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While many are calling 2018 a retail apocalypse, liquidation sales can can mean amazing discounts for consumers.
Apple has hired Andrew Kim, formerly of Tesla and Microsoft, to bolster its design team. Kim captured the attention of many in 2011 with a custom iOS device stand and again in 2012 when, as a fan, he shared his vision for an overhaul of Microsoft's branding and design language.
Britain’s antitrust regulator, the CMA (Competition and Markets Authority), is referring PayPal’s (PYPL) takeover of iZettle for a thorough review, a process that could take months to complete and could throw the deal’s fate in the United Kingdom into uncertainty. The regulator said it was taking the step because PayPal had failed to demonstrate how it would address concerns related to the deal’s impact on the competition. PayPal acquired the business for $2.2 billion in a transaction that closed in September, but it decided to delay the complete absorption of iZettle to allow the United Kingdom to conclude its antitrust review of the deal.
Apple (AAPL) is on its way to register a massive quarterly drop in the fourth quarter. Apple stock has already lost 26.7% as of December 14. Microsoft (MSFT) has seen 7.3% losses sequentially. Qualcomm (QCOM) and NVIDIA (NVDA) have fallen 47.9% and 20.0% sequentially, respectively. So far, the massive sell-off in the top tech companies has resulted in 14.1% losses in the NASDAQ Composite Index (QQQ) in the fourth quarter, while the S&P 500 benchmark (SPY) (VTI) has fallen 10.8%.
During Berkshire Hathaway’s (BRK-B) annual shareholder meeting, Warren Buffett sounded optimistic about US-China trade relations. Although we saw some de-escalation after the meeting between US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Argentina, there seems to be a long and bumpy road ahead for US-China trade relations. To be sure, China has taken some measures to reassure Trump, and the country has reportedly started buying US soybeans.
Alibaba owns and operates two of the largest e-commerce platforms in China, Taobao and Tmall. This large online shopping platform has simplified the shopping experience for more than 600 million Chinese consumers and created millions of jobs all throughout China. It is our expectation that BABA will be one of the world’s premier retailers for decades to come.
As noted in the previous article, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-B) continued to add Apple (AAPL) in the third quarter. Buffett started buying Apple in 2016 and until about a quarter back, all looked well with Apple.
Yandex (YNDX) recently rolled out its cloud computing service across Russia, following a limited launch in September. Yandex’s service, Yandex.Cloud, is an attempt to diversify its revenue outside of advertising. In the third quarter, advertising accounted for 80% of Yandex’s total revenue, and 86.1% and 80.5% of Alphabet’s (GOOGL) and Baidu’s (BIDU). Yandex’s business diversification push has also focused on the hardware, e-commerce, and ride-hailing markets.
The cloud services market is heating up. This market grew at a rate of 45% in the last quarter on a year-over-year basis, according to Synergy Research Group. The report mentioned that Amazon (AMZN) managed to maintain its share in this market at around 34%.