushed 26% higher.

  • Why ANGI Homeservices Stock Rose 12% Last Month
    Motley Fool

    Why ANGI Homeservices Stock Rose 12% Last Month

    Shares of ANGI Homeservices (NASDAQ: ANGI) were gaining last month as the online marketplace for home services continued to benefit from a favorable climate for home improvement, with the pandemic leading to more time spent inside the home. The stock of ANGI Homeservices rallied through the first week of June in response to economic data, including a strong May employment report that showed the economic recovery happening faster than expected. The following week, Oppenheimer raised its price target on ANGI from $10 to $15 after analyst Jason Helfstein said his research showed demand for home improvement increasing by the mid-teens in May, and pointed to a survey from McKinsey that showed 35% of those questioned planned to spend more on home improvement in light of travel and entertainment closures.

  • Johnson Tells Britons to Behave Responsibly as Pubs Re-Open
    Bloomberg

    Johnson Tells Britons to Behave Responsibly as Pubs Re-Open

    (Bloomberg) -- Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged Britons to act responsibly as pubs prepare to re-open and the government lifts quarantine rules on travel for 60 countries.Restaurants, hotels, cinemas and hairdressers will also be allowed to welcome customers for the first time in more than three months on Saturday. Non-essential retailers have been allowed to open since June.In a further easing of the lockdown brought in to contain the coronavirus, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps published a list of countries and territories that will be exempt from rules requiring arrivals to quarantine for 14 days. Those coming from the U.S., where infection rates remain high, will still need to quarantine.“As we take this next step, our biggest step yet, on the road to recovery, I urge the British people to do so safely,” Johnson said at a televised press conference on Friday evening. “The success of these businesses, the livelihoods of those who rely on them, and ultimately the economic health of the whole country is dependent on every single one of us acting responsibly.”The prime minister warned “we are not out of the woods yet,” saying ministers “will not hesitate in putting on the brakes and re-imposing restrictions” if the virus starts spreading again.Johnson also promised to publish a timetable next week to help get industries including theaters, events, nail bars and indoor gyms back up and running, as well as guidelines so that cricket matches can resume next weekend.Johnson is trying to jump-start the U.K. economy after the pandemic killed more than 43,000 people, pushing the country into what may be the worst recession in three centuries. Earlier this week, the premier accelerated 5 billion pounds ($6.2 billion) of spending, pledging to “build, build, build” in an effort to revive economic activity. Next week, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak is due to unveil more measures.Sunak is focusing on preserving as many jobs as possible. His statement next week is likely to steer clear of big tax cuts and focus instead on a few targeted measures to help employment. Then, in the fall, he’ll outline a wider package of fiscal stimulus.Taxes on WealthyLabour Shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds said Sunak must create and protect jobs as well as ensure the wealthy bear the brunt of any future tax rises. She also called on the chancellor to extend the government’s furlough program -- due to end Oct. 31 -- in areas where local lockdowns are needed and in sectors of the economy that are struggling to restart.As many as 42% of firms plan to cut jobs in the next six months, with another 31% saying redundancies are possible, according to survey released by Make U.K., a lobbying group for manufacturers.Shapps unveiled a list of countries and territories that the government considers safe enough to waive a requirement for arrivals in England to self-isolate.From July 10, people arriving in England from 74 countries and territories including Germany, France, Greece, Spain and Italy will no longer have to observe a two-week quarantine. Russia, Portugal and the U.S. are not on the list.The provisions won’t extend to people returning to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, which will set their own rules.The government is still wary of a resurgence in coronavirus cases, and has pledged to deploy a “whack-a-mole” strategy to quash any localized outbreaks by having more targeted lockdowns. The central English city of Leicester was placed under such provisions earlier this week.‘Will Not Hesitate’When the pubs re-open, the government is keen to avert scenes like those on beaches last week, when warm weather lured Britons in their thousands to the coast and social-distancing broke down. On Thursday, the Health Department published guidance for the hospitality industry to help with the government’s test and trace program.Pubs, hotels and restaurants were told to collect the names and phone numbers of clients and retain them for 21 days so that they can be contacted if anyone at the venue is later identified as suffering from the virus.Johnson said he will be going to a pub for a beer this weekend.“I can tell you that I will certainly buy and drink a pint,” he said. “This is a big turning point for us, we’ve got to get it right. Let’s work together and enjoy summer safely.”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.

  • Is Grubhub Stock a Buy?
    Motley Fool

    Is Grubhub Stock a Buy?

    Are there any reasons to buy this food delivery stock ahead of its merger with Just Eat Takeaway next year?

  • ECB Split Is Brewing on Pandemic Program That Calmed Crisis
    Bloomberg

    ECB Split Is Brewing on Pandemic Program That Calmed Crisis

    (Bloomberg) -- European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde’s signature crisis-fighting tool is becoming the focus of disagreement among policy makers in what could amount to her first major test of discipline.Governing Council members face a potential rift over how much their emergency bond-purchase program should stay weighted toward weaker countries such as Italy, according to multiple conversations with central-bank officials.While the debate remains hypothetical for now, it could crystallize as the economy emerges from the coronavirus pandemic. The danger is that such friction undermines a program unveiled at the height of the crisis to reassure investors of the ECB’s resolve in defending the integrity of the euro.The officials asked not to be named because of the confidentiality of internal discussions. An ECB spokesman declined to comment.The internal mood is reflected in differing public comments by the central-bank heads of the euro zone’s two biggest economies: Germany’s Jens Weidmann and France’s Francois Villeroy de Galhau. Other Governing Council members hold similar views to them on either side of the debate, according to the officials.The prospect of disagreements might evoke memories of the discord that punctuated the eight-year reign of Lagarde’s predecessor, Mario Draghi. The bond-buying tool he developed during the euro-area debt crisis and his later pursuit of quantitative easing both met bitter German opposition.At the core of the current argument is the much-touted flexibility of the pandemic emergency purchase program. Lagarde proclaimed it to have “no limits” after she corralled colleagues into agreeing to the measure during a late-night emergency session in mid-March.It allowed the ECB to skew purchases toward Italy, one of the worst-hit countries, as bond yields there started to surge, averting the kind of debt crisis that almost splintered the bloc in 2012.But it also meant deviating from a rule intended to keep the ECB in line with a European Union law that bans it from financing government spending. The so-called capital key links bond programs to the relative size of each economy -- more German than Italian debt is bought regardless of economic conditions -- and was a fundamental reason the EU’s top court ruled an earlier program legal in 2018.Moreover, while the ECB repeatedly says the emergency program is temporary, it also pledges to keep going “until it judges that the coronavirus crisis phase is over” -- a vague term that could be open to wide interpretation.Weidmann, president of the Bundesbank, wants to limit the plan’s scope amid concern that too much leeway could backfire, while his opposite number at the Bank of France has championed maximum flexibility to channel support to those needing it most.“Clinging to the capital keys to determine each country’s purchase amounts would be an uncalled-for constraint that would undermine the very effectiveness of our intervention efforts,” Villeroy said on May 25. “Certain national central banks must be able to purchase significantly more, and others significantly less.”Villeroy is practicing what he’s preaching. The first breakdown of purchases by country in early June showed France undershot its quota by more than 10 billion euros ($11.2 billion).Weidmann supported the program because of the sheer scale of the economic shock. But he also insists that it must either be temporary or, if it morphs into yet another long-lasting stimulus tool, adhere to rules such as the capital key.In a speech last month, he argued that governments mustn’t rely on the ECB to keep financing costs low forever.“‘Flexible’ doesn’t mean ‘unrestricted’,” he said. “It’s important to me that monetary policy doesn’t set wrong incentives for public finances. In this context, the capital key offers the ECB a sensible guideline for pandemic emergency purchase program holdings at the end of net purchases.”After so much over-buying of Italian bonds, rebalancing the 1.35 trillion-euro program by the end of net purchases, currently scheduled for June next year, would be tough. It risks driving Italian yields higher, worsening the sustainability of that nation’s debt.The account of the latest policy meeting, when the program was almost doubled in size and extended, showed that a decision to reinvest the proceeds of maturing debt until at least the end of 2022 was made in part to allow more time to bring total holdings back in line.ECB Governing Council member Klaas Knot stressed the temporary nature of the tool during a Bloomberg webinar on Friday, and warned that crisis measures risk losing traction if kept in place for too long.He said the capital key should be the ECB’s “compass” in allocating purchases. While acknowledging that small discrepancies will probably be inevitable by the end of the program, he argued that deviations in the high single-digits would probably be too much.Tough interpretations of the rules by some policy makers pre-dates this crisis and often caused friction under Draghi, but the issue was thrown into sharp relief in early May when Germany’s constitutional court said an earlier bond-purchase program might be illegal. The standoff was only resolved on Thursday, when German lawmakers decided the ECB’s efforts were proportionate to the economic challenges.While the court’s surprise decision wasn’t about the capital key, the judges did note how critical the guideline is for preventing monetary financing. One of Germany’s political parties subsequently pledged to launch a legal challenge against the newer program.The ECB’s Governing Council will next meet in two weeks, giving officials another chance to hash out their differences over what should happen when the economic crisis finally eases.(Updates with comments from ECB’s Knot starting in 19th 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.

  • Google Stays in the Augmented Reality Race with a New Acquisition
    Motley Fool

    Google Stays in the Augmented Reality Race with a New Acquisition

    The tech giant buys a struggling smart glass maker -- but it won’t necessarily launch a new version of Google Glass anytime soon.

  • Don't Expect Explosive Growth From the Amazon of Today
    Motley Fool

    Don't Expect Explosive Growth From the Amazon of Today

    Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos continues to run the company with the mindset that it is always Day 1. In his 2016 letter to shareholders, Bezos gave investors a glimpse into what Day 2 is -- stasis, followed by irrelevance, decline, and, ultimately, death.

  • 5 Cloud Stocks Set to Rally in the Second Half of 2020
    Zacks

    5 Cloud Stocks Set to Rally in the Second Half of 2020

    The coronavirus outbreak drove the remote-working trend, forcing businesses to reset priorities and in turn boosting cloud stocks.

  • America’s Glorious Celebration of Grievance
    Bloomberg

    America’s Glorious Celebration of Grievance

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- If you’re weary of America’s politics of grievance, fed up with its constant churning of resentment and bitterness, then the Fourth of July might be just the festive reprieve you need. Provided you don’t pay too close attention to the holiday’s bill of particulars. Over the course of more than two centuries, America has buried most of the Declaration of Independence beneath a dense canopy of aspiration.The part we celebrate — the rhetorical crown rising to the sky — is the Declaration’s preamble. And not even the entire preamble. It’s really just the second paragraph, in which Thomas Jefferson & Co. assert which truths they hold to be self-evident. To be more precise, it’s not even a whole paragraph — just a bit at the top about human equality, divine endowments and the American trifecta of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.That exceedingly brief patch of writing has earned centuries of praise. It inspires. It uplifts. It defines. In Jefferson’s day it set a revolutionary standard of human dignity — albeit an incongruous one given the cruelty-tiered classes of the new nation.The Declaration’s aspirational high lasts for a sentence or so. After that, the deluge. The remainder, and by far the longest section, is a sour litany of complaint, a bitter protest against the “long train of abuses and usurpations” inflicted by a king prone to “repeated injuries” against his long-suffering (and loudly caterwauling) American subjects.Whether protesting police brutality and centuries of racial injustice, or whining and venting via Twitter from the Oval Office, contemporary Americans have nothing on the seething colonists. They raged against a foe who “plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.” The Declaration rails against mercenaries dispatched by the king “to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages.”There was plenty of barbarism about. The Declaration’s main author, whose able mind was free to roam while his slaves took care of business, grew so spiteful of Britain that he soon abandoned his very English taste for Madeira and Port, proving a true patriot could survive on fine Bordeaux.It never ceases to amaze that such fortune-favored hands were so tightly clenched. Those who signed risked death, and soon inflicted it. Yet despite their deep anger, and the high stakes, their grievances faded quickly. It wasn’t long before fireworks and parades supplanted abuses and usurpations as the stuff of the 4th. At the Declaration’s jubilee, in 1826, there was an outpouring of self-congratulation but very little in the way of outrage. In our own time, the royal target of the founders’ rage has been reduced to comic relief. Now all that remains is the heart of the matter: a concise moral vision, and a spur to reimagining the human condition. The vision laid the basis for a more equitable nation. The spur is a reminder that the leveling of human value that the founders declared self-evident is not evident at all — at least not in the ways and means of the modern nation.The vision and the spur is also what distinguishes protests against injustice from rancid complaints from the White House. The former seek to realize the self-evident truth. The latter are solipsism. Only one grievance is anchored in the higher calling that, for many Americans, is all we remember of the Declaration: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Francis Wilkinson writes editorials on politics and U.S. domestic policy for Bloomberg Opinion. He was executive editor of the Week. He was previously a writer for Rolling Stone, a communications consultant and a political media strategist.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.

  • Netflix Earnings: Will Subscribers Soar Higher Again?
    Motley Fool

    Netflix Earnings: Will Subscribers Soar Higher Again?

    With the company's shares up about 50% this year, investors will be watching the streaming-TV company's earnings report closely.

  • Bloomberg

    Balkanization Is Bad for Facebook’s Business

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- The internet, once a freewheeling global network, is becoming balkanized into national spheres of influence. This could be bad for both cross-cultural communication and U.S. tech companies.China has long protected its local internet, censoring speech behind what has become known as the Great Firewall. The government blocks U.S.-based services such as Google, Facebook and Twitter, and closely monitors the local Chinese versions. Other authoritarian and quasi-authoritarian countries -- Iran, Turkey, Pakistan, Vietnam, Ethiopia – do the same. And Russia recently passed a so-called sovereign internet law that makes it much easier for the government to monitor and control online content.Now democracies may be joining in. India just banned 59 of China’s largest internet apps, including social video sharing service TikTok, reflecting rising tensions between the two giant Asian countries. It has also shut off internet to regions experiencing government crackdowns or unrest, such as Jammu and Kashmir in 2019. In Europe, major rules such as the General Data Protection Regulation are forcing internet companies to operate differently in different regions. Though this doesn’t officially ban or censor U.S.-based sites like Facebook, it does present an obstacle that could end up inhibiting the flow of information.This was probably inevitable. Different cultures perceive concepts such as privacy differently. And as U.S. global hegemony gives way to a more multipolar world, countries are going to assert their sovereignty by refusing to play by U.S. rules. Further unrest, like the protests that rocked the world in 2019 or tensions between countries such as China and India, are likely to accelerate the trend towards digital division.This could be tough on U.S. tech companies. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube don’t owe their profitability to superior technology, other than some techniques for managing large amounts of user data. They make money because they have a lot of eyeballs to which they can deliver advertisements.And they have those eyeballs because of network effects. It’s easy to make a Twitter clone -- Gab tried it a while ago, and a new entrant called Parler is trying it now. But it’s incredibly hard to get people to switch, because the first people who make the jump will find themselves mostly alone, with everyone they know and want to read still back on Twitter. Similarly, people use Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and other social media services because everyone else does.Captive advertising targets translate into enormous profits. Facebook, Inc., which dominates the social media landscape, has a profit margin that typically ranges between 20% and 40%. Its market cap as of early July was about $647 billion, or 2.6% of the entire S&P 500.Regional balkanization, though, slices through network effects. If services like Facebook are banned in some countries and heavily restricted in others, users will have less company. Most people’s contacts and friends will tend to be in the same country, but not all. And outright bans will cut some services off entirely from huge markets like China, while restrictions like GDPR will force them to invest in expensive localization.This is an unfortunate side effect of nationalism and unrest. But it’s also reason to worry about a technology industry whose profitability stems mostly from network effects, not know-how. Actual innovations, like Intel Corporation’s semiconductor manufacturing processes, Amazon.com, Inc.’s cloud computing systems, or Google LLC’s machine learning algorithms give these companies some clout:  if a country decides it doesn’t want to buy Intel’s chips, it will suffer a real economic penalty. But if a country decides to create its own Facebook clone, it will lose little, while Facebook’s American owners and workers will lose a lot.A free and open global internet may one day reemerge. In the meantime, U.S. companies and policy makers should think about how to invest in products whose value isn’t so subject to the whims of foreign authorities.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Noah Smith is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He was an assistant professor of finance at Stony Brook University, and he blogs at Noahpinion.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.

  • Zoom’s Newest Challenger: Budding Internet Tycoon Mukesh Ambani
    Bloomberg

    Zoom’s Newest Challenger: Budding Internet Tycoon Mukesh Ambani

    (Bloomberg) -- Zoom, one of the few success stories of the Covid-19 pandemic, now faces a new competitor in an app backed by Asia’s wealthiest person Mukesh Ambani.Ambani’s Reliance Industries Ltd., which has scored billions of dollars of investments from Facebook Inc. to Intel Corp. for its digital businesses, has launched the JioMeet video conferencing app after beta testing. The app has already garnered more than 100,000 downloads on the Google Play Store after becoming available Thursday evening.Like Google Meet, Microsoft Teams and other services, JioMeet offers unlimited high-definition calls -- but unlike Zoom, it doesn’t impose a 40-minute time limit. Calls can go on as long as 24 hours, and all meetings are encrypted and password-protected, the company said on the JioMeet website.The launch coincided with a nationwide ban on dozens of popular apps from Chinese technology giants including ByteDance Ltd.’s TikTok and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s UC Web, on grounds they threatened security and data privacy. JioMeet went viral Friday on social media alongside the hashtag MadeinIndia.The app is one facet of Ambani’s rapidly expanding digital empire, which includes India’s largest telecom operator with nearly 400 million users. On Friday, Reliance announced Intel Capital has invested $253 million into Jio Platforms Ltd., a unit of Ambani’s oil-to-retail conglomerate. The U.S. chipmaker’s arm is the 11th investor in about as many weeks to announce its backing for the digital services platform, which has now raised about 1.2 trillion rupees ($15.7 billion).“JioMeet will be a very credible disruptor in the space,” said Utkarsh Sinha, managing director of boutique consultancy Bexley Advisors. “Just the fact that it has no time limits on calls makes it a serious challenger to Zoom, despite its entrenchment.”Jio Platforms is amassing a wide range of services from music streaming to online retail and payments, fast turning into an ecommerce juggernaut that can take on Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Amazon.com Inc on its own home turf. Like elsewhere, video conferencing apps have become lifelines for millions of Indians working in cramped homes during Covid-19 lockdowns.JioMeet is also debuting at a time Zoom users have accused the service of security flaws. It’s been accused of siding with China after deactivating accounts of pro-democracy activists in the U.S and Hong Kong, which it said was intended to comply with Chinese law.(Adds total investment in Jio 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.

  • Why the Facebook Ad Boycott Could Be Good for Pinterest
    Motley Fool

    Why the Facebook Ad Boycott Could Be Good for Pinterest

    Less than two weeks after a coalition of nonprofit organizations launched the #StopHateForProfit campaign, some of the world's biggest brands are pulling their advertising off of Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) -- at least for July. The moves are to protest the company's lax policies against the use of its social media platforms to spread political misinformation and calls to violence, and to support voter suppression. Facebook's inaction in these areas has been in notable contrast with Twitter (NYSE: TWTR), which recently began adding warning labels to posts from President Trump that contain questionable or false information, or violate its rules on such things as promoting violence.

  • Bloomberg

    Tesla's Overexcited Fans Should Cool Down a Little

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Back when Tesla Inc. delivered 95,000 cars to customers during the spring quarter of 2019, the stock price was languishing at about $235 and Elon Musk’s electric car company was valued at “only” $40 billion. Fast forward a year and the shares are now priced at more than $1,200. With a market capitalization of $224 billion, Tesla has surpassed Toyota Motor Corp. as the world’s most valuable automaker.Yet in the second quarter of 2020, Tesla delivered 91,000 vehicles — about 5% fewer than the same period last year. That’s pretty underwhelming for a company whose fans view it as a fast-growing technology company in the mold of Amazon.com Inc., rather than a sluggish metal-bashing carmaker. So how is the massive recent jump in its market value justified?In fairness, it shows resilience to sell this many cars when the company’s main California plant was shut by the pandemic for much of the spring period. Doubtless, Tesla’s new Shanghai plant picked up the production slack, which suggests the expense and effort of getting that China factory up and running was worth it. The launch of Tesla’s new Model Y crossover vehicle will have helped. Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co. both saw their U.S. deliveries decline by a third in the same quarter. Nevertheless, Tesla’s stock market acolytes pushed the shares up another 8% on Thursday, adding $16.5 billion to the market value. Such exuberance is hard to understand. Musk’s company sold 7,650 more vehicles than analysts expected during the second quarter, and the stock price jump equates to about $2 million of added shareholder value for each of those additional sales. This seems a little excessive given that a Tesla Model 3 sells for less than $40,000, and the profit margin on those cars is pretty slim.  The shareholder reaction makes even less sense when you consider that Tesla investors aren’t really meant to buying the stock because of the company’s current sales, which are less than 4% of Volkswagen AG’s. Rather, the investment case is a long-term one: that it will come to occupy a dominant position in clean transport and energy in the years ahead. That explains why the shares trade at 320 times its analyst-estimated earnings this year. Viewed through this lens, Tesla’s ability to shift a few thousand extra cars in recent weeks shouldn’t matter so much for the valuation.  Investors’ tendency to overreact to Tesla news made more sense when its survival was open to doubt. A year ago it was laying off workers, U.S. sales were slowing and its retail strategy was confused. Senior staff kept heading for the exit. The company was burning through cash and ran pretty low on financial fuel. It had just $2.2 billion of cash in March 2019, compared with more than $8 billion now.But subsequent evidence that Tesla can sell cars for more than it costs to produce them has transformed the mood — and with it Tesla’s stock price.Instead of “killing” off Tesla, the tepid electric offerings of established carmakers such as Audi and Mercedes have only underscored the quality of their rival’s battery and powertrain technology (the same can’t be said of Tesla’s build quality). Volkswagen’s software problems with its forthcoming ID.3 electric vehicle suggest catching Tesla won’t be straightforward, even with the Germans’ vast resources.Tesla’s stratospheric valuation appears to have become self-reinforcing. Should it require more money to fund its roughly $9 billion of capital expenditure over the next three years, it can raise it from shareholders without worrying about diluting them too much.Similarly, holders of more than $4 billion of convertible bonds that Tesla issued to fund its expansion should be happy to convert them into stock, rather than demand cash repayment, taking some of the pressure off the company and its balance sheet.  Still, Tesla’s valuation remains impossible to justify by any standard metrics. Analysts’ average price target is more than 40% below the current level. Even Musk has suggested that the share price, which has almost trebled since the start of 2020, is too high — although, as with his taunting of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and his comments about “fascist” lockdowns, it’s usually better to tune out what Musk says and focus on his actions instead.  The skeptics might have more faith in Tesla’s new position as the leader of the automaker pack when Musk stops his provocations and his shareholders stop getting giddy over modest good news.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Chris Bryant is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering industrial companies. He previously worked for the Financial Times.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.

  • NZD and AUD On The Rise
    FX Empire

    NZD and AUD On The Rise

    Summer holidays combined with Independence Day in the United States can result in very low volatility and overall a boring session on the global indices.

  • Display Maker Royole Said to Mull China IPO as U.S. Plans Stall
    Bloomberg

    Display Maker Royole Said to Mull China IPO as U.S. Plans Stall

    (Bloomberg) -- Chinese flexible display maker Royole Corp. is weighing an initial public offering in China while its planned U.S. listing is put on hold, according to people familiar with the matter.Royole had filed confidentially for a U.S. IPO that could raise about $1 billion, Bloomberg News reported earlier this year. However, the startup is now considering a listing in China, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private.Considerations are at an early stage and no final decisions have been made, the people said. A representative for Royole declined to comment on the matter.Royole, known for manufacturing the world’s first commercial foldable phone, had originally planned to raise funds via a private financing round at a valuation of about $8 billion, people familiar with that deal said last year. But the Chinese company turned to the U.S. markets after liquidity tightened during a downturn in China’s venture capital sector, the people said.Since January relations between the U.S. and China have deteriorated sharply, with tensions spanning trade, technology and Hong Kong. Many U.S.-listed Chinese companies are considering second listings closer to home in Hong Kong, while China has been actively seeking to lure innovative technology companies to list in Shanghai and Shenzhen.Royole competes with Samsung Electronics Co. and BOE Technology Group Co. to produce bendable screens using cutting-edge organic light-emitting diode technology. The company, which gave away wraparound-screen hats at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, in January unveiled a smart speaker that packs a bendable display around a cylinder.Its full line of products encompasses head-mounted displays intended for use as so-called mobile theaters and other wearable flexible displays. The company even has a smart writing pad that it sells on Amazon.com, JD.com and in stores globally.Royole’s earlier investors include Knight Capital, IDG Capital, Poly Capital Management, AMTD Group, the funds of Chinese tycoon Xie Zhikun and the venture capital arm of the Shenzhen city government.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 Under Fire as Companies Pause Social Media Ads: List
    Bloomberg

    Facebook Under Fire as Companies Pause Social Media Ads: List

    (Bloomberg) -- Here’s a list of companies that are planning to halt spending on social media. Some have joined a boycott of Facebook Inc. after critics accused the social network of inadequately policing hateful and misleading content on its platform:Harley Davidson Inc. -- The motorcycle maker said in an email it was pausing Facebook ads in July “to stand in support of efforts to stop the spread of hateful content.”Pernod Ricard SA -- The French distiller of Jameson whiskey and Absolut Vodka, which spends more than 1.5 billion euros ($1.69 billion) on advertising annually, is boycotting Facebook and some other U.S. sites through July 31 and working with partners on an app to help victims of online abuse.Daimler AG -- The Mercedes-Benz maker is pausing its paid advertising on Facebook platforms in July, while adding that it expects to the relationship to resume because it’s confident the social-media company will take “necessary steps.”Molson Coors Beverage Co. -- The brewer is choosing to pause advertising on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter while it reviews its own standards and ways to protect the brands and guard against hate speech, Chief Marketing Officer Michelle St. Jacques said in an internal email.Constellation Brands -- The maker of Corona beer and Kim Crawford wines is pausing Facebook ads for the month of July.Dunkin’ Brands Group -- The donut chain is temporarily pausing its paid media on Facebook and Instagram, a spokesperson says, adding that it’s in discussions with Facebook about efforts to stop hate speech and thwart “the spread of “racist rhetoric and false information.”Lego A/S -- Stopping all advertising on social media for at least 30 days to review its standards and will “invest in other channels” during that time.The Body Shop -- The beauty chain says it’s halting paid activity on all Facebook channels and asking the social-media company to enhance and enforce its content-moderation policies.Starbucks Corp. -- Pausing advertising on all social media platforms. Will post on social media without paid promotion.Microsoft Corp. -- Paused global advertising spending on Facebook and Instagram because of concerns about ads appearing next to inappropriate content, according to a person familiar with the matter.Unilever Plc -- Halting advertising on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter in the U.S. through Dec. 31.Volkswagen AG -- The ad stop on Facebook affects the direct ad accounts of the German manufacturer’s brands, including Porsche, Audi and Lamborghini. VW, its ad agencies and the Anti Defamation League will enter talks with Facebook over how to deal with hate speech, discrimination and false information, according to an emailed statement.Mars -- Starting in July, a pause on paid advertising globally across social-media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat.Target Corp. -- Pausing ads on Facebook in July.Coca-Cola Co. -- Pausing advertising on all social media platforms.Clorox Co. -- Will stop advertising spending with Facebook through December.Conagra Brands Inc. -- Will stop advertising in U.S. on Facebook and Instagram through the rest of the year.Ford Motor Co. -- Halting U.S. social media for 30 days, won’t purchase social media ads for Bronco unveiling.Honda Motor Co. -- “For the month of July, Honda will withhold its advertising on Facebook and Instagram, choosing to stand with people united against hate and racism.” Acura, a Honda brand, said in a tweet that it was “choosing to stand with people united against hate and racism.”Hershey Co. -- Will halt spending on Facebook in July and cut its spend on the platform by a third for the remainder of the year, according to Business Insider.Diageo Plc -- Pausing paid advertising globally on major social media platforms beginning in July.PepsiCo Inc. -- Pulling ads on Facebook from July through August.Verizon Communications Inc. -- “We’re pausing our advertising until Facebook can create an acceptable solution that makes us comfortable and is consistent with we’ve done with YouTube and other partners,” said John Nitti, chief media officer for Verizon.SAP SE -- “We will suspend all paid advertisements across Facebook and Instagram until the company signals a significant, action-driven commitment to combatting the spread of hate speech and racism on its platforms.”Levi Strauss & Co. -- Pausing all paid Facebook and Instagram advertising globally and across all brands through July.Diamond Foundry Inc. -- Pulling all of advertising from Facebook, including Instagram, for the month of July.Patagonia Inc. -- Will pull all ads on Facebook and Instagram, effective immediately, through at least the end of July, pending meaningful action from Facebook.Viber Media Inc. -- The messaging service, owned by Japanese conglomerate Rakuten, plans to cut ties with the social network entirely, according to the Guardian.VF Corp. -- The North Face will pause ads on Facebook for the month of July. Vans, another VF brand, will also pull ad dollars from Facebook and Instagram next month, and said it will use the money to support Black communities through empowerment and education programs.REI -- “For 82 years, we have put people over profits. We’re pulling all Facebook/Instagram advertising for the month of July.”Upwork Inc. -- No Facebook advertising in July.Eileen Fisher Inc. -- Pulling ads from Facebook through July.Adidas AG -- Will stop ads on Facebook and Instagram internationally through July, according to Adweek.Puma SE -- Will stop all advertisements on Facebook and Instagram throughout July.Madewell Inc. -- Will pause ads on Facebook and Instagram through July.Pfizer Inc. -- Removing all advertising from Facebook and Instagram in July, calls on Facebook to heed the concerns of the StopHateForProfit boycott campaign “and take action.”Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. -- To pause Facebook advertising beginning July 1, according to an email.Chobani -- The Greek-yogurt company paused all paid social-media advertising.Peet’s Coffee -- Paused advertising on Facebook.Sony Interactive Entertainment Inc. -- ”In support of the StopHateForProfit campaign, we have globally suspended our Facebook and Instagram activity, including advertising and non-paid content, until the end of July.”(Updates with Sony Interactive Entertainment)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.

  • Financial Times

    Retail tech draws lockdown dollars

    When coronavirus forced Heidi Sabelhaus Myers to shutter her high-end fashion boutique in San Francisco, she did something she had put off for years: she took her business digital. “We got our online store up a couple of weeks after we closed,” she said. Ms Myers turned to Shopify, the Canadian ecommerce group that bills itself as online retail’s “operating system”.

  • Google, Temasek Are Said to Be in Talks to Invest in Tokopedia
    Bloomberg

    Google, Temasek Are Said to Be in Talks to Invest in Tokopedia

    (Bloomberg) -- Google and Temasek Holdings Pte are in negotiations to join a funding round of between $500 million and $1 billion for Indonesian e-commerce giant PT Tokopedia, according to people familiar with the matter.Tokopedia, the online marketplace backed by SoftBank Group Corp.’s Vision Fund, has held talks with U.S. internet giants including Facebook Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Amazon.com Inc., the people said. But Google and Temasek have been more active in their negotiations and those talks may conclude in coming weeks, they said, asking not to be identified because the discussions are private.America’s largest internet corporations have looked increasingly toward Asia as growth in the U.S. and Europe slows, seeking to tap the region’s rapidly growing smartphone-savvy population. Facebook is buying a stake in India’s Jio Platforms, while its WhatsApp unit struck a deal last month to invest in ride-hailing and food delivery giant Gojek. Representatives for Tokopedia and Temasek declined to comment. Google didn’t respond to an email seeking comment.The backing of Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Singaporean state investment firm Temasek would mark a major boost for one of Southeast Asia’s biggest e-commerce operators. Tokopedia co-founder and Chief Executive Officer William Tanuwijaya built the country’s most valuable startup after Gojek after scoring early backing from SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. co-founder Jack Ma. It now plans to list shares at home as well as in another as-yet-undecided location, Tanuwijaya told Bloomberg News in October.Read more: SoftBank’s Bet on Sharing Economy Backfires With CoronavirusTokopedia came close to finalizing its latest financing this year before news emerged of a recent data theft attempt that may have affected 15 million of its users, one of the people said. It was also held back by the Covid-19 pandemic, which is rapidly changing the online shopping landscape in the world’s fourth most populous nation.E-commerce platforms are now moving quickly to serve the millions of people forced to make their first online purchases during widespread lockdowns. Singapore-based rival Shopee -- a unit of Sea Ltd. -- is catching up, while Alibaba last month appointed a longtime veteran to head up Lazada and “fight harder” as competition heats up.Indonesia has become a key battleground between the regional rivals: The country’s e-commerce market is projected to expand from $21 billion in 2019 to $82 billion by 2025, according to a recent study by Google, Temasek and Bain & Co.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.

  • Google Probe Has States Split on Strategy With U.S. Antitrust Case Looming
    Bloomberg

    Google Probe Has States Split on Strategy With U.S. Antitrust Case Looming

    (Bloomberg) -- With the U.S. Justice Department nearing a lawsuit against Alphabet Inc.’s Google for antitrust violations, a coalition of states that are conducting a parallel investigation are divided over the best strategy for taking on the internet giant, according to people familiar with the matter.While the multistate investigation into Google’s dominance of the digital advertising market is in its final stages, some state attorneys general are advocating to take more time to investigate Google’s conduct in other markets and potentially bring a broader case against the company, said the people, who asked not to be named discussing a confidential matter.The disagreement could affect whether states join a Justice Department complaint about Google. Like the states, federal antitrust enforcers have been investigating whether Google is thwarting competition in the digital advertising market, where it holds a commanding position.The Justice Department, which is coordinating with the states, wants to move quickly, two of the people said, and is on track to file a complaint this summer, another person said, though it wasn’t clear what conduct the complaint will ultimately target. The department declined to comment.“While we continue to engage with ongoing investigations, our focus is on creating free products that lower costs for small businesses and help Americans every day,” Google said in a statement.State attorneys general can play a pivotal role in enforcement cases against companies when they band together in group investigations. They joined the Justice Department in suing Microsoft Corp. in 1998 for antitrust violations. The case nearly led to the break-up of the company when a judge sided with the government. After an appeals court reversed the ruling, the Justice Department under the George W. Bush administration settled the case.Two people familiar with the states’ investigation said the split among the states reflects normal tension about the best litigation strategy. A broad complaint would cover more conduct but would take more time to complete.Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is leading the investigation into Google’s conduct in the digital advertising market, which was announced in September on the steps of the Supreme Court. Other states, including Utah and Iowa, are focusing on internet search. Google dominates web search in the U.S., and rivals have complained that the company has prioritized its own services, such as travel and restaurant reviews, in results.Texas declined to comment. Representatives from Utah and Iowa didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.The digital advertising part of the probe focuses on Google’s control of the tools that deliver display ads across the web. Google owns much of the technology used by publishers and advertisers to buy and sell advertising space. Google has been accused of using its dominance to siphon advertising dollars from publishers.Earlier: Google Antitrust Road Map Goes to DOJ With U.S. Suit LoomingTexas is in the later stages of its probe in advertising and could join the Justice Department’s case with some states, said two of the people. States are still waiting to get a full look into the federal complaint, one of the people said.The investigations are so complex that few among the enforcers have a sense of what the Justice Department and all the states are doing, two of the people said.The investigation into online search is not advanced as far as Texas’s probe into the digital ad market, and some states are pushing for more time to investigate, said the people. At one point, states were also looking the company’s mobile operating system, Bloomberg reported last year, though it wasn’t clear whether that is an active part of the investigation.The chief executive officer of Google search rival DuckDuckGo Inc. said last month that state and federal enforcers have asked detailed questions about how to limit Google’s power in the search market as recently as the spring.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.

  • Why Pinterest Shot as Much as 5.5% Higher on Thursday
    Motley Fool

    Why Pinterest Shot as Much as 5.5% Higher on Thursday

    Pinterest (NYSE: PINS) rose as much as 5.5% on Thursday before settling down to close 3.6% higher. The online hobby-posting company continued to benefit from the news that social media behemoth Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) is shuttering Hobbi, its experimental Pinterest-like pinning app. Facebook rolled out Hobbi in February, promising users the ability to "capture and organize your creative process."