• The 100 Greatest Things about America 2020
    Yahoo Finance

    The 100 Greatest Things about America 2020

    This Fourth of July Yahoo Finance unveils its list of 100 things that make the nation great, in no particular order.

  • Why Salesforce.com Stock Rose 15% in the First Half of 2020
    Motley Fool

    Why Salesforce.com Stock Rose 15% in the First Half of 2020

    Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM) finished the first six months of the year up 15%, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence, as the cloud software giant delivered solid results in the face of the global pandemic and rode a broader recovery wave in SaaS (software-as-a-service) stocks. Salesforce started out the year on a strong note as the company got a series of bullish analyst estimates projecting a strong year for the customer relationship management specialist. As the stock tumbled in March alongside the market crash, CEO Marc Benioff pledged not to lay off any employees for the next 90 days.

  • 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.

  • Why Match Group Stock Gained 12% in the First Half of the Year
    Motley Fool

    Why Match Group Stock Gained 12% in the First Half of the Year

    Investors were falling in love with Match Group (NASDAQ: MTCH) all over again in the first six months of the year as shares of the Tinder parent racked up a 12% gain, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence, even as the COVID-19 pandemic roiled the market. Match Group got off to a rough start in 2020. At the end of January, CEO Mandy Ginsberg said she would step down over health concerns and other personal issues.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • How This Apple iPhone Rumor Could Boost Sales
    Motley Fool

    How This Apple iPhone Rumor Could Boost Sales

    There has been a lot of chatter recently about some secondary details Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) is working out for the next iPhone in terms of pricing and accessories. The grapevine suggests that the next-generation device may come without an important accessory -- a power adapter -- and could also force buyers to invest in aftermarket (and potentially wireless) headphones as the box may be devoid of EarPods. At the same time, there are rumors of Apple pricing the base model of the alleged iPhone 12 at a mouth-watering $549.

  • 4 Reasons Electronic Arts' "Star Wars: Squadrons” Could Be a Big Deal
    Motley Fool

    4 Reasons Electronic Arts' "Star Wars: Squadrons” Could Be a Big Deal

    There could be a lot of pent-up demand for this fresh take on the classic "Star Wars" flight combat games from the 1990s.

  • EV Stocks on Fire: Will Tesla Make it to the S&P 500 List?
    Zacks

    EV Stocks on Fire: Will Tesla Make it to the S&P 500 List?

    Green vehicles are indeed striking the right chord with investors, as is evident from the meteoric share price increase of many EV makers.

  • Is Nintendo Stock a Buy?
    Motley Fool

    Is Nintendo Stock a Buy?

    The video game giant faces tougher headwinds this year as the COVID-19 crisis disrupts its core business.

  • Hasbro Boosts Transformer Lineup With New Character Gigawatt
    Zacks

    Hasbro Boosts Transformer Lineup With New Character Gigawatt

    Hasbro (HAS) reveals new toy and comic book based on the TRANSFORMERS and Back to the Future movie.

  • 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.

  • Ford Sees 33.3% Fall in Q2 Sales Volume, Partners With Disney
    Zacks

    Ford Sees 33.3% Fall in Q2 Sales Volume, Partners With Disney

    While Ford's (F) retail sales decline 14.3% in Q2, it records the best retail share of 13.3% in five years, driven by the Built for America campaign and a winning portfolio of pickups, vans and SUVs.

  • Tesla Deliveries Could Top 500,000 in 2020
    Motley Fool

    Tesla Deliveries Could Top 500,000 in 2020

    Despite production setbacks earlier this year as the electric car maker's factories temporarily closed due to the pandemic, it's back on track to meet its original goal for the year.

  • 3 Cheap Stocks That Could Be Bargains if the Market Crashes
    Motley Fool

    3 Cheap Stocks That Could Be Bargains if the Market Crashes

    The March market crash created some amazing buying opportunities that many investors are likely kicking themselves for missing. Village Farms International (NASDAQ: VFF) fell as low as $2.07 during the March market crash, and the cannabis company's stock has more than doubled since hitting that low point. It may not reach that level again, but if the markets send Village Farms' stock down anywhere near that price, investors shouldn't hesitate to buy it.

  • 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.

  • Ambani’s Jio Adds Intel Backing With $253 Million Stake Sale
    Bloomberg

    Ambani’s Jio Adds Intel Backing With $253 Million Stake Sale

    (Bloomberg) -- The technology venture of billionaire Mukesh Ambani secured 18.95 billion rupees ($253 million) from Intel Capital, adding to a slew of investments since April that have reached more than $15 billion.The investment arm of computer chip giant Intel Corp. agreed to buy a 0.39% stake in Jio Platforms Ltd., giving the business an equity value of $65 billion, Ambani’s conglomerate Reliance Industries Ltd. said in a statement Friday.Intel Capital joins global names including Facebook Inc., KKR & Co. and Silver Lake Partners in backing Ambani’s bid to transform Reliance into a digital services giant and reduce its dependence on revenue from oil refining and petrochemicals.Read more: Reliance Says It’s Net-Debt Free After $15 Billion Jio Deals“Through this investment, we are excited to help fuel digital transformation in India, where Intel maintains an important presence,” Wendell Brooks, Intel Capital president, said in the statement.Morgan Stanley acted as financial adviser to Reliance Industries.Ambani’s digital unit has sold about 25% in stakes and has said it reached its goal of reducing net debt to zero earlier than its March 2021 target. Jio is expected to use its roughly 400 million wireless phone subscribers as the cornerstone of an e-commerce and digital services business.Read more: Saudi Stake Purchase Takes New Investments in Jio to $15 BillionThe slew of stake sales and progress in cutting debt have helped Reliance Industries shares double since late March. On Friday, the stock gained as much as 1.9% to a record 1,793 rupees.(Updates share price in final paragraph. A previous version of this story corrected the amount of PIF’s investment in the table.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bloomberg

    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.