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PayPal Holdings, Inc.
CME Group Inc.
The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.
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TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation
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(Bloomberg) -- Pinterest Inc. shares surged after the company reported user numbers that exceeded analysts’ estimates.The digital search and scrapbooking company also withdrew 2020 forecasts after the coronavirus pandemic hurt its advertising business, but investors focused on the growth of Pinterest’s online audience.Monthly active users totaled 365 million to 367 million in the first quarter, higher than Wall Street estimates of 345 million users, according to Bloomberg MODL data. The company also reported preliminary first-quarter sales of $269 million to $272 million, slightly ahead of analyst estimates.“While the company’s ad revenues began to decelerate sharply after the middle of March, engagement on Pinterest has been strong,” Mark Mahaney, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets, wrote in a research note. “In the last two weeks, Pinterest has seen record levels of engagement in terms of search, saving and board creation activity, as users look for ideas on everything from building a home office to fun activities to do with their kids (very necessary).”San Francisco-based Pinterest ended the first quarter with about $1.7 billion in cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities, no financial debt, and stressed that it has not drawn money from its $500 million revolving credit facility.Shares of the company jumped as much as 15% in extended trading. The stock closed at $15.06 earlier in New York trading, leaving it down 40% since early February.That month, the company had projected 2020 revenue of $1.52 billion and said its adjusted profit margin would be flat to up slightly from a year earlier. It scrapped that guidance on Tuesday, saying the Covid-19 pandemic “impacted Pinterest’s advertising revenue globally.”“First-quarter revenue performance was consistent with our expectations through the middle of March, when we began to see a sharp deceleration,” Chief Financial Officer Todd Morgenfeld said.Read more about digital ad budgets evaporating here.Pinterest’s disclosure “largely confirms the negative shock that internet advertising began to experience in March,” RBC’s Mahaney wrote. “With PINS shares up +15% in the after-market, we believe there’s clearly a tell here about how concerned/low market expectations have been.”Pinterest also said that Chief Operating Officer Francoise Brougher is leaving the company effective immediately. Brougher joined Pinterest in early 2018 from payments company Square Inc. Morgenfeld has been appointed to take over her duties.“As we continue to position the company for long-term growth, we believe consolidating our financial and COO organizations under one leader will accelerate our speed of execution,” CEO Ben Silbermann said in a statement.(Updates with analyst comment in fourth 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.
(Bloomberg) -- Jack Dorsey pledged $1 billion of his stake in Square Inc., the payments firm he co-founded, to coronavirus relief efforts, the largest pandemic-related donation yet.“I hope this inspires others to do something similar,” Dorsey said Tuesday in a tweet. “Life is too short, so let’s do everything we can today to help people now.”It will likely take several quarters or even years to complete the transfer, according to a Square spokesperson. The proceeds from the initial sales will fund coronavirus relief efforts. So far, $100,000 has been donated to America’s Food Fund to “help fund meals to people impacted by COVID,” according to a publicly available spreadsheet Dorsey linked to in his tweet.“After we disarm this pandemic, the focus will shift to girl’s health and education, and UBI,” Dorsey said in the tweet, referring to universal basic income, the idea that all citizens should be provided with a certain amount of money each month. The pledge represents about 28% of his wealth, he said.Dorsey has been working from his home in San Francisco’s affluent Sea Cliff neighborhood, following shelter-in-place orders that are keeping many people from their regular activities. Also the co-founder and chief executive officer of Twitter Inc., he has a net worth of about $3.9 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The bulk of his fortune -- about $3 billion -- is made up of Square equity.Shares of San Francisco-based Square, which were little changed during regular trading, dropped about 1% in the extended session.While other billionaires have announced significant donations to combat the pandemic and the anticipated economic turmoil, Dorsey’s pledge is by far the biggest so far. Before his announcement, $2.85 billion had been committed in the U.S. by companies, public charities, family foundations and individuals, according to Candid, a nonprofit research and support organization.Amazon.com Inc.’s Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest person, is donating $100 million to Feeding America. Michael and Susan Dell have committed another $100 million, mostly for global relief efforts. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation pledged a similar amount to develop a vaccine and pay for detection, isolation and treatment initiatives. Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan announced a $25 million commitment last month to help research a possible drug for Covid-19. The couple’s philanthropic organization, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, is working with Bay Area hospitals to offer free Covid-19 tests.Black, Ken Griffin Donate to Coronavirus Fight: Donation TrackerThis is not the first time Dorsey has announced a large stock pledge. In 2015, shortly after Twitter cut roughly 8% of its employees, Dorsey said he was donating almost $200 million in Twitter stock back to the employee grant pool. “I’d rather have a smaller part of something big than a bigger part of something small. I’m confident we can make Twitter big!” he tweeted at the time.On Tuesday, Dorsey wrote that he wants to be more transparent with his philanthropy so he and others can learn from it, adding that he’s donated $40 million in the past, mostly anonymously.Across the world, there have been more than 1.41 million virus cases and over 81,000 deaths. The San Francisco Bay Area, where Dorsey and his companies are based, had some of the earliest U.S. cases and authorities in the region took aggressive action to rein in the virus.Aside from the physical and mental toll the virus will take, the economic impact is also severe. The U.S. jobless rate has jumped to 4.4% -- the highest since 2017 -- from a half-century low of 3.5%, and is expected to surge in coming months.“Why now?,” Dorsey said in his Tuesday tweet. “The needs are increasingly urgent, and I want to see the impact in my lifetime.”(Updates with details throughout)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.
In a series of tweets, Dorsey said the amount, representing about 28% of his wealth, will be donated to his charity fund, Start Small LLC, which would later focus its attention to universal basic income and girls' health and education. Dorsey, who for years has kept details of his charitable efforts private, said all donations to and from the fund would now be visible to the public at all times through a public document. Dorsey, whose net worth is estimated at $3.3 billion by Forbes, also said that he was pledging his stake in Square instead of Twitter because he owns a bigger portion of the payments processor.
(Bloomberg) -- The coronavirus pandemic has pressured nearly every corner of the global economy, but analysts continue to see sunny days ahead for cloud computing and the ecosystem that surrounds the technology.The sub-sector is seen as a rare bright spot in the current environment, particularly as the outbreak pushes more people to work remotely, contributing to a long-term trend of rising demand. The boost is expected to be broad based, helping software companies, communication firms, and chipmakers that focus on data-center products, which are processors used in cloud computing.“The lasting impact of Covid-19 could actually be a net positive,” wrote Richard Baldry, an analyst at Roth Capital Partners. Cloud-based communication companies “should see increased customer activity, at least once operational bandwidth returns to a somewhat more normal level for prospects.” He listed Five9, Medallia, eGain and LivePerson as names that could see stronger demand and which were trading at valuations he views as attractive.So far this year, the Global X Cloud Computing ETF -- an exchange-traded fund that tracks an index of companies involved in the space -- is down 6.4%. A different ETF, the First Trust Cloud Computing ETF, is down 9.2%. Both have outperformed the S&P 500’s drop of more than 15% over the same period.According to Wedbush, the pandemic has thrown “sales cycles, procurement/IT departments, and budgets into a tornado-like state of chaos,” resulting in unprecedented risks to IT spending. Even in this environment, analyst Daniel Ives wrote, “cloud remains a theme”; he expects $1 trillion to be spent on cloud computing over the coming decade.Ives named Microsoft as “the Rock of Gibraltar cloud stock to own,” but said the trend would also support the cloud-computing businesses of both Amazon and Alphabet.Earlier this week, Bank of America referred to cloud-focused chipmakers as a “shining house in [a] tough neighborhood,” referring to the headwinds facing other areas of the industry. Analyst Vivek Arya expects cloud capex to rise 13% in 2020. While this is down from a prior view of 16% growth -- the lower estimate reflects “the most current Covid-19 headwinds” -- it represents a “robust acceleration” from 2019, when capex grew just 3.5%.The firm listed Broadcom, Nvidia, Advanced Micro Devices, Marvell Technology and Intel among the chipmakers most exposed to this trend. Nvidia has been one of the rare semiconductor gainers this year, and analysts have pointed to its data-center business as a tailwind.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.
CME Group's (CME) average daily volume for March and first-quarter 2020 increases on the back of better contribution by all six product lines.
The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Teladoc Health, Zoom Video Communications, Microsoft and Alphabet
(Bloomberg) -- Microsoft Corp. hired Apple Inc.’s former executive in charge of wireless technologies to work on mixed reality hardware and artificial intelligence technology.The Redmond, Washington-based technology giant appointed Ruben Caballero to a role as a corporate vice president, according to his LinkedIn profile. Caballero is working on hardware such as the HoloLens mixed-reality headset, according to his profile. The move underscores Microsoft’s investment in its growing hardware portfolio. Microsoft confirmed the hire.At Cupertino, California-based Apple, Caballero was a vice president of engineering in charge of developing wireless technology, such as antennas inside of devices like iPhones, iPads and Macs. He also oversaw Apple’s global wireless product testing efforts.Caballero worked at Apple from 2005 until early 2019 when his division’s work on modems -- chips that power cellular connectivity -- was subsumed by Apple’s custom chip division run by Johny Srouji. After leaving Apple, Caballero became an adviser at several Silicon Valley-area startups, including wireless company Keyssa and Humane, a startup run by former Apple employees.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 Opinion) -- The coronavirus age demands action. So the Big Three credit ratings agencies are downgrading borrowers with a hammer, moving at the fastest pace on record. Some market observers are already pointing fingers, saying ratings were too high to begin with. But who’s really to blame for all this?Investors don’t like abrupt, large-scale downgrades. Slashing companies’ ratings from investment grade to junk — so-called fallen angels — or to more distressed levels, will spark massive selling pressure in the money management world. Bond funds often have mandates dictating whether and how much they can invest in high-yield issues.Already, Western Asset Management Co., one of the biggest U.S. bond managers, has asked for a waiver from a California public pension fund seeking extra time to get its books in order after two major downgrades pushed the fund over its limit for junk-rated holdings. In the first quarter, fallen angels’ debt outstanding came to about $150 billion, exceeding the peak reached after the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.Ratings for leveraged loans could also turn into a big headache. Most managers of collateralized loan obligations, which package these loans and sell them in tranches, are mandated to limit the weighting of CCC rated issues to 7.5%. No one wants a fire sale.More pain is in store. Over the next six months, another $555 billion worth of angels' debt outstanding might fall, amounting to about 15.7% of the BBB bucket, estimates Goldman Sachs Group Inc. That’s in part because agencies have been slashing their company outlooks. Roughly half of investment-grade bonds are in this rating category.If you’re worried about fallen angels, consider what I’ll call sinking demons, issues that get downgraded from the lowest B notch to CCC. There are plenty of them in the $1.5 trillion leveraged loan market: About 30% of such loans rated by Moody’s Investors Service Inc. are in the B category, versus 12% in 2008. Sinking demons could push the percentage of CCC issuers beyond the 16% peak recorded in 2009, Moody’s warned.Granted, agencies have a moral hazard: They get paid by the issuers they rate. But are they really responsible for so many fallen angels and sinking demons? As I noted last week, the leveraged loan space has ballooned over the past decade, largely because the savvy private equity industry has been stuffing this market with low-quality, covenant-lite issues just a notch shy of CCC.The Federal Reserve is clearly worried. On March 23, it established a facility to buy corporate bonds issued by investment-grade U.S. companies, though it’s still loath to make direct loans to ones in distress. Since the passage of the Dodd-Frank Act in 2010, the central bank hasn’t been allowed to take big credit risks and can only lend with a high degree of protection, either buying assets super cheap or being backed by the Treasury’s money. So passing down lower borrowing costs through the pipeline of investment-grade corporate bonds might seem like a good idea.But is it? By subsidizing the most solvent lenders in the system, the Fed is once again artificially pushing down yields and forcing investors further along the risk curve. In fact, one may argue that the Fed — more than ratings agencies — is the reason so many investment-grade bonds are now clustering at the category’s very low end.Now that Fed Chairman Jerome Powell seems to have put out the wildfire, we are starting to see inexplicable risk-taking behavior again. Last week, Carnival Corp.’s $4 billion new bonds were gobbled up, even though it operates the Diamond Princess cruise that had more than 700 infected coronavirus patients.It’s easy to point fingers at ratings agencies. But in reality, they don't move the pricing needle unless they downgrade by more than one notch, or pencil in a fallen angel or sinking demon. What matters is the Fed.Now if this were China, the government would start giving “window guidance” and telling ratings agencies to stop publishing these aggressive downgrades. Thankfully, the Fed isn’t Big Brother. But keeping would-be angels on life support will bedevil any much-needed reckoning in the credit market.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Shuli Ren is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Asian markets. She previously wrote on markets for Barron's, following a career as an investment banker, and is a CFA charterholder.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) -- The Bank of Israel shifted course by cutting interest rates to just above zero, and hinted it may not stop there if the coronavirus continues to ravage the economy.In a sign it could be rethinking a long-held reluctance to push borrowing costs into negative territory, the monetary committee said it would expand the use of existing tools, including rates, and introduce new ones depending on the length of the crisis. On Monday, it brought the key rate back to its all-time low of 0.1% from 0.25%, in line with the forecasts of most economists surveyed by Bloomberg. Local equities and corporate bonds rose after the announcement, while the shekel pared some of its gains against the dollar.Israeli policy makers also announced what they called “unprecedented” new measures that include low-interest loans to banks and repurchase transactions with corporate bonds accepted as collateral. Only weeks ago, officials played down the potential for cheaper borrowing costs and concentrated on markets in designing their emergency response to the pandemic.“Stating that interest-rate instruments are still a viable tool is a very strong forward guidance,” said Guy Beit-Or, head of macro research at Psagot Investment House, in a note after the decision. “The Bank of Israel just signaled that, in their view, moving to a negative interest rate, if required, is no longer taboo.”The last time Israel started to cut rates under then-Governor Stanley Fischer, it ended up stopping just short of zero. But the old rules no longer apply as it looks to blunt the economic damage from the outbreak at a time of a near-total lockdown of domestic business and a liquidity squeeze in the financial system. Among major central banks, the European Central Bank and Bank of Japan already have negative rates.In an accompanying research staff forecast, the Israeli central bank’s economists said they see output contracting 5.3% this year with a policy interest rate between 0% and 0.1% at the end of 2020. Economic growth is forecast to snap back to a gain of 8.7% in 2021.‘Rate Tool’“We hope the outlook won’t be worse than we’ve forecast here, but if it is, we don’t see a further need to specifically use the interest rate tool,” Governor Amir Yaron told reporters after the decision. “But still, at a certain level, if we see more serious developments then we can certainly consider if it will be relevant to use this tool again.”The central bank’s previous guidance, last repeated in February after Israel reported its first case of the virus, said that “it will be necessary to leave the interest rate at its current level for a prolonged period or to reduce it.” Monday’s rate cut was likely needed to help launch the cheap-loan program, Beit-Or said. The challenge now is to offer immediate relief to an economy fast sinking into a recession while crippled by a dramatic upsurge in unemployment to 25%. Israel has shut down almost all business and movement outside the home. The country has 8,611 confirmed cases of the virus and more than 50 deaths.The central bank has already re-started a government bond-buying program for the first time since 2009, committing to purchase nearly triple the amount of sovereign debt it did amid the financial crisis.It’s additionally offering swaps transactions with banks to ease demand for dollars and has relaxed regulations on local banks.That 50 billion-shekel ($14 billion) government bond-purchasing program is expected to “be enough to aid this market, also if there will be further fiscal expansion,” Yaron said. “We, of course, will consider growing the program to the extent that there is a need to stabilize the market going forward.”The Bank of Israel has also sharply reduced its offerings of short-term debt, a way of loosening policy by absorbing less money. Buying corporate debt could be on the table if the government’s fiscal aid doesn’t help overcome the economic ordeal caused by the coronavirus outbreak.Yaron has meanwhile been asking for a primarily fiscal response, saying Monday that “most of the burden in dealing with the crisis falls on the government’s budget policy.”The government last week announced a substantial expansion in aid to a total of 80 billion shekels, equivalent to some 6% of Israel’s output. Much of it will be in the form of low-cost loans, while some is earmarked for health care and a social safety net.The program has come under criticism for its reliance on loans rather than grants, and for what some analysts say is a lack of clarity on the package’s targets. Many are also urging wider assistance to preserve the economy, with the Manufacturers Association calling for around 140 billion shekels in aid.“Going forward, we expect the Bank of Israel to keep the policy rate at the current rate for a prolonged period and to deliver any additional easing through increased liquidity and credit measures,” Goldman Sachs Group Inc. economists Murat Unur and Kevin Daly said in a report.“Given the new forward guidance, another rate cut is a possibility, but we think that the central bank is more likely to implement measures to ensure that the current low interest rate is transmitted to the rest of the economy, similar to the provision of monetary loans to banks released today,” they said.(Updates with economist comments in final two paragraphs)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) -- Emerging markets are about to find out just how much rougher April will be for them than developed economies.The signals are in the price swings anticipated by traders.The gap between a JPMorgan Chase & Co. gauge of expected swings in developing-nation currencies and a similar Group-of-Seven measure is the widest since June, after evaporating in March. Likewise, the spread between the Cboe Emerging Markets Volatility Index and the VIX gauge for U.S. stocks grew to 1.4 percentage points as of Friday’s close.While the Mexican peso edged up after a record intraday low in early Monday trading, some were skeptical on an economic plan unveiled on Sunday by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. The plan to counter the coronavirus fallout was “underwhelming,” said Alberto Ramos, chief Latin America economist at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Mexican authorities “seem to be underestimating the economic impact of the viral pandemic and the need for a deeper re-orientation of fiscal policy,” Ramos said.Oil’s newfound vigor also hangs in the balance as a row between Saudi Arabia and Russia threatens to scupper a possible deal among global producers to curb supply. The lack of such an accord would hit the world’s two largest crude exporters and other energy-dependent economies including Mexico, Colombia, Nigeria and Angola. Brent crude fell 2.6% to $33.23 a barrel at 12:00 p.m. in New York.Developing-nation central banks, meanwhile, have already used up much of the monetary arsenal needed to support their currencies and economies in the face of the virus. With interest rates in emerging economies at multi-year lows -- and near zero in the case of nations such as South Korea and Israel -- the carry returns that attract foreign funds are diminishing.“Uncertainty around both the supply-side and demand-side for oil should continue to effect volatility,” said Marshall Stocker, a money manager at Eaton Vance Corp. in Boston, which oversees about $520 billion of assets. “Policy adventurism can be expected at the country level as there is no history from which to identify an orthodox policy response. Therefore there will be health, fiscal, and monetary-policy mistakes and achievements made this coming and in future weeks.”Government spending pledges in some emerging markets dwarf what’s ever come before. Even so, they pale in comparison with the trillions of dollars promised in Europe and America. That discrepancy threatens to set the asset class back and is partly to blame for the record $83 billion sucked out of developing-nation stocks and bonds in March alone.South Korea, Israel, Poland DecideSouth Korea will decide on its benchmark interest rate on Thursday, with Bloomberg Economics forecasting it will remain on hold following an emergency cut of 50 basis points in March“The economy is set to contract and inflation is moving further away from the central bank’s 2% target,” Bloomberg Economics said in a note. “Even so, the Bank of Korea may conserve its policy ammunition at this meeting as it assesses the impact of emergency monetary and fiscal stimulus”Israel’s central bank cut rates to 0.1% from 0.25% on Monday. It was the authority’s firs rate reduction since 2015 and announced additional measures that include low-interest loans to banks and repurchase transactions with corporate bonds accepted as collateral.Poland will likely keep benchmark borrowing costs unchanged on Wednesday. Serbia will decide the following dayCzech lawmakers are expected to approve a new law on the central bank, which will give it an option to start asset purchasesCrude Wild CardThe Russian ruble and Peruvian sol outperformed other emerging-market peers last week as Brent crude rebounded 37% on hopes that global producers will decide to make historic output cuts. The OPEC+ meeting was initially expected for Monday, but got delayed to April 9 as Riyadh and Moscow trade barbs about who’s to blame for the collapse in oil prices. A failure to come to an agreement would likely cause prices to slide again.Read more: Oil Negotiators Race for Pact With U.S. Role in BalanceRead more: Aramco’s Bondholders Get Dragged Down by Saudi Oil-Price WarInflation, Foreign ReservesIHS Markit’s March services PMI index for India fell to 49.3 from 57.5 in February, data released on Monday showed. The composite PMI index dropped to 50.6 from 57.6The Philippines and Thailand will both publish inflation data Tuesday, with the former’s reading forecast to slow for a second month. Taiwan will report its inflation figures on Wednesday, while China’s headline rate is also expected to slow in Friday’s dataInflation in Russia probably accelerated to 2.7% in March from 2.3% as the ruble declined along with oil prices. But price pressure will abate as the pandemic weighs on demand, creating room for the central bank to look through temporary ruble weakness and resume easing once financial markets stabilize, according to Bloomberg EconomicsIndonesia, Taiwan, the Philippines, China and Malaysia are all due to report March foreign reserves on Tuesday. These will give an indication about the extent of local currency defenses across the region -- after Korea’s reserves fell by the most since 2008 in March.Still, Malaysia may be reluctant to show a number below $100 billion, making it likely that much of Bank Negara’s intervention to support the ringgit was undertaken through FX forwardsThe same will be true of China’s more distant but psychologically important $3 trillion figure. Its central bank is also likely to use other means to defend the currencyBrazil’s February retail sales figures, set for release on Tuesday, are expected to show growth from a year prior. An economic activity reading for the same month will also probably be positive, though both figures reflect a period largely before the coronavirus hit. March IPCA numbers should flag low inflation, according to Bloomberg EconomicsMexico’s inflation decelerated in March, data on Tuesday are expected to show. Traders will also eye industrial production numbers on Wednesday for clues to the economic toll of the virus(Updates MXN direction in fourth paragraph, Israel rate cut in 11th)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.
Microsoft (MSFT) partners with WalkMe with an aim of bolstering Dynamics 365 adoption and boosting digital transformation of enterprises.
(Bloomberg) -- An experimental program led by Google parent Alphabet Inc. to wipe out disease-causing mosquitoes succeeded in nearly eliminating them from three test sites in California’s Central Valley.Stamping out illness caused by mosquitoes is one of Alphabet unit Verily’s most ambitious public-health projects. The effort appears to be paying off, according to a paper published in the journal Nature Biotechnology on Monday. Verily is also running coronavirus triage and testing in parts of California. Bradley White, the lead scientist on the Debug initiative, said mosquito-suppression is even more important during the pandemic, so that outbreaks of mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue fever don’t further overwhelm hospitals.Since 2017, the company has released millions of lab-bred Aedes aegypti male mosquitoes into several Fresno County neighborhoods during mosquito season. The insects are bred in Verily labs to be infected with a common bacterium called Wolbachia. When these male mosquitoes mate with females in the wild, the offspring never hatch.In results of the trial published on Monday, Verily revealed that throughout the peak of the 2018 mosquito season, from July to October, Wolbachia-infected males successfully suppressed more than 93% of the female mosquito population at field test sites. Only female mosquitoes bite.Working with the local mosquito abatement district and MosquitoMate, which developed the mosquitoes originally, Verily released as many as 80,000 mosquitoes each day in three neighborhoods from April 2018 through October 2018. In most collections, per night Verily found one or zero female mosquitoes in each trap designed to monitor the population. At other sites without the lab-bred bugs, there were as many as 16 females per trap.“We had a vision of what this should look like and we managed to do that pretty perfectly,” said Jacob Crawford, a senior scientist on the Debug project.In the arid climate of the Central Valley, disease is an unlikely result of a mosquito bite. But in the hot, humid regions of the tropics and subtropics, diseases caused by the Aedes aegypti, such as dengue fever, Zika virus and chikungunya, kill tens of thousands of people every year. Releasing masses of Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes into the wild might wipe out entire populations of deadly mosquitoes and the diseases they carry.Verily is not the only organization pursuing an end to mosquito-borne disease. Microsoft Corp. co-Founder Bill Gates has pledged more than $1 billion to help wipe out malaria, including controversial efforts to genetically modify mosquitoes. Infecting mosquitoes with Wolbachia, which occurs naturally in some mosquito species, is a popular approach rooted in an old insect control strategy called sterile insect technique. What Verily’s efforts offer is not just evidence that Wolbachia can help wipe out disease-causing mosquitoes but potential ways to make such efforts work on a massive scale. Last year, Verily released about 14.4 million mosquitoes in Fresno County.Initial small-scale Fresno trials in 2016, run by an upstart called MosquitoMate, were the first time male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes infected with the bacteria were ever released in the U.S. The following year, Verily stepped in, bringing more advanced technology to the breeding and release process that could make it possible to expand such efforts to entire cities or regions.The new paper details many of those technologies, such as an automated process for separating male and female mosquitoes in the lab, and software that helps to determine exactly where to release altered male mosquitoes for maximum effectiveness.“Once you try to start rearing hundreds of thousands of mosquitoes a week, you run into all sorts of problems,” said White. “Mosquitoes may be everywhere, but they are really finicky and difficult to grow.”Verily has expanded its partnerships to include Singapore’s National Environment Agency. Trials there have entered a fourth phase to cover 121 urban residential blocks and about 45,000 residents. Verily is eyeing partnerships in South America and is in talks to launch in the Caribbean.Within a few years, said Crawford, Verily hopes the program will cover entire regions. Without intervention, he said, the public health toll of mosquito-born illness will only grow.“This is something that’s not going away on its own,” he said.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.
Nvidia jumped above a 275.50 cup-with-handle buy point at the open, but reversed lower. Looks like it'll try to hold 50-day line. Example of why it's good to wait 30/60 minutes after open to see how stock
Microsoft is still well below a 190.80 buy point. But the RS line is already at new highs. MSFT is working toward its 50-day line and March 31 peak. A move to 164.88 or above would clear both those areas, a nice early entry for this Long Term Leader.