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Xbox Announces Special Edition Xbox One X NBA® 2K20 Console Bundle Featuring Basketball Superstar Anthony Davis

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16 Jul, 2019 / 23:57

A former Microsoft worker has been charged in what investigators describe as a scheme to steal $10 million in digital currency.

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16 Jul, 2019 / 23:45

MSFT stock has soared 35% in 2019. So, with the tech firm set to release its Q4 fiscal 2019 financial results on Thursday, let's see what to expect from its top and bottom lines and key business units such as Intelligent Cloud.

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16 Jul, 2019 / 23:23

(Bloomberg) -- Amazon.com Inc. was challenged by a top House lawmaker over whether the online retail giant is harming competition as the biggest tech companies faced their harshest antitrust scrutiny in years on Capitol Hill.Democratic Representative David Cicilline of Rhode Island, who chairs the House antitrust panel, put Amazon on the hot seat at a hearing Tuesday, suggesting its business model suffers from conflicts of interest and that it can use its control over data to thwart competition from third-party sellers on its platform.“You are selling your own products on a platform you control and they’re competing with products from other sellers,” Cicilline said.Amazon lawyer Nate Sutton denied the company uses data it collects on sales to favor its own products over third-party sellers. He also argued that it’s common in the retail industry for stores to sell their own brands that compete against others.Cicilline fired back: “The difference is Amazon is a trillion-dollar company that runs an online platform with real-time data on millions of purchases and billions in commerce and can manipulate algorithms on its platform and favor its own product -- that is not the same as a local retailer,” he said.The exchange, as Amazon’s Prime Day sales event extended into a second day, came at hearing where four of the biggest U.S. tech firms -- Amazon, Facebook Inc., Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Apple Inc. -- defended their businesses against criticism that they are too dominant. The session marked the first time the companies have faced grilling from Congress about whether they are hindering competition.Cicilline said his inquiry is still in the fact-gathering stage but the series will eventually lead to legislative steps that go beyond self-regulation.“I think it will absolutely require some action by Congress, either by way of regulation, new statutory enactments, new resources for antitrust agencies, more likely a combination of those three things,” he told reporters after the executives testified.Cicilline is bearing down on the companies as antitrust enforcers prepare their own scrutiny after a mostly hands-off approach to the industry.The Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission, which share antitrust jurisdiction, have taken the first steps toward investigating conduct by the biggest companies by divvying up oversight with the Justice Department taking responsibility for Google and Apple, and FTC overseeing Facebook and Amazon.A report by the University of Chicago’s Stigler Center this year found that digital markets tend to be winner-take-all in which one firm comes to dominate. That creates an incentive for the companies to edge out new challengers that could threaten that dominance.Republican Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin on Tuesday cautioned against calls for breaking up the big technology companies.“Just because a business is big doesn’t mean that it is bad,” he said. Antitrust laws “do not exist to punish businesses just because they are big.”All four companies repeatedly insisted that they face abundant competition, from one another and from other companies. Although Amazon controls about half of U.S. e-commerce sales, Sutton pointed out the company makes up just 4% of all retail sales, with competition from Walmart Inc. and Kroger Co., among others. Facebook’s Director of Public Policy Matt Perault pointed to competition from Apple, Amazon and Google, among others.That argument met with skepticism from lawmakers. Representative Joe Neguse, a Colorado Democrat, pointed out that Facebook has the most monthly active users worldwide of any social media platform, with its Instagram, Whatsapp, and Facebook messenger in the top six.“You can understand the skepticism because when a company owns four of the largest six entities measured by active users in the world in that industry, we have a word for that, and that’s monopoly – or at least monopoly power,” he said.\--With assistance from Daniel Stoller.To contact the reporters on this story: David McLaughlin in Washington at dmclaughlin9@bloomberg.net;Ben Brody in Washington, D.C. at btenerellabr@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sara Forden at sforden@bloomberg.net, John HarneyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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16 Jul, 2019 / 23:00

Lawmakers on the House Judiciary Committee's antitrust panel pressed an executive from Amazon.com Inc on Tuesday about allegations that it competed against its own sellers and pushed them to buy advertising and fulfillment services.

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16 Jul, 2019 / 22:53

Leaders from Apple, Facebook, Google and Amazon all took turns publicly defending their companies during an antitrust hearing on Capitol Hill. They said their platforms all rely on a vibrant social ecosystem that encourages competition, but lawmakers voiced concerns about the growing power of big tech companies. CNET senior producer Dan Patterson joined "Red and Blue" with more.

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16 Jul, 2019 / 22:34

Top tickers for end of day: S, AMD, AAPL, FB, BAC, TSLA, BABA.

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16 Jul, 2019 / 22:30

Original content is king in 2019.

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16 Jul, 2019 / 22:29

Lawmakers on the House Judiciary Committee's antitrust panel on Tuesday pressed an executive from Amazon.com Inc on allegations that it competed against its own sellers and pushed them to buy advertising and fulfillment services.

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16 Jul, 2019 / 22:06

S&P; 500 down 0.34% Continue reading...

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16 Jul, 2019 / 22:00

(Bloomberg) -- U.S. technology giants are headed for their biggest antitrust showdown with Congress in 20 years as lawmakers and regulators demand to know whether companies like Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Facebook Inc. use their dominance to squelch innovation. The House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee is holding a hearing Tuesday on the market power of the largest tech companies. Executives from Apple Inc., Amazon.com Inc., Google and Facebook are testifying. Here’s the latest from the committee room:Facebook Denies Its Integration Plan Designed to Thwart Breakup (5:37 p.m.)Facebook’s Matt Perault denied that the company’s planned integration of its Messenger app, its WhatsApp chat service and its Instagram photo app was designed to thwart calls to break up the properties.“There are many services in the market that offer more privacy-protective services,” he told Democratic Representative Jamie Raskin of Maryland. “Our pivot toward privacy with respect to inter-operating our services was because of the competition that we faced in the market.”Raskin had suggested the announcement was a “ploy” and said it coincided with growing calls to break up Facebook by splitting off WhatsApp and Instagram.Democrat David Cicilline, who chairs the panel, also asked Amazon lawyer Nate Sutton about reports that the fees merchants must pay have been increasing in recent years.“Aren’t these steady fee hikes by Amazon a pure exercise of its outsize buyer power?” Cicilline asked.Sutton said that the estimates weren’t accurate.“The fees that are necessary to be paid in our store to sell items have actually been steady for a number of years and slightly declining,” Sutton told Cicilline.Heated Exchange Over Amazon’s Third-Party Sellers (4:32 p.m.)Democrat David Cicilline of Rhode Island, who is chairing the hearing, pressed Amazon on whether its business model suffers from a conflict of interest because it sells its own products that compete directly against those from third-party sellers. That is a complaint also raised by Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren.“You are selling your own products on a platform you control and they’re competing with products from other sellers,” Cicilline said.Amazon lawyer Nate Sutton said it’s common in retail for stores to sell their own brands that compete against others.Cicilline fired back: “The difference is Amazon is a trillion-dollar company that runs an online platform with real-time data on millions of purchases and billions of commerce and can manipulate algorithms on its platform and favor its own product -- that is not the same as a local retailer,” he said.Cicilline repeatedly pressed Sutton about whether the company uses data on the third-party sellers to advantage its own products. Sutton said Amazon ranks results by the same criteria and doesn’t use data to compete against sellers.“You do collect enormous data,” Cicilline said. “You’re saying you don’t use that in any way to promote Amazon products, and I remind you sir, you’re under oath.”Cicilline says companies have de facto ‘immunity’ (3:38 p.m.)Cicilline slammed the dominance of the tech companies, saying they are shielded from competitive threats because of barriers to rivals that could potentially take them on. They also use their resources to prevent startups from challenging them and pose a risk to small businesses, he said.Cicilline said the dominance of tech companies stems from policy choices. Antitrust enforcers haven’t challenged a single one of their acquisitions or sued them for anticompetitive conduct like they did with Microsoft Corp. 20 years ago, he said.“Congress and antitrust enforcers allowed these firms to regulate themselves with little oversight,” Cicilline said in his opening remarks. “As a result, the internet has become increasingly concentrated, less open, and growingly hostile to innovation and entrepreneurship.”“Together, these enforcement decisions have created a de facto immunity for online platforms,” Cicilline added.Companies argue they face widespread competition (2:56 p.m.)The four tech giants tried to head off criticism that they dominate their respective markets, as executives in prepared testimony all cited intense competition they say they face from rivals.Nate Sutton, a lawyer for Amazon, which controls about half of U.S. e-commerce sales, told the House antitrust panel that the company makes up just 4% of U.S. retail sales, with competition from Walmart Inc. and Kroger Co.Facebook’s Director of Public Policy Matt Perault pointed to competition from Apple, Amazon and Google, among others, in his remarks.The companies also touted their development of innovative products that have won over consumers and their investment in research and development. Google’s director of economic policy, Adam Cohen, said the company spent $21.4 billion on R&D, three times more than in 2013.The hearing, led by Cicilline, started at about 3 p.m. Dozens of people were waiting in line to get into the hearing room.Here’s What Tech Faces in Washington:The hearing is one of a several that big tech companies face this week in Congress as Washington calls the giants to task for a range of concerns. President Donald Trump is pressuring the companies in Twitter barrages for issues including anti-conservative bias, while the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission have taken the first steps toward investigating their conduct. The Justice Department is taking responsibility for scrutiny of Google and Apple, as the FTC oversees Facebook and Amazon.Also on Tuesday, David Marcus, who leads Facebook’s Libra and block chain efforts, heard from disdainful Democrats at a Senate Banking Committee hearing on the company’s proposed cryptocurrency.Trump said Tuesday morning that his administration will look into allegations by billionaire Peter Thiel that Google’s work with China is “seemingly treasonous.”Trump has also said he wants gather tech executives at the White House.Google’s global public policy chief is scheduled to testify Tuesday before a Senate hearing focused on allegations the company engages in censorship.More on tech and antitrust: Did Big Tech Get Too Big? U.S. Joins Europe in Asking: QuickTakeTo contact the reporters on this story: David McLaughlin in Washington at dmclaughlin9@bloomberg.net;Ben Brody in Washington at btenerellabr@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sara Forden at sforden@bloomberg.net, Molly SchuetzFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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16 Jul, 2019 / 21:53

Stock futures: The market rally stalled Tuesday on President Trump's China trade war threat. United Airlines and CSX moved late on earnings. Lawmakers continued to grill Facebook, Apple and Amazon.

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16 Jul, 2019 / 21:47

The cable killer is on the loose and releasing earnings tomorrow. Netflix (NFLX) has been on a tear over the past 5 years. This stock has displayed returns close to 500% outpacing the rest of the FANG.

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16 Jul, 2019 / 21:37

Tech’s day of reckoning Tuesday on Capitol Hill started with skepticism about Facebook Inc.’s proposed digital currency, and ended with a spirited debate over charges of anti-conservative bias on Alphabet Inc.’s Google search. In between, the industry’s big four took some body blows from both political parties.

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16 Jul, 2019 / 21:28

The 5 stocks have had the sizzle over the last 5 years. Will it continue this week?

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16 Jul, 2019 / 21:25

(Bloomberg) -- Meredith Whittaker, who helped lead employee protests at Google over the search giant’s military work, artificial intelligence and policies, is leaving the company.In a blog, she warned that the internet giant’s AI software and huge computing resources are helping it expand in unsettling ways."Google, in the conventional pursuit of quarterly earnings, is gaining significant and largely unchecked power to impact our world (including in profoundly dangerous ways, such as accelerating the extraction of fossil fuels and the deployment of surveillance technology)," she wrote in a blog on Tuesday. "How this vast power is used — who benefits and who bears the risk — is one of the most urgent social and political (and yes, technical) questions of our time."Whittaker helped spark a broader uprising among workers at some of the world’s largest technology companies, including Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Microsoft Corp. and Amazon.com Inc. They are concerned these corporations are gaining too much power through AI-powered, machine-based decision making that has flaws and little or no accountability.Over the past year, some staff at Google erupted in protest, prompting the company to drop a Pentagon AI contract and a censored search project in China. Whittaker, who led Google’s Open Research group, was one of the most outspoken voices. She was one of six women who organized massive walkouts after reports that Google paid handsome sums to executives accused of sexual harassment.Other Google protesters were saddened by Whittaker’s resignation, but hopeful that their attempts to hold large tech companies accountable will continue."Our movement has moved into a new phase," said Irene Knapp, a senior software engineer at Google. "Those of us who remain at the company have been focused on disseminating knowledge and teaching our organizing skills to new people. I am sure that Meredith would not be leaving if she didn’t know that she’s accomplished that, and I know that I very much feel she has. We’re set up for the long haul."While at Google, Whittaker also served with AI Now, a research institute at New York University that she co-founded. The group often criticizes businesses and government agencies for using AI systems, like facial recognition, in policing and surveillance. Whittaker also publicly denounced some Google decisions, including the appointment of Kay Coles James, a conservative think tank leader, to an AI ethics board. Google soon nixed the board."People in the AI field who know the limitations of this tech, and the shaky foundation on which these grand claims are perched, need to speak up, loudly. The consequences of this kind of BS marketing are deadly (if profitable for a few)," Whittaker wrote on Twitter on Sunday.In April, about six months after the big employee walkout, Whittaker and another protest leader, Claire Stapleton, said the company was retaliating against them for their role in the activity. In an email to colleagues, Whittaker said her Google manager told her to "abandon [her] work on AI ethics" and blocked a request to transfer internally. At the time, Google denied it retaliated against Whittaker.To contact the reporters on this story: Mark Bergen in San Francisco at mbergen10@bloomberg.net;Joshua Brustein in New York at jbrustein@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at jward56@bloomberg.net, Alistair Barr, Andrew PollackFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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16 Jul, 2019 / 21:23

Streaming service provider Netflix, Inc.(NASDAQ: NFLX) potentially faces several challenges in holding onto its market share as it ...

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16 Jul, 2019 / 21:11

Stock buybacks had a gangbusters 2018, with companies purchasing $223 billion worth of their own stock in the final quarter of last year. That trend dropped down to a mere $205 billion in the first quarter of this year, but overall analysts expect this to be the biggest year for repurchasers yet. CEOs are thrilled about this development. Critics, less so. Buy What Backs? In case you need a refresher, a buyback is when a company purchases its own stock using cash reserves or profit. As we recently explained, this has the effect of driving up stock price by creating rarity, as the less shares of a company there are available to purchase on the stock market, the higher the price. Since CEOs typically own company shares and have various stock plans, buybacks make them wealthier without increasing their salary. So you can see why people like them. Big Fans While most CEOS, like Apple’s Tim Cook, are buyback fans, Warren Buffett and Jamie Dimon are particularly outspoken in their support. Dimon calls them a “no-brainer” and “an important tool that businesses must have to reallocate excess capital." Bye Buy One of the main complaints buyback critics have is that companies will use their excess capital to further enrich CEOs and investors, instead of spending it on employee compensation, research and development and other long-term investments. Buybacks have caught the ire of Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who along with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer plans to introduce a bill that would require companies to increase employee compensation before they can repurchase shares. -Michael Tedder Photo: Brendan McDermid / REUTERS

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16 Jul, 2019 / 21:06

Tech’s grilling on Capitol Hill intensified Tuesday afternoon when a House Judiciary Committee took aim at four of its biggest players, whom chairman Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., called “powerful online gate keepers.”

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16 Jul, 2019 / 20:51

Internet television network Netflix faces a raft of concerns as it prepares to post results late Wednesday. Wall Street will be looking for commentary on competition and cost controls.

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16 Jul, 2019 / 20:31

With some marquee earnings reports out today, it would have been reasonable to expect some more action out of the major U.S. equity benchmarks. By the time the closing bell sounded, though, Tuesday had all the appearances of just another boring summertime trading day.Source: Shutterstock The Nasdaq Composite fell 0.43% while the S&P 500 gave up 0.34%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was mostly flat, settling down 0.09%.Arguably adding to the disappointment that was Tuesday's broader market action was that there was some encouraging economic data out earlier in the day. Retail sales rose for a fourth consecutive month in June, indicating that one of the primary drivers of the U.S. economy, the consumer, remains sturdy. And that data point does not even include Amazon's (NASDAQ:AMZN) Prime Day, which shattered records.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips * 9 Retail Stocks Goldman Sachs Says Are Ready to Rip Prime Day spanned into today and some analysts forecast $5 billion or more in sales for Amazon, easily topping 2018's Prime Day haul of $3.2 billion. Bottom line: the consumer is in good health and that should be meaningful for riskier assets going forward.Now let's get into some of those earnings reports. Boffo BanksDow component JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM), the largest U.S. bank, was one of the blue-chip index's standouts Tuesday, gaining 1.06%, after the company said it earned $2.59 a share on revenue of $29.57 billion. Analysts were expecting earnings of $2.51 per share and revenue of $28.9 billion.As was noted here yesterday, net interest margins could become problematic for banks if interest rates decline. To that end, JPMorgan pared its 2019 net interest margin guidance to $57.5 billion from $58 billion.Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) was another Dow leader today, adding 1.87% after the investment bank said it earned $5.81 a share on revenue of $9.46 billion. Analysts expected earnings of $4.89 per share on revenue of $8.83 billion."Institutional client revenue, which includes trading, slipped 3%, while investment banking revenue was down 9%. However, revenue from the bank's investing and lending business rose 16%, its highest quarterly performance in eight years," according to Reuters. A Beat, but DisappointmentPharmaceuticals giant Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) slipped 1.64% despite delivering an upbeat second-quarter report. The healthcare company said it earned $2.58 per share on sales of $20.56 billion. Wall Street expected a profit of $2.46 per share on sales of $20.29 billion.More importantly, JNJ boosted its 2019 sales forecast, excluding currency movement, to $82.4 billion to $83.2 billion, from an original range of $82 billion to $82.8 billion and the stock still declined. Credit Suisse resumed coverage of JNJ today with a $156 price target, implying significant upside from current levels. Quick AsideOnce again, Dow Inc (NYSE:DOW) was one of the Dow's best performers today, surging 2.73%. The stock has been on a torrid pace as of late. Investors considering the chemical maker may want to go here to mull over some of the bullish catalysts for the name. Bottom LineToday's earnings reports were mostly solid. It's certainly hard to quibble with JNJ raising revenue guidance, but plenty of tests remain this week and trade is clearly still an issue. President Donald Trump confirmed as much, noting the U.S. and China still have a long way to go on trade.Thursday is potentially significant day on the earnings front with Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and UnitedHealth (NYSE:UNH) among the Dow components reporting. Investors looking for a particular factor to watch should consider profit margins, regardless of company or sector."Many investors and analysts say a potential decline in profit margins--a measurement of how much a company's sales exceed its costs--is more worrisome than contracting earnings in the second quarter," according to the Wall Street Journal.Todd Shriber does not own any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 9 Retail Stocks Goldman Sachs Says Are Ready to Rip * 7 Services Stocks to Buy for the Rest of 2019 * 6 Stocks to Buy and 1 to Sell Based on Insider Trading The post Dow Jones Today: Earnings Disappointments appeared first on InvestorPlace.

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16 Jul, 2019 / 20:17

Butterfield shares his thoughts on Microsoft and recent IPO.

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16 Jul, 2019 / 20:12