• Ford Foundation president praises CEOs like Benioff who have criticized capitalism
    Yahoo Finance

    Ford Foundation president praises CEOs like Benioff who have criticized capitalism

    In recent months, top chief executives like JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon and Salesforce Co-CEO Marc Benioff have advocated economic or business reforms of their own.

  • How Apple and Disney are challenging Netflix's binge-watching model
    Yahoo Finance

    How Apple and Disney are challenging Netflix's binge-watching model

    Netflix, once the disruptor on the streaming scene, has become the ultimate incumbent. Now competitors like Apple and Disney are challenging its binge-watching model.

  • Are Apple ETFs in for Trump Trade Ahead?
    Zacks

    Are Apple ETFs in for Trump Trade Ahead?

    Apple shares may move higher in the days ahead as Trump is considering the exemption of U.S. tariffs on China-made Apple products.

  • Is Target (TGT) Stock a Buy After Strong Q3 Earnings?
    Zacks

    Is Target (TGT) Stock a Buy After Strong Q3 Earnings?

    Target (TGT) shares soared over 14% Wednesday to hit a new all-time high after the retailer posted a strong third quarter performance.

  • Adobe Adds Features to iPad Photoshop App After Early Criticism
    Bloomberg

    Adobe Adds Features to iPad Photoshop App After Early Criticism

    (Bloomberg) -- Adobe Inc. said new features are coming to its Photoshop for iPad application, responding to criticism that the first version lacked basic functions users expected would be retained from the desktop model of the best-selling image-editing software.The company said Thursday that before the end of the year it would add a Select Subject mode, which uses artificial intelligence to automatically identify and select a subject in an image, and an upgraded version of the Cloud documents function, which synchronizes Photoshop files between the desktop and iPad apps. In the first half of 2020, Photoshop for iPad will get support for Curves, which adjusts the color of an image, and improvements to layers, brush sensitivity, the ability to rotate the canvas and integration with the Lightroom app, the company said in a blog post.Adobe didn’t address other missing elements that users have complained about, including RAW image editing and smart objects. Bloomberg News reported earlier this year that beta testers of Photoshop for iPad said the app was far more watered down than expected.Earlier this month, Scott Belsky, chief product officer of Adobe’s Creative Cloud division, tweeted about the “painful” early reviews for a product his team has worked on for years. Right now in Apple’s App Store, Photoshop for iPad has a user review rating of two of five stars.Adobe is trying to move its most successful software franchises to mobile devices as a way to boost revenue and maintain its stature as the world’s largest maker of creative software. The San Jose, California-based company also recently said it will bring Illustrator to the iPad in 2020.While the apps cater to creative professionals seeking the ability to work on the go, Adobe also is trying to expand the appeal of its photo-editing and illustration software to hobbyists.To contact the reporters on this story: Mark Gurman in San Francisco at mgurman1@bloomberg.net;Nico Grant in San Francisco at ngrant20@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tom Giles at tgiles5@bloomberg.net, Andrew Pollack, Mark MilianFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Amazon Ups Retail Game With Cashierless Supermarket Plans
    Zacks

    Amazon Ups Retail Game With Cashierless Supermarket Plans

    Amazon (AMZN) intends to open Amazon Go supermarket next year, which is likely to intensify competition in retail space.

  • Bloomberg

    PayPal Slips as Wall Street Questions Benefits of Honey Deal

    (Bloomberg) -- PayPal Holdings Inc. fell as much as 1.9% early Thursday after the payments company said it will acquire online coupon site Honey Science Corp. for about $4 billion, its largest-ever acquisition. Some analysts praised the deal’s strategy and growth potential, but others flagged the steep price and wondered whether Honey was the best M&A target for PayPal.Here’s a sample of the latest commentary:SunTrust, Andrew JeffreyJeffrey in a note recommended that investors stay on the sidelines as “this is not the deal PayPal needs to secure its position among premium valued network stocks.”Instead, SunTrust views Honey as a “sort of ‘shoot-the-moon’ attempt to more deeply entrench PayPal in the consumer e-commerce experience while also bolstering its merchant value proposition. Unfortunately for investors, the company is paying a large premium, in our opinion, for an unproven solution which does little to advance its ability to monetize beyond e-commerce.”Though PayPal can probably “elegantly integrate Honey into its core app and Venmo,” it may not “significantly advance the company’s market share amid rising competition,” he said. The deal also “does nothing to extend PayPal’s physical world reach, where 85%-plus of all transaction volume occurs.” Jeffrey did flag one positive: Honey is a small acquisition relative to PayPal’s market cap, which may limit downside risk. He rates shares hold, with a price target of $105.Raymond James, John Davis“While the strategic rationale makes a great deal of sense as it touches both the consumer and merchant side of PayPal’s platform and the cross sell opportunities are significant, it certainly didn’t come cheap,” Davis wrote. “Any way you slice it, $4 billion is a lot to pay for a company making little to no money.” Rates shares outperform, with a target price of $122.MoffettNathanson, Lisa EllisThe acquisition is “strategically attractive” for PayPal, as it’s imperative for the firm to strengthen its network by enhancing merchant and consumer value propositions as the “wallet wars” wage on, Ellis wrote in a note.Buying Honey is “well aligned with this critical strategic priority,” as Honey’s tools will strengthen PayPal’s suite of merchant services while integrating Honey’s services into PayPal and Venmo apps will boost consumer engagement, she said.Ellis views the $4 billion price as “consistent with comps for other small, high growth firms in payments and tech,” like PayPal’s iZettle deal. She rates shares buy, with a target price of $135.BofA, Jason KupferbergKupferberg views the deal as “strategically compelling” as PayPal can leverage the high-growth asset to “generate meaningful revenue synergies over time.” That’s even as the $4 billion value “represents a steep revenue multiple,” he said.The purchase also “represents a new breed of acquisition,” he added, as PayPal has in the past mostly acquired payments companies but now seeks to go “deeper into the e-commerce ecosystem by moving up to the front-end of the shopping experience as opposed to being on the back-end at checkout.” He flagged that Honey is working with 30,000 merchants including Expedia, Macy’s, Priceline and Sephora.Kupferberg expects PayPal will update its outlook on its fourth-quarter earnings call in January to include Honey. He doesn’t see the proposed deal changing the company’s capital allocation policy, as PayPal “has the balance sheet flexibility for continued share repurchases and additional M&A.” Keeps buy rating, target $127.(Updates share trading in first paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Felice Maranz in New York at fmaranz@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Catherine Larkin at clarkin4@bloomberg.net, Steven Fromm, Janet FreundFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • HP (HPQ) to Post Q4 Earnings: What's in Store for the Stock?
    Zacks

    HP (HPQ) to Post Q4 Earnings: What's in Store for the Stock?

    HP's (HPQ) fourth-quarter fiscal 2019 results are likely to reflect high demand in the commercial PC market. However, weakness in the Printing business might have posed a threat to the stock.

  • Selling a Truck to Detroit’s Loyal Owners May Be Tesla’s Toughest Challenge Yet
    Bloomberg

    Selling a Truck to Detroit’s Loyal Owners May Be Tesla’s Toughest Challenge Yet

    (Bloomberg) -- A year before Elon Musk was ready to unveil Tesla’s first pickup model, the chief executive officer was setting a low bar for the amount of demand it will draw. Dig into the dynamics of the fiercely competitive and tough-to-crack U.S. truck market, and it’s easy to see why.Japanese automakers have spent two decades and billions of dollars trying to get in on the big pickup gravy train. But 20 years after Toyota first started making the Tundra, Detroit brands continue to crush the competition, controlling almost 92% of the half-ton truck segment, according to IHS Markit. Customers who own Ram pickups are more loyal than owners of any other model line in the U.S., the researcher says, and brand loyalty to Ford Motor Co. or General Motors Co.’s Chevrolet isn’t far behind.Late Thursday, Musk will start his ascent up arguably the toughest hill Tesla has tried to climb yet with the debut of Cybertruck. He cautioned in November of last year that he wasn’t sure if a lot of people will buy the pickup and in June said the design won’t be for everyone. The comments contrast starkly with the bold predictions the billionaire has made about how many Model 3 sedans and Model Y crossovers his company will manage to sell in the coming years.“An electric pickup truck needs to meet the needs and capabilities of current pickup trucks and deliver a little bit more,” Stephanie Brinley, an IHS Markit analyst, said by phone. “A traditional pickup-truck buyer may consider electric, but they are not going to give up on capability.”Detroit automakers aren’t waiting for Musk to take the wraps off his truck before starting to talk a little trash. Thirteen months after the Tesla boss tweeted that his pickup will boast 300,000 pounds of towing capacity, Ford released a video of an electric F-150 prototype dragging 1 million pounds of double-decker rail cars. Ahead of this week’s Los Angeles Auto Show, the vice president of marketing for General Motors’ GMC brand doubted Tesla’s pickup will be in the same league.“I suspect price-wise there might be some similarities, but I think in terms of size and capabilities, there might be a difference,” GMC’s Phil Brook said in an interview. “People who buy our trucks, they are very proud of the fact that they’ll take their trucks anywhere, they’ll get them dirty, then they’ll wash them out and go to a five-star restaurant for dinner. So they’re not people who just drive them around and want to look good.”On a RollMusk told a Tesla enthusiast podcast earlier this year that he wants his truck to start at less than $50,000. Not all of his comments about the pickup have moderated expectations: During an October earnings call, he declared it will be the company’s “best product ever.”Tesla shares have been on a roll since that quarterly report, surging 42% on optimism the company can produce profits on a more sustainable basis. But it’s unclear how soon the new truck will contribute to those efforts. The Model Y crossover is scheduled to launch next summer, and limited production of the Semi truck is planned for next year. Toni Sacconaghi, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein, expects Tesla to begin building the pickup in late 2020 or early 2021.Tesla shares rose 1.7% to $358.06 as of 9:43 a.m. Thursday in New York.Tesla probably won’t have the electric-truck market to itself for long, if at all. Amazon-backed Rivian Automotive plans to launch its R1T pickup late next year. Ford has vowed to start selling hybrid-electric and battery-electric versions of the F-150 starting in 2020, and GM has committed to producing plug-in pickups at a plant it had been planning to shutter in the Detroit area.Battery prices will have to drop significantly for electric trucks to reach parity with combustion engine-powered pickups, according to Dan Levy, an analyst at Credit Suisse.“Given electrification cost constraints and customer preferences, we expect the large-truck segment will be among the last segments to see an inflection in volumes toward electrification,” Levy wrote in a report this week. He assumes Tesla will be selling about 50,000 pickups by 2025, compared with roughly 300,000 Model 3 and 400,000 Model Y.One obstacle that shouldn’t be overlooked is the tough time Tesla has had operating in truck country. Texas, which bars manufacturers from selling vehicles direct to consumers, is the top state for U.S. registrations of half-ton pickups, according to IHS. The state’s share of the nationwide total this year through September -- 14% -- is more than double the runner-up, Michigan, which also has a ban.‘Blade Runner’Tesla’s Thursday night event bookends the press days for the Los Angeles Auto Show, where Ford generated buzz with the debut of the Mustang Mach-E electric SUV. But seeking attention of his own wasn’t the only motivation for Musk to stage his truck reveal now and near the show. When announcing the date and locale, he joked on Twitter they were “strangely familiar” and shared a link to the opening credits and scene of the 1982 film “Blade Runner,” which was set in November 2019. He had referenced the movie before as inspiration for the pickup’s futuristic design.“Musk has indicated it ‘looks like an armored personnel carrier from the future,’ from the set of Blade Runner, and is ‘unrecognizable from the trucks from the past 20-40 years,’ which we think could carry the risk of not attracting traditional pickup buyers, leaving it a lower-volume niche product,” Emmanuel Rosner, a Deutsche Bank analyst, wrote in a report this week. Investors will want to know more about production timing, increased capital-spending requirements and where Tesla will build the truck, he said.Musk is scheduled to begin making remarks around 8 p.m. local time at Tesla’s design center in Hawthorne, California.(Updates with Thursday opening shares in ninth paragraph)\--With assistance from Keith Naughton.To contact the reporter on this story: Dana Hull in San Francisco at dhull12@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Craig Trudell at ctrudell1@bloomberg.net, ;Chester Dawson at cdawson54@bloomberg.net, Melinda GrenierFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Applied Materials, Warrior Met Coal, Alibaba and Amazon highlighted as Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day
    Zacks

    Applied Materials, Warrior Met Coal, Alibaba and Amazon highlighted as Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day

    Applied Materials, Warrior Met Coal, Alibaba and Amazon highlighted as Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day

  • Bloomberg

    Google’s Micro-Targeting Ban Won’t Improve Political Ads

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Google says it will limit the targeting of political ads to make it harder to sneak misinformation to impressionable voters. That puts the company ahead of the pack when it comes to making the political business of big internet platforms look less threatening. But the efficiency of political micro-targeting is questionable, and Google is responding to a moral panic rather than any real danger to democracy.Since the 2016 U.S. presidential election, the public has become aware of techniques that allow advertisers to aim their messages at narrow groups of people, sliced not just by place of residence, age and sex, but also by consumer and political preferences, browsing histories, voting records and other kinds of personal data. This culminated in the Cambridge Analytica scandal in 2018, when news reports showed that the U.K.-based micro-targeting firm had improperly harvested lots of private user data from Facebook. The platforms were on the spot to do something. Twitter has banned political ads entirely, but then it didn’t sell many, anyway, serving instead as a free platform for political messages. In an op-ed in the Washington Post following Twitter’s announcement, Ellen Weintraub, chairwoman of the U.S. Federal Election Commission, called for an end to political micro-targeting instead of an ad ban. “It is easy to single out susceptible groups and direct political misinformation to them with little accountability, because the public at large never sees the ad,” she argued.That was a controversial proposal. Writing in the same newspaper, Chris Wilson, who had been responsible for digital strategy in Senator Ted Cruz’s 2016 presidential campaign (which was the first in that election to hire Cambridge Analytica), countered that micro-targeting has helped increase voter turnout and drive down advertising costs for campaigns. His suggestion was to make the targeting more transparent.Google, however, found it more expedient to go along with Weintraub’s proposal than to fight an uphill battle using Wilson’s arguments. In a blog post on Wednesday, the company said it would no longer let advertisers target messages “based on public voter records and general political affiliations (left-leaning, right-leaning, and independent).” Only basic targeting by age, gender and postal code would be allowed.This, is course, is no more than Russian trolls would have required in 2016 — as Wilson pointed out in his Washington Post op-ed. Their propaganda campaign was largely geographically targeted. There’s still no proof that micro-targeting is more effective than other forms of advertising. Academic work on the subject has tended to be rather theoretical, while experimental evidence is scarce. In a paper published this year, German researcher Lennart Krotzek concluded after an experiment matching ads to personality profiles that “candidate messages are more effective in improving a voter’s feeling toward a candidate when the messages are congruent with the voter’s personality profile, but they do not result in a higher propensity to vote for the advertised candidate.”Internet platforms have done little to further the study of political targeting.Google offers a transparency report on political ads placed on its various properties — search pages, YouTube, the sites of media partners. It says that the biggest U.S. advertiser in the last 12 months is the Trump Make America Great Again Committee, which has spent $8.5 million. The report discloses that the pro-Trump group has targeted its most recent ads at all people older than 18 throughout the U.S., but offers no clues as to whether any more precise targeting was used. That’s the case with the rest of the advertisers, too.Facebook’s transparency report is just as opaque when it comes to the precise targeting of ads by voters’ interests and political leanings.  It’s easier for Google than for Facebook to abandon precise targeting, because one of its key strengths is being able to link ads to search words. That’s a form of rather precise targeting not affected by Google’s policy change. Slicing and dicing the audience is at the heart of Facebook’s offering to advertisers, so it’s understandably hesitant to disable the feature, thought it, too, has been mulling some targeting curbs.But Facebook doesn’t have to make the sacrifice. It would make more sense to reveal exactly how each political ad is targeted — and to cooperate with researchers interested in evaluating the ads’ efficiency. Facebook has the means to deliver messages from such researchers to the target audiences, which would help them recruit subjects for experiments. Google should have done the same instead of introducing drastic curbs that probably won’t do much to raise the level of political discourse, anyway. Policymakers need data, not hype, to make informed decisions on how to regulate modern advertising.To contact the author of this story: Leonid Bershidsky at lbershidsky@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Jonathan Landman at jlandman4@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Leonid Bershidsky is Bloomberg Opinion's Europe columnist. He was the founding editor of the Russian business daily Vedomosti and founded the opinion website Slon.ru.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.