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None. They all currently comprise a significant portion of VOO (the majority of my portfolio).

1 AAPL Apple Inc. 6.50% 346,134,676

2 MSFT Microsoft Corporation 5.53% 170,882,488

3 AMZN Amazon.com, Inc. 2.49% 203,081,823

4 GOOGL Alphabet Inc. 1.76% 137,384,726

By buying more of any of these stocks and holding VOO, you're implicitly balancing more towards one of those said stocks against the rest of the index - a bet that it will perform better. Now, that's fine if you want to do that and you understand that, but I think many people don't realize that.

With that said, I'll give some downsides to each of these/all of them.

  1. Valuation - all of these companies are essentially at least $1T in market capitalization. How much larger can/are they going to grow? Something something, large numbers. Amazon still has a high P/E ratio (for my blood at least). Google's PE is at least palatable. Apple's growth across products and segments is slowing.
  2. Antitrust concerns.
  3. Google/Amazon face significant hurdles with advertising, especially with Apple's privacy changes. ChatGPT represents a potential significant threat to Google. AI is going to change the competitive landscape of business and I'm not sure any of these companies are ready.
  4. Microsoft faces a very real threat regarding their OS from the consumer side. From the business/government side I think they are pretty secure. Every semester, I see more and more Macs in classrooms - yes, this is anecdotal.
  5. My favorite indicators center around cash. None of these companies are particularly attractive to me on that basis.
  6. Microsoft is a dinosaur. Amazon (according to a few friends that work there) is run like shit on the fulfillment side. Google doesn't stand a chance in the smart phone market.

In short, the only one that I think is worth a damn is Apple and it's still too expensive for me.

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Sorry, I have a really hard time buying the author's underlying premise that the Fed's actions are the primary driver of lower risk-free returns given the 30+ year trend of dropping sovereign yields all over the world.

Counter-argument: central banks aren't driving the secular decline in sovereign yields, the changing nature of the economy is.

The top firms by market cap in Q3 2020 were:

  1. Apple Inc.

  2. Microsoft

  3. Amazon.com

  4. Alphabet Inc.

  5. Alibaba Group

  6. Facebook, Inc.

  7. Tencent

Notice that they are all tech-focused firms whose main assets are intellectual property. None of the main operations of any these firms require long-term financing of large projects. Setting up an Amazon fulfillment center is not comparable to the kind of capital expenditure which underpinned the industrial giants which made up the top of the list in the 1970s.

When the biggest firms don't need to finance long term projects, government bonds are the only game in town for a certain class of investors. So yields go down.

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Events in the US Today (EDT):

  • 7:50am - NASA to launch its Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover to Mars from Cape Canaveral
  • 8:30am - GDP (QoQ-Q2) [3/3 Volatility]
    • (Economists expect a 34.7% decline)
    • GDP Price Index (QoQ-Q2) [2/3 Volatility]
    • Initial Jobless Claims [3/3 Volatility]
    • Real Consumer Spending (Q2) [1/3 Volatility]
  • 9:00am - The House meets to debate a six-bill fiscal 2021 spending package for defense, commerce, justice, science, energy, financial services, labor, health and human services, education, transportation, housing and urban development
  • 10:00am - The Senate convenes for session
  • 2:45PM - POTUS tours the American Red Cross National Headquarters
    • American Red Cross, Washington, DC
  • 3:00pm - POTUS participates in a roundtable on donating plasma
  • The NBA starts playing in a “bubble” at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando
  • Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan ordered an expansion of a statewide mask order and announced a “pause” in reopening the state to the next planned phase
  • Universal & AMC Theatres struck a deal to shorten the exclusivity window for major theatrical release films to 17 days, meaning they will stream to audiences faster
  • Two-year Treasury yields are two basis points away from falling below the record set in May
  • There are 2 days before the existing enhancements to unemployment benefits under the CARES Act are set to expire

Events in the World Today (EDT):

  • 3:00am - Switzerland KOF Leading Indicators (Jul) [2/3 Volatility]
    • Spain CPI & HICP (YoY) [2/3 Volatility]
  • 3:55am - Germany Unemployment Change (Jul) [3/3 Volatility]
  • 4:00am - Germany GDP (QoQ-Q2) [3/3 Volatility]
    • Euro Zone ECB Economic Bulletin [2/3 Volatility]
  • 5:00am - Euro Zone Unemployment Rate (Jun) [2/3 Volatility]
  • 5:45am - Italy 10-Year BTP Auction [2/3 Volatility]
  • 7:00am - Mexico GDP (QoQ) [2/3 Volatility]
  • 8:00am - Germany CPI (MoM-Jul) [2/3 Volatility]
  • 7:30pm - Japan Jobs/Applications Ratio (Jun) [2/3 Volatility]
  • 7:50pm - Japan Industrial Production (MoM-Jun) [2/3 Volatility]
  • 9:00pm - China Manufacturing PMI (Jul) [3/3 Volatility]
    • China Composite PMI (Jul) [2/3 Volatility]
    • China Non-Manuf. PMI (Jul) [2/3 Volatility]
  • 9:30pm - Australia PPI (QoQ) [2/3 Volatility]
    • Australia Private Sector Credit (MoM-Jun) [2/3 Volatility]
  • Germany, Europe's largest economy, GDP Plunged Into Record 10% Slump. The DAX index fell 2.3%
  • Huawei overtakes Samsung to be No. 1 smartphone player in the world thanks to China as overseas sales drop

Earnings Before Open:

  • UPS, MasterCard, AstraZeneca, P&G, KraftHeinz, ABInBev, Cliffs, Eli Lilly, Newmont, Comcast, Dunkin' Brands Group, Hilton Grand Vacations, Northrop Grumman, PG&E, Wyndham Destinations, Yum Brands

Earnings After Close:

  • Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Ford, Alphabet, Gilead, MGM, Mercado Libre, EA, Vertex, Xilinx, 8x8, Expedia Group, GrubHub, United States Steel Inc.,

Earnings Friday Before Open:

  • ExxonMobil, Abbvie, Pinterest, Caterpillar, Merck, L3Harris, Chevron, Under Armor, Dominion Energy, Charter Communications
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They do, constantly.

Naturally, there are overheads involved, so it doesn't make sense for ventures that don't need that extra corporate protection. Apple doesn't create "Apple Watch 5 Inc" for their product launches, for example.

But just about any initiative that could spill over excess problems to the main corporation will be setup as an independent venture. IIRC large shipping companies create individual companies for each large boat.

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Today’s Bearish Activity 

Multiple “big tech” names are trading lower on news that the U.S. Justice Department has launched an antitrust probe on technology giants:

  • Alphabet Inc. – Class A (GOOGL - $6.46 to $1,141.59): Puts are outnumbering calls roughly 5:4 but the August 16th 1250.00 call is the most actively traded contract (volume is 550).
  • Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN - $12.28 to $1,982.21): Calls are outnumbering puts roughly 3:2 with the July 26th 2000.00 call being the most actively traded contract (volume is 659).
  • Apple Inc. (AAPL - $1.11 to $207.73): Calls are outnumbering puts roughly 5:3 with the July 26th 210.00 call being the most actively traded contract (volume is 20,022).
  • Facebook Inc. (FB - $1.28 to $201.08): Calls are outnumbering puts roughly 3:2 with the July 26th 205.00 call being the most actively traded contract (volume is 9,426).

Several stocks are also moving lower on disappointing earnings:

  • Boeing Co. (BA - $4.29 to $368.78): The airplane maker reported a Q2 loss of $5.82 per share, excluding non-recurring items ($0.84 beat) on revenue that fell 35.1% year-over-year to $15.75B (above the $15.05B expected). Note: Boeing suspended its full-year guidance last quarter and the company said that remains due to the 737 MAX issues. Calls are slightly outnumbering puts with the July 26th375.00 call topping the most actives list (volume is 4,861).
  • Caterpillar Inc. (CAT - $5.51 to $132.59): The maker of construction and mining equipment reported Q2 earnings of $2.83 per share, excluding non-recurring items ($0.28 miss) on revenue that rose 3.0% year-over-year to $14.43B (below the $14.47B expected). The company reaffirmed its full-year 2019 EPS guidance of $11.75-12.75 but said that it now sees earnings coming in at the lower end of that range (vs. the $12.20 consensus estimate). Shares of CAT briefly traded below the 50-day SMA ($129.86) earlier in the session. Calls are slightly outnumbering puts but the July 26th 131.00 put is topping the most actives list (volume is 2,278).
  • iRobot Corp. (IRBT - $17.35 to $72.28): The maker of consumer robots reported Q2 earnings of $0.25 per share ($0.07 beat) on revenue that increased 15.0% year-over-year to $260.17M (below the $267.96M analysts had expected). The company issued downside guidance as full-year 2019 EPS is now expected to come in a range of $2.40-3.15 on revenue of $1.20-1.25B (from prior respective views of $3.15-3.40 and $1.28-1.31B). Calls and puts are trading roughly even with the August 16th 75.00 put seeing the most action from traders (volume is 996).

New 52-week lows (106 new lows today): Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (BBBY + $0.15 to $9.31), Inogen Inc. (INGN + $1.84 to $59.19), Nutanix Inc. (NTNX - $0.85 to $24.00), Systemax Inc. (SYX - $0.44 to $19.64)

Notable Put Activity

Some unusual put activity (~10:1 over calls) is being seen in Diodes Inc. (DIOD + $1.85 to $41.48) which is mostly due to three large blocks that simultaneously traded activity on the August 16th expiration:

  • 40.00 put: a 2,000 contract block was bought for $1.70 when the bid/ask spread was $1.30 x $1.80 (open interest is 9)
  • 35.00 put: a 1,500 contract block was bought for $0.50 when the bid/ask spread was $0.35 x $0.55 (open interest is 8,707)
  • 30.00 put: a 3,500 block was sold for $0.05 (open interest is 3,123)

We know the blocks on the 40.00 put and 30.00 put are new positions and we can assume the overall intent of this three-legged position has a bearish-bias, but beyond that it’s difficult to say exactly what is being established here.

Volume Signals

ON Semiconductor Co. (ON + $1.22 to $22.22): Option volume is running at nearly 10x the daily average of 1,567 contracts which is primarily being driven by activity on the August 16th 23.00 call. Volume on this contract is 13,050 (vs. open interest of 268) which included a 3,850 block that was bought for $0.55 (suggesting bullish intent). ON is scheduled to report Q3 earnings on August 5th before the market open so this positioning captures the potential impact of that event.  

Keysight Tech Inc. (KEYS + $4.48 to $93.26): Option volume is running at roughly 18x the daily average of 351 contracts which is primarily being driven by activity on the September 20th 92.50 call. Volume on this contract is 2,165 (vs. open interest of 245) which mostly consisted of a 1,284 block that was bought for $5.30 when the bid/ask spread was $5.00 x $5.50 (suggesting bullish intent). Shares of KEYS are trading roughly 1% below the all-time high of $94.52 today.

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#Earnings

Applied Materials Inc (AMAT) Q1 Adj. EPS USD 0.81 vs. Exp. USD 0.79, revenue USD 3.8bln vs. Exp. USD 3.71bln; guides Q2 EPS USD 0.62-70 vs. Exp. 0.70, guides revenue USD 3.33-363bln vs. Exp. USD 3.67bln. (Newswires)

Arista Networks Inc (ANET) Q4 Adj. EPS USD 2.25 vs. Exp. USD 2.06, revenue USD 0.595bln vs. Exp. USD 0.59bln. (Newswires)

CBS Corp (CBS) Q4 Adj. EPS USD 1.50 vs. Exp. USD 1.53, revenue USD 4.02bln vs. Exp. USD 4.14bln. (Newswires)

Chemours Company (CC) Q4 Adj. EPS USD 1.05 vs. Exp. USD 1.04, revenue USD bln vs. Exp. USD 1.55bln. Announced additional share repurchase programme of USD 1bln from USD 0.750bln. Greenlight Capital takes 200k shares in the co. (Newswires)

Deere & Co (DE) Q4 EPS USD 1.54 vs. Exp. USD 1.76, revenue USD 6.94bln vs. Exp. USD 6.82bln; Co. says revenues and net sales are projected to increase by around 7%. (Newswires)

Enbridge (ENB) Q1 EPS CAD 0.65 vs. Exp. CAD 0.60, revenue USD bln vs. Exp. USD 8.6bln (Newswires)

Moody's Corp (MCO) Q4 Adj. EPS USD 1.63 vs. Exp. USD 1.67, revenue USD 1.10bln vs. Exp. USD 1.12bln. (Newswires)

Newell Brands Inc (NWL) Q1 EPS USD 0.71 vs. Exp. USD 0.67, revenue USD 2.34bln vs. Exp. USD 2.43bln. Sees 2019 core sales down by 2-4%. (Newswires)

NVIDIA Corp (NVDA) Q4 Adj. EPS USD 0.80 vs. Exp. USD 0.75, revenue USD 2.21bln vs. Exp. USD 2.2bln. Says combination of post-crypto excess channel inventory and recent deteriorating end-market conditions drove a disappointing quarter. Guides Q1 at 2.20bln vs. Exp. 2.46bln. (Newswires)

PepsiCo Inc (PEP) Q1 EPS USD 1.49 vs. Exp. USD 1.49, revenue USD 19.52bln vs. Exp. USD 19.53bln. (Newswires)

SS&C Technologies Holdings Inc (SSNC) Q4 Adj. EPS USD 0.95 vs. Exp. USD 0.85, revenue USD 1.111bln vs. Exp. USD 1.11bln. (Newswires)

WABCO Holdings Inc (WBC) Q4 EPS USD 2.20 vs. Exp. USD 1.99, revenue USD 0.911bln vs. Exp. USD 0.96bln. It looks to repurchase USD 400mln shares in 2019. (Newswires)

XPO Logistics Inc (XPO) Q4 Adj. EPS USD 0.72 vs. Exp. USD 0.83, revenue USD 4.39bln vs. Exp. USD 4.57bln. Targets 2019 revenue growth of 3-5%. (Newswires)

#DJIA

Apple (AAPL) – The tech behemoth has acquired the UK-based digital marketing firm DataTiger in efforts to augment its digital marketing. (Newswires)

Goldman Sachs (GS) – Former banker Roger Ng involved in the 1MDB scandal has been granted permission by Malaysian authorities to return to the US to face criminal charges. (Newswires)

Merck (MRK) – The pharma co. has received FDA priority review for a new supplemental Biologics License Application for KEYTRUDA in combination with Inlyta for treatment of renal cell carcinoma. (Newswires)

Visa (V), Mastercard (MA) – The two credit card suppliers are to increase their fees on both credit and debit cards in April, an added headwind to the US retail sector. (WSJ)

Walt Disney (DIS) – The entertainment co. announced Star Wars: Episode IX and Frozen 2 products will be available on October 4th. (Newswires)

#S&P500

Anadarko (APC) – The energy co. has entered a sale and purchase agreement with Mozambique Area 1 co-ventures, where it will develop Mozambique's first onshore LNG plant. (Newswires)

Automakers (FCAU, F, GM, TM) - EU passenger car registrations down 4.6% in January. (Newswires)

Bristol-Myers (BMY) – The pharma co.’s Phase 2 CheckMate -650 trial of Opdivo in combination with Yervoy showed a 25% response rate for patients with prostate cancer. (Newswires)

Caesars (CZR) – Activist investor Carl Icahn has urged the casino/resorts co. to sell itself following two approaches. (WSJ)

CBS (CBS) – The broadcaster is reportedly already making efforts to gain an NFL contract renewal, despite its current license running through to 2022, as it doesn’t want a tech co. to take the reins. (WSJ)

Electronic Arts (EA) - Tencent (TME) is in talks with the co. to bring Apex Legends in China. (Newswires)

FedEx (FDX) – The shipping co. has appointed Raj Subramaniam as its COO and President, effective March 1st. (Newswires)

Ford (F) – The automaker has been in talks with Volkswagen (VOW3 GY) for collaboration on autonomous cars, including getting the German automaker to invest in the Ford-backed startup Argo AI, which it valued at approximately USD 4bln. (Newswires)

Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) – The NYSE has filed a petition to block the SEC’s plans to monitor the impact of the complex model of fees and rebates in share trading. (FT)

Mattel (MAT) – The game maker has entered a three-year international licensing agreement with Illumination and Universal Brand Development for its Despicable Me franchise. (Newswires)

Starbucks (SBUX) – The coffee chain is to launch a new all-day dining café in China, serving brunch and cocktails, as it grows its presence in the region. (Newswires)

#NASDAQ

Alphabet (GOOGL) – According to research from the International Computer Science Institute, approximately 17,000 Android apps break Google’s policy on data collection. (CNET)

Facebook (FB) – WaPo reports that the social media co. and the FTC are discussing a record multi-billion dollar fine over the co.’s privacy issues. Elsewhere, CNBC reports that former employers say the co. sometimes tracks user locations if it believes they are a “credible threat”. (WaPo/CNBC)

Netflix (NFLX) – The streaming co.’s LA studios were reportedly on lockdown on Thursday after an armed person entered the premises. (Newswires)

#OTHER NEWS

Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM) – The chipmaker cut its Q1 revenue to USD 7bln-7.1bln from USD 7.3bln-7.4bln, this is after it assessed the impact of wafers affected by a batch of problematic photoresist material. (Newswires)

Vale (VALE) – The Brazilian miner’s CEO Fabio Schvartsman told regulators that its safety measure do not work in the wake of the fatal dam collapse in January. Separately, the co. reported a fire at a distribution centre in Malaysia which temporarily affected operations. (Newswires)

#Additional US Equity Stories

Mindbody  (MB) - Vista Equity acquires the co. for USD 1.9bln. (Newswires) 

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> I don't see the value-add of Roku over Chromecast over Firestick.

"We have two primary business segments, which we call Players and Platform. Players reflects revenue from the sale of streaming players. Platform includes advertising, audience development, content distribution and licensing. We have always anticipated that over time our business would be driven by our platform businesses, rather than our hardware. In Q1 2018, platform revenue exceeded player revenue for the first time, and we expect that trend to continue. As noted above, our key business metrics are active accounts and ARPU – our business grows as we add more accounts and improve monetization. "

In the first half of 2018 approximately 1 in 4 smart TVs sold in the U.S. were licensed Roku TVs.

Q2:

"Active accounts up 46% YoY to 22.0 million at quarter end."

"Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) up 48% YoY to $16.60 (trailing 12-month basis);"

"We’ve doubled ARPU over the last two years, driven primarily by advertising, with the majority of ad revenue coming from video ads we serve on ad-supported channels, and we also continue to see strong audience development and brand sponsorship ad growth"

"TV advertisers are shifting budgets to OTT. Over time we believe the vast majority of the $70 billion annual U.S. TV advertising market will shift to streaming. This is a key long-term driver of Roku ad sales revenue growth which more than doubled yearover-year in Q2. Our sophisticated TV ad platform leverages our proprietary data and technology for advanced targeting and measurement solutions for advertisers. We believe our OTT ads are more efficient for advertisers and a better experience for viewers, compared to traditional linear TV advertising. In June we introduced Roku Audience Marketplace, which allows publishers to leverage Roku’s first-party data and proprietary ad technology, to sell campaigns targeted to specific audience segments on the Roku platform to advertisers for their owned-and-operated inventory. Roku has extensive insights into our 22 million active accounts, offering the ability to precisely target specific audience segments at a household level. As the industry’s leading TV streaming platform, we’re wellpositioned to empower content publishers to unlock the full potential of OTT advertising and participate in their success. Furthermore, the Roku Audience Marketplace is based on a programmatic ad stack, enabling publishers to not only sell targeted ads, but also have the option to sell in a more dynamic, automated manner than traditional direct sales. This is another industry first, and we look forward to working with our content providers as they leverage our data and programmatic capabilities to monetize their inventory with more effective ad units. "

From Q2 Roku call: "Laura, with regards to your question about the upfront, I don’t have any specifically things to mention here except to say that they went very well. This is really the first time in our ad sales business history where we were participating in the upfront planning window. And I think the big takeaway for us is this is really the first year in which advertisers are proactively planning for OTT as part of their annual TV spending plan. Roku now uniquely delivers 10% of adult 18 to 34. So if you're planning against that critical demo, you’ve got to include OTT in your planning process. And we were very active across town in equipping these teams with the tools to think about the portion of their budgets that should be spent against OTT. So I’d characterize our activity in the upfront is very successful."

"With regards to the advertisers we service, at the end of the day, we’re a TV ad platform. And so we’re seeing activity across every vertical that’s active in TV advertising, whether that's financial services or CPG or farmer auto. If we over index, it would be in entertainment, because at the end of the day, we’re an entertainment platform. We’re doing business with well over 50% of the top 200 national advertisers and every quarter we crack new accounts, most of that top 200 now are in renewal phases with us.

With regards to how we go about securing that business, we’re a natively digital ad stack, programmatic is coursework platform. The audience marketplace, which we spoke about a little earlier on this call, is programmatic at its core. Data driven selling programmatic based techniques are, in our opinion, a central component of the future of the way TV advertising is going to be traded. But it’s also true that the vast majority of the $70 billion that’s spent in TV advertising today is bought and sold in a more traditional fashion. And so we do have a team that services that aspect of the business as well. And to Laura Martin's question earlier also about our participation in the upfront that’s a central way in which we go secure TV ad dollars as well."

Also, in terms of TVs:

"Roku’s licensing program, which it bundles into the platform revenue segment, also puts the company in a unique position versus competitors such as Amazon.com Inc. AMZN, -1.75% Alphabet Inc. GOOGL, -2.48% GOOG, -2.38% and Apple Inc. AAPL, -2.02% because its software is built into televisions. Licensing the company’s tech also positions it to acquire new users via TV purchases, wrote Wingren.

New OEMs will increase the number of [TV models]containing Roku TVs, which would likely translate into increasing adoption by consumers and further cement Roku’s leadership in TV operating systems,” Wingren wrote. “To the extent that Roku branded TVs continue to gain share, it would place incremental pressure on the market share of OEM non-licensees like LG and Vizio to potentially integrate the Roku OS into SKUs of their TV offerings.”" (https://www.marketwatch.com/story/roku-earnings-a-major-transition-could-be-here-2018-05-07)

From Q2 conference call: "So Ben so on TV, this is Anthony. On TV I would say at a high level, it’s progressing as we expected. Our thesis is that all TV OEMs will switch to a licensed operating system, just like all phone company, phone makers either license Android or the Apple. That same dynamic is happening in TVs and we’re by far the number one licensor of OS to TV manufacturers. One in four smart TVs in the first half of the year, were licensed Roku TVs. So it’s going well. And in terms of the dynamics around what's coming next I think you will continue to see us adding more OEMs and adding more SKUs at retailers. So I think that will continue."

So....

  1. Roku doesn't have a giant moat, but they have managed a first mover advantage, with 22M active accounts that they are successfully advertising to. Additionally, with 1/4 TVs sold in the first half of 2018 being Roku TVs with Roku as the operating system, that's a considerable amount of TVs where Roku is being locked in - if Roku is the operating system of the TV, I don't see why you would need to buy a Chromecast to put into the TV. Do they have to continue to compete against Apple, Google and Amazon? Yes, but they have been already and what they're doing is working.

  2. The company is benefiting considerably from the shift in advertising dollars. I mean, look at the Trade Desk (TTD), which said this in Q1 2018: "- Connected TV grew over 2,000% from Q12017 to Q12018" After going up 2,000% from Q117 to Q118, this was Q2 2018: "Connected TV more than doubled from Q1 2018 to Q2 2018." Also, it's kind of fascinating to me that there's no discussion of TTD - up 210% YTD - in this sub at all.

  3. I think an increasing amount of people are going to be getting rid of cable and going with one of any number of live streaming services (Hulu TV, YouTube TV) etc and you're going to have - IMO - an increasing amount of people upgrading their TVs to smart TVs. Those people will be using the app store on the Roku TV.

So, basically I think Roku is an appealing way to play what I think will likely be a continued stream of cord cutters. Roku devices are one thing, but Roku TVs are another and the more active accounts that Roku has, the more people can Roku advertise to - and advertising dollars are going towards connected TV and other new formats. There's also the app store and other positives. It's certainly NOT a name without risk and serious competition, but competition isn't new and what they've done is working and they have managed to build a significant business.

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|Company|Symbol|Price|Change|Change%|Analytics| |:--|:--|:--|:--|:--|:--| |Ford Motor Company|F|11.10|-0.18|-1.55| HOVER: More Info |Vanguard Div Appreciation ETF -|VIG|93.46|-0.23|-0.25| HOVER: More Info |Apple Inc.|AAPL|153.33|+0.59|0.39| HOVER: More Info |Microsoft Corporation|MSFT|74.14|-0.05|-0.07| HOVER: More Info |SPDR S&P 500|SPY|247.49|+0.07|0.03| HOVER: More Info |Vanguard S&P 500 ETF|VOO|227.33|+0.10|0.04| HOVER: More Info |Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.|WMT|78.43|-0.09|-0.11| HOVER: More Info |Alphabet Inc.|GOOG|946.06|-4.64|-0.49| HOVER: More Info |PowerShares QQQ Trust, Series 1|QQQ|144.70|+0.30|0.21| HOVER: More Info |Nokia Corporation Sponsored Ame|NOK|6.16|+0.01|0.08| HOVER: More Info

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|Company|Symbol|Price|Change|Change%|Analytics| |:--|:--|:--|:--|:--|:--| |Cara Therapeutics, Inc.|CARA|15.39|-10.12|-39.67| HOVER: More Info |Alphabet Inc.|GOOG|908.73|-9.06|-0.99| HOVER: More Info |Apple Inc.|AAPL|144.02|+0.34|0.24| HOVER: More Info

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|Company|Symbol|Price|Change|Change%|Analytics| |:--|:--|:--|:--|:--|:--| |Vanguard S&P 500 ETF|VOO|223.44|+0.45|0.20| HOVER: More Info |Apple Inc.|AAPL|146.77|+1.14|0.78| HOVER: More Info |Visa Inc.|V|95.38|+1.42|1.51| HOVER: More Info |Mastercard Incorporated Common|MA|124.84|+1.54|1.25| HOVER: More Info |Microsoft Corporation|MSFT|70.79|+0.53|0.75| HOVER: More Info |Amazon.com, Inc.|AMZN|1,003.70|+2.40|0.24| HOVER: More Info |Alphabet Inc.|GOOGL|983.66|+7.04|0.72| HOVER: More Info |Raytheon Company Common Stock|RTN|162.49|+1.43|0.89| HOVER: More Info

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|Company|Symbol|Price|Change|Change%|Analytics| |:--|:--|:--|:--|:--|:--| |Vanguard S&P 500 ETF|VOO|224.56|+0.43|0.19| HOVER: More Info |Apple Inc.|AAPL|146.40|+0.53|0.37| HOVER: More Info |Visa Inc.|V|93.92|-0.62|-0.66| HOVER: More Info |Mastercard Incorporated Common|MA|123.40|+0.30|0.24| HOVER: More Info |Microsoft Corporation|MSFT|70.25|-0.02|-0.03| HOVER: More Info |Amazon.com, Inc.|AMZN|1,003.08|+0.85|0.08| HOVER: More Info |Alphabet Inc.|GOOGL|978.31|-0.28|-0.03| HOVER: More Info |Raytheon Company Common Stock|RTN|161.78|-1.71|-1.05| HOVER: More Info

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|Company|Symbol|Price|Change|Change%|Analytics| |:--|:--|:--|:--|:--|:--| |Vanguard S&P 500 ETF|VOO|224.19|+0.79|0.35| HOVER: More Info |Apple Inc.|AAPL|155.17|+1.99|1.30| HOVER: More Info |Visa Inc.|V|96.01|+0.61|0.64| HOVER: More Info |Microsoft Corporation|MSFT|71.51|+1.41|2.02| HOVER: More Info |Amazon.com, Inc.|AMZN|1,006.76|+10.81|1.09| HOVER: More Info |Alphabet Inc.|GOOGL|995.37|+7.08|0.72| HOVER: More Info |Johnson & Johnson Common Stock|JNJ|129.49|+0.71|0.55| HOVER: More Info |Procter & Gamble Company (The)|PG|88.16|+0.03|0.03| HOVER: More Info

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|Company|Symbol|Price|Change|Change%|Analytics| |:--|:--|:--|:--|:--|:--| |Tesla, Inc.|TSLA|332.59|+7.45|2.29| HOVER: More Info |Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.|AMD|11.19|+0.19|1.77| HOVER: More Info |NVIDIA Corporation|NVDA|145.60|+3.76|2.65| HOVER: More Info |Apple Inc.|AAPL|153.79|+0.18|0.12| HOVER: More Info |Alphabet Inc.|GOOGL|994.93|+1.66|0.17| HOVER: More Info |Activision Blizzard, Inc|ATVI|57.86|-0.42|-0.72| HOVER: More Info

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|Company|Symbol|Price|Change|Change%|Analytics| |:--|:--|:--|:--|:--|:--| |Alphabet Inc.|GOOGL|993.27|+1.41|0.14| HOVER: More Info |Alphabet Inc.|GOOG|971.47|+1.93|0.20| HOVER: More Info |Visa Inc.|V|94.67|-0.37|-0.39| HOVER: More Info |Apple Inc.|AAPL|153.61|-0.26|-0.17| HOVER: More Info

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|Company|Symbol|Price|Change|Change%|Analytics| |:--|:--|:--|:--|:--|:--| |Alphabet Inc.|GOOGL|991.86|+14.25|1.46| HOVER: More Info |Amazon.com, Inc.|AMZN|993.38|+13.03|1.33| HOVER: More Info |Apple Inc.|AAPL|153.87|+0.53|0.35| HOVER: More Info

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|Company|Symbol|Price|Change|Change%|Analytics| |:--|:--|:--|:--|:--|:--| |Facebook, Inc.|FB|151.80|-0.98|-0.64| HOVER: More Info |Alphabet Inc.|GOOG|927.04|+10.60|1.16| HOVER: More Info |Amazon.com, Inc.|AMZN|941.03|-5.91|-0.62| HOVER: More Info |Netflix, Inc.|NFLX|155.59|-0.86|-0.55| HOVER: More Info |Microsoft Corporation|MSFT|69.08|-0.22|-0.32| HOVER: More Info |Apple Inc.|AAPL|147.06|-0.45|-0.31| HOVER: More Info |Visa Inc.|V|92.44|-0.10|-0.11| HOVER: More Info |Activision Blizzard, Inc|ATVI|52.84|-0.19|-0.36| HOVER: More Info |SPDR S&P 500|SPY|238.48|-0.29|-0.12| HOVER: More Info |Vanguard S&P 500 ETF|VOO|218.98|-0.22|-0.10| HOVER: More Info

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|Company|Symbol|Price|Change|Change%|Analytics| |:--|:--|:--|:--|:--|:--| |Facebook, Inc.|FB|137.63|+0.46|0.34| HOVER: More Info |Amazon.com, Inc.|AMZN|845.60|-4.28|-0.50| HOVER: More Info |Netflix, Inc.|NFLX|141.90|+2.76|1.98| HOVER: More Info |Alphabet Inc.|GOOG|828.27|-0.81|-0.10| HOVER: More Info |Apple Inc.|AAPL|139.14|-0.64|-0.46| HOVER: More Info |Microsoft Corporation|MSFT|64.46|+0.21|0.33| HOVER: More Info

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|Company|Symbol|Price|Change|Change%|Analytics| |:--|:--|:--|:--|:--|:--| |Facebook, Inc.|FB|135.19|-0.17|-0.13| HOVER: More Info |Amazon.com, Inc.|AMZN|842.89|-9.30|-1.09| HOVER: More Info |Netflix, Inc.|NFLX|143.19|+0.41|0.29| HOVER: More Info |Alphabet Inc.|GOOG|825.55|-5.78|-0.70| HOVER: More Info |Microsoft Corporation|MSFT|64.25|-0.38|-0.58| HOVER: More Info |Apple Inc.|AAPL|136.12|-0.41|-0.30| HOVER: More Info |Tesla, Inc.|TSLA|256.50|+0.51|0.20| HOVER: More Info

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|Company|Symbol|Price|Change|Change%|Analytics| |:--|:--|:--|:--|:--|:--| |Facebook, Inc.|FB|133.53|-0.31|-0.23| HOVER: More Info |Walt Disney Company (The)|DIS|110.06|-0.65|-0.59| HOVER: More Info |Visa Inc.|V|87.46|+0.05|0.06| HOVER: More Info |Netflix, Inc.|NFLX|142.22|+0.21|0.15| HOVER: More Info |Ford Motor Company|F|12.58|+0.04|0.32| HOVER: More Info |Apple Inc.|AAPL|135.72|+0.38|0.28| HOVER: More Info |Alphabet Inc.|GOOG|828.07|+3.91|0.47| HOVER: More Info |Alcoa Corporation|AA|36.21|-0.25|-0.69| HOVER: More Info |American Express Company|AXP|79.71|+0.24|0.30| HOVER: More Info |Starbucks Corporation|SBUX|57.35|+0.62|1.09| HOVER: More Info

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|Company|Symbol|Price|Change|Change%|Analytics| |:--|:--|:--|:--|:--|:--| |Apple Inc.|AAPL|116.22|-0.84|-0.72| HOVER: More Info |Alphabet Inc.|GOOGL|809.68|-2.52|-0.31| HOVER: More Info |Johnson & Johnson Common Stock|JNJ|115.44|+0.13|0.11| HOVER: More Info |Nike, Inc. Common Stock|NKE|52.14|-0.16|-0.31| HOVER: More Info |Starbucks Corporation|SBUX|57.11|-0.33|-0.57| HOVER: More Info |Gilead Sciences, Inc.|GILD|73.30|-0.66|-0.89| HOVER: More Info |Facebook, Inc.|FB|117.40|-1.64|-1.38| HOVER: More Info |American Express Company Common|AXP|74.58|-0.74|-0.98| HOVER: More Info

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|Company|Symbol|Price|Change|Change%|Analytics| |:--|:--|:--|:--|:--|:--| |Apple Inc.|AAPL|113.05|+0.05|0.04| HOVER: More Info |Alphabet Inc.|GOOGL|801.23|-1.56|-0.19| HOVER: More Info

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|Company|Symbol|Price|Change|Change%|Analytics| |:--|:--|:--|:--|:--|:--| |Amazon.com, Inc.|AMZN|726.73|+1.19|0.16| HOVER: More Info |Apple Inc.|AAPL|98.63|+0.71|0.73| HOVER: More Info |Alphabet Inc.|GOOG|716.55|-5.79|-0.80| HOVER: More Info

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|Company|Symbol|Price|Change|Change%|Analytics| |:--|:--|:--|:--|:--|:--| |Apple Inc.|AAPL|111.12|+1.13|1.03| HOVER: More Info |Ford Motor Company Common Stock|F|12.80|-0.31|-2.33| HOVER: More Info |Tesla Motors, Inc.|TSLA|246.99|+9.40|3.96| HOVER: More Info |Alphabet Inc.|GOOG|745.29|-4.62|-0.62| HOVER: More Info

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| AAPL | GOOGL | TSLA | MSFT | F | | ---|---|---|---|--- | | [Apple Inc.](http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=AAPL, GOOGL, TSLA, MSFT, F) | [Alphabet Inc.](http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=AAPL, GOOGL, TSLA, MSFT, F) | [Tesla Motors, Inc.](http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=AAPL, GOOGL, TSLA, MSFT, F) | [Microsoft Corporation](http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=AAPL, GOOGL, TSLA, MSFT, F) | [Ford Motor Company Common Stock](http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=AAPL, GOOGL, TSLA, MSFT, F) | | $110.03 ^-1.31 ^(-1.18%) | $775.21 ^-1.38 ^(-0.18%) | $233.58 ^-0.93 ^(-0.40%) | $55.71 ^-0.42 ^(-0.75%) | $14.00 ^-0.36 ^(-2.51%) | | ^^as ^^of ^^Dec ^^17, ^^12:13PM ^^EST | ^^as ^^of ^^Dec ^^17, ^^12:13PM ^^EST | ^^as ^^of ^^Dec ^^17, ^^12:13PM ^^EST | ^^as ^^of ^^Dec ^^17, ^^12:13PM ^^EST | ^^as ^^of ^^Dec ^^17, ^^12:13PM ^^EST |

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| AAPL | GOOGL | TSLA | MSFT | F | | ---|---|---|---|--- | | [Apple Inc.](http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=AAPL, GOOGL, TSLA, MSFT, F) | [Alphabet Inc.](http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=AAPL, GOOGL, TSLA, MSFT, F) | [Tesla Motors, Inc.](http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=AAPL, GOOGL, TSLA, MSFT, F) | [Microsoft Corporation](http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=AAPL, GOOGL, TSLA, MSFT, F) | [Ford Motor Company Common Stock](http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=AAPL, GOOGL, TSLA, MSFT, F) | | $110.05 ^-1.29 ^(-1.16%) | $775.66 ^-0.93 ^(-0.12%) | $233.73 ^-0.78 ^(-0.33%) | $55.69 ^-0.44 ^(-0.77%) | $14.03 ^-0.33 ^(-2.30%) | | ^^as ^^of ^^Dec ^^17, ^^12:12PM ^^EST | ^^as ^^of ^^Dec ^^17, ^^12:12PM ^^EST | ^^as ^^of ^^Dec ^^17, ^^12:12PM ^^EST | ^^as ^^of ^^Dec ^^17, ^^12:12PM ^^EST | ^^as ^^of ^^Dec ^^17, ^^12:11PM ^^EST |

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This is the best tl;dr I could make, original reduced by 80%. (I'm a bot)


> The S&P 500 tech sector is currently looking at a 2.1% rise in earnings from a year ago, but without Apple's contribution, the sector would be facing a 3% decline, according to John Butters, senior earnings analyst at FactSet.

> Overall, the S&P 500 faces a 3.8% decline in earnings from the year ago quarter, an improvement over the week ago trajectory of a 4.6% decline, owing to better-than-expected results last week from companies such as Microsoft Corp. MSFT, +10.08% , Alphabet Inc.

> Lurking at the end of the week are earnings from ExxonMobil XOM, +0.11% and Chevron CVX, -0.41% with earnings from several other energy companies during the week.


Extended Summary | FAQ | Theory | Feedback | Top five keywords: earnings^#1 week^#2 S&P^#3 sector^#4 companies^#5

Post found in /r/business and /r/Stock_Picks.

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| Sym | Name | Price | Change | |:------|:-----------|:----------|:----------| |GOOG | Google Inc. | $562.73| ⇩5.150 (-0.91%) |AAPL | Apple Inc. | $95.97| ⇩0.020 (-0.02%) |MSFT | Microsoft Corpora | $43.52| ⇧0.320 (+0.74%)

^(^Quotes ^as ^of ^08-12-2014 ^20:30 ^EST. ^Created ^by ^/u/NateTheGreat26.)

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| Sym | Name | Price | Change | |:------|:-----------|:----------|:----------| |GOOG | Google Inc. | $562.465| ⇩5.415 (-0.95%) |MSFT | Microsoft Corpora | $43.48| ⇧0.280 (+0.65%) |AAPL | Apple Inc. | $95.96| ⇩0.030 (-0.03%)

^(Requested stock quotes as of 08-12-2014 15:51 EDT.)

^(^Please ^send ^comments ^and ^concerns ^to ^my ^creator, ^/u/NateTheGreat26.)

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CUPERTINO, Calif.— Apple Inc. AAPL +1.40% has bought $14 billion of its own shares in the two weeks since reporting financial results that disappointed Wall Street, Chief Executive Tim Cook said in an interview.

Apple CEO Tim Cook says the buybacks show 'we are really confident.' Getty Images

Mr. Cook said Apple was "surprised" by the 8% decline in its shares on Jan. 28, the day after it reported lower iPhone sales than projected and warned that revenue in the current quarter might decline from the same period a year ago. Mr. Cook said he wanted to be "aggressive" and "opportunistic."

With the latest purchases, Mr. Cook said Apple had bought back more than $40 billion of its shares over the past 12 months, which Mr. Cook said was a record for any company over a similar span.

"It means that we are betting on Apple. It means that we are really confident on what we are doing and what we plan to do," said Mr. Cook, speaking in a conference room at the company's corporate headquarters here. "We're not just saying that. We're showing that with our actions."

Those purchases are part of Apple's previously disclosed plan to repurchase $60 billion of its own shares, Mr. Cook said. He said Apple bought $12 billion of the shares through an "accelerated" repurchase program, and $2 billion on the open market. He said Apple plans to disclose "updates" to its buyback program in March or April.

More Apple Coverage Cook on Cash Plans The Full Q&A With Tim Cook The revelation about the recent share purchases comes a few weeks before Apple's Feb. 28 shareholder meeting, where activist investor Carl Icahn is pressuring the company to be more aggressive with its $160 billion cash pile.

Mr. Icahn, who owns roughly $4 billion in Apple shares, is asking shareholders to vote on his proposal that Apple buy an additional $50 billion of its own shares by the end of September, above its current plan.

Responding to Mr. Cook's statement about his confidence in Apple, Mr. Icahn said, "So am I."

Apple's Mr. Cook said he wants to "be able to adjust for the long-term interest of the shareholders, not for the short-term shareholder, not for the day trader.

"We may see a huge company tomorrow that we want to acquire or something may happen in the stock market that's unpredictable," he continued.

Historically, Apple hasn't made big acquisitions; the company has never spent more than $1 billion on a single deal. Mr. Cook said Apple has bought 21 companies over the past 15 months.

That track record is a contrast to Google Inc., GOOG +1.51% which has been snapping up companies across the technology landscape, most notably its $3.2 billion acquisition of Nest, a maker of connected home devices founded by former Apple employees.

The Apple CEO said its history of opting for smaller deals doesn't mean that the company won't pull the trigger on a big acquisition if it makes sense.

"We've looked at big companies," said Mr. Cook. "We have no problem spending 10 figures for the right company, for the right fit that's in the best interest of Apple in the long-term. None. Zero."

Apple is fighting the perception that its best days are behind it. Revenue growth has dropped to less than 10% in the last three quarters, while net income fell 11% in the past fiscal year—its first annual decline in more than a decade.

An often-cited factor is that the company hasn't broken into a new product category—as it did with the iPod and iPhone—since introducing the iPad in 2010.

Thursday, Mr. Cook reiterated that Apple plans to enter a new category this year. Apple watchers are speculating about wearable devices or a new television platform.

Introducing WSJD, the Journal's new home for tech news, analysis and product reviews.

Hard Times for a Bitcoin Evangelist Inside the Microsoft CEO Search News App Showdown The Business Card Cannot Be Killed "There will be new categories. We're not ready to talk about it, but we're working on some really great stuff," Mr. Cook said. When asked whether a new product category could mean an improvement on an existing product like an iPad Air, a lighter version of its tablet computer, or new services such as mobile payments, Mr. Cook declined to comment.

He said that anyone "reasonable" would consider what Apple is working on as new categories.

Mr. Cook said he still considers Apple to be a "growth company" with significant opportunities to expand the position of existing products including the iPhone.

Apple has been losing market share in smartphones as the market grows. In 2013, Apple accounted for 15.5% of all smartphones shipped world-wide, down from 19.4% in 2012, according to Strategy Analytics. By comparison, manufacturers running Google's Android operating system accounted for 78.9% in 2013, up from 68.8% a year earlier.

Mr. Cook has said repeatedly that Apple aims to produce the best phones, not necessarily the most. That has fueled concerns that the iPhone will become a niche product, much as Apple's Macintosh was a niche product during the personal-computer era.

Mr. Cook said Apple has the largest or second-largest market share for true smartphones in nearly every country; he excluded smartphones that are used as feature phones because of their limitations.

"In the other places where we are number two, I'd rather be number one. And you can bet that we're working on that," said Mr. Cook.

He said his statement that Apple doesn't aim to make the most phones has been misunderstood.

"I don't view that as being satisfied with being small or however you want to define it," he said. "I just want to say that the macro thing for us is making a great product and we must do that. If we can't do that, we're not going to force ourselves to hit a price point that makes us produce a product that we're not proud of because we lose who we are in that. We're not going to do that."

– WSJ

I do not own this.

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$MSFT will use @openai's ChatGPT to power @bing and take on $GOOG's search dominance... who could have seem that coming!? ... @jason https://t.co/1lRp03Hhok
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$MSFT Microsoft is reportedly planning to launch a version of Bing that uses ChatGPT (an option as part of its investment in OpenAI in 2019). $GOOG Google has a 93% share of the search market in 2022, compared to 3% for Bing. Google has its own large language model, LaMDA. https://t.co/9M2gQIedui
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