• iPhone 11 Demand Will Surprise the Street, Analyst Ives Says
    Bloomberg

    iPhone 11 Demand Will Surprise the Street, Analyst Ives Says

    Sep.20 -- Dan Ives, Wedbush Securities analyst, and Bloomberg Businessweek's Max Chafkin discuss consumer enthusiasm over Apple Inc.'s iPhone 11 hitting stores. They speak with Bloomberg's Taylor Riggs on "Bloomberg Technology."

  • Apple Reopens Flagship Store Just in Time for New Line of iPhones
    Bloomberg

    Apple Reopens Flagship Store Just in Time for New Line of iPhones

    Sep.20 -- Apple CEO Tim Cook throws open the doors to the redesigned Apple store on Fifth Avenue in New York City.

  • Nintendo's $199 Switch Lite packs plenty of power into a small package
    Yahoo Finance

    Nintendo's $199 Switch Lite packs plenty of power into a small package

    The Nintendo Switch Lite is a smaller, lighter, more portable, and less expensive version of the best-selling Switch.

  • Why Is HP (HPQ) Down 2.4% Since Last Earnings Report?
    Zacks

    Why Is HP (HPQ) Down 2.4% Since Last Earnings Report?

    HP (HPQ) reported earnings 30 days ago. What's next for the stock? We take a look at earnings estimates for some clues.

  • Bolsonaro Wants to Defuse Amazon Fire Controversy With UN Speech
    Bloomberg

    Bolsonaro Wants to Defuse Amazon Fire Controversy With UN Speech

    (Bloomberg) -- Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro heads to New York on Monday in an attempt to defuse the international outcry over the fires raging through the Amazon, while simultaneously asserting the country’s right to develop the rainforest as it sees fit.Until recently, few countries enjoyed such widespread affection as Brazil did, with its tradition of multilateral and “soft power” diplomacy, its unrivaled footballing prowess and vast natural beauty. ButBolsonaro will address the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday amid global indignation over his government’s handling of the deforestation in the Amazon.Brazil’s government believes the international criticism is unfair, but its actions show that it’s worried, including about the potential economic consequences. Fund managers with more than $16 trillion in assets have demanded action on deforestation, while European lawmakers are lining up to attack the trade deal between the European Union and the South American trade bloc that Brazil leads, Mercosur. Austria’s parliament rejected the agreement on Wednesday.In response, the Bolsonaro administration launched a public relations campaign asserting Brazil’s sovereignty over the Amazon and commitment to protecting and sustainably developing the rainforest. Now the president is taking that message to the UN.Read more: Bolsonaro’s Words Are the Sparks as Brazil’s Farmers Burn Amazonia“The United Nations General Assembly could be a great opportunity for Brazil to present and clarify its foreign policy,” said Sergio Amaral, Brazil’s ambassador to Washington D.C. until earlier this year. It’s also a chance to demonstrate its “commitment to sensitive issues for the international community, like the environment.”The question remains of how Bolsonaro can both calm fears over deforestation while asserting Brazil’s right to develop the Amazon. There’s also the added tension of his likely interaction with French President Emmanuel Macron -- whose wife the Brazilian leader insulted.“I am preparing a fairly objective speech,” the president said on his weekly Facebook live broadcast on Thursday night. “No one is going to fight with anyone, you can rest assured.”In the same breath, however, he said that he’d receive a beating in the press, no matter what he said, and that some countries were more interested in buying up the Amazon than saving it.Government ReactionFor the government the international outcry is vastly disproportionate to the amount of environmental damage.“This has been orchestrated by Brazilian groups that are systematically against the government,” Foreign Minister Ernesto Araujo said in an interview on Sept 3. “They want to use any tools at their disposal to attack the government even if this harms the country.”Environment Minister Ricardo Salles argues that the Bolsonaro administration’s development policies highlight how much previous Brazilian governments failed the 20 million people who live in the Amazon region.“This is the first government that engages in a serious discussion about how to develop the Amazon,” he said. “The worst human development indicators in Brazil are in the Amazon.”Araujo, as well as Institutional Security Minister General Augusto Heleno and Eduardo Bolsonaro, the president’s son and nominee to be Brazil’s next ambassador to Washington D.C., are helping the president to draft his speech.While he may seek to minimize reports of environmental destruction, an emollient address is unlikely, particularly given that Bolsonaro retains the support of the U.S. government in his approach to the Amazon. Given the president’s outspoken nature -- and love of social media -- even a softer tone would probably not last long.“Brazil used to communicate this idea of great sociability,” Andreza dos Santos Souza, the director of the Brazilian Studies Program at Oxford University, said. “These intolerant speeches are changing this perception.”Negative ImpactThe outrage over the Amazon fires clearly has the potential to harm Brazil. Ahead of the G-7 Macron threatened to scrap the EU-Mercosur trade deal over what he described as Bolsonaro’s “lies” over his commitment to climate change.The U.S. clothing company VF Corporation, which owns Timberland, Kipling Bags and The North Face, has suspended Brazilian leather purchases, and Norway’s two biggest investors have warned global companies against contributing to environmental damage. Brazilian embassies have also been targeted by protesters.Fitch Solutions Macro Research, formerly BMI Research, issued two reports warning of “increased scrutiny” and “economic risks” after the fires. “We believe that international concern over deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon basin will create headwinds to export demand and investment inflows,” Fitch wrote.Read more: Amazon Fires Another Warning for Brazil Stocks, JPMorgan SaysFor Amaral, Brazil has rapidly lost its hard-won reputation as a leader on environmental issues. Aside from the blow back from certain countries or corporations, individual consumers may start to reject Brazilian products. “This change is terrible for the country, terrible for the image of the country and for the perception of consumers,” he said.Brazil has fallen four places this year in the global ranking of the Country Brand Index, a measure developed by the Sao Paulo-based global branding consultancy FutureBrand, and now ranks 47th out of 75. The survey was completed in July, before the fires in the Amazon, but took into account the first six months of Bolsonaro’s government.“The Amazon is a very sensitive topic, with huge repercussions, and it comes on top of a number of negative issues associated with Brazil in the past few years,” Daniel Alencar, partner-director of FutureBrand, said. But, he added, a country’s brand is constantly in flux. “No single event is going to destroy the image of Brazil.”\--With assistance from Samy Adghirni.To contact the reporters on this story: Simone Iglesias in Brasília at spiglesias@bloomberg.net;Bruce Douglas in Brasilia Newsroom at bdouglas24@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Juan Pablo Spinetto at jspinetto@bloomberg.net, Matthew BristowFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Investing.com

    3 Things Under the Radar This Week

    Investing.com - Here are three things that fell under the radar this week.

  • ETFs in Focus as Netflix Bags Global Rights for Seinfeld
    Zacks

    ETFs in Focus as Netflix Bags Global Rights for Seinfeld

    Netflix boosts its content portfolio with the new show. We highlight the ETFs that can gain from this move.

  • WeWork, WeWait, WeWorry: What’s Next for CEO Adam Neumann?
    Bloomberg

    WeWork, WeWait, WeWorry: What’s Next for CEO Adam Neumann?

    (Bloomberg) -- Steve Schwarzman has doubts. So does Larry Ellison.And so, too, do the growing numbers of Wall Street bankers and investors who are all anxiously awaiting the next move by WeWork and its brash co-founder, Adam Neumann.Neumann was a no-show this week for a long-planned appearance at a SoftBank Group Corp. three-day retreat in Pasadena, California, according to people familiar with the the matter, a further sign that company executives are hunkering down. Once the WeWork initial public offering was postponed late Monday, organizers knew Neumann’s presence would be iffy, the people said. His planned appearance was rescheduled from the first day of the event at the Langham hotel to the last and then canceled altogether.In short order Neumann’s office-sharing company has gone from a get-rich story to a you’ve-got-to-be-joking melodrama -- from WeWork to WeWait to, now, WeWorry.It was a brutal week. First, WeWork’s parent company, We Co., finally conceded that its grandiose plans for going public would have to wait.Then Schwarzman, one of the most powerful figures on Wall Street, threw shade on the company’s hoped-for valuation, which has already collapsed from upwards of $60 billion to $15 billion -- or lower.“I sort of went, what? How do you get this?” Schwarzman, the head of private equity giant Blackstone Group Inc., said of the early numbers Wednesday at a luncheon in New York. Ellison, chairman of Oracle Corp., went further, according to Barron’s. He told a group of entrepreneurs at his San Francisco home that day that WeWork is “almost worthless.”And it only gets worse. In London, two deals for major office buildings that are largely leased out to WeWork started to fray. Back in its hometown of New York, the company made a small round of job cuts. And the Wall Street Journal, examining WeWork’s over-the-top culture, reported that Neumann and his friends smoked marijuana on a private jet en route to Israel last summer -- and left a chunk of the drug behind, spurring the plane’s owner to summon it back.If all that weren’t enough, Neumann’s own bankers were getting antsy: They were looking to revise a $500 million credit line secured by WeWork stock -- an acknowledgment that those shares appear far less solid than they used to.New RisksAnd, by Friday, Wendy Silverstein, a big name in New York commercial real estate who joined WeWork last year as head of its property investment arm, had left the company. She’s spending time caring for her elderly parents.Even the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston was adding to the angst. In a speech Friday in New York, Eric Rosengren warned that the proliferation of co-working spaces might pose new risks to financial stability.A WeWork representative declined to comment on Neumann’s canceled appearance at the SoftBank conference, citing the pre-IPO quiet period. SoftBank also declined to comment.Rarely has so much gone so wrong so fast for a young company in the spotlight. Neumann has begrudgingly agreed to cede some of his powers. The question now: Will that be enough?“I’ve never seen a company of this size and scale generate such a consensus of negative opinion in my long, long life of following IPOs,” said Len Sherman, a Columbia Business School adjunct professor whose 30-year business career included time as a senior partner at consulting firm Accenture Plc. “There is no box that they haven’t ticked when you think of all the reasons that you might be very concerned -- like blaring red lights. Like, oh my gosh, caution, danger, danger.”WeWork now hopes to go public next month. But even that may be optimistic. Neumann, also We Co.’s chief executive officer, has to persuade investors that his company -- which has raised more than $12 billion since its founding and never turned a nickel of profit -- is worth billions on the stock market.Deadline LoomsTime is short. WeWork must complete its IPO before the end of the year to keep access to a crucial $6 billion loan.The company’s $669 million of bonds due in 2025 have dropped 5 cents this week to 97.75 cents on the dollar as of Thursday, according to the Trace bond-price reporting system.A few hours after the Journal story hit Wednesday, investors at a Goldman Sachs Group Inc. conference in New York heard from Snap Inc.’s Evan Spiegel -- Neumann’s predecessor as a celebrated startup founder whose behavior and company control attracted unflattering attention as the unicorn went public in 2017.He was asked what advice he’d give to founders looking to become CEOs of companies that have to answer to shareholders. His answer:“Don’t go public.”(Updates with CEO’s canceled appearance in third paragraph.)\--With assistance from Gillian Tan, Matthew Boesler and Sarah McBride.To contact the reporters on this story: Ellen Huet in San Francisco at ehuet4@bloomberg.net;Scott Deveau in New York at sdeveau2@bloomberg.net;Gwen Everett in New York at geverett10@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael J. Moore at mmoore55@bloomberg.net, David Gillen, Daniel TaubFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Apple’s Mac Pro Tariff Relief Requests Approved Despite Trump Opposition
    Bloomberg

    Apple’s Mac Pro Tariff Relief Requests Approved Despite Trump Opposition

    (Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc. gained U.S. approval to avoid tariffs on Chinese imports for the upcoming Mac Pro computer, even though President Donald Trump indicated the company’s waiver requests would be rejected.Ten of Apple’s 15 requests for exclusions from 25% duties have been approved, according to the U.S. Trade Representative’s office. Customs and Border Protection determined it can administer the waiver from the levies when the goods enter the U.S. On Thursday, Apple’s request to win exemptions for the components had moved to an advanced stage in the approval process.Trump had signaled that relief from tariffs would be rejected, saying in a July 26 tweet that “Apple will not be given Tariff waiver, or relief, for Mac Pro parts that are made in China. Make them in the USA, no Tariffs!”But the president later told reporters “we’ll work it out” and that “I think they’re going to announce they’re going to build a plant in Texas.”Bloomberg reported in June that Apple was shifting production of its new Mac Pro to China from a facility in Texas. The Cupertino, California-based company hasn’t suggested there are plans for new factories in the state, though Apple has said it will expand its local headquarters there.Apple’s requests involved goods that are part of $200 billion in Chinese products hit with tariffs last September. Trump increased the duty on that batch to 25% from 10% in May. The rate is due to rise to 30% on Oct. 15, including on another $50 billion of goods also hit last year.Trump ordered duties on about $300 billion of essentially all remaining Chinese imports starting Sept. 1, but he delayed imposition on some consumer products until Dec. 15. Apple has said those duties would affect nearly all of its major products, including iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, Apple Watches, AirPods and the iMac.Apple had so far asked for exclusions on Mac Pro parts and accessories, as well as its Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad. Requests for tariff relief for the overall exterior enclosure, the Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad and some key internal components for the Mac Pro have been approved, while requests for wheels and other components are still under a substantive review by the USTR.Exclusion decisions are based on whether a product is available only from China, is strategically important or related to Chinese industrial programs, and whether duties will “cause severe economic harm” to the company or U.S. interests, the USTR has said.In its 15 requests for exclusions posted July 18, Apple said the devices or components are not related to Chinese industrial programs -- and that “there are no other sources for this proprietary, Apple-designed component.”To contact the reporters on this story: Mark Niquette in Columbus at mniquette@bloomberg.net;Mark Gurman in San Francisco at mgurman1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sara Forden at sforden@bloomberg.net, Andrew Pollack, Mark MilianFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Apple’s New iPhones Show Signs of Demand; New Store Draws Crowds
    Bloomberg

    Apple’s New iPhones Show Signs of Demand; New Store Draws Crowds

    (Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc.’s latest iPhone models hit the stores on Friday, in a test of whether better cameras and longer battery life will be enough to lure buyers ahead of a much bigger redesign next year.The new line of hardware, including three new phones and an updated Apple Watch and iPads, was introduced on Sept. 10 and customers were able to place preorders last week to either be delivered or picked up in stores today. Long lines snaked around Apple’s flagship on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan as people waited to get in to the gleaming glass cube and descend to the underground space, which as been under renovation for two years and emerged Friday bigger and brighter. Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook was on site for the opening and stood out on the store’s plaza across from Central Park taking selfies with fans.Sam Sheffer had already picked up his green iPhone 11 Pro in Manhattan’s SoHo store Friday morning, waiting in line for less than five minutes. But he went uptown to see the new store and potentially get a glimpse of Cook.“For me, a die-hard enthusiast, I wouldn’t be able to live knowing there was an iPhone I didn’t have,” Sheffer said.Apple shares declined 1.5% to close at $217.73, valuing the company at almost $984 billion.Apple’s latest iPhone faced some hurdles heading in to its annual revamp. Sales of the iconic smartphone have declined in the past three quarters, as prices crept above $1,000 and people hung on to their current models longer. A lack of revolutionary features on this year’s model could keep some fans holding out until 2020, when significantly faster 5G networks and a revamped design will open up new possibilities with the phone. At the same time, a trade war between the U.S. and China is also starting to take a toll.But some early reports from analysts pointed to encouraging signs for Apple. “Demand looks strong out of the gates for Apple as the lines at its flagship NYC store were up about 70% today compared to what we saw last year,” Dan Ives, an analyst at Wedbush Securities wrote in a note to investors. Having talked to customers in line, Ives said there was “strong demand for the base iPhone 11 as well as the 256GB iPhone 11 Pro in both the space grey and gold colors.” Ives said another positive sign for Cupertino, California-based Apple is that the lines were “unwavering into the afternoon.”Apple set the base model price at $699 for the iPhone 11, down from the iPhone XR’s $749 price last year and below some analysts’ expectations. That might help attract some first-time buyers to its expanding entertainment and services ecosystem.Rosenblatt Securities Inc. said it’s seeing “some new model production increases for September and October for the new iPhone models.” Jun Zhang, an analyst at Rosenblatt, wrote that the firm now sees volume increasing by 3 million to 5 million units more than earlier expectations, to 68 million to 70 million units.It may come as a disappointment to those waiting on line on Fifth Avenue, but if they haven’t preordered their phone, they could face a two-to-three week wait, according to Zhang. That’s a longer wait time than the one-to-two weeks for last year’s iPhone XR, but, “there is a lot of inventory at other retailers,” Zhang said.Longbow Research analyst Shawn Harrison said Apple could be seeing a “potential higher floor in iPhone demand,” and that “initial iPhone search trends are positively surprising.”Lines outside Apple stores around the world were typically shorter or non-existent this year, but tourists and customers thronged the Fifth Avenue location. Daniel Akinsulire found himself stuck deep in line on 58th Street, waiting to pick up phones for his family. “I didn’t know it would be this packed,” he said. “I might be late for work.”(Updates with analyst comment in seventh paragraph.)To contact the reporters on this story: Molly Schuetz in New York at mschuetz9@bloomberg.net;Kiley Roache in New York at kroache@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tom Giles at tgiles5@bloomberg.net, Robin AjelloFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Billionaire Candidate Steyer Admits to Carbon ‘Dregs’ From His Hedge Fund Days
    Bloomberg

    Billionaire Candidate Steyer Admits to Carbon ‘Dregs’ From His Hedge Fund Days

    (Bloomberg) -- Billionaire Tom Steyer acknowledged he still has some holdings in hydrocarbons, saying he made the investments years earlier but has been unable to unwind them.Appearing at an MSNBC Climate Forum on Friday, Steyer -- who has made the environment a centerpiece of his 2020 presidential campaign -- was asked whether he had completely liquidated his holdings in oil, gas and coal, some of which were acquired while he ran Farallon Capital Management, an investment company.“There’s probably some dregs left,” he said, adding that any income he receives from such investments is donated to charity.The former hedge fund manager listed his assets in a filing to the Federal Election Commission on Monday. The disclosure shows he still has holdings in the kinds of companies whose work he rails against on the campaign trail.In some cases, his portfolio and his politics align in green-friendly companies like Ample Inc., which aims to address the energy delivery challenge for electric vehicles, and Station A LLC, an automated clean-energy development company.Australia DevelopmentBut the filing also lists two separate private equity funds launched by banker Mark Carnegie, who has bet heavily on fossil fuel development in Australia. Steyer’s stakes are worth between $1.3 million and $5.5 million, according to the disclosure, which only requires the candidates to use broad ranges of numbers.At least one of the Carnegie funds made a substantial investment in Strike Energy Ltd., which develops coal-seam gas in Australia. Farallon, which Steyer founded in 1986, had also invested in Australian coal development with Carnegie in 2009. He invested his own money two years later.Steyer, who is worth $3.1 billion according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, also owns investments worth between $6 million and $31 million with Tinicum Capital Partners LP, a New York private equity firm that invests in oil and gas and other industries it considers out of favor. One of the funds Steyer owns through Tinicum acquired Flat Rock Development LLC, an oil and gas exploration and production company with fracking operations in the Appalachian Basin.Steyer’s disclosure also lists a stake worth less than $15,000 in Direct Petroleum Exploration Inc., a relatively unknown, closely held oil and gas company.In his appearance at the MSNBC forum, Steyer said he set up rules to divest the holdings years ago. “The process takes longer than I’d like,” he said.Alberto Lammers, a campaign spokesman, said standard contractual obligations in some private equity funds prevent Steyer “from simply leaving.”Steyer also disclosed owning between $5.3 million and $25.5 million in shares in Wells Fargo & Co. In announcing his candidacy, Steyer criticized banks for “screwing people on their mortgages.” Wells Fargo settled a lawsuit in March that claimed it improperly filed mortgage-payment change notices on borrowers in bankruptcy proceedings.Steyer also holds at least $5 million worth of shares in LPL Financial Holdings, Inc., which has spent $4.8 million on federal lobbying, taking particular aim at the fiduciary rule, a requirement that all financial advisers act in the best interest of their clients. Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Steyer rival, said the rule would “end the kinds of kickbacks and incentives that put families’ retirements at risk” less than a year before a federal court struck it down in 2018.Lammers said that Steyer’s holdings in Wells Fargo are in a brokerage account managed by a third party, while the LPL Financial stock is a distribution from an investment fund that the candidate no longer participates in.Steyer also lists an investment of between $250,001 and $500,000 in a fund run by Folium Capital LP, started by three former Harvard Management Co. executives who spearheaded the university endowment’s timber purchases in Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina. The firm says it invests in renewable forestry and agriculture.When he announced his presidential campaign in July, Steyer said, “Almost every single major intractable problem, at the back of it, you see a big money interest for whom stopping progress, stopping justice is really important to their bottom line.”Ad BuysSteyer, who has said he will spend $100 million on his campaign for the White House, has spent $14.4 million on advertising, more than any of his rivals for the Democratic nomination. The big ad buys are paying off: He raised his poll numbers and secured enough donors to qualify for the Oct. 15 Democratic debate in Ohio.Steyer has also put $20 million into his separate campaign to impeach President Donald Trump, and spent more than $240 million to influence federal elections since 2013, most of it through his NextGen Climate Action Super-PAC.The investments Steyer made while running Farallon faced some scrutiny when he became a big political donor. His spokesmen at the time suggested those investments were made in the interest of maximizing returns for his clients.Steyer took a pledge, as did his rivals, not to accept donations made by executives and political action committees of fossil fuel companies. He says he would declare a climate emergency in his first day in office and shift policy to limit carbon emissions by, among other things, curtailing oil production and fracking on federal lands.“You look at climate change, that is people who are saying we’d rather make money than save the world,” Steyer said when announcing his campaign.In a July interview with CBS News after he got into the race, Steyer said his investment experience running Farallon Capital had opened his eyes on the environment. “I came to understand there was something deeply wrong, starting really with fossil fuels,” he said, adding that he divested from the industry and became a climate activist more than 10 years ago. He stepped back from Farallon, where he notched average returns of about 17% over two decades, to devote himself to philanthropy and politics in 2012.Connections to the fossil fuel industry have caused problems for another candidate at a similar event. Front-runner Joe Biden faced pointed questions at a climate town hall held by CNN on Sept. 4 about a fundraiser for him co-hosted by Andrew Goldman, who co-founded Western LNG, a Houston-based company that develops liquefied natural gas export facilities.To contact the reporters on this story: Bill Allison in Washington at ballison14@bloomberg.net;Tom Maloney in New York at tmaloney38@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sara Forden at sforden@bloomberg.net, Wendy Benjaminson, John HarneyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • 3 Dividend-Paying Tech Stocks for Income Investors to Buy Right Now
    Zacks

    3 Dividend-Paying Tech Stocks for Income Investors to Buy Right Now

    We searched for strong tech companies that also pay a dividend, utilizing our Zacks Stock Screener. These three tech stocks should remain attractive to investors even during a potential market downturn...

  • StockBeat: Roku Shares Clobbered as Analyst Says Sell
    Investing.com

    StockBeat: Roku Shares Clobbered as Analyst Says Sell

    Investing.com - Roku shares were hit hard Friday after a Wall Street analyst rated the stock a sell and slapped it with a $60 price target.

  • Bloomberg

    Amazon Expands Two-Hour Whole Foods Delivery to Catch Walmart

    (Bloomberg) -- Ever since Amazon.com Inc. bought Whole Foods in 2017 for $13.7 billion, shoppers and investors alike have wondered how the e-commerce giant would integrate the upscale grocer into its sprawling online operation. Now, after two years of tinkering, Amazon is betting big on quick delivery from Whole Foods.In August, the company began a pilot project in select cities including Denver and Portland, Oregon. Mining the purchase histories of  Whole Foods shoppers who use their Prime memberships for discounts, Amazon zeroed in on items they buy routinely in physical stores. Then, the company began suggesting the same products on its main website with an enticement: free two-hour delivery. Previously, Prime subscribers looking for speedy grocery delivery needed to download a separate Prime Now app, which limited use of the service. Amazon is betting that offering the service on the main site will pull in more shoppers. The Prime Now app had only 1.8 million monthly average users in August, according to monitoring firm App Annie. Amazon’s website draws more than 200 million unique monthly visitors while its primary shopping app attracts 125 million users on average each month.As it has done before, Amazon wants to change shopping habits—in this case getting consumers more comfortable buying perishable products like bananas and yogurt online. That’s crucial if Amazon is to take on Walmart Inc. in the $840 billion U.S. grocery market.Encouraged by what it calls “very positive” customer feedback, the company has quickly extended the service to almost 30 cities, including Los Angeles, Houston and Detroit. “Most grocery customers buy the same things over and over again,” an Amazon spokeswoman said in an e-mail after Bloomberg asked about the program.  “The past purchases feature enables customers to quickly add favorite products to their cart.”The industry is grappling with how best to mesh physical and online grocery stores, a topic that drew 3,000 executives to the GroceryShop conference in Las Vegas in mid-September for panels on delivery, the future of stores and consumer behavior.Despite trying upend the grocery market for more than a decade, Amazon remains a tiny player. Walmart and its Sam’s Club capture 25% of all grocery spending in the U.S., according to Morgan Stanley, compared with 2% for Amazon and Whole Foods. Walmart has more than 4,500 U.S. stores, about 10 times the number of Whole Foods locations.Meanwhile, competition is intensifying. Walmart and Target Corp. are both investing in delivery options as well as in-store pickup of online orders, all geared toward time-strapped customers looking to simplify their errands. Walmart this month announced it was expanding its $98 annual grocery delivery service to 1,400 cities, undercutting Amazon Prime's $119 annual fee.Persuading shoppers to buy fresh food online isn’t Amazon’s sole challenge. Getting groceries to customers quickly is another. Offering two-hour delivery requires Amazon to show shoppers only products that are close to them, which isn’t easy because the 25-year-old website was designed to let anyone with an internet connection buy a product anywhere in the world. For that reason, Amazon launched its two-hour delivery service Prime Now in 2015 as a separate app detached from the main website, according to a personal familiar with the matter. That enabled Amazon to get the service up and running more quickly but limited participation because users had to download a new app. Moreover, Prime Now has offered a narrow selection of convenience store-style staples. The expanded service could help solve those challenges. Shoppers in cities where the option is available see a Whole Foods storefront on Amazon’s website. The storefront offers visitors discounts to entice them to try fast delivery of perishables and shows them previous purchases they made in stores. An optional filter lets them limit their search to what’s on the shelf in nearby Whole Foods locations in case they’d rather pick up the order themselves. “Amazon has been critiqued for not making full use of the Whole Foods acquisition, and this is about to change that,” says Juozas Kaziukenas, founder of New York e-commerce research firm Marketplace Pulse. “Having local stores act as two-hour delivery hubs is exactly why Amazon acquired the company.”(Updates with Prime Now app data. )\--With assistance from Matthew Boyle.To contact the author of this story: Spencer Soper in Seattle at ssoper@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.

  • Bloomberg

    Goldman, Morgan Stanley Turn to Interns for Generational Insight

    (Bloomberg) -- The youngest workers on Wall Street believe their personal data is at risk, want to see government action against climate change and support legalizing medical use of marijuana.Those are some of the findings released this week from surveys of summer interns at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley.The Goldman Sachs survey is partially a recruitment tool, said Jake Siewert, a bank spokesman. “It’s been very instructive for us in thinking about how we connect with people as we are trying to recruit that generation,” Siewert said.At Goldman Sachs, 83% of the interns support a carbon tax to combat climate change, and 80% believe their personal data isn’t secure. Medical use of cannabis is supported by 85% of interns. A majority of U.S. interns, or 59%, back legalizing recreational use, while the worldwide number is 48%.Almost all interns at Morgan Stanley are concerned about privacy for personal data, according to the firm’s survey results. The survey helps gauge how Generation Z, which covers ages between 7 and 22, will behave as consumers and workers, Adam Jonas, the bank’s head of global auto & shared mobility research, said in an email.Read more: Generation Z will be the ultimate cannabis usersAlmost all have driver’s licenses, but only a third of Morgan Stanley interns expect to need to own a car by 2030. About two-thirds said they prefer brick-and-mortar stores to online shopping, and the majority had visited a mall in the prior month.Goldman Sachs surveyed 1,800 interns in two weeks in July, by email. Morgan Stanley surveyed 220 interns during one week in June, via the web.“Interns reflect a really rapid shift in the way people think about certain societal issues,” Siewert said.To contact the reporter on this story: Gwen Everett in New York at geverett10@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael J. Moore at mmoore55@bloomberg.net, Dan Reichl, Josh FriedmanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • The Q3 2019 Earnings Season Gets Underway
    Zacks

    The Q3 2019 Earnings Season Gets Underway

    The Q3 2019 Earnings Season Gets Underway

  • The New Capitalism Is Looking a Lot Like the Old Capitalism
    Bloomberg

    The New Capitalism Is Looking a Lot Like the Old Capitalism

    (Bloomberg) -- The Business Roundtable caused a stir last month by declaring the purpose of a corporation isn’t merely to generate returns for shareholders -- the group’s official line since 1997 -- but to care for all its stakeholders.The 300-word statement spurred speculation over how corporate America might change. Not much, apparently, if you listen to the chief executives themselves.Bloomberg News reached out to the 181 CEOs who signed the declaration. Roughly two dozen responded, with identical answers: Our companies are already run with customers, employees, suppliers and communities in mind. And shareholders, of course. Otherwise we’d have gone out of business long ago.Many even said they’ve operated that way for years, or even decades -- in other words, long before disillusionment with the global economy helped upend politics from Washington to London and beyond. And they rejected the notion that earning shareholders a fair return ends up short-changing other parties.Critics, though, point to gaping inequality, runaway executive pay and insufficient efforts to combat climate change as evidence that while some companies do better than others, the overall numbers can’t possibly bear out the CEOs’ claims.“I don’t know how you look at the current situation in the country and say: ‘We’re really killing it in terms of taking care of all our stakeholders,’” said Rick Wartzman, director of the Drucker Institute’s KH Moon Center for a Functioning Society, who discussed the matter with Roundtable Chairman Jamie Dimon over dinner last year. “There’s been a tremendous imbalance with shareholder value being put ahead of everyone else.”Several CEOs acknowledged that many Americans haven’t reaped the benefits of recent years’ economic expansion, and that the political discourse has made them think harder about what can be done to bring those people along. But some, including JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s Dimon, argue that corporations alone can’t solve all society’s problems and shouldn’t be blamed for its shortcomings.“I do think business can do more,” Dimon said. “But I don’t think business alone can do it.”In interviews, the men -- and they were all men -- spoke about a range of programs and initiatives undertaken to pay employees more, reduce their firms’ environmental footprint and support communities.“Most corporate CEOs feel that we serve each stakeholder best by serving all,” said Tom Linebarger, head of diesel-engine manufacturer Cummins Inc. and a Roundtable board member.Lawrence Kurzius of spice-maker McCormick & Co. spoke about his firm’s efforts to assist small farmers in developing countries. “The best companies, frankly, are not those who try to scrape every last dollar for the shareholder,” he said.Vistra Energy Corp.’s Curt Morgan pointed to the company’s employee bonus program and efforts to subsidize or waive utility bills for low-income families. “It was easy for us to sign” the Roundtable’s statement, he said, “because we were living it.”Marc Lautenbach of Pitney Bowes Inc. said the firm used half of the money saved thanks to the 2017 corporate tax cut to give employees a permanent raise. “You’ve got to get the balance right,” he added.Douglas Peterson of S&P Global Inc. listed his company’s paper reduction initiatives, carbon offsets and data science training for workers.Not everyone shares their view.Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said at a New York Times conference this month he wouldn’t have signed the pledge because if companies only focus on purpose over profits, “you’re not going to have a very vibrant business community.”And Blackstone Group Inc.’s Steve Schwarzman -- one of a handful of Roundtable members who didn’t sign it -- said that while companies must consider stakeholders, focusing on all of them equally would make it difficult for him as a CEO to know what he’s supposed to do.“I look at this as a little bit of a red herring,” Schwarzman said.But Mark Sutton, CEO of International Paper Co., said his firm’s work sustaining forests and reducing emissions isn’t getting in the way of investor returns.“The shareholders are absolutely at the center,” Sutton said. “We’re just saying what was left unsaid but implied: You can’t keep the shareholder at the center if you’re not excellent with the other people affected by your company.”Even hardened skeptics have acknowledged that the Roundtable’s statement, if nothing else, was a step in the right direction. But some say that corporate-responsibility initiatives -- while important and well-intended -- won’t fundamentally change the chase for stock returns that still largely dictate corporate priorities.Take the more than $8 billion in 2018 charitable donations by firms overseen by the Roundtable’s roughly 200 members, which pales in comparison with the almost $400 billion the same companies spent on share buybacks that year.There’s also the question of how a company’s commitment to communities should be weighed against other aspects of its business.Johnson & Johnson, whose CEO Alex Gorsky led the committee that wrote the Roundtable’s new statement, has donated medicine that has helped treat over 100 million children, a spokesman said. But one week after the Roundtable’s new corporate credo was published on Aug. 19, an Oklahoma judge found J&J liable for fueling the state’s opioid crisis and ordered it to pay a $572 million fine. Gorsky declined to be interviewed for this story.“Johnson & Johnson did not cause the opioid crisis in Oklahoma” and will appeal the verdict, said Ernie Knewitz, a company spokesman. “We are actively collaborating with several organizations to help patients, families and communities” and find solutions to the crisis.Given the economic realities many people face, burnishing the image of modern capitalism will take some work.Since 1973, real income for the median U.S. household has grown 0.4% annually, according to the Peterson Institute for International Economics. The S&P 500, meanwhile, has seen annual increases of 10% in that time, and CEOs in the index received on average $13.8 million in 2018. That’s about 300 times more than their median workers -- a ratio that’s multiplied in recent decades.Growing inequality helps explain why many young people in the U.S. are embracing ideas like universal health care and tuition-free college -- and why many people are skeptical that corporate priorities are really going to change.“If these CEOs aren’t going to back up their words with real action to help workers, their words are meaningless,” said Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Democratic candidate for the presidency, who’s proposed making companies legally required to look out for all major stakeholders. “We need fundamental change now.”(Updates with J&J comment in 25th paragraph.)\--With assistance from Olivia Carville, Thomas Black, Jenny Surane, Matt Townsend, Richard Clough, Jordyn Holman, David Welch, Michelle F. Davis, Annie Massa, Riley Griffin, John Tozzi, Michelle Fay Cortez, Keith Naughton, Ian King, Nico Grant, Rachel Adams-Heard, Katherine Chiglinsky, Gerry Smith, Julie Johnsson, Matt Day, Cynthia Koons, Craig Giammona, Sonali Basak, Lananh Nguyen, Justin Bachman, Oliver Sachgau, Kelly Gilblom, Anousha Sakoui, Brandon Kochkodin, Sridhar Natarajan, Kevin Crowley, Mary Schlangenstein, Scott Moritz, Heather Perlberg, Matthew Boyle and Robert Langreth.To contact the reporter on this story: Anders Melin in New York at amelin3@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Pierre Paulden at ppaulden@bloomberg.net, Steven CrabillFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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