• Amazon pulls Chile dictatorship 'death flights' T-shirts after backlash
    The Guardian

    Amazon pulls Chile dictatorship 'death flights' T-shirts after backlash

    Amazon pulls Chile dictatorship 'death flights' T-shirts after backlash * Leftwing opponents were dropped from helicopters into sea * Range of shirts with mocking allusions to practice were on sale

  • Apple Buys First Carbon-Free Aluminum from Rio-Alcoa Venture
    Bloomberg

    Apple Buys First Carbon-Free Aluminum from Rio-Alcoa Venture

    (Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc. is taking delivery this month of the first batch of carbon-free aluminum produced by a Montreal-based venture, helping move the iPhone maker closer to its greenhouse-gas reduction goal.Elysis, a joint venture between Rio Tinto Group and Alcoa Corp. backed by Apple, uses new technology that emits pure oxygen when producing aluminum. Apple has said in an environment report that 80% of its emissions from an iPhone 8 came during the production phase. The metal is also used in iPads, Macs and Apple watches.“For more than 130 years, aluminum — a material common to so many products consumers use daily — has been produced the same way,” Lisa Jackson, vice president of environment, policy, and social initiatives at Apple, said in an emailed statement.Rio’s commercial network is handling the first delivery to Apple, a Rio spokesman said in an email.“This is another important step towards zero carbon aluminum and a more sustainable future,” said Alf Barrios, Rio Tinto Aluminium chief executive officer.The metal being shipped to Apple was produced at the Alcoa Technical Center in Pittsburgh.“This first sale is tangible evidence of our revolutionary work to transform and disrupt the conventional smelting process by making a process that is both more efficient and more sustainable,” Benjamin Kahrs, an Alcoa executive vice president and Chief Innovation Officer, said in a statement.\--With assistance from Mark Gurman and Steven Frank.To contact the reporter on this story: Joe Deaux in New York at jdeaux@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Luzi Ann Javier at ljavier@bloomberg.net, Joe RichterFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Paypal (PYPL) Stock Sinks As Market Gains: What You Should Know
    Zacks

    Paypal (PYPL) Stock Sinks As Market Gains: What You Should Know

    Paypal (PYPL) closed at $104.59 in the latest trading session, marking a -0.39% move from the prior day.

  • Microsoft (MSFT) Gains But Lags Market: What You Should Know
    Zacks

    Microsoft (MSFT) Gains But Lags Market: What You Should Know

    In the latest trading session, Microsoft (MSFT) closed at $149.93, marking a +0.05% move from the previous day.

  • Tesla (TSLA) Stock Sinks As Market Gains: What You Should Know
    Zacks

    Tesla (TSLA) Stock Sinks As Market Gains: What You Should Know

    Tesla (TSLA) closed at $330.37 in the latest trading session, marking a -0.8% move from the prior day.

  • Facebook (FB) Outpaces Stock Market Gains: What You Should Know
    Zacks

    Facebook (FB) Outpaces Stock Market Gains: What You Should Know

    Facebook (FB) closed at $199.36 in the latest trading session, marking a +0.33% move from the prior day.

  • Peloton Backlash Has Potential to Boost User Growth in Long Term
    Bloomberg

    Peloton Backlash Has Potential to Boost User Growth in Long Term

    (Bloomberg) -- Peloton Interactive Inc. has been pilloried online and punished on the stock market following the release of a holiday ad for its stationary exercise bike that was deemed culturally insensitive. But the backlash could be a good thing for the company in the long run.The commercial, which features a woman documenting a year in her life with the Peloton bike her male partner gave her, struck some viewers as out of touch -- suggesting the already thin “Grace from Boston” was undergoing a strenuous workout in order to lose weight for the guy. The video, released about a month ago, went viral on social media, eliciting a scathing parody by comedian Eva Victor and prompting Peloton to close comments on the official YouTube video.As the internet buzz seemed to hit a peak earlier this week, Peloton’s stock fell 9%. But some experts say the increased attention could end up boosting sales.“They might benefit more because people are looking it up and learning more about it,” Laura Ries, president of advertising consultancy firm Ries & Ries, said. It’s still a short-term bump for a company that has historically been largely successful with marketing, with a total member base of 1.6 million people including more than 560,000 who have one of the proprietary bikes or treadmills plus a fitness subscription, according to Peloton’s most recent quarterly report. The official Peloton ad on the company’s YouTube channel has been seen by more than 3.6 million people.The controversy comes at a crucial time for the New York-based company, which is new to market scrutiny after listing shares in September, as it seeks to capitalize on the all-important holiday sales season and expand in new markets like the U.K. and Germany. The shares had gained 27% since its initial public offering before the wave of internet commentary dragged it down on Tuesday. The shares closed 5% lower on Thursday.The company is also facing increased competition in the booming at-home fitness market, especially among workout apps. Nike Inc., Aaptiv Inc. and apps like Kayla Itsines’s Sweat with Kayla have all gained followings for exercise programs available on a user’s phone.Peloton has been punished by Wall Street for its focus on growth over profitability. The company sells a stationary bike starting at about $2,000 and a treadmill that costs about $4,000, in addition to a basic “connected fitness” subscription plan at $39 a month for those pieces of hardware, and the separate digital apps that don’t require equipment. Its loss narrowed in the three months ended Sept. 30 to $49.8 million.The stock surged almost 10% last Friday after the company was reportedly seeing strong demand on Black Friday. And earlier this month, Peloton lowered the price of its digital subscription app to $12.49 a month from $19.99 in conjunction with the launch of new apps for Amazon’s Fire TV and the Apple Watch, a move that could entice new users. JMP Securities analysts raised their price target on the stock to $38 after the subscription reduction, saying it “broadens Peloton’s reach, improves conversion, and reduces purchase friction.” Ronald Josey, a JMP analyst, said there are “a lot of good things going on” at the company and that people will continue to buy the bike and other products despite the controversy.According to the most recent earnings report, Peloton expects its user base to grow to 680,000 or more by the end of its second quarter thanks to holiday sales and New Year’s resolutions.Scott Galloway, a professor of marketing a the NYU Stern School of Business, said the commercial itself is tone deaf and borderline offensive. But “in this attention-driven economy, anything that gets attention is arguably a positive,” he said in an interview. “It’s bringing Peloton into the social discourse on very regular basis, which is what ads are supposed to do.” If Peloton had to do it again, Galloway said, “I’d argue they probably would.”To contact the reporter on this story: Julie Verhage in New York at jverhage2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Mark Milian at mmilian@bloomberg.net, Molly Schuetz, Anne VanderMeyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bloomberg

    Tesla May Pop 50% If China, Cybertrucks Succeed, Analyst Says

    (Bloomberg) -- Tesla Inc. shares may rise to as much as $500 if its Cybertruck becomes a success and sales in China pick up pace, Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas wrote in a note to clients on Thursday, boosting his bull case for the stock.The analyst raised his most optimistic scenario to $500 from $440 per share, saying it reflected $20 from the new pickup truck that was unveiled on Nov. 21 and $40 from incremental volume and profit in China.Jonas assumed the company will be able to sell 100,000 Cybertrucks by the end of 2024 at an average price of $50,000 and Ebitda margins of 20%.Since Elon Musk has said on Twitter that the truck currently has 250,000 pre-orders, Jonas’s assumption implies that roughly 40% of those would translate to an actual sale by 2024. “We believe this is a fairly optimistic assumption, given that a pre-order only requires a $100 refundable deposit,” Jonas wrote. The analyst’s base case assumption does not include the Cybertruck.For China, Morgan Stanley assumed 200,000 Tesla units in incremental volume, with revenue of $40,000 per unit.However, even with the new-found optimism, Jonas maintained his 12-month, $250 price target and hold-equivalent rating on the stock, which assumes 24% downside from the electric-vehicle maker’s Thursday closing price in New York. His caution is derived from the perception that in the longer term, Tesla could be perceived by the market as a traditional automaker. “We are prepared for a potential surge in sentiment through first half of 2020, but question the sustainability,” he added.To contact the reporter on this story: Esha Dey in New York at edey@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brad Olesen at bolesen3@bloomberg.net, Drew SingerFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bloomberg

    Waymo’s Autonomous Taxi Service Tops 100,000 Rides

    (Bloomberg) -- More than 100,000 trips have been taken in robotaxis operated by Waymo, the self-driving car unit of Alphabet Inc. Now the service is expanding to iPhone users.On the first anniversary of its pilot program in Chandler, Arizona, Waymo said it will begin offering an iOS app for its robot ride-hailing service for iPhones. It also revealed new details of the pioneering robotaxi service, which has been slow to offer fully autonomous service without human “safety drivers” behind the wheel to take over in an emergency.Waymo, which began a decade ago as Google’s self-driving car project, said its service has 1,500 monthly users and has tripled the number of weekly rides since January. Since late summer, Waymo has ramped up a “rider only” option without human safety drivers to a test group of a few hundred commuters. While those people weren’t always charged initially, they are now paying rates that are competitive with Uber and Lyft ride-hailing services, according to a Waymo spokeswoman.Most Waymo rides occur in the late afternoon and evening, with commuters using the service for everything from getting to work to having a “date night,” Dan Chu, the company’s chief product officer, wrote in a blog post.The service is expanding and will add more riders who will join a wait list by using the new iOS app. The service has been available on Android phones since the spring.Still, John Krafcik, Waymo’s chief executive officer, told reporters in October he is unsure when commercial robotaxis will take off. General Motors Co. has delayed the rollout of its service and Ford Motor Co.’s CEO has said the industry overestimated the arrival of self-driving cars.“It’s an extremely challenging thing to do,” Krafcik told reporters at a dinner in Detroit. “I do share your sense of uncertainty, even in my role. I don’t know precisely when everything is going to be ready, but I know I am supremely confident that it will be.”(Updates with comment from company spokeswoman in third paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Keith Naughton in Southfield, Michigan at knaughton3@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Craig Trudell at ctrudell1@bloomberg.net, Alistair BarrFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bloomberg

    Amazon Cloud Unit and NFL Team Up to Prevent Concussions

    (Bloomberg) -- Amazon.com Inc. and the National Football League announced a deal to use the tech giant’s cloud-computing services to help solve the epidemic of injuries—and especially concussions—afflicting the sport.Amazon’s cloud unit will provide software to analyze volumes of player health data, as well as analyze information and scan video images to better treat and rehabilitate injuries. The league and company hope to eventually use the software tools, which include a new “digital athlete” platform, to predict and prevent injuries. It’s the latest agreement between Amazon and the most-watched U.S. sports league. The company is in the second year of a $130 million deal to show Thursday night NFL games on its Prime video service. While Amazon Web Services chief Andy Jassy talked up the partnership’s potential to help with player safety, it will also strengthen the relationship between Amazon and the NFL at a key moment for Amazon’s video aspirations. The league’s billion-dollar TV deals expire in the next few years, and streaming services like Amazon Prime and its competitors have been experimenting with live game feeds. Amazon is likely to be among the bidders for a larger package.Proponents of artificial intelligence and machine learning say the technology could revolutionize a wide array of medical and health fields. Still, such work is early and some systems have shown issues with bias or unreliable results. Amazon’s own Rekognition software for image scanning and facial recognition has struggled to identify subjects with darker skin. Player safety, particularly head injuries, has been a major point of focus for the league in recent years. Dwindling participation at the youth levels, plus evolving research and a lawsuit brought by former players has forced the sport to address the issue more forcefully. Those effort have taken on urgency as former players continue to speak out about the affect of head injuries on their post-retirement life. Former New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, who retired earlier this year, has said he sustained around 20 concussions playing football.The league unrolled new concussion protocol in 2016, then made major revisions again in 2017, all aimed at diagnosing players in a safer and more efficient manner. The league also recently launched a $3 million challenge to create a safer helmet.The number of concussions sustained by NFL players varies widely by year. In 2018, the NFL reported 214 total concussions in the preseason and regular season, the second lowest total since 2011. In 2017, it was 281, the highest in that time frame.The Amazon-NFL partnership was announced Thursday at the annual AWS re:Invent conference in Las Vegas, the company’s venue for product and customer announcements.To contact the authors of this story: Matt Day in Seattle at mday63@bloomberg.netEben Novy-Williams in New York at enovywilliam@bloomberg.netDina Bass in Seattle at dbass2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Robin Ajello at rajello@bloomberg.net, Andrew PollackFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Saudi Aramco to Lead Elite $1 Trillion-Plus Club After IPO
    Bloomberg

    Saudi Aramco to Lead Elite $1 Trillion-Plus Club After IPO

    (Bloomberg) -- It seems like only yesterday equity investors had pegged $1 trillion as the dividing line between run-of-the-mill large cap companies and freakishly huge ones. Saudi Aramco just took things to a whole new level.The oil producer’s initial public offering Thursday valued the company at $1.7 trillion. That may have trailed Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s hoped-for $2 trillion valuation, but it gives the Saudi Arabian behemoth about a $600 billion lead on Apple Inc. and Microsoft Inc., the only two other companies in the world worth more than $1 trillion.The race to $1 trillion had become something of a spectator sport in recent years as technology megacaps led the record-long bull market in U.S. stocks. Amazon.com Inc. and Google parent Alphabet Inc. have also been in the running, although neither passed the milestone.Saudi Aramco’s debut would mark the first time in a decade that the world’s largest publicly traded company is outside the U.S. In 2009, Exxon Mobil Corp. lost the title to PetroChina Co.\--With assistance from Lu Wang.To contact the reporter on this story: Richard Richtmyer in New York at rrichtmyer@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Courtney Dentch at cdentch1@bloomberg.net, Lu Wang, Brendan WalshFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Amazon Roundup: Thanksgiving Weekend Results & More
    Zacks

    Amazon Roundup: Thanksgiving Weekend Results & More

    Amazon challenged Pentagon contract award to Microsoft as the holiday season started.