Two weeks ago – as of April 28 – we presented readers with a striking statistic from Goldman Sachs, showing just how much breadth in the market has collapsed and how dominant a handful of large cap companies have become in terms of both overall profitability and market impact:
Year to date the top 10 contributors have combined to account for 37% of the S&P 500 index return (more than double their market cap representation of 17%). The concentration among the top five is even greater, with those firms – AAPL, FB, AMZN, GOOGL, and MSFT – accounting for 28% of the return and 12% of market cap
Fast forward less than two weeks later when the breakdown has shifted even more dramatically, and according to the latest breakdown from Goldman, as of May 10, just 10 companies are responsible for half, or 46% to be exact, of the entire S&P’s rally YTD.
Apple has joined the competitive social video space, by launching a new app called Clips for iPhones and iPads.
According to Apple, the new app will combine short video clips, photos and music into videos that can be shared through the Messages app, or via social networks such as Instagram, and Facebook.
The app includes a feature called Live Titles, that lets users create animated captions and titles using their voice. The app will require minimum editing skills.
“Clips gives iPhone and iPad users a new way to express themselves through video, and it’s incredibly easy to use,” said Susan Prescott, Apple’s vice president of Apps Product Marketing. “The effects, filters and amazing new Live Titles we’ve designed for Clips let anyone make great-looking, easily sharable videos with just a few taps.”
An AI component will allow Clips to suggest who you can share the multi-clip video with, based on who appears in it and who the user shares with the most.
The company also announced on Tuesday that it had updated its most popular iPad, a 9.7-inch tablet with Retina display for £339 and launched a special editon of iPhone 7 and 7S in red, to raise money for HIV charity RED.
Alphabet was upgraded one notch to double-A plus by credit rating agency S&P Global on Wednesday, putting the owner of the Google search engine and Android operating system a single notch below the highest triple-A opinion.
Analysts with S&P said the move reflected the company’s dominance in both desktop and mobile phone advertising markets and its conservative financial strategies. S&P maintained a stable outlook on the company.
“The ratings upgrade reflects Alphabet’s consistently strong operating performance, despite a challenging and evolving digital advertising market, while it continues to maintain a conservative financial policy and strong liquidity profile,” said David Tsui, an analyst with S&P.
Alphabet is an infrequent borrower in corporate debt markets, with long-term debt of roughly $4bn on its balance sheet.
The pristine triple-A rating has become something of an endangered species after the financial crisis, with only two publicly traded US companies holding the highest rating from S&P: Microsoft and Johnson & Johnson. US oil group ExxonMobil was stripped of its long-held triple-A rating last year.
Twitter shares popped in early trading after the social media site said its user growth climbed more than expected in the third quarter and that it would cut up to 9 per cent of its global workforce.
The California-based company said its advertising revenue growth slowed to 6 per cent from a year ago in the third quarter reaching $545m. It had slowed to 18 per cent in the second quarter, from 37 per cent in the first three months of the year as Twitter’s advertising business — which accounts for 90 per cent of its revenue — continued to be hamstrung by the rise of online video.
Meanwhile, average monthly active users rose 3 per cent in the latest quarter from a year ago to 317m, ahead of Wall Street expectations for 315.2m. That compared with 313m in the previous quarter.
Twitter has looked to drive user growth and advertising revenue by boosting its live video content, through the acquisition of Periscope and a deal to stream National Football League games. Twitter’s user growth has lagged behind rivals like Facebook.
U.S. stocks closed flat Friday, but the broad market still finished the week higher, snapping its weekly losing streak at two, with the market swinging up and down as good earnings reports from some companies were offset by others that fell short of Wall Street forecasts.
On Friday, the broad Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index fell less than 1 point, or virtually unchanged to 2141.16, but still finished the week up 0.4%. The Nasdaq composite also posted gains this week, rising 0.8% after a nearly 16-point gain to 5257.40. The Dow Jones industrial average also finished the week fractionally higher despite tumbling 16.64 points Friday to 18,145.71.
The past week on Wall Street was dominated by the first big onslaught of third-quarter profit reports, with Wall Street cheering better-than-expected reports from well-known blue chip companies like Microsoft and McDonalds, a trio of beats from financial giants American Express (AXP), Morgan Stanley (MS) and Goldman Sachs (GS), and video streaming service Netflix (NFLX).
Those earnigns “beats,” however, were dimmed by less-robust results from Verizon (VZ), which reported disappointing wireless subscription gains, chip maker Intel (INTC), which lowered its full-year profit outlook, and a “miss” from conglomerateGeneral Electric (GE).
Jose Cuervo, the world’s largest tequila distillery has filed for an initial public offering on the Mexican stock exchange on Tuesday, in what is one of this year’s most eagerly awaited deals from the country.
The company, known officially as Becle, is controlled by the billionaire Beckmann family
While the filing offered few details of the IPO, local media reports have suggested that the company could seek to raise between $750m and $1bn.
In addition to it’s Jose Cuervo and 1800 tequila brands, Becle also owns Kraken rum and Bushmills whiskey. In its filing, the company says sales and profits have been increasing steadily since 2013. Total sales were 19.82bn pesos in 2015, up 30 per cent from the previous year. Sales in the first half of 2016 are outpacing 2015′s sales. Likewise, net profit was 7.18bn pesos in 2015, more than doubling profit from 2014.
In Mexico, the issuing agents will be Morgan Stanley Mexico, JP Morgan, Santander, and GBM. Internationally, Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan will handle issuing.
Microsoft is best known for software products like Windows and Office. If you bought a PC, more often than not it came with Windows, and chances are you bought a copy of Office to go with it.
But the personal computers that Microsoft makes a lot of software for aren’t selling the way they once did. And the company’s entry into the smartphone business — which has been eating into PC sales for several years — was a disaster.
It’s a good thing Microsoft is determined not to miss the boat on cloud computing, a current trend that connects people over the internet to software hosted in big data centers.
On Tuesday, in its quarterly earnings results, Microsoft offered strong signs that its cloud business was growing quickly. Revenue from Azure, a business Microsoft started to compete in cloud computing with Amazon, the market leader, rose more than 100 percent in the quarter.
Revenue from Office 365, a subscription version of the old Office software, rose 54 percent from commercial customers and 19 percent from consumers.
“I think they’ve done extraordinarily well,” said Merv Adrian, an analyst at the technology research firm Gartner. “There’s nobody else who is arguably the challenger to Amazon that Microsoft is.”
If there were any concerns that retailers and other vendors of goods and services are hunkering down on their ad spending, those fears can be safely swept under the rug because just days after Facebook’s dramatic beat, moments ago GOOG likewise slammed expectations by beating massively both on the top and bottom line.
Q4 EPS of $8.67 beat expectations of $8.08, up $2.00 from the $6.76 reported a year ago.
Revenues of $21.33 billion soared 18% compared to the year ago period; Traffic Acquisition Costs were $2.9 billion for the fourth quarter; net of TAC’s revenues of $17.3 billion beat expectations of $16.9 billion
Aggregate paid clicks jumped 31%, while paid clicks on Google websites surged 40%
On the less than pleasant said, the cost per click dropped by 13%, well below the expected, suggesting some mobile tranisition pains
Free cash flow for the quarter soared to $4.3 billion, more than doubling the $2.8 billion a year ago, as a result of a drop in CapEx from $3.6 billion to $2.1 billion.
A report in the Independent cites the revelation by the New York Times that just hours after the shooting in San Bernardino, California, the top term typed into Google didn’t just contain the word “Muslims” — but actually spelled out “kill Muslims.”
Islamophobic sentiments typed into search engines appeared to peak in the US at the same time that hate crimes against Muslims were at their highest recorded level.
By trawling through data between 2004 and 2013, the paper discovered a direct correlation between anti-Muslim searches and anti-Muslim hate crimes.
The New York Times suggests that analyzing data related to what people search for on Google could help predict hate crimes that have yet to be committed.
The ‘Cassandra’ of the Internet
The technique used in the US does not, however, work in the UK. Britain doesn’t break down hate crime data based on the religion of the victim. The Independent concludes that Google search terms may act as a barometer for anti-Muslim hate crimes in the US — but it remains inconclusive with regards to using Google data to predict hate crimes in the UK.
However, one organization, Tell Mama, which stands for Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks, recently compiled a report for the British government detailing verbal and physical abuse suffered by Muslims. Its data does reveal that anti-Muslim hate crime spiked following the November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris. Many of the hate crime attacks took place on public transport and targeted women wearing the hijab.
“The bullying has got worse since the Paris attacks,” one mother reported.