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Teachers from Los Angeles County's Park Avenue Elementary School held back tears on Friday as they described the moment they were showered with jet fuel from a Delta airplane that was forced to return to LAX to make an emergency landing due to engine trouble. Attorney Gloria Allred, at a news conference on Friday announcing the litigation, said four teachers affected by the incident have sued Delta for negligence for dumping fuel in a densely populated area at low altitude earlier this week. On Friday, an airline spokesman declined to comment on pending litigation. Critics have said the jet could have dumped fuel over the ocean more safely, unless it were in an absolutely dire situation. Social media users captured video of the Boeing 777 jet, which had taken off to Shanghai with 181 people on board, emitting streams of fuel from the tips of its wings as it returned to the airport. The fuel dump caused minor injuries to at least 44 children and adults on the ground. Delta said on its website that airline cleaning crews worked with school crews to clean surfaces students may come into contact with. The crew that decided to dump the fuel, which fell on several Los Angeles area schools, didn't inform air traffic controllers they planned to do so, and the FAA is investigating. Delta previously said the fuel was dumped to reach a safe landing weight.
Amid surging health care costs and acrimonious public debate, a new study found that a public-run system would save money over time.
Facebook has blamed a "technical error" after it translated the name of China's President Xi Jinping as "Mr S***hole". The error occurred during Mr Xi's state visit to Myanmar last week when Facebook users translated Burmese into English. The social media giant appears to have disabled Burmese to English translations following the gaffe.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Investors keep flocking to private equity in Asia even though returns are declining. They should take heed: Payouts are likely to get worse from here, rather than better.The hunt for yield in a low-interest world has spurred institutional investors from China Investment Corp. to Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund to join the rush into the alternative asset class. Private equity firms founded by former veterans of Warburg Pincus and KKR & Co. are seeking to raise at least $4.5 billion for new funds investing in China, Cathy Chan of Bloomberg News reported Thursday, in the latest sign of the region’s burgeoning appetite for nonpublic investments.New York-based KKR, meanwhile, is targeting more than $12.5 billion for its fourth Asian fund, which would surpass the record $10.6 billion raised by China’s Hillhouse Capital Group in 2018.(2) At the end of June, private equity firms in Asia were sitting on a record $361 billion of unspent capital, according to London-based market research firm Preqin.The returns haven’t lived up to the hype. Funds focused on Asia generated an internal rate of return of 12.8% last year, down from 15.5% in 2018, according to Preqin. That’s below what investors could have made outside the region: North American funds chalked up an IRR of 16.4% in 2019 while those centered on Europe returned 18%.Even brand-name private equity shops have sputtered. Hillhouse’s $10.6 billion fund saw its IRR slip by 5.16 percentage points between September 2018 and the third quarter of 2019. Over the same period, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index dropped 3.3%, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. KKR’s two existing Asian mega-funds have had varying success.It’s getting harder for private equity firms to realize returns by selling companies on stock markets as the world wakes up to the reality that not all hot technology startups will be IPO winners. That follows disappointing debuts for high-profile names such as Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc., along with the collapse of WeWork’s U.S. share offering last year.Much of the private-equity action in Asia has focused on China, which has also had its share of setbacks. OneConnect Financial Technology Co., a unit of Ping An Insurance (Group) Co., cut the size of its U.S. IPO by almost half last month, while Oyo Hotels is firing thousands of staff in China and India. Like WeWork and Uber, both companies are backed by Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp.The U.S.-China trade war has also had a damping effect, with some private equity-invested companies finding themselves embroiled in the tensions. Facial recognition startup Megvii Technology Ltd. delayed its IPO in Hong Kong after it was included in a U.S. blacklist cutting off its access to key American technology. Bytedance Inc., owner of the wildly popular video app TikTok, is now a subject of a U.S. national security review, and is weighing the sale of a majority stake in the unit.All that considered, it isn’t surprising that the value of private-equity backed trade sales dropped 14% to $28.5 billion last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, while share sales by private equity owners slumped 27% to $6.4 billion, declining for a third year to the lowest since 2013.While the U.S.-China phase one trade deal signed last week offers some hope of an improvement in conditions, money is still likely to keep piling up in Asian private equity. For one thing, there aren’t many better alternatives. Institutional investors need to diversify: They can’t keep all their funds in U.S. equities, even if these have been going gangbusters for years.But that doesn't mean individuals need to follow suit. Private equity investments are more risky because they are illiquid and take years to pay off. Smart investors should see the ever-growing piles of dry powder as a sign of danger rather than success.\--With assistance from Dani Yang and Irene Huang. (Corrects to remove non-annualized MSCI index comparisons in the second chart, deletes reference to KKR fund underperforming the market.)(1) The Hillhouse fund is the largest devoted specificallly to Asian investing. Chinese state-backed, or policy, funds such as a $29 billion vehicle created in October to invest in the semiconductor industry are larger.To contact the author of this story: Nisha Gopalan at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Matthew Brooker at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Nisha Gopalan is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering deals and banking. She previously worked for the Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones as an editor and a reporter.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) -- Sign up here to receive the Davos Diary, a special daily newsletter that will run from Jan. 20-24.Emmanuel Macron’s pre-Davos summit for tech executives will hold some goodies for startups.In the third edition of his “Choose France” summit on Monday, timed to catch global CEOs in Paris on their way to the Swiss Alps’ World Economic Forum, the French president will detail measures in his 2020 budget that have improved stock options for startups in France.Macron will also plug a revamped visa regime that will give fast-track papers to tech workers for French or foreign companies and a new benchmark index, the French Tech 120, to promote the nation’s most promising ventures.Snap’s Evan Spiegel, who was given French nationality in 2018, EU digital Commissioner Thierry Breton, Netflix Inc.‘s Reed Hastings, Google’s You Tube CEO Susan Wojcicki, Lime’s Joe Kraus and other leaders from Mexico, Nigeria, Sweden, Turkey and the U.K. will attend the forum in Versailles.Entrepreneurs and executives at some of Europe’s most successful technology startups have been urging local governments to change laws to make employee stock options more attractive, in order to better compete with Silicon Valley. Macron, his Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, Digital Minister Cedric O and 17 ministers will present the government’s latest measures.In November 2018, about 30 chief executives of companies including iZettle AB, Funding Circle Ltd., Supercell Oy, TransferWise Ltd., Blablacar and U.S.-based Stripe Inc., signed an open letter saying a patchwork of different rules in various European countries makes it complicated and costly for employers to dole out stock options.The French 2020 budget law, voted late last year and enacted on Jan. 1, has two major measures already to make stock options of startups more attractive. First the conditions of the so-called BSPCE, an employee shareholding tool equivalent to a stock options, have been sweetened: they will get a discount compared to the price investors paid at the last fund raising.Also, employees of foreign startups with a base in France will be able to get stock options calculated on the parent company’s performance, not just the French branch, minister Cedric O unveiled in a statement late last year, as he said France seeks to attract more tech workers and companies.“What France has done is fantastic, but we really need a pan-European solution,” Martin Mignot, Partner at Index Ventures, which has stakes in BlablaCar, told Bloomberg. “Currently, startups face the same problems every time they expand into a new country. Talk to any entrepreneur and they tell you it’s madness, it is slowing them down and it is putting them at a disadvantage to large companies.”Macron has attempted to lure more investors to France ever since his years as an economy minister in 2014, via taxes, visas, benchmark indexes, bilingual schools and the French way to welcome new comers.In September he created the “Next 40,” a listing of France’s top 40 startups with the strongest growth potential. While only a few of them are currently “unicorns,” with values topping $1 billion, the government said it expect more of them to scale.Read more: Napoleon, Chateaus on Display as France Seeks Venture CapitalOne of the key measures taken by Macron was a 30% flat tax on capital revenues from securities, savings, capital gains, and other sources. That measure got him into trouble with some of his citizens protesting against inequalities in the Yellow Vests movement that started in December 2018.The statistic institute Insee said the increase in inequality in 2018 was linked to a sharp rise in investment incomes, which benefited from the introduction of a flat tax the same year.Still, Macron has also toughened his stance on issues like taxes and privacy. He brought it up with Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook in his first months as president and repeatedly to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Macron is currently in a tug of war with U.S. President Donald Trump over his tax on digital giants.Amazon.com Inc., like other tech companies, will make their first payment of France’s new tax on digital giants in a few weeks. The government enacted a 3% levy on large tech groups that is retroactively effective from Jan. 1, 2019.(Updated with comment from Index ventures)\--With assistance from Natalia Drozdiak.To contact the reporter on this story: Helene Fouquet in Paris at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Giles Turner at firstname.lastname@example.org, Vidya RootFor 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) -- Sign up here to receive the Davos Diary, a special daily newsletter that will run from Jan. 20-24.Facebook Inc.’s Libra cryptocurrency starts 2020 looking no closer to release, with authorities in its base in Switzerland raising fresh questions about its suitability as a global currency.Swiss finance minister Ueli Maurer said on Dec. 27 in Bern that the country can’t approve Libra in its current form, telegraphing to Facebook that the product it wants to launch in Geneva isn’t going get a green light from regulators anytime soon.Maurer went further in an interview with Swiss broadcaster SRF that same day, saying the project “has failed” in its current form because the basket of currencies Libra proposed to back the digital currency haven’t been accepted by the issuing national banks.The blunt language marks a dramatic change in tone from the warm welcome Swiss regulators gave to Facebook in June when it chose Geneva as the project’s base. Back then, the social-networking giant paid homage to the city’s pedigree as a hub of international cooperation while Swiss officials raved about the “positive” signals it sent about Switzerland’s role in an “ambitious international project.”But after the Securities & Exchange Commission, U.S. and European politicians lined up to express concerns about currency sovereignty, Facebook’s recent record on misuse of data, and Libra’s potential as a magnet for financial criminals, Swiss officials began to change their tune.“As long as the SEC is concerned about Libra, saying it’s based on relatively new and unproven technology and could rival the U.S. dollar, other governments including the Swiss will take a wait and see approach,” said Nils Reimelt of Capco Digital, a financial services consulting company in Zurich.Libra also made a strategic error in not reaching out to Swiss bank regulator Finma about applying for a banking license before announcing its Geneva plans, Reimelt said. The Libra Association then decided to not include the safe-haven Swiss franc in the basket of currencies backing the cryptocurrency, creating further uncertainty, according to Reimelt.Swiss National Bank President Thomas Jordan voiced those concerns in a speech in September, without mentioning Libra explicitly. “If stable coins pegged to foreign currencies were to establish themselves in Switzerland, the effectiveness of our monetary policy could be impaired.”Money LaunderingFinma joined Jordan in sounding a note of caution, saying in September that Libra would be have to adopt “bank-like” rules on risk and apply the “highest international anti-money laundering standards.”Some governments and regulators have raised questions “that we take very seriously and are working hard to provide thoughtful answers,” the Libra Association said in a statement. “We are committed to a continuous and constructive dialogue” with them and “our objective remains to find the best way to launch a fast, secure and compliant international payment system.”Bertrand Perez, Libra’s chief operating officer is set to speak Monday at the Geneva Blockchain Congress. Facebook planned to launch Libra in 2020 but has since backed off on timing, with Perez saying in September that its introduction depends on discussions with regulators.“This is why indeed we cannot say that we won’t launch in 2020, or that we are certain to launch on a particular date in 2020,” he said.After Maurer’s December salvo, the Swiss government on Jan. 15 issued a more subtly-worded memo, insinuating that it might be more open to a rethink of the project. It will continue to monitor Libra, the council said, “in particular the form which Libra may take in the future.”“Switzerland is generally open to projects that reduce the cost of cross-border payment transactions and seek to promote financial inclusion,” the government said.That’s a clear signal to Libra, says Capco’s Reimelt, that “governments want to stay in control and Libra has to tweak their model and align to regulations to not become a threat.”To contact the reporter on this story: Hugo Miller in Geneva at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at firstname.lastname@example.org, Christopher ElserFor 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) -- ByteDance Inc. is preparing a major push into the mobile arena’s most lucrative market, a realm Tencent Holdings Ltd. has dominated for over a decade: games.Sign up for Next China, a weekly email on where the nation stands now and where it's going next.The world’s most valuable startup has rapidly built a full-fledged gaming division to spearhead its maiden foray into hardcore or non-casual games, according to people familiar with the matter. Over the past few months, ByteDance has quietly bought up gaming studios and exclusive title distribution rights. It’s embarked on a hiring spree and poached top talent from rivals, building a team of more than 1,000. Its first two games from the venture will be released this spring, targeting both local and overseas players, one person said.Commonly compared to Facebook Inc. because of its billion-plus users and sway over American teens via social media phenom TikTok, ByteDance is looking to expand its horizons. It started as a popular news aggregator with the Toutiao app in China before setting the world ablaze with short-form video sharing on TikTok and its Chinese twin app Douyin. Now it’s looking to go beyond cheap ads and develop recurring revenue streams by taking on the Tencent gaming goliath in the chase for coveted distribution rights.“Having fully established itself as a leader in short video with over one billion users across its apps, ByteDance is now building multiple game studios by acquiring experienced game developers and talent,” said Daniel Ahmad, analyst with Asia-focused gaming research firm Niko Partners. “Its massive global user base and investment in gaming could make it a big disruptor in the gaming space this year.”Read more: ByteDance Is Said to Weigh TikTok Stake Sale Over U.S. ConcernsGaming in China has long been a Tencent fortress, with Netease Inc. a distant second. But ByteDance might be the one company capable of upsetting that status quo, having already defied convention by surviving and flourishing outside the orbit of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Tencent, who between them have locked up much of the country’s internet sphere. Toutiao is a key channel for Chinese game publishers to acquire new users, with 63 of the top 100 ad spenders among mobile games in 2019 devoting most of their ads to the news app, according to data tracked by Guangzhou-based researcher App Growing.Representatives for ByteDance, Tencent and Netease declined to comment for this story. Shares in Tencent went down as much as 0.6% during morning trading on Monday.Read more: Snap CEO Spiegel Says TikTok Could Grow Bigger Than InstagramOver the past few years, ByteDance has churned out several casual games that have grown popular with the help of its video platforms, but those quick hits made money mostly through ads. Its new foray into gaming involves a much bigger investment and is shaping up to be a major strategic shift, targeting more committed gamers who will splurge on in-game weapons, cosmetics and other perks.It could help the company diversify its sources of revenue at a time when the Chinese economy shows signs of slowing and TikTok draws scrutiny in the U.S. ByteDance is also testing a new paid music app in Asia, adding to its swelling portfolio of ventures. Steady revenue sources would help position ByteDance for an eventual initial public offering.While the move into serious gaming is very much at an embryonic stage, ByteDance is making up for its inexperience by poaching veteran staff from rivals, said the people, who asked not to be named because the plans are private. One of the gaming division’s creative teams is led by Wang Kuiwu, who joined from China’s Perfect World, a major game developer and esports tournament organizer. Yan Shou, ByteDance’s chief of strategy and investment, oversees operations, the people said. The unit runs independently from existing efforts to create casual mobile titles, they said.Read more: TikTok Owner Is Testing Music App in Bid for Next Global HitByteDance is making a global push that includes hiring publishing and marketing staffers based overseas, according to job descriptions viewed by Bloomberg News. One post seeks people to work with influencers and internal platforms to promote games, while another asks candidates to be responsible for “managing indie mobile game publishing projects throughout their life cycle.” This hiring spree is also evident in postings this month for more than a dozen game-related positions on Chinese career site Lagou.com, ranging from product managers to 3-D character designers based in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen.Acquiring talent also means buying up studios wholesale. Game studios acquired by ByteDance over the past year include Shanghai Mokun Digital Technology and Beijing-based Levelup.ai, as shown in public company registration information. The company also hired the core developer team from a Netease outfit called Pangu Game, after China’s second-largest gaming firm canceled the studio’s existing projects, according to people familiar with the matter.ByteDance’s game pipeline will include massively multiplayer online games with Chinese fantasy elements, said two people. Its newly acquired studios have pedigree in the genre: Pangu Game’s 2017 hit Revelation is a PC online role-playing game where warriors and sorcerers slay Chinese mythological beasts, while Shanghai Mokun has created several similar titles since its founding in 2013.The challenge of invading Tencent’s turf will nevertheless be immense. Tencent has three of the world’s most popular multiplayer mobile titles in PUBG Mobile, Call of Duty: Mobile and Honour of Kings. They are the blueprint for games that are free to play but rich on in-game purchases -- which accounts for a huge swath of mobile revenues -- that rivals like ByteDance try to emulate. More broadly, Tencent’s locked in a billion-plus users across Asia into a WeChat app that mashes elements of payments, social media, on-demand services and entertainment.Read more: China Will Drive Mobile Spending to Record $380 Billion in 2020Tencent and Netease also enjoy the advantage of having long-established relationships with Chinese regulators, who in 2018 began a campaign to root out gaming addiction that drastically constricted the number and variety of games allowed to be published in the country. Tencent saw hundreds of billions of dollars wiped off its market value as a result and is still recovering. Getting into gaming potentially exposes ByteDance to more regulatory scrutiny domestically, even as it battles U.S. lawmakers’ accusations that TikTok can be used to spy on Americans.Still, ByteDance can’t call itself a true internet giant without a substantial presence in gaming. Last year, 72% of all consumer spending on mobile came in games, according to App Annie, and the market is fiercely competitive. ByteDance’s critical advantage is that it already has a vast and engaged audience among the all-important teenage demographic: it can leverage Douyin/TikTok to channel users toward its games. That mirrors the winning approach Tencent took more than a decade ago when it exploited the reach of its social media platforms to enter gaming. ByteDance will have to prove that the strategy still works.“Gaming is a strategic vertical for tech companies in China as it is a key way to generate additional revenue from a large audience,” Ahmad said. “While they may be able to develop a number of hit titles in the China market, we believe it will still be difficult for them to truly challenge Tencent.”(Updates with analyst comment from fourth paragraph)To contact the reporter on this story: Zheping Huang in Hong Kong at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom at firstname.lastname@example.org, Edwin Chan, Vlad SavovFor 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 PBoC left LPRs steady this morning, with some time likely needed to asses the impact of recent cuts and the phase 1 agreement.
When you buy and hold a stock for the long term, you definitely want it to provide a positive return. Furthermore...
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Every year for the past decade I have been making a list of what I got wrong. This act of contrition allows me to own my mistakes, recognize my fallibility and learn from the experience. I hope you find some value in doing the same exercise.Let’s get to the errors:No. 1. Trading commissions: Last February, I cited a Morningstar survey that found that “fees fell 8 percent in 2017, the largest one-year decline ever reported.” It seemed, according to data on fees, that the point of diminishing returns had been reached. “The race to zero may be reaching its natural limits,” I wrote.Boy, did Charles Schwab Corp. prove me wrong.Although commission-free trading has been around awhile, it was either a niche product or offered as a teaser for other products. After investment giant Schwab said in October that it would offer commission-free trading, everyone from Fidelity to Vanguard to TD Ameritrade followed suit.One caveat: There is no free lunch, and free trading means that offsetting fees may be hidden or buried in the fine print. I continue to believe that, at least in finance, cheap is better than free. No. 2. University endowments underperform: Each October, many college endowments release their investment performance data for the past fiscal year. I wrote about the Ivy League endowments and how they had failed to beat benchmark returns.But I made an assumption that the benchmark these endowments were being compared against was a globally diversified portfolio. I was wrong. As it turns out — buried in a footnote of the research I relied on — the benchmark used for the study was a domestic portfolio. This is not a good comparison because the endowments invest globally. It stands to reason that they would look like laggards in a period of U.S. market outperformance versus the rest of the world. The lesson learned: The footnotes matter — a lot.No. 3. Brexit: I have been saying that the British will eventually come to realize that Brexit is a self-destructive and needless exercise and eventually would reverse the referendum mandating that the U.K. leave the European Union. I said it here, here and here.The election as prime minister of Boris Johnson, an opportunistic Brexiteer, pretty much means that the exit is going to be fast-tracked in a way that his predecessor, Theresa May, could never manage. There is no need to wait for it to be official: I was wrong about Brexit. The only argument left is whether the U.K. will leave the EU with or without a deal setting the terms of the departure.No. 4. Fiduciary rule: I have long argued that the brokerage industry owes consumers a higher level of care than now on offer and that putting client interests first should be the standard. In other words, rules should require brokers to serve as fiduciaries rather than as the glorified used-car salesmen that they historically have been.Despite opposition from the brokerage industry to any rule change, investors have been voting with their dollars and hiring financial advisers that conform to this better standard. It is all but inevitable, I wrote, that this fiduciary standard would be adopted by the industry, albeit with a nudge from the government.But I underestimated what the deeply motivated and deep-pocketed brokerage industry can accomplish in a deeply corrupt Washington. For now, rules requiring the adoption of the fiduciary standard are on hold.No. 5. Facebook didn't flip the 2016 election: I made a mistake on the long-running debate about the role of a weaponized Facebook in the 2016 election, arguing that very few people change their minds based on social media. Mostly, I argued, social media is a giant echo chamber and that people aggressively avoid ideas that challenge their established opinions.Given how close the 2016 election was — decided by a tiny share of the votes cast in three or four states — I am willing to admit that maybe Facebook content did persuade a few people to change their votes or stay home. Theoretically, this could have swung the election. And while I was predisposed to discount the role of social media in 2020, I now believe it could matter a lot. Let’s hope the 2020 election isn’t so close that the role of social media even matters.To contact the author of this story: Barry Ritholtz at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Greiff at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Barry Ritholtz is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is chairman and chief investment officer of Ritholtz Wealth Management, and was previously chief market strategist at Maxim Group. He is the author of “Bailout Nation.”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.
Guyana has been the offshore success story of 2019, and Suriname could be the story of 2020 after Apache and Total made a significant discovery of both oil and condensate off its coast
Nvidia shares have soared roughly 60% in the last year as part of a broader semiconductor market climb that has come despite an overall sales and earnings downturn. So is now the time to buy NVDA stock?
(Bloomberg) -- A swirling mess of winter weather is roaring out of the Midwest toward the Northeast, threatening to drop a blanket of snow on upstate New York, New Hampshire and Maine, to the joy of skiers, and as much as 4 inches on Manhattan.High winds and heavy snow were moving across the Great Lakes on Friday. A winter weather advisory has been issued for New York City, Long Island and parts of New Jersey and Connecticut starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday and running until 1 a.m. Sunday.“It’s just a mess over a wide area,” Brian Hurley, a senior branch forecaster with the U.S. Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland. “Every winter storm has its own nature, and this one isn’t going to wow us in the end with its snowfall amounts. But just the area of snow covered at six inches or more is pretty impressive.”Across the U.S., 1,065 flights were canceled Friday as the storm moved east, and another 76 were scrubbed for Saturday, according to FlightAware, a Houston-based airline tracking service. A Delta Air Lines flight slipped off a taxiway in Kansas City, according to the Associated Press.After the storm passes through New York, the forecast is for a mostly sunny Sunday with a high of 36 degrees Fahrenheit (2 Celsius), according to the National Weather Service.It will be the first time since Dec. 2 that the New York metropolitan region has gotten more than an inch of snow, and it follows a weekend in which temperatures reached into the high 60s Fahrenheit. Overall this season, only 2.7 inches (6.9 centimeters) of snow have fallen on Manhattan’s Central Park, or 5.7 inches less than normal.Along with the snow, areas south of the storm’s northern track could end up with a dangerous coating of ice. That condition could range across the Ohio Valley, into the Appalachian Mountains in West Virginia and Maryland and along Interstate 80 that crosses the region west to east.(Updates New York forecast in first paragraph, flights canceled in fourth)To contact the reporter on this story: Brian K. Sullivan in Boston at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tina Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org, Reg Gale, Christine BuurmaFor 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.
Shares of Google parent Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL) have jumped 9% in 2020 to help it ascend into the $1 trillion market cap club. Is it time to buy?
(Bloomberg) -- Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden called for the repeal of Section 230, part of a U.S. law that protects internet companies from liability for content their users post online.In an interview with the New York Times editorial board, Biden said companies should be responsible for libel on their platforms. The former vice president focused his ire on Facebook Inc., the largest social-media company, and Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg.Section 230, a provision of the Communications Decency Act passed in 1996, “should be revoked, immediately,” Biden said.The rule has allowed internet giants to take a hands-off approach to content on their sites, but has also spurred free expression online. Overturning Section 230 could make internet companies far more cautious about what they let users write on their platforms. Smaller websites could be hurt the most.Read more: The 26 Words That Helped Make the Internet a MessTechnology companies have lobbied to protect Section 230, but there have been successful efforts to weaken it already. Congress passed a sex trafficking law in 2018 that chipped away some of the protections.Biden’s remarks to the New York Times, published Friday, came as part of the newspaper’s presidential endorsement process. He focused particularly on Facebook. “It is propagating falsehoods they know to be false,“ Biden said. “You guys still have editors. I’m sitting with them. Not a joke. There is no editorial impact at all on Facebook. None. None whatsoever. It’s irresponsible.”“I’ve never been a fan of Facebook, as you probably know,” Biden added. “I’ve never been a big Zuckerberg fan. I think he’s a real problem.”Other Democratic presidential candidates have expressed concern about Section 230. At tech industry conference SXSW, Amy Klobuchar said, “It is something else that we should definitely look at as we look at how we can create more accountability.”Biden also said the U.S. should embrace some privacy protections like those in Europe, where citizens have more rights to remove negative content about them posted online.To contact the reporter on this story: Eric Newcomer in San Francisco at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Mark Milian at firstname.lastname@example.org, Alistair Barr, 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) -- Major technology and internet companies have long fueled the U.S. stock market’s climb to record levels, but that trend has come with one notable exception: Amazon.com Inc., which has languished in a fairly narrow trading range for months.Amazon shares haven’t notched an all-time high since September 2018, in contrast to mega-cap peers like Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet and Facebook, which have been hitting records on a near-daily basis. Many of these names experienced pronounced draw-downs over the past year and a half, mostly due to disappointing earnings reports or outlooks. But they regained their momentum last year, as their growth assuaged investor caution. Amazon, however, remains about 8.5% below its own peak.Because of its long-term prospects, Amazon is about as close as a stock can be to a consensus choice among Wall Street firms. Over the near term, though, it is “the most hotly debated among investors” as “debates persist on both AWS and next day shipping efforts,” according to UBS analyst Eric Sheridan, referring to its Amazon Web Services cloud-computing business.Since the start of 2019, Amazon shares are up about 24%, below the 32% rise of the S&P 500, as well as the much larger gains seen in other bellwethers. Microsoft and Facebook are both up more than 60% since the start of last year, while Apple has doubled. The rally resulted in trillion-dollar valuations for Apple, Microsoft and Google-parent Alphabet, a milestone that Amazon briefly eclipsed in 2018.The underperformance reflects concerns over Amazon’s earnings trends, even as it has continued to grow revenue at a double-digit clip. Major investments into initiatives like one-day shipping are seen as headwinds, and shares “may be range bound ‘tactically’” given the impact of this spending, Morgan Stanley wrote on Thursday. The firm added that “near-term profitability is likely to still disappoint” because of these investments, even as it sees the effect as temporary and one-day shipping deepening Amazon’s competitive moat within e-commerce.Another key issue is the waning dominance of Amazon Web Services, which has long been a major driver for earnings and margins, but has faced growing competition from rivals like Alphabet and especially Microsoft. According to Bloomberg Intelligence, which cited IDC data, Amazon Web Services was 12 times larger than Microsoft’s cloud business in 2014. By 2018, the most recent year for which data is available, it was just four times larger.James Bach, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, wrote that Amazon was particularly facing “stiffer competition” with government contracts. “Microsoft’s extensive sales experience, installed base within U.S. agencies and broad range of edge-computing products all make a compelling offering,” he wrote. Microsoft is “uniquely positioned to claim market share as federal agencies upgrade and secure IT systems.”In October, Microsoft beat out Amazon for a $10 billion Pentagon cloud contract, a deal Amazon had been seen as the favorite to win. The company subsequently claimed it lost the contract because of political interference by President Donald Trump, and filed a lawsuit challenging its validity.Amazon earlier this week named a new sales chief for AWS. Deutsche Bank wrote that the “magnitude of personnel changes” at AWS, along with rising competition, underscored the “increased risk of further deceleration” at the business.Separately, Morgan Stanley this week wrote that a quarterly survey of chief investment officers suggested some cause for caution about AWS growth. “Quarterly survey results can be volatile, but AWS saw a notable [quarter-over-quarter] drop in net expected budget share gains” over the next three years, analyst Brian Nowak wrote. “It will be important to continue to monitor these metrics going forward as we think about AWS forward growth.”Amazon is expected to report fourth-quarter results later this month. According to data compiled by Bloomberg, Wall Street is looking for revenue growth of nearly 19% and expecting net income to fall by nearly a third. AWS revenue is seen growing more than 30% on a year-over-year basis, according to a Bloomberg MODL estimate.Wall Street remains almost unanimously positive on the stock. According to data compiled by Bloomberg, 53 firms recommend buying the stock, compared with the four with a hold rating. None advocate selling the shares.To contact the reporter on this story: Ryan Vlastelica in New York at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Catherine Larkin at firstname.lastname@example.org, Steven Fromm, Janet FreundFor 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.
Air Products and Chemicals (APD) doesn't possess the right combination of the two key ingredients for a likely earnings beat in its upcoming report. Get prepared with the key expectations.
Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Brittany Kaiser has released new documents today that illuminate the initial jockeying between the company and Facebook as they discussed the need for Cambridge Analytica to delete data associated with 87 million Facebook users' profiles. The data was improperly obtained in 2014 by researchers with access to Facebook's developer platform who were being paid by Cambridge Analytica to obtain and process social media users' information for the purpose of targeting political ads. In December 2015 a Guardian article about Cambridge academic Dr Aleksandr Spectre (Kogan) outlined how he had acquired the Facebook profiles for research, and that Cambridge Analytica had improperly acquired that data.