Tag Archives: Watch
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Welcome to Seeking Alpha’s Stocks to Watch – a preview of key events scheduled for the next week. Follow this account and turn the e-mail alert on to receive this article in your inbox every Saturday morning.
There are two monster meetings on the agenda next week that could shake things up for investors now officially stuck in a stock market correction. The Federal Reserve’s policy makers meet from December 18-19 in the U.S., while China’s leaders are expected to gather December 19-21 to hold their annual economic policy-setting meeting. The overwhelming consensus of economists is that the Fed is likely to raise its benchmark interest rate by a quarter-point to a range of between 2.25% and 2.50% and that the closely-watched dot plot will indicate two rate hikes in 2019. If there is going to be any sort of drama out of the Fed event, it will probably occur during Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s last presser of the year. Meanwhile, the word from Beijing is that pro-growth measures will be fired off during the economic meeting and more signs of “opening up” markets will be showcased. It’s possible that the two events could cool off anxiety over global growth, interest rates and tariffs – but in a year of wildcards we’re not taking any bets. There is also the matter of that little government shutdown that could arrive next week, although it’s being categorized in large part as political theater more than an actionable trading event.
Notable earnings reports: Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) and Red Hat (NYSE:RHT) on December 17; Micron (NASDAQ:MU), Carnival (NYSE:CCL), Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI), FedEx (NYSE:FDX) and Navistar (NYSE:NAV) on December 18; General Mills (NYSE:GIS), Pier 1 Imports (NYSE:PIR), Paychex (NASDAQ:PAYX) and Winnebago (NYSE:WGO) on December 19; Nike (NYSE:NKE) and BlackBerry (NYSE:BB) on December 20; CarMax (NYSE:KMX) on December 21. See Seeking Alpha’s Earnings Calendar for the complete list of earnings reporters.
IPOs expected to begin trading: Aptorum on December 18.
IPO lockup expirations: Eidos Therapeutics (NASDAQ:EIDX) on December 17; I3 Verticals (NASDAQ:IIIV), Magenta Therapeutics (NASDAQ:MGTA), Avrobio (NASDAQ:AVRO), Essential Properties Realty Trust (NYSE:EPRT), Kezar Life Sciences (NASDAQ:KZR) and Xeris Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:XERS)on December 18.
Projected dividend changes (quarterly): Fifth Third (NASDAQ:FITB) to $ 0.22 from $ 0.18, Lamb Weston (NYSE:LW) to $ 0.195 from $ 0.1913, Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) to $ 0.36 from $ 0.34, ABM Industries (NYSE:ABM) to $ 0.180 from $ 0.175, Andersons (NASDAQ:ANDE) to $ 0.170 from $ 0.165, Cantel Medical (NYSE:CMD) to $ 0.10 from $ 0.085.
60 Minutes: CBS (NYSE:CBS) says the news show will broadcast a report on Sunday night about opioid makers, distributors and manufacturers. Keep an eye on McKesson (NYSE:MCK), AmerisourceBergen (NYSE:ABC), Cardinal Health (NYSE:CAH), Mallinckrodt (NYSE:MNK), TEVA Pharmaceuticals (NYSE:TEVA), AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV), Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories (NYSE:RDY), Insys Therapeutics (NASDAQ:INSY), Endo International (NASDAQ:ENDP), Reckitt Benckiser Group (OTCPK:RBGLY) among others if any sharp elbows are thrown.
Capitol Hill watch: An early test of Senate Republicans’ desire to talk about marijuana reform arrives next week when Senator Cory Gardner attempts to attach the States Act to the criminal justice reform bill. It’s possible some marijuana-related names such Cronos Group (NASDAQ:CRON), Canopy Growth (NYSE:CGC) and Tilray (NASDAQ:TLRY) could be active if the GOP senators tip their hands.
GM pressure cooker: While shares of General Motors (NYSE:GM) continue to sputter along on headline risk, analysts see upside down the road. There’s Deutsche Bank pointing to deep corporate restructuring and industry consolidation as potential GM catalysts, as well as Bank of America Merrill Lynch saying the current dividend is likely safe. If the automaker can turn around the political broadsides it’s taking on the focus could turn to long-term initiatives such as the autonomous EV fleet (Cruise Automation + Bolts), car sharing (Maven) and connectivity (OnStar).
M&A tidbits: First-round bids are due in on Campbell Soup’s (NYSE:CPB) Arnott’s business before Christmas. Kraft Heinz (NASDAQ:KHC), Mondelez International (NASDAQ:MDLZ) and Ferrero are reported to be interested in the biscuits brand. Shareholders at Enbridge Energy Partners (NYSE:EEP) and Enbridge Energy Management (NYSE:EEQ) will vote on the merger on December 17. The $ 2.1B acquisition of Endocyte (NASDAQ:ECYT) by Novartis (NYSE:NVS) goes to a vote on December 20. Medtronic’s (NYSE:MDT) acquisition of Mazor Robotics (NASDAQ:MZOR) is expected to close on December 21. Sprint (NYSE:S) and T-Mobile (NASDAQ:TMUS) expect to land U.S. security clearance approval next week for their planned combination.
Strategic update: Achillion Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ACHN) is hosting a live webcast and conference call on December 17. CEO Joseph Truitt and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Stephen Zelenkofske will present the company’s 2019 development plans along with interim data on Phase 2 clinical trials in PNH and C3G as well as initial Phase 1 data on Achillion’s next generation factor D inhibitors.
Guidance update: Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY) has an investor community meeting set for December 19. The company will update its 2019 guidance expectations during the meeting. Shares of Eli Lilly are up 36% YTD.
JV talk: Albemarle (NYSE:ALB) is scheduled to discuss its agreement to form the Wodgina Lithium joint venture in Western Australia during a webcast presentation on December 17.
Strategy talk: Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) is scheduled to host an Enterprise Strategy conference call on December 17.
Banking updates: Credit card charge-offs and delinquencies reports are due in on December 17 from Alliance Data Systems (NYSE:ADS), American Express (NYSE:AXP), Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), Citigroup (NYSE:C), Capital One Financial (NYSE:COF), Discover Financial (NYSE:DFS), JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) and Synchrony Financial (NYSE:SYF).
Box office: Sony (NYSE:SNE)/Marvel feature Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is expected to dominate the weekend box with a projected haul of $ 40M, while Warner Brothers’ The Mule is forecast to bring in $ 17M. At the end of next week, the Christmas/New Year’s rush launches with Aquaman (Warner Bros.), Bumblebee (Paramount), Second Act (STX Entertainment), Welcome to Marwen (Universal) and Cold War (Amazon Studios) arriving in theaters. The U.S. box office is up 10.1% YTD through December 12.
Barron’s mentions: The publication compiles a list of its top ten stock picks for 2019. Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL), Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Bank of America (BAC), BlackRock (NYSE:BLK), Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT), Chevron (NYSE:CVX), Daimler (OTCPK:DDAIF), and Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL), Energy Transfer (NYSE:ET) and Toll Brothers (NYSE:TOL) all make the list. Other stocks singled out as potential market outperformers next year include PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL), Visa (NYSE:V), Mastercard (NYSE:MA), NextEra (NYSE:NEE) and Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT). Overall, the market strategists interviewed by Barron’s see a +10% return for the major stock indexes.
Stocks to Watch: Our publication is taking a short break for the holidays. We will be back on January 5 to help get you ready for the first full trading week of 2019. In the meantime, if you have any suggestions for our weekly preview of the market, please add them to the comment stream below or e-mail us at [email protected]
Sources: Nasdaq, EDGAR, Bloomberg, CNBC
Editor’s Note: This article discusses one or more securities that do not trade on a major U.S. exchange. Please be aware of the risks associated with these stocks.
A new video from the European Space Agency shows the spectacular launch of the Soyuz rocket.
The video was captured by ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst and shows the Russian Progress MS-10 cargo spacecraft taking off from the Soyuz rocket on Nov. 16. The spacecraft was carrying food and supplies for astronauts aboard the International Space Station and fuel to resupply the ISS. The spacecraft was carrying 5,653 lbs of supplies and fuel.
The time-lapsed footage condenses the 15-minute launch into a video of just a minute and a half. It shows the Soyuz-FG rocket booster separation, the core stage separation, the core beginning to burn in the atmosphere and go back to Earth after using up its fuel, and finally the Progress spacecraft separating from the rocket and entering orbit to catch up with the ISS.
The rocket flies at 17,900 miles per hour at 249 miles above Earth before it docked two days later.
With the new app, Spotify users can use an Apple Watch to control music, favorite songs playing on a connected iPhone, and choose which device to play songs on. Some features are still missing, however, such as downloading songs to play offline. And Apple Watches with built-in 4G LTE can’t stream music to wireless headphones, a feature that would appeal to music-loving runners.
Part of the appeal Apple imagined the Watch having was to avoid having to pull a smartphone out of a pocket to control an app’s functions. Streaming music is tailor-made for such a device, as listeners frequently want to change volume, switch tracks, or move around playlists.
“With this new app, users can enjoy an improved experience with better control and the ability to seamlessly connect to your speakers or devices,” Spotify said in a statement announcing the app. “The new integration with Apple Watch makes accessing your recently played songs simple, even with your phone in your pocket.”
Spotify is the most popular music app, with more than 190 million users. Apple Music has been growing quickly, however, having a user base of more than 50 million users. Releasing a Spotify app for the Apple Watch may strengthen the music service’s appeal among Apple’s loyal customers.
Spotify said it will be rolling out the new app to Apple Watch owners during the coming week. Spotify users will need to install the latest iPhone version of Spotify from the App Store.
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LONDON (Reuters) – Facebook is rolling out its Watch video service globally one year after it launched in the United States with original entertainment news and sports content to compete with platforms like Alphabet Inc’s YouTube.
FILE PHOTO: People are silhouetted as they pose with mobile devices in front of a screen projected with a Facebook logo, in this picture illustration October 29, 2014. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File photo
Facebook’s Head of Video Fidji Simo said Watch was gaining real momentum in a crowded marketplace because it was built on the notion that watching videos could be a social activity.
“Every month more than 50 million people in the U.S. come to watch videos for at least a minute on Watch, and total time spent watching video on Facebook Watch has increased by 14 times since the start of 2018,” she told reporters.
“With Watch … you can have a two-way conversation about the content with friends, other fans or even the creatives themselves.”
Facebook said eligible creators would be able to make money from their videos using its Ad Breaks service in Britain, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand as well as the United States from Thursday, with many more countries set to follow.
Simo said publishers were making “meaningful revenues” from its automated video advertising system on the platform, which has featured shows such as beauty mogul Huda Kattan’s “Huda Boss” and live “Major League Baseball” games.
“We know it’s been a long road but we’ve worked hard to ensure that the Ad Breaks experience is a good one for both our partners and our community,” she said.
Ad revenue will be split 55 percent for the content creator and 45 percent for Facebook, the same ratio as in the United States, Simo said.
Publishers need to have created three-minute videos that have generated more than 30,000 one-minute views in total over the past two months and must have 10,000 followers to participate in Ad Breaks, Facebook said.
Simo said Facebook was working on a variety of other options for creators to make money, such as branded content and the ability for fans to directly support their favorite creators through subscriptions.
“(Fan subscription) is something that is rolled out to a few creators now, but we are planning on expanding that program soon,” she said.
Editing by Kirsten Donovan
You know we are at the top of the hype cycle on blockchain and cryptocurrencies when examples of peak crypto include glistening fleets of Lamborghinis as a reflection of price spikes and talk of crypto-utopia with no central governments. Nonetheless, there are a number of key risks that plague this asset class and stand in the way of broader market adoption and stability. While there is no doubt cryptocurrencies, digital tokens and blockchain-based business models are here to stay, understanding how risk interplays with this emerging market and their underlying technologies will not only help protect investors, it will also give regulators a steady hand and, hopefully, guide how entrepreneurs are approaching risk management in their projects, which is not easily done after the fact. One unique facet that blockchain-based projects bring to the market is that unlike the analog economy, which hopes to code good conduct in people who have the care, custody and control of our savings and assets, is that “good conduct” can be coded at the technology layer and in an unalterable and transparent manner. In short, a machine is not naturally greedy or prone to moral hazard (risk taking without bearing the consequences).
What follows are 10 examples of key risks that imperil cryptocurrencies and stand in the way of market progress.
Wide Entrance, Narrow Exit – It is true that the advent of bitcoin and its ilk of cryptocurrencies, of which there are more than 1,600 and counting that have been digitally minted, has democratized many aspects of finance. This lowered barrier to entry creates a wide entrance and a very narrow exit, which as is prone to happen in the real world during Black Friday shopping frenzies for example, can lead to collateral damage as people rush to get out. The exit can be barred due to technological constraints, currency inconvertibility and few counterparties with whom to trade. While the asset class is generally uncorrelated to the traditional economy, it is all correlated to itself, which can create market panics and runs.
Intangible, Illiquid, Uninsured – The true miracle of blockchain-based cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin, is that the issue of double counting is resolved without any intermediary, such as a bank or banker. This feature captured by the notion of digital singularity, where there can only be one instance of an asset is powerful and one of the primary reasons this asset class has blossomed. However, the intangible and illiquid nature of cryptocurrencies (combined with the point above about narrow exits) hampers their convertibility and insurability. Indeed, despite reports of growing insurer interest in the segment, the majority of crypto-assets and crypto companies are either under-insured or uninsurable by today’s standards. There is no deposit insurance “floor” for this asset class, which can help broaden appeal and investor security.
Mark To Market – As crypto holders seek to exit the intangible asset class returning to fiat currencies or other assets, which are often loathed by many crypto purists, their flight to safety or liquidity most often takes them to the greenback or U.S. While the price pegs work well on the way in to cryptocurrencies as investors informed by their “animal spirits” who want in on a speculative wave have a willingness to pay at a stated value or peg. On the way out, however, this mark to market feature sees many investors subjected to downward price pressure, which highlights the adverse effects of illiquidity, narrow exits and narrow participation in the asset class. These types of issues are being remedied as more institutional investors enter the space and more markets and trading platforms open. In the meantime, market participants would be wise in minding currency inconvertibility and the implied volatility of cryptocurrencies, which would make high-frequency traders flinch. To truly understanding blockchain’s potential requires the suspension of disbelief. To truly capture the investment thesis of cryptocurrencies requires the suspension of the traditional economy yardstick.
From Extortion To Manipulation – While no investor should part ways with money they are not prepared to lose, no matter how nominal the amount, cryptocurrencies are particularly prone to social engineering and misinformation risks. The naïve, as with the analog economy, can become easy prey to cyber extortion, market manipulation, fraud and other investor risks. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, has gone as far as creating a fake initial coin offering (ICO) website as a way of alerting would-be crypto investors to “shinny object” threats. Indeed, emerging regulatory clarity on what constitutes a truly decentralized asset, such as bitcoin or ethereum, which is beyond the control of any one party, versus company-issued cryptocurrencies or tokens is a growing area of securities attention.
Care, Custody And Control – Despite the intangible and unseen nature of cryptocurrencies and digital assets more generally, one of the single biggest issues plaguing the market is care, custody and control. Not unlike the perennial challenges of cyber and physical security of the traditional banking sector, there is a veritable standards war taking place among crypto custodians on who is providing the highest standards of investor protection and asset security. The number of high profile and high value crypto heists suggests that this playbook of best security practices is still being written. The wealthiest crypto investors are going to great lengths to protect their intangible hoard by using cold storage devices placed in physical (offline / airtight) vaults and bunkers. Not every crypto investor can afford this level of security no more than every crypto investor is a target, but all are subject to the emerging nature of care, custody and control standards. Here too, the absence of a basic “floor” in terms of security and capital guarantees, like a cyber Federal Deposit Insurance Corporate, FDIC, means that investors are exposed on a first-loss basis.
Cyber Risks On All Sides – As is true with cyber threats, which evolve according to Moore’s law, the space between the keyboard and the chair (or the smart phone and the digital wallet) is as important as the cyber hygiene and defenses of the crypto custodian. While in principle the bitcoin blockchain has proven to be among the most cyber resilient innovations thus far, the firms that plug into it, like other cryptocurrencies, are often new entrants with lax cybersecurity standards and wherewithal. By this measure, not all cryptocurrencies are created equal in term of their traceability, transaction ledgering and levels of trust or fiduciary responsibility. For this, risks as simple as “mysterious disappearance” and as complex as ransomware attacks and AI-powered bots scouring the Internet for weak links and easy prey are complex and fast-moving perils.
Human Error (And Forgetfulness) – Given the intangible nature of the asset class, human error and something as confounding as password amnesia can spell total loss of a crypto fortune. Not everyone is as lucky as 50 Cent, who forgot he accepted bitcoin for an album release and discovered an $ 8 million bitcoin bounty. The prospect of being locked out, losing hardware or facing “geophysical risks,” such as spilled coffee is often enough to create losses – not to mention the ever present risk of buyer’s remorse given cryptocurrency price volatility. At the crypto whale end of the market, the high-profile nature and public quality of large asset holders may expose people to direct physical security threats, such as kidnaping, ransom and extortion. A fleet of lambos will not add to the needed discretion of not becoming a potential target.
(Un)Safe Havens – Another key risk with cryptocurrencies and this asset class more generally is the lack of coordination and clarity on regulatory, financial, tax and legal treatment. This is unsurprising given the relatively new nature of this market and the often slow moving and lagging quality of “regulatory catch up.” Indeed, most regulators around the world did not begin to form an opinion about cryptocurrencies until their rise to prominence with bitcoin’s meteoric appreciation in 2017. Suddenly, countries and jurisdictions around the world have entered a crypto land grab by seeking to become destinations of choice for prospective investors and projects. Like the global financial system, coordination and coherence can go a long way in eschewing risks of the systemic and mundane variety while improving overall market stability.
Technological Risks – There have been many reports about the computational complexity and energy consumption of bitcoin mining, as one example of some of the technological limitations of cryptocurrencies. This computational complexity may also work in the inverse and pose potential risks to the asset class under the premise that complex systems fail in complex ways. It is true that the decentralized feature of true blockchain structures gives then an inherent disaster and risk-proofing that is not enjoyed by centralized databases (which are veritable honey pots as evidenced by Equifax’s massive breach). Yet not all cryptocurrencies or tokens are riding on similar rails. For this, investors should beware of the technological risks and false promises of decentralization that are being made in many projects, for not all blockchains are created equal.
Civil Wars With Forks – Last, but certainly not least, while much crypto wealth is concentrated in the hands of people who are thinking long term about the positive change this asset class can have on the world, there is nevertheless the constant specter of civil wars and forks, which can bifurcate the consensus on cryptocurrencies, thus eroding market share, valuation and adoption. This standards war continues to flare up, including most recently with the advent of Bitcoin Cash. It is also notable that despite the talk amongst crypto-utopians of a world ruled by blind scalable trust and no centralized authorities, that councils of large crypto holders, much like a papal conclave or the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), can set a course on the market influencing outcomes and price fluctuations. As with the real movement of whales, smaller fry can either get gobbled up or caught in the wake.
Precisely because there are risks in the cryptocurrency market there are rewards. Countless new entrants, from large traditional enterprises who have awoken to blockchain’s promise, or startup teams bent on creating a new democratized future challenging status quo, all realize that a new technology driven wave of value creation is upon us. Understanding the potential perils of diving into this wave can help improve the long-term prospects of cryptocurrencies and broaden their adoption beyond risk-seeking first movers.
This article first appeared in Data Sheet, Fortune’s daily newsletter on the top tech news. To get it delivered daily to your in-box, sign up here.
Today brings news that ticks three of our favorite boxes at Data Sheet: Futurism (the future is already here, it’s just not evenly distributed), clicks to bricks (online retailers opening physical stores), and the growth of Chinese tech giants (via a unit of Baidu (bidu) in this case). Aaron in for Adam on this four-day U.S. work week, thinking about the future of movies.
The actual news event is of the starting small variety. Baidu’s iQIYI, a video streaming service sometimes dubbed the Netflix of China, opened a tiny movie theater in the city of Zhongshang in the southern province of Guangdong. Adding a few dozen seats to the theater capacity of the city of about 3 million people sounds like a drop in the bucket.
But the new theater, called Yuke, is actually a series of mini-theaters, each with two to 10 seats, that can be rented by the hour to show any content available from iQIYI’s library. With cushy chairs, Dolby audio, and a screen much larger than a home TV, the on demand Yuke theaters represent a new hybrid way to consume streaming video. iQIYI, which went public in the United States a few months ago, says it plans to bring the Yuke concept to all of China’s major cities.
There have been rumors that Netflix (nflx) was pondering a more traditional theater play, as well. The Los Angeles Times reported last month that Netflix considered buying the Landmark Theatres chain, but ultimately rejected the idea as too costly. With malls facing increasing vacancies, maybe something more like iQIYI’s on-demand mini-theaters would be a smarter move for Netflix.
Congratulations! The digital world has invited you to virtually attend Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s marriage this weekend.
Frankly, you don’t give a damn. But the internet won’t let you off the hook so easily. Your news feeds will be littered with the #RoyalFamily and #WhenHarryMetMeg musings unless you do some work to cinch off the firehose before the event begins.
Prepare your platforms, adjust your settings, download extensions, and escape the royal wedding with the following prudent suggestions. The event starts early Saturday morning in the US, so do it now. It’s not too late!
Mute It on Twitter
Want to log on to Twitter and NOT have #PrinceHarry kidnap your feed? Simple. Locate your profile icon in the upper right corner of your Twitter homepage. Click on it and drop down to “Settings and Privacy.”
On the Settings and Privacy page, go to the left and find the option labeled “Muted Words.” When you mute words on Twitter, tweets containing those words will not appear in your notifications or timeline. You’re able to mute one word, phrase, hashtag, or @username at a time. Start by muting “Royal Wedding 2018” and #RoyalWedding2018. Do the same for “Prince Harry,” “Meghan Markle,” “Harry and Meghan,” and “Royal Family.” You can adjust muting time from just 24 hours to one week to … forever! Make sure you choose the option to mute those words from everyone on Twitter, not just people you follow. That should wipe most royally love-addled suckers out.
Mute It on Facebook
Facebook doesn’t allow you to mute specific words. You can mute specific people in your News Feed who are obsessed with the wedding and post about it a lot (go to Settings and select “Blocking”), which gets you part of the way there. For everything else wedding-related on Facebook, download the extension Social Fixer. Among other things, it will let you filter Facebook’s News Feed based on keywords. This works in the browser, but not in Facebook’s mobile app.
Mute It on Instagram
If an Instagram friend of yours is obsessing over the nuptials, you can unfollow them. Seems harsh, but that’s the only way Instagram allows you to remove their posts completely from your timeline. Less harsh is muting their Stories, which Instagram does allow. Find their Story in your Stories feed, then tap and hold down on their profile image. Select mute. To unmute their Stories after the wedding, scroll allll the way to the left of your Stories feed. This is where your muted friends live, and you’ll see the person’s profile appear grayed out. Hold down their icon and select “unmute.”
Mute It on Gmail
Head over to your Gmail, where you’re bound to get spammed by wedding deets you really don’t need to see. Go to settings in the top right corner of your inbox. From there, click on “Filters and Blocked Addresses.” Here, you’ll see an option to create a new filter. In the subject line, enter “Prince Harry.” Next, Gmail will ask you what you want it to do with a message that comes through with “Prince Harry” in the subject line. Your best best is to “delete it.” Don’t worry: If you have a change of heart, you’ll have 30 days to recover an email before it’s automatically emptied from your digital trash can. You’ll want to do the same thing with the words “Royal Wedding” and “Meghan Markle” by creating separate filters.
Mute It Everywhere Else
Try as you may, articles and headlines will still rope you into the royal family’s festivities across your browser. It’s nothing personal, but you may get annoyed by the very sight of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s names on your screen. If you use Chrome, you’re in luck. Download Word Replacer II, the Chrome Extension that allows you to replace any word that appears in your browser with any other word of your choosing. Once it’s downloaded, go to Word Replacer’s icon next to the search bar and hit Settings. On the left hand side of Settings, select “New.”
This is where you’ll start to feel like you’re playing Mad Libs. In the two boxes that appear, enter the word you want to see go away and the word you’d like to replace it with. You might choose to replace “Royal” with “Popsicle” and “Wedding” with “Party.” Or how about “Prince Harry” with “Queen Frog” and “Meghan Markle” with “Queen Toad.” Select them one by one, and on the right side hit “Apply” to the selected words. Suddenly, the everybody’s going bananas about some Popsicle Party hosted by amphibians. Now there’s something you can get down with.
More Great WIRED Stories
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Apple is on the verge of becoming the first $ 1 trillion publicly listed U.S. company, but even if it gets there, it could soon be overtaken as Amazon.com surges from behind.
Started in the garage of co-founder Steve Jobs in 1976, the iPhone maker’s annual revenue has ballooned to $ 229 billion, greater than the gross domestic product of countries including Portugal and New Zealand.
(Big Tech Rev vs Countries’ GDP: reut.rs/2ry9qr6)
Apple’s market capitalization on Thursday topped a record $ 934 billion, following its unveiling last week of a $ 100 billion buyback budget and news that Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway dramatically increased its stake in the company.
Thanks to a 12 percent rally since its quarterly report last Tuesday, the Cupertino, California company is just 8 percent short of hitting the $ 1 trillion valuation mark.
Pointing to Apple’s recent 31 percent jump in service revenue, including music streaming and online storage, CFRA analyst Angelo Zino on Wednesday upped his target price for the stock from $ 195 to $ 210, which would put Apple’s market capitalization at $ 1.03 trillion. Zino joins at least 12 other analysts with price targets putting Apple’s stock market value at 13 digits.
But Apple is in danger of being beaten to the $ 1 trillion mark – or passed soon after – by Amazon.com, the second largest listed U.S. company by market value, at $ 780 billion.
Saudi Arabian authorities, meanwhile, have said they expect a planned international initial public offering of Saudi Aramco that would value the national oil producer at about $ 2 trillion.
While $ 148 billion smaller than Apple on Friday, Amazon of late has expanded its stock price, and its sales, much more quickly than Apple. Amazon’s stock is red hot, trading recently at over 100 times expected earnings, compared to more-profitable – but slower growing – Apple’s valuation of 15 times earnings.
(Big Tech PEs:reut.rs/2wsd0YU )
Apple’s stock has risen 24 percent over the past year, fueled by optimism about the iPhone X, the company’s latest smartphone. But demand for the $ 1,000 device has underwhelmed investors, and bulls are now focused on Apple’s plan to return more cash to shareholders.
By comparison, Amazon’s stock has surged 70 percent over the past 12 months, bolstered by 31 percent revenue growth as more shopping moves online and businesses shift their IT departments to the cloud, where Amazon Web Services leads the market.
Amazon is also competing more with Apple and Google owner Alphabet as it sells music and video content, its Fire TV device and its Alexa smart home gadget.
(Big Tech Revenue: reut.rs/2wyZaE4 )
At $ 765 billion, Alphabet has the third largest market capitalization on Wall Street, with Microsoft close behind at $ 749 billion. Amazon breezed past both them both in February.
(Long-Term Market Cap:reut.rs/2rzCGxD )
Including Facebook, the five largest listed U.S. companies now account for 15 percent of the S&P 500’s $ 24 trillion market capitalization.
(Big Tech’s Outsized Weight in S&P 500: reut.rs/2rwBTOc)
To be sure, past stock gains are not a reliable predictor of future performance, and the surge in Apple’s and Amazon’s shares in recent years has been exceptional by most standards.
But if Apple’s stock were to keep growing at the pace seen over the past year, the company’s market capitalization would hit $ 1 trillion in September. Amazon would reach $ 1 trillion around October if its stock price continued to rise at the same rate as the past year, and overtake Apple soon after.
Extending forward their own one-year performances, Microsoft would not reach $ 1 trillion until early 2019, and Alphabet would take until 2020.
(Race to $ 1 Trillion Market Cap:reut.rs/2rz4WAJ )
Most Wall Street analysts are less optimistic. The mean analyst price target puts Apple’s stock 6 percent above current levels at $ 200 within the next 12 months, which would elevate its market capitalization to $ 983 billion, according to Thomson Reuters data.
The mean price target of analysts covering Amazon is $ 1,850, a 15 percent premium over its current price, which would give it a market value of $ 898 billion. Analysts target Microsoft to rise 12 percent to reach $ 845 billion, and for Alphabet’s market value to increase 16 percent to $ 884 billion.
(Big Tech Analyst Price Targets:reut.rs/2wv224H )
Reporting by Noel Randewich, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien