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Follow this list to discover and track stocks that have set MACD bullish crosses within the last week. A bullish crossover occurs when the MACD turns up and crosses above the signal line. Our algorithms use 12,26,9 as MACD parameters. This list is generated daily and ranked based on market cap. This list is generated daily, ranked based on market cap and limited to the top 30 stocks that meet the criteria.
HSBC Holdings plc ADR A 1/40PF A
Alibaba Group Holding Limited
JPMorgan Chase & Co.
JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Bank of America Corporation
Bank of America Corporation 6 NCUM PFD SR GG
Bank of America Corporation
Bank of America Corporation
UnitedHealth Group Incorporated
Verizon Communications Inc.
Wells Fargo & Company
The Home Depot, Inc.
Wells Fargo & Company
Wells Fargo & Company
Wells Fargo & Company
Wells Fargo & Company
Wells Fargo & Company
Wells Fargo & Company
Wells Fargo & Company
Bank of America Corporation
Wells Fargo & Company
The Walt Disney Company
Microsoft is pulling out of an investment in an Israeli facial recognition technology developer as part of a broader policy shift to halt any minority investments in facial recognition startups, the company announced late last week. The decision to withdraw its investment from AnyVision, an Israeli company developing facial recognition software, came as a result of an investigation into reports that AnyVision's technology was being used by the Israeli government to surveil residents in the West Bank.
(Bloomberg) -- Indoor farming startup Plenty Inc. is in talks to raise $100 million or more in a fresh round of funding, according to people familiar with the matter.SoftBank’s Vision Fund is in discussions to lead a new fundraising round for Plenty at or below the $1 billion valuation that was ascribed to it in its most recent round, said the people, who requested anonymity because the matter is private. They cautioned that no agreement has been reached, and that one may not be finalized.“Plenty does not comment on financing proposals and has not committed to any new financing rounds,” a spokeswoman for the South San Francisco-based company said in an emailed statement. “We are not in need of new equity financing, and evaluate any proposals opportunistically,” she added.A representative for the Vision Fund didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.Plenty has raised about $400 million in capital over the past four years, according to PitchBook. In addition to the $100 billion Vision Fund, other backers include Data Collective, DCM, and funds that invest on behalf of Amazon Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt.The startup aims to be more efficient than traditional farms, yielding more produce in a given space, while requiring less water.Last fall, Plenty said it intended to expand beyond the Bay Area and had identified Compton, Los Angeles, as the location for its next farm, with building slated to begin in late 2020.SoftBank is seeking $10 billion so its Vision Fund portfolio companies can support portfolio companies battered by the coronavirus pandemic, Bloomberg News reported earlier this month.Some of the Vision Fund’s companies have laid off employees this month including co-working giant WeWork and residential real estate brokerage Compass.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) -- At 53, the London-based hedge-fund manager behind $16 billion AKO Capital LLP says he’s about to step into his dream job. But his new take-home pay won’t even be enough to cover the wealth tax he now faces.Nicolai Tangen was recently revealed as Norway’s surprise pick to run its giant wealth fund. His investment war chest is set to grow by a factor of about 60, to $950 billion. Meanwhile, his salary may well shrink to a lot less than $1 million, and would cover about a tenth of the wealth tax he’ll need to pay.Tangen, a Norwegian national who’s returned over $8.6 billion to AKO investors since it was created 15 years ago, says he’ll “gladly pay that tax” in exchange for the “fantastic honor” of running the world’s biggest sovereign wealth fund.The process says something about the job and the kinds of profiles who tend to get it. Norway’s central bank, which manages the fund, says Tangen accepted his new role without even discussing pay. The fund’s outgoing chief executive, Yngve Slyngstad, got 6.7 million kroner ($632,000) last year.Slyngstad, who ran the fund for 12 years, had five degrees and a famously deep grasp of German philosophy. Tangen, aside from his career in finance, has degrees in art history and social psychology (he’s also a qualified chef.)As Tangen prepares to take over in September, he’ll face a unique situation. With the coronavirus pandemic set to trigger a global recession, Norway’s government might for the first time need to withdraw more cash from its wealth fund than the vehicle generates in cash flow. That would force the fund to liquidate assets.Whoever runs Norway’s fund watches over the wealth of an entire nation. Built on decades of oil and gas income, the fund is governed by strict rules including ethical requirements. It only invests abroad, in stocks, bonds and real estate. Any changes to its investment mandate require parliament’s approval.Tangen will have little leeway to stray from the global indexes Norway’s wealth fund tracks. But because of its vast size, even tiny adjustments can have big repercussions.“When there’s so much money,” then “you only need to create a small excess return in percent for it to turn into enormous amounts,” Tangen said in a phone interview from London.The new CEO’s own net worth has been estimated at around 5.5 billion kroner. Tangen plans to transfer his interest in AKO to a charitable foundation that will then have about 5 billion kroner in funds. He intends to keep 560 million pounds ($690 million) in cash and AKO funds, according to newspaper Dagens Naeringsliv.Meanwhile, he’s had to defend his tax record in Norwegian media, amid reports that AKO registers its funds in the Cayman Islands, which is a tax haven. Tangen says the intention was to avoid double taxation.Before returning to Norway, the hedge-fund manager has gone out of his way to declare his support for high tax rates. The father of three says he doesn’t want his children to inherit the bulk of his wealth, and even added during a press conference on Thursday that he believes in a 100% inheritance tax. An excessive inheritance robs children of the chance to get credit for their own achievements, he said.But in an illustration of how Tangen is already adapting to life under much greater public scrutiny, he backtracked on his inheritance tax comments on Sunday. In a post on the fund’s Facebook page, Tangen apologized and said it only reflected his personal view of his own family’s situation.The head of Norway’s sovereign wealth fund “should quite clearly not be making statements that can be interpreted politically,” he said. “I’m sorry.”(Updates with Tangen comment on inheritance tax in last 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) -- China’s trillion dollar asset-management market opens wider this week, forcing BlackRock Inc., Vanguard Group Inc. and other global firms to make a strategic decision: Go it alone or work with an entrenched local partner.While the further liberalization of the investment banking and money management industries in China has been overshadowed by the coronavirus crisis, wealth firms are nonetheless laying out plans to tap a market poised to reach $30 trillion in assets by 2023, according to consultant Oliver Wyman.Starting April 1, they can apply for licenses to set up wholly-owned mutual fund management firms for the first time. Vanguard and BlackRock are among firms going that route, people familiar have said. Other options include boosting ownership of existing joint venture partnerships to 100%, as JPMorgan Chase & Co. plans to do, people familiar have said.“With so many license options and changing policies, one of the biggest questions all foreign players face is where to allocate their resources,” said Jasper Yip, a principal in the financial services practice at Oliver Wyman in Hong Kong. “Asset management could be one of the most competitive sectors because of the opportunities.”Here are the different paths asset managers can pursue in China and how some of them plan to proceed:Wealth Management SubsidiariesThe China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission has been encouraging foreign asset managers to work with the wealth management subsidiaries of Chinese banks or insurers. Global players are expected to bring to the table product design expertise, while the Chinese firms provide a vast distribution network and relationship managers.BlackRock is in talks with China Construction Bank Corp. to set up a joint venture for a wealth management subsidiary, according to people familiar with the matter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has discussed a similar structure, people familiar have said.“Chinese banks have great distribution channels and client relationships, but many of them lack expertise to create long-term investment products with sufficient risk controls, so they would benefit from working with foreign players,” said Harry Qin, a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in Beijing.Wholly-Owned CompaniesThis is the go-it-alone option. China is planning to allow applications for foreign-owned fund management licenses that would grant control of mutual funds. At least six firms, including BlackRock and Vanguard, have told regulators they intend to apply to the Chinese securities watchdog, people familiar with the matter have said.China regulators are trying to shift consumers away from shadow banking products underpinned by loans sitting outside banks’ balance sheets. That’s creating an opportunity for mutual funds that are expected to increase assets by more than 10% annually, according to Oliver Wyman, a unit of New York-based Marsh & McLennan Cos.The fund management licenses will allow global asset managers to sell mutual funds to individual investors. Some firms already hold private asset management licenses that let them target institutional investors and high-net-worth individuals, much like hedge funds.“Wholly-owned fund management licenses will be one of the most sought after options for foreign companies,” said Rachel Wang, director of manager research for China at Morningstar Inc. “It allows them to offer more products and have a wide outreach to different types or sizes of customers.”The potential is significant. Even with the market opening, foreign players are expected to only account for 6% of revenue generated in the asset management space by 2023, according to Oliver Wyman. Still, that small piece of the market could be worth $8 billion.“Chinese regulators are very eager to attract foreign players in the financial sector,” said James Chang, China consulting leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers. “The government thinks the market is big enough for the local players to handle the competition.”Joint VenturesThis is the legacy option. Several investment banks already have mutual fund joint ventures in China. With foreign companies now free to control operations on the ground, it’s unclear whether partnerships still provide value.“Many of the joint venture asset management firms that foreign players set up with their Chinese counterparts have not been performing as expected, partly due to limited product offerings and less than ideal collaboration with the Chinese brokerages,” said Qin from PwC.The solution for some is to buy out their partners. JPMorgan is seeking 100% ownership of its fund management joint venture, people familiar have said. The New York-based bank is in talks with Shanghai International Trust Co. to acquire its stake in China International Fund Management, which oversees 150 billion yuan ($21 billion).Vanguard meanwhile has a robo-advisory joint venture with Jack Ma’s Ant Financial Services Group that started providing mutual-fund recommendations to Alipay app users in late March.JPMorgan Is Said to Seek Full Control of China Fund VenturePrivate FundsA go-slow approach. Foreign companies were first allowed to apply for private fund licenses in 2016. Some 25 firms, ranging from banks to hedge funds and insurance companies, have won these licenses, according to Natasha Xie, a Shanghai-based partner at the JunHe law firm.The private funds run three types of assets: stocks, private equity and pilot programs introduced by the Shanghai and Shenzhen governments that allow global asset managers to raise yuan-denominated funds from qualified clients to invest overseas.“It would make sense for players who can’t commit significant investment or headcount to apply for the private fund management license,” said Xie.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.
The investors in The Home Depot, Inc.'s (NYSE:HD) will be rubbing their hands together with glee today, after the...
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- If, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, you are in Minneapolis and you drop your iPhone, who will repair the cracked screen? If you’d like an authorized repair, with Apple Inc.-certified parts, the options are suddenly limited. Apple’s retail stores, and the service centers inside of them, are closed indefinitely. Similarly, Twin Cities-based Best Buy Co., which offers authorized Apple repairs in its stores, is not repairing products in-house at this time. Apple maintains a modest network of authorized repair shops, but — thanks to Covid-19 business shutdowns — the closest one available to repair an iPhone is nearly 200 miles away, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. That leaves one reasonable authorized repair option: Mail in that iPhone and wait.Admittedly, this might not appear to be the most pressing issue during a pandemic. But consider: Covid-19 is spreading at a time when dependence on personal technology is more important than ever, connecting Americans to family, work, health information and news. As that dependence has grown, manufacturers of electronics — from mobile phones to essential medical equipment like ventilators — have made design and policy decisions that restrict device repair to themselves and their chosen representatives. In normal times, those decisions might amount to an expensive inconvenience for consumers. During a pandemic, they raise a pressing question: Who will repair our stuff if the manufacturers can’t or won’t?It’s not a question the U.S. faced during the 1918 flu pandemic. A century ago, most of the devices purchased by Americans were mechanical in nature, and home mechanics were plentiful. The Ford Model T circa 1918 was designed to be serviced by its owner or anyone nearby with basic mechanical skills. In the 1920s, American farmers started the mass adoption of mechanical tractors, and so had to develop formidable repair skills to keep them running. When World War II arrived, and farm equipment and repair parts became scarce, manufacturers like John Deere Inc. actively sought to aid farmers in the personal upkeep of their equipment. That self-reliant spirit persisted for most of the 20th century, epitomized by weekend mechanics working on their cars in the driveway.By the early 1990s, however, the skills and motivation to repair at home, or to start repair businesses, were in decline. As manufacturing jobs shuttered, mechanical and repair skills withered. At the same time, globalized manufacturing drove down the costs of manufactured goods. Once-expensive repairable televisions gave way to disposable $300 flat screens. The TV repair shop, once a fixture in American cities, has largely disappeared.More intentional reasons for the decline also emerged. Device, appliance and even farm-tractor manufacturers opted to wring more money out of their service and parts businesses by restricting access to repair parts and documentations. For example, on March 31, camera manufacturer Nikon Corp. will stop providing official parts, tools, software and repair manuals to the U.S. repair shops in its authorized repair network. (In 2012, it stopped selling parts to independent camera repair shops.) It will now only provide certified repair and parts in two Nikon-owned facilities. For camera owners, that means waiting longer, and probably paying more, to get their stuff fixed. For independent repair shops, it means one less reason to stay in business.Nikon’s practices aren’t unique. Apple restricts parts, diagnostic software and repair documentation to its stores and a small network of authorized repair shops. It also actively dissuades independent repair shops from fixing Apple products. One of the world’s most valuable companies is suing a small, unauthorized Norwegian phone repair shop for selling aftermarket iPhone screens. Without aftermarket parts, such shops cannot fix iPhones.And John Deere, once a proponent and partner in the independent repair of tractors, has built a repair monopoly by installing software that effectively prevents anyone but its authorized service centers from doing even simple repairs to its tractors. For some farmers, this practice has resulted in delays in planting, a particularly ominous prospect during a spring pandemic. Equally ominous, if not more so, is the prospect that in-house medical technicians — especially in hospitals in emerging markets — will not have access to repair documentation, software and tools in the midst of the pandemic.It's too late for manufacturers to provide more convenient, affordable and accessible repair options to most consumers and businesses during this pandemic. But there are some radical steps that could easily make a difference right now. For example, manufacturers of medical equipment such as ventilators should release repair guides for therapy devices to hospitals rather than forcing them to wait for a certified technician. Similarly, Deere and other farm equipment manufacturers should suspend their software locks for the 2020 planting season, at a minimum, to ensure that there’s no delay in servicing needed farm equipment. Finally, consumer electronics manufacturers, including Apple, should post information on how consumers can quickly obtain simple repairs like battery and screen replacements while authorized repair is unavailable.Longer-term, the states and federal government need to pass long-stalled “Right to Repair” legislation to expand access for all Americans. Key provisions include requirements that manufacturers make repair documentation for their products freely available, and sell parts and diagnostics to independent repair operations at a fair market price.Self-reliance has long been a part of the American self-image. Giving back the right to repair stuff is a good way to ensure it’s maintained during and after Covid-19.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Adam Minter is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is the author of “Junkyard Planet: Travels in the Billion-Dollar Trash Trade” and the forthcoming "Secondhand: Travels in the New Global Garage Sale."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 Opinion) -- “Oh, I like HER,” she says, referring to a berry-toned lipstick. Sarah Hyland, the 29-year-old funny actress best known for playing Haley Dunphy on ABC’s “Modern Family,” is trying on makeup for an Instagram Live audience while at home riding out the pandemic, seemingly as bored as the rest of us. It’s by no means a production: just Hyland in front of her cell phone, using an in-app filter that gives her eyeliner and oversize lashes, sitting at what looks to be a desk, weeding out her cosmetics collection.I don’t know why I’m watching. “Why am I watching this?,” one of her thousands of other viewers suddenly posts in the scrolling comments, as if from my thoughts to that person’s fingertips. Having our normal daily lives upended by the coronavirus has heightened the demand for entertainment — and not just Netflix. We’re looking for content that provides some semblance of human connection, intermittent LOL moments to briefly escape reality. As Kevin Roose put it in the New York Times last week, “The virus is forcing us to use the internet as it was always meant to be used.”There’s also something comforting about seeing celebrities going through the same thing as everyone else, flattening the societal hierarchy so that their feeds run alongside that of our own friends and families. Social media is a place for wholesale interaction, whether it be through memes, amateur TikTok dances, silly Snapchat snaps, Instagram boomerangs of the night’s meal or photos of the view outside, where we all suddenly wish we could be. It’s just enough pleasant distraction; we don’t have to commit our full attention to a 45-minute TV episode, especially when there’s already too much lonely, idle couch viewing happening because of the shelter-in-place orders.Kantar, a consumer research firm, is finding that as countries move deeper into the pandemic, TV viewing and social media engagement both rise by more than 60%. (At that rate, we could quickly grow bored with apps like Netflix and Disney+.) The U.S. may still be in the relatively early stages, but in Italy, one of the hardest-hit countries, Facebook Inc. said that Instagram and Facebook Live views doubled in a week. That yearning for connection is giving more adults a window into why younger people are so amused with watching their peers and celebrities just going about their lives — even when they appear to be doing nothing special at all. George Costanza would love it: videos about nothing.View this post on Instagram A post shared by Cardi B (@iamcardib) on Mar 20, 2020 at 12:31am PDTBut if that is what’s missing from Netflix and other TV, could it be that someday it’s not? Perhaps the future of streaming is to aggregate both studio-produced content and user-generated content in a way that allows you to seamlessly scroll between both. That’s how we’re starting to use entertainment, but that’s not yet how it’s delivered to us. Facebook Watch is a step toward the idea, though it has a long way to go. And Google’s YouTube is more of a video-search platform than a sit-back-and-stream service (notwithstanding its YouTube TV subscription for live programming).Quibi, a streaming app launching April 6, borrows from the brevity of user-generated social content, but leaves out the human-connection aspect. It’s the brainchild of Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman, a pair of Hollywood and tech old timers, who say the name is short for “quick bites” (though it’s pronounced “qwih-bee”). All of its programs will have episodes that are 10 minutes long or less. Plenty have scoffed at the idea of Quibi trying to get 25- to 35-year-olds to pay $5 a month for an app with bite-size content that still contains ad interruptions. Yet, Katzenberg and Whitman have managed to raise nearly $2 billion for the service and have struck production deals with major studios and entertainers, including Chrissy Teigen and actress Sophie Turner.Social media used to be something college kids did on their laptops, separate from TV time. Now we all do it on our phones, often while the TV is playing. It shows that what’s missing from Netflix, Disney+ and all the other emerging streaming ecosystems is the ability to connect with one another. This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Tara Lachapelle is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the business of entertainment and telecommunications, as well as broader deals. She previously wrote an M&A column for Bloomberg News.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 U.S. leapfrogged Italy and China for the most coronavirus cases worldwide, fueled by a large jump in New York, while governors of some of the hardest-hit states said the biggest federal stimulus program in history didn’t go far enough for areas facing unprecedented financial pressure brought on by the pandemic.The virus rampaged across Europe, killing hundreds of people in Italy and Spain each day, while U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson tested positive for the infection and remains in self-isolation in Downing Street. It claimed the life of an African musical legend, Manu Dibango, at the age of 86. Dig deeper into these topics — and check out some others you may have missed — with the latest edition of Weekend Reads.Spanish Doctors Are Forced to Choose Who to Let Die From VirusWith Spain now a pandemic hot spot, people are dying in hospital waiting rooms before they can even be admitted. As Ben Sills and Laura Millan Lombrana explain, with some funeral services halted in the capital and no space left in the morgues, corpses are being stored at the main ice rink in the capital, Madrid. Trump Set Easter Target After Kushner Meeting, Seeing Empty PewsU.S. President Donald Trump’s impatience to ease restrictions on Americans by the Easter holiday was touched off as he watched a sermon delivered by a prominent evangelical preacher to an empty megachurch, Justin Sink, Saleha Mohsin and Mario Parker report.As Governments Tout Virus Aid, Companies Struggle to Tap ItGovernments and central banks globally have pledged a dizzying $3 trillion — and counting — to offset the economic hit from the Covid-19 pandemic. But in the rush to reassure, administrations have stumbled in the rollout of measures, leaving companies increasingly anxious about accessing the aid. All Eyes on China’s Wuhan for Way Back After LockdownsThe resumption of movement in and out of the original epicenter of the coronavirus, the Chinese city of Wuhan, scheduled for April 8, may serve as a template for markets the world over that have been affected by restraints on business operations. Rare Spat Between Chinese Diplomats Signals Split Over Trump An unusual public spat between two top Chinese diplomats signals an internal split in Beijing over how to handle rising tensions with a combative U.S. president. Virus Hands World Leaders Sweeping Powers They May Never Give UpLeaders on all levels are taking extraordinary measures to contain the coronavirus. But as Iain Marlow reports, while some are one-off moves, others can be much more invasive and potentially last long after the threat subsides.The Agony of Caring for a Dying Parent During the PandemicMarc Champion writes about how caring for a dying parent has become much more complicated and fearful in the time of the coronavirus pandemic.Social Distancing a Luxury That Workers on $2 a Day Can’t AffordThe quandary facing India’s informal workforce of 450 million people is one of the starkest examples of how social inequality threatens to undermine virus containment efforts around the world. Bibhudatta Pradhan and Archana Chaudhary explain.Argentina Sacrifices Economy to Ward Off Virus, Winning PraiseArgentine President Alberto Fernandez faced a stark choice: protect the economy or his citizens’ lives. As Patrick Gillespie and Jorgelina do Rosario report, he chose saving lives.Refugee Camps Housing Millions Brace for Virus Running WildSocial distancing and even clean water needed to keep the coronavirus at bay are luxuries few of the world’s 30 million refugees can afford. As Saud Abu Ramadan and David Wainer write, with health-care systems and employment opportunities already under severe strain, camps for those fleeing conflict and poverty are potential breeding grounds for the pandemic.And finally … Manu Dibango, the Afro-Jazz star best known for his hit single “Soul Makossa,” died in Paris after contracting the coronavirus at the age of 86. The Cameroon-born Dibango was a member of the seminal Congolese rumba group African Jazz and well known for his collaborations with the late Nigerian Afrobeat star Fela Kuti and South African gospel group Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Pius Lukong and Hilton Shone report. Fellow musician Ateh Francis described him as a “a fatherly figure who was always ready to advise, hold the hand of younger musicians and lead them to success.” 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) -- In a deal that’s currently at risk of falling apart, a handful of investors would be the main beneficiaries of SoftBank Group Corp.’s plan to buy $3 billion of WeWork stock, according to a person familiar with the matter.As part of the agreement, scheduled to be completed next week, $2.1 billion in proceeds from stock purchases is slated go to five investors, according to the person, who asked not to be identified discussing private information. Benchmark, the venture capital firm that backed WeWork from its earliest days, is seeking to sell up to $600 million worth of shares, said the person, who asked not to be identified discussing private information. That figure puts Benchmark behind only Adam Neumann, WeWork’s co-founder and former chief executive officer, who has the right to sell as much as $970 million in the deal.Representatives for Benchmark and Neumann didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. WeWork declined to comment.SoftBank, the biggest investor of WeWork parent We Co., has threatened to withdraw from the deal, the proceeds of which would not go to WeWork itself, but rather to its institutional investors and other shareholders. Still, if the transaction falls apart, it will have negative repercussions for the company, which would not receive $1.1 billion in debt from SoftBank.Besides Neumann and Benchmark, other top sellers in the deal include WeWork investor T. Rowe Price Group Inc., former WeWork Chief Financial Officer Ariel Tiger, who served in the Israeli military with Neumann and another venture capital firm, the person said. A spokesman for T. Rowe Price declined to comment. Tiger did not immediately respond to a request for comment.“SoftBank remains fully committed to WeWork’s success as its largest shareholder and is proud of the tremendous progress the company has made over the past six months,” a spokesman for SoftBank said in a statement.SoftBank’s stock buyback was scheduled to close April 1, but the Japanese conglomerate has said that it is not obligated to go through with the purchase. SoftBank has said under the terms of its original agreement, it could withdraw from the offer if certain conditions weren’t met, and that unresolved government investigations into WeWork qualify. Two board members disputed that assertion.SoftBank agreed to the rescue package for WeWork in October, shortly after the company’s plans for an initial public offering dramatically unraveled. SoftBank said it has provided $13.4 billion to WeWork, including $5 billion in working capital since October, and is honoring its obligations as laid out in the agreement.A special committee of WeWork board members has said that it is weighing options including legal action if SoftBank does not follow through with the purchase. That committee has two members: Benchmark’s Bruce Dunlevie and independent director Lew Frankfort. A representative for the committee declined to comment. Other investors slated to sell a large amount of WeWork stock to SoftBank in the deal include JPMorgan Chase & Co., Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Jefferies and Fidelity Investments, according to two people with knowledge of the matter. Spokespeople for JPMorgan and Fidelity declined to comment. Representatives for the other investors did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Less than 10% of the proceeds from the stock buyback would go to WeWork employees, SoftBank has said. Many employees repriced their stock options and thus aren’t part of this stage of the tender offer.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) -- Democratic presidential front-runner Joe Biden said Friday he would urge governors nationwide to close down all non-essential activities in hopes of slowing the spread of the coronavirus.“For the time being, I would, yes,” Biden said during a town hall on CNN. “You don’t know who doesn’t have the virus, so a lot of people walking around looking like they’re pretty healthy, and they may very well have the virus and transmit it.”The former vice president added: “Why would we not err on the side of making sure we are not going to have a repeat?”President Donald Trump had initially suggested he wanted to “re-open America” by April 12, Easter Sunday, though that was criticized as unrealistic. He has since said he’d only “like” that to happen to limit damage to the economy.Biden spoke after Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates recommended Thursday that the whole country “shut down” for six to 10 weeks and increase testing to come close to eradicating coronavirus. Biden didn’t offer quite as long a timeline, though.‘Small Price’“Two weeks in what is going to be a long fight to deal with this is a small price to pay, especially since you can compensate people for the lost time now that, in fact, the legislation has been passed by the Congress,” he said, referring to the $2 trillion stimulus package enacted by Congress and signed by Trump on Friday.Biden said he’s in favor of additional support for people who lose their jobs and are not made whole by the increase in unemployment benefits that was included in the $stimulus package.“I would make it a rent freeze for at least the next three months. Freeze it and forgive it,” he said. “No one should be evicted during this period. Period.”He also said he “absolutely” supports a moratorium on the shutoff of utilities for people who aren’t able to pay their bills in the coming months. “I’d do it nationwide,” he said.Offering support to anyone with ailing loved ones or who have lost someone, Biden almost gave out his personal phone number on national television.‘Contact My Campaign’“The human connection is so, so profoundly important. And when you don’t have it, you got to get help. And, by the way, call,” he said. He paused, then added: “I’m not going to give my phone number. But anyway, those who have been through that, you can contact my campaign. I’m happy to try to talk to you. Not that I’m an expert but just having been there, I’m so sorry for you.”Biden said he had spoken recently with several governors to discuss the response to the virus. He also urged Trump to stop battling with some of them. “This is not personal. It has nothing to do with you, Donald Trump. Nothing to do with you. Do your job. Stop personalizing everything,” Biden said.(Adds Biden comments in seventh-11th 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) -- America has more than 100,000 coronavirus cases, but it’s unclear what path the mortality rate will take in the coming weeks. Italy reported its highest number of deaths in one day, with 969 lost over a 24-hour period. Spain continues to suffer a huge daily toll as well. While Italy’s infection rate is showing signs of flattening, the U.S. numbers continue apace. New York makes up almost half of American infections.Bloomberg is mapping the pandemic globally and across America. For the latest news, sign up for our Covid-19 podcast and daily newsletter.Here are today’s top storiesThe U.S. House of Representatives approved the $2 trillion rescue package and President Donald Trump signed it. For those who will get one, this is when your $1,200 check will arrive. Markets still fell, as did U.S. consumer sentiment—by the most since October 2008.Trump refused desperate requests that he use the Defense Production Act to make hospital ventilators, saying the private sector would step up. GM did, but was apparently slowed by White House inaction. On Friday, Trump sought to blame GM, though the company said it was building them at cost and without a federal contract. Then Trump invoked the DPA, telling GM to do what it was already doing. It’s unclear what happened, but one Democrat praised Trump anyway. “We were suggesting to do that over a month ago,” said Democratic presidential frontrunner Joe Biden. “But the point is, he’s done it, and I congratulate him for it.”Just as a hot job market was pulling in struggling Americans, the pandemic turned it ice cold, creating barriers to work that may persist after the outbreak recedes.The Trump administration recently refused to make an exception for a key component of hand sanitizer dispensers that is subject to a 25% tariff, part of Trump’s trade war with China. At the same time, it exempted non-Covid-19 related products, including Apple watches.Pounded by a price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia, as well as the collapse of demand due to the pandemic, the U.S. oil industry is showing signs of implosion. In one corner, crude prices turned negative—as in, producers are paying consumers to take their oil.While some cities have ceased recycling during the pandemic, the Trump administration went one further, citing the crisis as justification for a broad relaxation of U.S. pollution regulation. A former EPA official said it’s “essentially a nationwide waiver of environmental rules.”What’s Luke Kawa thinking about? The Bloomberg cross-asset reporter is mulling the U.S. bailout legislation. He says the bond market doesn’t think its big enough to move the dial for growth and inflation. More will be needed, Luke says, as governors warn that the package doesn’t meet their financial needs, and planned austerity measures are already piling up.What you’ll need to know tomorrowChina factories are restarting, but European orders are vanishing. Truckloads of urns raise questions about China’s death toll. The airlines most in danger of collapsing because of Covid-19. Watching pollution over an idled Europe dissipate from space. Pakistan intercedes to stop the struggling rupee from plunging. Bloomberg Opinion: Give social media a break this weekend. Businessweek: Take a submarine to the deepest part of the sea.What you’ll want to read in Bloomberg PursuitsAs American shoppers struggle with buying food in crowded, poorly stocked supermarkets, and local farmers scrape to replace revenue from now-shuttered restaurants, a symbiotic relationship is developing at the local farmers’ market. Growers are making much needed money and consumers can breathe easier, and further apart, as they buy their groceries in the age of pandemic. 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) -- Microsoft Corp.’s agreement to acquire 5G software maker Affirmed Networks Inc. valued the company at about $1.35 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.Microsoft announced the deal on Thursday without disclosing financial details.Microsoft already serves telecom customers and struck an agreement with AT&T Inc. last year with the aim of moving more the carrier’s network to its platform. Microsoft has been building its cloud computing operations through acquisitions. In 2018, it bought privately held GitHub for $7.5 billion.Affirmed Networks also held talks with Samsung Electronics before its deal with Microsoft came together, one of the people said.Pete Wootton, a spokesman for Microsoft, declined to comment on the price. A representative for Affirmed Networks also declined to comment. Samsung didn’t respond to a request for comment.Microsoft shares fell 4.1% Friday to close at $149.70.The introduction of 5G is just starting, with test projects by carriers such as AT&T generally limited to select big cities. Nationwide U.S. coverage may take years. But tech giants and telecom industry incumbents have been angling for a slice of the market for edge computing and going after big corporate customers. The White House has made 5G a linchpin of its tech policy, particularly as it tries to suppress the global expansion of China’s Huawei Technologies Co.The networking industry is transitioning away from expensive fixed purpose machines that take care of specific parts of the job of managing the flow of data to software that resides in remote data centers. The aim is to make the things cheaper and more flexible.Affirmed Networks helps build virtual networks for telecom customers using 5G technology. It was founded in 2010 and had raised about $240 million in funding, according to Pitchbook Data. It raised financing just last month at a $1.35 billion valuation, people familiar with the matter said.Affirmed Networks said on Thursday that it was replacing its chief executive officer with one of its founders, Anand Krishnamurthy.Affirmed Networks, based in Acton, Massachusetts, is backed by investors including Qualcomm Ventures and Centerview Capital Technology Management, the venture arm of investment bank Centerview Partners, as well as by Lightspeed Management, CRV and Bessemer Venture Partners,(Updates with line on Samsung’s interest in fourth paragraph, adds share price in sixth 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) -- Two weeks after investors dumped everything they could to hoard U.S. dollars, some are now starting to sell.Intercontinental Exchange Inc.’s U.S. Dollar Index sank 4.4% this week, the biggest weekly drop since 1985. Traders point to a confluence of reasons, ranging from less stress in funding markets, the repatriation of funds as the quarter ends and the worsening coronavirus outbreak in the U.S.“The sell-off in the U.S. dollar is a reaction to the liquidity measures announced by the Federal Reserve and other central banks,” said Jane Foley, a currency strategist at Rabobank. “Fear may have subsided for now.”A separate gauge of the greenback, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index, fell 4.1% on the week, the largest weekly loss since its inception in 2005. It had surged 8.3% over the previous two weeks. The greenback slumped against most of 16 major peers this week, weakening more than 7% against the Norwegian krone and the British pound.The decline comes after the Federal Reserve expanded currency swap lines with central banks, ramped up cash offered to the repurchase-agreement markets and introduced a series of tools to unfreeze credit markets. Stress in cross-currency basis markets, a key funding channel, has eased.Funding Markets See Glimmer of Light With Dollar Stress EasingThe three-month dollar-yen basis is now back to levels seen in early March, while the euro equivalent has swung into positive territory. In foreign-exchange swap markets, the costs to borrow dollars is back to about 1.86% after it printed at more than 2.5% last week.“It’s 100% a dollar-funding story -- the mean reversion of the dollar liquidity crunch is prompting all other FX to rally against the dollar,” said Margaret Yang, a strategist at CMC Markets Singapore Pte.Asia GainsThe dollar weakened as much as 1.7% against the yen Friday amid broad greenback losses and in part by repatriation flows ahead of the nation’s fiscal year-end on March 31, according to Takuya Kanda, general manager at Gaitame.com Research Institute in Tokyo.Other currencies in Asia bounced off multi-year lows. The Australian dollar had dropped to the weakest since 2002 last week and has rebounded.Traders also pointed to the rising virus count in the U.S. and a jump in jobless claims to 3.28 million last week as sapping the greenback. Forecasters expect data next week to show the U.S. unemployment rate climbed.To be sure, the dollar weakness may be temporary.As the new quarter starts Wednesday, repatriation funds will slow and the haven bid from a worsening global pandemic may fuel a resurgence in demand.And while risk appetite returned to markets this week to spur a rebound in equities, Nomura’s Jordan Rochester says that sentiment may ebb next week and the dollar is likely to “regain some ground.”In equities, “it’s natural to see a rebound, but bear markets are marathons not sprints, so it’s not clear to us that the positive momentum can be sustained, especially with the potential for more lay-offs, credit downgrades and potential for defaults.”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.
Nike and Lululemon have seen the bottom in China sales after coronavirus forced them to close stores, and now say they are applying those lessons in the U.S.
Earlier this year, Microsoft made waves in the corporate community by coming out with one of the most ambitious and wide-ranging strategies to reduce carbon emissions from the company's operations. Part of that plan was a $1 billion fund that would invest in climate change mitigation technologies -- specifically focused on decarbonization. According to sources -- and a LinkedIn profile search -- it appears that Brandon Middaugh is taking point on the investment fund.
(Bloomberg) -- For 93 uncomfortable minutes, Bank of America Corp. rushed to escape infamy this week, before it was saved by the grace of James Corden, the affable talk show host known for crooning in cars with stars.The drama began when California Governor Gavin Newsom called out the bank for not offering 90-day grace periods to mortgage borrowers affected by the coronavirus, despite such pledges by rivals including JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo & Co. A journalist tweeted the lashing, and then Corden reposted it to his 10.7 million followers. The bank raced to correct what it called the governor’s mistake.Just over an hour later, the firm promised Corden it would defer payments on home loans for as long as the crisis requires. He relented, putting the internet’s fury to rest:Across the nation, bankers are on edge. Publicly, they’re emphasizing that unlike the last downturn in 2008 they aren’t the cause of this collapse and they intend to help America get through it. Privately, they worry they’re destined to get cast as villains.Once the government enacts its $2 trillion rescue package, banks are going to be the last resort for millions of consumers and businesses needing additional support to weather months of hardship. The nation’s eight banking titans have enough excess capital to ramp up lending by $1.6 trillion, but even that probably isn’t enough to meet everyone’s needs.That means bankers will often decide which borrowers get relief from existing loans or access to more credit -- make-or-break moments for people and businesses trying to avoid default and insolvency.One of the industry’s most senior leaders put it this way: The country’s banks are strong and ready to support the economy -- but they can’t afford to lend irresponsibly to clients who can’t repay. That limits the ability of banks to lend to others.“The best credits are made in the worst of times,” said Julie Solar, a senior analyst who tracks North American financial institutions at Fitch Ratings. As the virus’s toll on the economy worsens, lenders will eventually be forced to pick winners and losers, she said. “Those borrowers who are higher investment grade are going to fare better.”‘Fine Line’There are also ethical questions: Banks must walk a “fine line” to prevent desperate clients from overburdening themselves with debts they can’t repay, Citigroup Inc. Chief Executive Officer Michael Corbat told the Financial Times this week. That’s “the last thing that we all want to see.”Bank of America’s quick move to head off a Twitter backlash shows how worried banks are about keeping public criticism at bay. The lender followed up with a statement saying Newsom was mistaken and that it plans to defer payments on a monthly basis until the end of the crisis.Banks have many other lending decisions ahead. It’s not hard to imagine people and employers facing rejection will feel they could’ve made it through if their bankers just gave them a chance. Such accusations have deep roots in American history, notably the Great Depression.Desperation is rapidly mounting.Companies hit first by the sudden halt to global travel -- such as airlines, hotels, cruise-ship operators, casinos and oil producers -- have been drawing down billions of dollars from existing credit lines for weeks. Their pain soon spread to restaurants, retailers and legions of small businesses as a growing number mayors and governors told residents to stay home.On Thursday, the U.S. reported an unprecedented surge in the number of people seeking jobless benefits, with 3.28 million filing claims in just one week.Behind the scenes, senior bankers said they are rapidly reevaluating their loan portfolios to gauge how the virus and social distancing measures are likely to affect corporate customers, trying to figure out which are most or least resilient.Banks have been honoring credit lines they offered corporate clients in the halcyon years before the pandemic. One looming question is whether lenders might invoke the so-called MAC, or “materially adverse change” clauses, to stop drawdowns. One concern is that some businesses with little to no chance of making it through will siphon off billions in loans that could go toward supporting others.Citing those clauses risks sending shock waves across the industry, potentially prompting stronger companies to draw down their lines preemptively. Still, one high-level banker said he’s expecting to see a few denials this year.Banks are trying to maintain goodwill in Washington, working in close coordination with regulators on measures to shore up the financial system. Earlier this month, a delegation of CEOs from firms including Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Wells Fargo, Citigroup and Bank of America visited the White House to offer reassurances that they can weather the turmoil and help others.In the days since, national and regional lenders have rolled out a series of good deeds. They pledged more than $200 million to charities and relief efforts. Some offered branch workers extra pay. Several suspended long-planned layoffs to give workers certainty.While the stimulus bill passed by the Senate this week includes clauses offering some borrowers forbearance, consumer advocates have been urging banks to go further on their own.Lawmakers are ratcheting up pressure on lenders to help constituents in other ways. Last week, Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey pushed banks and credit unions in their home state of Massachusetts to suspend a variety of fees -- such as charges for late payments, overdrafts and using ATMS -- that generate billions of dollars in annual revenue nationally.To conserve funds for lending, the country’s largest banks vowed to stop buying back their own shares through at least the middle of the year. The move comes at a cost for investors, some of whom would have preferred firms snap up shares at depressed prices, blunting this year’s 40% plunge in the KBW Bank Index.“The biggest difference between now and 2008 is that the banks are a source of strength rather than the source of the problem,” said Tom Naratil, co-head of UBS Group AG’s wealth management unit. “This is the time for banks, obviously prudently, to make sure that we are extending credit to our clients.”(Updates with additional reference to bank’s response and extent of rout in bank stocks from second 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) -- Facebook Inc. is shifting priorities for product development to rapidly adjust to changing user behavior in the face of the global Covid-19 pandemic. After the outbreak, Facebook’s top concern was stopping the spread of misinformation about the virus. Now that those efforts are up and running, the company is building new features to help users and small businesses affected by the global lockdown, according to Fidji Simo, the head of Facebook’s main social network. “This is a really unique moment,” Simo said. Facebook has had to “adjust really quickly and really reshape our roadmap.” Messaging and voice calls from Facebook’s Messenger and WhatsApp services have jumped more than 50% in some of the regions hit hardest by the response to Covid-19. The number of people in the U.S. watching livestreams on the Facebook Live video feature has increased by 50% since January, Simo noted. “Live is definitely exploding right now,” she said. Facebook is moving quickly to capitalize on rising usage by people stuck at home. The company announced a handful of updates to Facebook Live on Friday, including a way for users to watch streams without a Facebook account. It’s also expanding its digital tipping product so viewers can send money to more creators in need of support during the economic downturn.Expanding its focus on Live means reducing attention on other products, and Facebook has had to quickly shift priorities. It no longer makes sense to have as many people working on products that encourage in-person gathering, like Facebook Events, Simo said. Facebook has stopped showing as many event reminders to users, and employees have been asked to temporarily volunteer for products in need of more help, like Live, News and Groups.Facebook is trying to match up skill sets. Facebook Marketplace, for example, isn't as important right now because it's not a good time for strangers to meet up to exchange used goods, Simo said. But those employees are well-versed in helping Facebook users make money, and some of them have been redirected to assisting small- and medium-sized businesses weather the current storm.After the virus, Facebook will likely prioritize Groups, live video and News for the long term, Simo said. "It's a need that exists in times of physical distancing, but it's a need that exists in normal times as well," she said.All of these efforts have been further complicated because Facebook employees are working remotely, which Simo described as a “big disruption,” and a particular challenge for employees with children in the house and families to take care of. As people flock to Facebook properties in record numbers, the company is trying to ensure employees still have balance in their newly chaotic home lives. "In order to allow employees time taking care of children at home, their schedules have become more flexible," Simo said. She has cut the number of meetings in half.Despite the rise in usage, Facebook’s business doesn’t stand to benefit — at least in the near term. Many of the products that people are using, like messaging and Facebook Live, don’t have established businesses yet. Facebook said earlier this week that its ads business, which generates almost all of the company’s revenue, has been “weakening” as a result of Covid-19. Simo said that Facebook needs to move “incredibly quickly” to figure out more ways for users and small businesses to make money from its services, and those efforts are a priority over Facebook’s own revenue.“We have a very big ads team whose entire job is focused on figuring that out,” Simo said when asked if there was pressure to start better monetizing these now-popular products. “For now our focus on helping our users during this specific time, and helping with economic opportunity, is really the right focus.”(Updates with more details on Facebook’s advertising business in the final three 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) -- Visa Inc. is considering a reprieve for gas stations straining under an October deadline to upgrade their pumps, and, along with Mastercard Inc., delayed a set of fee changes that were to take effect next month.The moves are aimed at sending relief to merchants struggling to remain afloat as the coronavirus puts a virtual halt to global travel and governments order businesses to shut.“Now, more than ever, we’re putting all our power, capabilities, and technology to work to keep commerce flowing,” Seth Eisen, a spokesman for Mastercard, said in a statement. “To help our customers and partners manage through this unprecedented event, we are pausing updates to some systems while delivering the same level of security and service they receive every day.”Visa and Mastercard will delay until July the planned changes to interchange fees, which are paid by retailers each time a consumer swipes their card at checkout.“We are actively implementing and considering a number of ways we can proactively support our clients to ensure the stability, security, reliability and resiliency of the digital payments ecosystem,” said Will Stickney, a spokesman for Visa.The change was welcome news for retailers. The Merchant Advisory Group said the move would “provide needed relief to some of the hardest-hit businesses while ensuring electronic-payment processing continues to work in the seamless fashion as they do today.”Fuel PumpsVisa might also postpone a deadline for gas-station operators to upgrade their fuel pumps to accept chip cards, according to a person familiar with the matter.Fuel retailers currently have until Oct. 1 to upgrade their pumps. Those that don’t will have to start taking on responsibility for the costs related to fraud that happens at their facilities.Merchants have complained that the new machines are costly, and say it’s hard to find workers to install the pumps as more businesses shut because of the virus.“Nobody planned for the disruption of the pandemic delaying everything,” said Dan Rasmussen, a senior vice president at Hughes Network Systems, which helps retailers ready their systems to accept chip cards. Major oil companies including BP Plc, Chevron Corp. and Exxon Mobil Corp. have been “applying quite a bit of pressure on the retailers to move and get the orders in and start progressing.”The world’s largest payment networks have seen their stocks battered as the pandemic severely curtails spending on the firms’ networks, prompting Mastercard to abandon its full-year revenue guidance this week.Read more about restaurants pushing to lower card feesVisa Chief Executive Officer Al Kelly on Thursday pledged his company wouldn’t initiate any layoffs due to the global pandemic in 2020. The company has previously warned that the slowdown in cardholders’ overseas spending would likely crimp its outlook for revenue growth.“There is enough sadness in the world and already too many families impacted by job losses,” Kelly said in a LinkedIn post. “I have no interest in contributing to that.”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.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced Friday that his company would be donating more than $800 million in ad credits and loans to help government orgs and small businesses respond to the COVID-19 crisis. Google will be giving $250 million worth of ad grants to more than 100 government orgs across the globe, including the World Health Organization.