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Alphabet Inc. Nasdaq Global Select
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Alphabet Inc. 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway Mountain View CA, 94043
Alphabet Inc is a provider of internet content products and portals. Its suite of brands includes Search, Android, YouTube, Apps, Maps & Ads.
  • CEO: Larry Page
  • Employees: 94,372
  • Sector: Technology
  • Industry: Online Media
Latest news about the GOOG
  • Trump Halts Huawei Supply in Final China Blow, Reuters Says

    (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. government notified several of Huawei Technologies Co.’s suppliers that it’s revoking their licenses to work with the Chinese company and rejecting other applications in the last days of Donald Trump’s presidency, Reuters reported, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter.Current licensed suppliers that have been notified include Intel Corp., Reuters said. In addition, the Commerce Department indicated its intent to deny “a significant number of license requests for exports to Huawei,” according to an email obtained by the news agency. Representatives for Intel and the U.S. Commerce Department didn’t immediately respond to requests by Bloomberg News seeking comment.The latest move against Huawei is probably the Trump administration’s last strike to weaken the Chinese telecommunications giant and puts the spotlight on how the incoming Biden administration will approach the U.S.-China relationship. Asian chip stocks and Huawei suppliers including Samsung Electronics Co., Tokyo Electron Ltd., Advantest Corp. and Lasertec Corp. slid between 1% and 4% in early Monday trading.Intel was among a small group of companies that the U.S. government cleared to do business with Huawei, which it put on its so-called entity list of national security threats in May 2019. Trump administration sanctions have cut Huawei off from business-critical relationships with the likes of Alphabet Inc.’s Google, which provided the Android software on hundreds of millions of Huawei smartphones, and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. for its cutting-edge chips.Huawei has relied on Intel much less, primarily for its servers and consumer laptop products. A representative for the Chinese company didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.Read more: Trump’s China Inc. Onslaught Leaves Key Decisions for BidenTrump has escalated his campaign to curb China’s technological rise as his term draws to a close. Xiaomi Corp., another smartphone and consumer electronics vendor, was among nine firms added to the U.S. Defense Department’s list of companies with alleged ties to the Chinese military, a move that will restrict U.S. investments in its securities. Other companies include state-owned planemaker Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China Ltd., or Comac, which is central to China’s goal of creating a narrow-body plane that can compete with Boeing Co. and Airbus SE.The profile of the companies targeted, including in the latest announcements on Thursday, is staggering. They include China’s three biggest telecom firms, its top chipmaker, its biggest social media and gaming players, its top two smartphone makers, its main deepwater energy explorer, its premier military aerospace contractor, its leading drone manufacturer and its primary commercial planemaker.While the scope of Trump’s unprecedented actions has roiled markets, the full reckoning of their impact largely hinges on President-elect Joe Biden. His incoming administration will have the power to either keep the restrictions in place, remove them or tighten them further.Read more: U.S. Blacklists Xiaomi in Widening Assault on China Tech(Updates with share action from the third paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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  • Here’s Why This Fund Is Trimming Its Alphabet Inc. (GOOG) Position

    Nelson Roberts Investment Advisors, an employee-owned investment advisory firm that provides asset and wealth management published its third-quarter 2020 Investor Letter – a copy of which can be downloaded here. The Firm’s focal point and target is to maintain a long term value and growth of assets over time. You can view the fund’s top 10 […]

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  • Google disputes Texas' suit claiming unfair advertising sales practices

    Google said on Sunday that antitrust claims in a Texas lawsuit were "misleading," responding in a blog post as state attorneys general plan suits against the Alphabet Inc unit. In December, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a complaint about Google's advertising technology business, in one of several suits alleging that Google abused its dominance of the internet search business or otherwise broke antitrust law. In Sunday's blog post, Google's Economic Policy Director Adam Cohen said the company wanted to set the record straight and dispel myths about its open bidding process for advertising.

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  • 15 Biggest Hosting Companies in the World

    In this article, we are going to list the 15 largest hosting companies in the world. Click to skip ahead and jump to the 5 largest hosting companies in the world. The vast majority of people never truly consider where a site is, or even what a site is. You turn on a PC, open […]

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  • After Capitol insurrection and fallout, it is time for new laws for social media

    Last week's insurrection at the U.S. Capitol has led to the biggest reckoning in the history of the internet, and will likely be a tipping point for new regulation of American social-media companies.

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  • Biden eyes ex-Obama staff to tackle Big Tech and other antitrust issues

    Two former Obama administration officials have emerged as front-runners for the top antitrust job at the U.S. Department of Justice under the incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden, according to two sources with knowledge of the matter. One of the picks is Renata Hesse, who has had several stints at the Justice Department since 2002 and most recently served as the Acting Assistant Attorney General from mid-2016 to Jan. 2017.

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  • Billionaire-Backed Game Startup Kicks off India’s Tech IPO Rush

    (Bloomberg) -- Nazara Technologies Ltd. , the cricket games developer backed by billionaire Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, became the first Indian gaming technology company to seek a market debut as mobile entertainment takes off across the world’s No. 2 smartphone arena.The Mumbai-headquartered startup filed initial public offering documents with India’s market regulator on Friday. Its impending debut on the local exchanges could encourage other Indian startups to tap public markets, after years of explosive growth in mobile and internet usage created giant private firms from Paytm to Walmart Inc.’s Flipkart.Founded by gamer Nitish Mittersain in 2000, when he was a college undergrad, Nazara is among the firms that have benefited from a global boom in smartphone gaming that began even before the pandemic drove millions online. Mittersain started the company with 30 million rupees borrowed from friends and family, only to get derailed during the dotcom bust. The firm spent its first decade clearing debt, but steadily built market share by acquiring fellow gaming startups.It’s now seeking to be among the first major Indian startups to go public at a time of burgeoning investor interest in the country’s technology sphere. Facebook Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google are pouring billions into partnerships with local operator Jio Platforms Inc., while Inc. founder Jeff Bezos has said that “the 21st century is going to be the Indian century.”Nykaa E-Retail Pvt., backed by TPG, is said to be planning an IPO as soon as this year that could value the Indian online cosmetic retailer at more than $3 billion. Food delivery startup Zomato Pvt. has said it will file for an IPO in the first half of 2021. Nazara plans to offer up to 4.96 million equity shares for sale, at a face value of 4 rupees each, the filing showed.Read more: Ant-Backed India Food Delivery Startup Zomato Plans 2021 IPOThe arrival of cheap smartphones and cut-price wireless data rates for 1.3 billion people has galvanized growth for Nazara and its peers. The company’s platform hosts several content categories and is active in esports, while commanding a share of the mobile cricket gaming segment with titles like World Cricket Championship. Nazara, whose backers include Plutus Wealth Management and Jhunjhunwala, an individual stock investor compared locally to Warren Buffett, operates in 52 countries from North America and the Middle East to Africa and Southeast Asia.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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  • How Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos can help save our democracy

    Tech billionaires have a lot of money and power. And that power ties directly to one of the greatest conundrums of our time, which is the unprecedented command and control tech giants like Amazon have over us.

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  • How the world’s biggest tech companies are working to prevent more violence on Inauguration Day

    Tech companies are taking steps to cut down on dangerous rhetoric and the potential for violence ahead of and during Inauguration Day.

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  • Selfie-Snapping Rioters Leave FBI a Trail of Over 140,000 Images

    (Bloomberg) -- The FBI arrested one man after a co-worker at a western Maryland restaurant reported seeing him in images of people assaulting the U.S. Capitol. A Texas man was charged after his ex-wife recognized him in a social-media video and called authorities, noting that it was a good picture.Perhaps the most easily recognized interloper wore the same bearskin headdress with horns, and carried the same six-foot spear, as he did on his Facebook page. Prosecutors called it “distinctive attire” in charging documents.These and more details gleaned from court documents reveal how the FBI has quickly identified more than 275 suspects -- the number is expected to grow quickly -- related to last week’s Capitol riot. More than 98 have been arrested, often with the aid of video taken or social media posted by the participants themselves. And investigators, academics and citizen sleuths are still combing though broadcast footage and websites such as Twitter Inc., YouTube and even archives of the now-defunct Parler platform favored by right-wing activists.More than 140,000 pieces of digital media have been obtained by the FBI. “And we are scouring every one for investigative and intelligence leads,” Steven D’Antuono, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, told reporters. “We continue to ask for more.”The FBI has opened a portal to accept tips and digital media depicting rioting and violence in and around the Capitol on Jan. 6, when a mob supporting President Donald Trump swarmed the building, scaling walls, breaking windows and beating police officers. The siege left five people dead, delayed the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory and sparked a backlash among lawmakers who impeached Trump on Wednesday.The FBI has declined to provide many details of how it’s conducting the search, but one police department says it’s helping the bureau link names and faces with facial recognition software. And a trail of location data left behind by the rioters’ mobile phones could prove useful. Service providers are obligated to turn over information in response to search warrants.While the digital dragnet has proven useful to law enforcement, it carries risks for the many volunteer sleuths who are reposting screen shots they allege are lawbreakers.Misidentifying someone as a rioter -- or even correctly identifying someone who was at the Capitol but not involved in criminal acts -- can be libelous, potentially triggering fines, lawsuits and expensive settlements with the people on the other end of those Twitter and Facebook Inc. posts.“Anyone who thinks ‘Oh, I know that person’ needs to just call the authorities. It’s safer legally and it’s safer physically,” said Sandy Davidson, a First Amendment law expert and professor emeritus at the University of Missouri-Columbia. “You’ve done your citizen obligation without putting yourself at risk of legal harm and without wrongfully damaging someone else’s reputation.”Boston BomberPeople misidentified as Capitol protesters can go to court, seeking damages to compensate them for reputational harm or lost wages if they get fired as a result. In a famous case of digital mis-identification, a Brown University student was incorrectly identified by cyber vigilantes as a suspect in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing due to his resemblance to a photo circulated by police. He wasn’t involved but his family was hounded when his name was linked to the case.Other experts caution against sweeping surveillance of people who may have been at the Capitol simply to join a legal political demonstration.“Nothing prohibits people in the public from sharing information with law enforcement,” said Greg Nojeim, director of the Freedom, Security and Technology Project at the Center for Democracy and Technology. “Law enforcement has to be careful to ensure that the information it is receiving is helpful to investigating crime, as opposed to investigating free-speech activity.”Authorities meanwhile are sifting methodically through the digital trail left by the mob. Arrest documents speak to the clues left in images, detailing all the co-workers and acquaintances who’ve led authorities to suspects after spotting their images in news reports or on social media.Michael Sherwin, acting U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, said there are “thousands of potential witnesses” that may lead to “hundreds of criminal cases” in an investigation that will stretch over months.It’s one of the most expansive criminal investigations in the history of the Justice Department, with a wide assortment of agencies helping to build cases, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Marshals. All 56 FBI field offices are involved.Facebook’s HelpDespite its magnitude, the investigation to name and find those who swarmed the Capitol will be relatively simple, said Milan Patel, former chief technology officer of the FBI’s Cyber Division.The agency can enlist Facebook and Twitter as well as the mobile carriers whose airwaves were used by rioters, Patel said in an interview.“Social media companies let this fester for years, but you’re seeing a sea change,” said Patel, now global head of managed security services at BlueVoyant LLC. “They’re not going to stonewall any longer.”Patel outlined standard procedure. Investigators can take one data point -- a photo, or a name or a social media identity -- and subpoena Facebook or Twitter. They’ll ask for additional data, like that person’s online persona, their posts, friends list, associated phone number, and data on their location.“You take this data and you start mapping out where these people are, where they were in the past and you start putting them at the scene of the crime,” Patel said.Like social media companies, telecoms will be essential to investigations, and be obligated to maintain and turnover subscriber call logs and location data once subpoenaed or presented with a warrant, said Jennifer Lynch, Surveillance Litigation Director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.Carriers and online companies say they cooperate with law enforcement.Facebook has “worked to quickly provide responses to valid legal requests,” said Andy Stone, a spokesman for the company. “We are removing content, disabling accounts, and working with law enforcement to protect against direct threats to public safety.”Wireless carriers also help authorities track suspects in investigations. “There are teams already working with law enforcement regarding what happened,” Verizon Communications Inc. Chief Executive Officer Hans Vestberg told reporters Jan. 10.Facial RecognitionAt least one police department is helping investigators using facial recognition software. Detectives in Miami have been uploading photos of potential suspects in the Capitol riot into a system provided by the closely held company Clearview AI.The officers are screening photos of potential suspects from materials provided by the FBI, as well as from images they spot on social media and in news reports. So far, they have passed on at least six potential matches to the FBI, said Assistant Miami Police Chief Armando Aguilar.“It’s only half the battle when we have video evidence,” Aguilar said. “The other half is trying to identify the person in the video and making the case that the person we think we’ve identified is, in fact, our suspect.”Clearview Chief Executive Officer Hoan Ton-That said that since the Capitol riot his company has seen a spike in usage of its services. Clients upload a photo and the system compares it to a database of billions of images scraped from LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms.That’s raised concerns among civil liberty and privacy advocates.“The FBI has thousands of tips on the Capitol attack, and people posted their own information online from inside the building,” said the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Lynch. “That should be where this investigation begins, not on face-recognition technology.”Ton-That said that Clearview’s facial recognition technology is not used to monitor citizens regularly but is used to investigate crimes after they have happened.“It’s not a 24/7 surveillance technology,” Ton-That said. “It’s only used for after the fact surveillance.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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  • Authoritarians have a love-hate relationship with social media

    Few would argue that government-mandated internet shutdowns are preferable to a freely accessible internet.

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  • As Cookie Crumbles In Digital Advertising, Google And Apple May Benefit

    The tiny ad trackers called cookies are going away, with potential benefits for Google, Apple and the much-smaller Trade Desk, which has developed an alternative tracking method.

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  • If You Trust Growth Stocks, Luminar Is Worth a Nibble

    Over the past 12 months, investor optimism toward electric and autonomous vehicles has expanded from manufacturers to suppliers. Among those suppliers, Luminar Technologies (NASDAQ:LAZR) stock has perhaps the most intriguing story. Source: Olivier Le Moal / To be sure, LAZR stock isn’t cheap. At a current price of $31, Luminar has a market capitalization over $10 billion. It’s certainly fair to ask if the stock should trade above $30 given that Luminar was willing to execute a merger at a price of $10 per share less than a year ago. That said, this has not been a market where valuation concerns have been paramount. That’s been doubly true for auto-tech names. Many companies that, like Luminar, went public via SPACs (special purpose acquisition companies) have seen their share prices move just as far, if not farther, from the merger price.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips From here, those valuation concerns shouldn’t be ignored. But investors who still see upside in the sector should have LAZR stock on their watchlist. The Case for LAZR Stock Autonomous vehicles are on the way. They may not arrive as fast as some believe, but they will arrive at some point. 9 Stocks That Investors Think Are the Next Amazon When that day comes, Luminar seems well-positioned to capitalize. The company is an early leader in lidar (light detection and ranging) technology. Most importantly, as management has detailed in the past, Luminar has a big edge: it’s built its system from the ground up. That’s a big competitive differentiator in the space. A lot of newer, supposedly high-tech companies, whether in autonomous or electric vehicles, have proven themselves to be not much more than assemblers. Nikola (NASDAQ:NKLA) has proven to be an example. That intellectual property gives Luminar an important head start — and prevents rivals from catching up. With 50 commercial partners already, including a number of OEMs (original equipment manufacturers), Luminar might well have the best chance of being the industry leader over the long haul. It’s not just autonomous vehicles, either. ADAS (advanced driver-assistance systems) represent a reasonably large market in the meantime. Right now, Luminar estimates its total addressable market at about $4 billion. According to the merger presentation, by 2030, thanks to ‘robotaxis,’, commercial vehicles, and ADAS, the company believes its total addressable market will reach $150 billion. Solid share of that market will make the current $10 billion market capitalization likely look cheap in retrospect. What Goes Wrong As always, there are risks. One key question is whether lidar indeed is the right technology. Certainly, OEM partners seem to think so. Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) unit Waymo has focused on the technology as well, even selling its own lidar sensors. But not everyone in the autonomous space agrees. The most notable dissenter is Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA). Tesla chief executive officer Elon Musk famously said at his company’s 2019 Autonomy Day that “lidar is doomed.” For now, Musk essentially is on an island. But TSLA bulls, or simply those investors who believe in Musk’s genius, might want to look beyond LAZR stock. At the least, Luminar is highly unlikely to have Tesla as a customer any time soon, if ever. If lidar indeed is the future, there’s the competitive environment to consider. Again, Luminar does seem like the early leader, but there is no shortage of rivals. Waymo and General Motors (NYSE:GM) unit Cruise will have their say. Velodyne Lidar (NASDAQ:VLDR) just raised capital through its own SPAC merger. In the start-up world, there are “too many lidar companies,” as Wired put it a year ago. The rewards in LAZR stock could be enormous if lidar indeed is the right technology and if Luminar indeed becomes the industry leader. Neither is guaranteed. The Valuation Question Finally, there’s the question of how much of the potential reward has been eaten up by the stock’s 200%-plus rally since November. LAZR stock isn’t cheap. Indeed, using projections from the merger presentation, LAZR trades at nearly 30x estimated EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) for 2025. Those projections hardly look conservative, with Luminar expecting revenue to rise 575% just between 2023 and 2025. If Luminar meets its projections, no doubt LAZR stock rises. But that’s true of just about every stock in the market. Some skepticism is warranted. As a result, it wouldn’t be surprising to see a further pullback in LAZR, which already has retreated from December highs above $45. That said, the valuation can work if the story plays out. It’s a bit too simplistic to argue that small market share can lead to big returns — because it’s not easy to get even small market share. But, back of the envelope, 10% market share at 2030 suggests revenue of $15 billion. Forty percent margins (equivalent to those projected in 2025) would get EBITDA to $6 billion. Again, that’s easier said than done. Competition may lead to sharply lower prices and sharply lower margins. Luminar may never gain much share at all. But in that back-of-the-envelope model, Luminar probably has a market capitalization exceeding $100 billion — which puts LAZR stock above $300. Few stocks have that kind of potential. On the date of publication, Vince Martin did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. More From InvestorPlace Why Everyone Is Investing in 5G All WRONG Top Stock Picker Reveals His Next 1,000% Winner It doesn’t matter if you have $500 in savings or $5 million. Do this now. The post If You Trust Growth Stocks, Luminar Is Worth a Nibble appeared first on InvestorPlace.

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  • Google Play is unsportsmanlike, U.S. states likely to argue in potential lawsuit

    State attorneys general are planning a third lawsuit against Alphabet Inc's Google, this one focused on the search and advertising giant's Play Store for Android phones, according to two sources familiar with the matter. Including a U.S. Justice Department lawsuit filed against Google in October, the possible new action would be the fourth government lawsuit brought against the Silicon Valley company since late 2020.

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  • Is Alphabet (GOOG) Stock a Buy For 2021?

    Wedgewood Partners recently released its Q4 2020 Investor Letter, a copy of which you can download here. The Fund returned 12.2% for the fourth quarter of 2020. Meanwhile, the benchmark S&P 500 Index and the Russell 1000 Growth Index gained 12.2% and 11.4%, respectively. You should check out Wedgewood Partners’ top 5 stock picks for […]

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  • Fitbit and Google merger: What happens to your health data now search giant owns it

    It is not known how the deal will affect UK users’ data, as the EU Commission’s ruling does not apply post-Brexit

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  • 10 Smart Stocks to Buy With $5,000

    If you’re looking to build a portfolio of stocks to buy with just $5,000, the advent of fractional share ownership has made it a whole lot easier. Google the words “fractional share portfolios,” and you get 527,000 results with everything from reviews on seven of the best fractional share investing brokerages to links to some of the leading players in this burgeoning area of the markets. Many think of Robinhood when they think fractional, but the truth is almost every major online broker in this country’s got some offering or service.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips Heck, I can remember years ago, when FolioFN was the only game in town. Launched in 2000, it was acquired by Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) in May 2020. FolioFN’s self-directed accounts are scheduled to be transferred to Interactive Brokers (NASDAQ:IBKR) early in 2021. In the meantime, for those who don’t want to do the work of constructing a $5,000 portfolio of stocks to buy, here are 10 recommendations to help get you started. Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) SVB Financial (NASDAQ:SIVB) Roku (NASDAQ:ROKU) Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A, NYSE:BRK.B) Dollar General (NYSE:DG) Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) Williams-Sonoma (NYSE:WSM) Thor Industries (NYSE:THO) 9 Stocks That Investors Think Are the Next Amazon Their share prices will add up to $5,000 or less. To make things interesting, all 10 stocks must have share prices exceeding $100. Stocks to Buy: Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL) $1,740 Source: BigTunaOnline / It’s funny, I had intended to include Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) in my list of 10 stocks to buy, but given I was limiting my names to those companies with shares prices greater than $100, the e-commerce giant’s $3,166 share price would have made it awfully hard to fit nine more under $5,000. So I went with Alphabet, a company I didn’t write about at all in 2020, but helps me achieve my task. InvestorPlace’s Mark Hake recently suggested that rising ad sales make it an attractive investment in 2021. My colleague compares Google to the valuations of Apple, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), and Amazon. He reckons that Google should have a similar valuation to the three companies at $1.43 trillion or 6.7 times sales. As I write this, Google’s market capitalization is $1.18 trillion, 17% below Hake’s simple calculation, which puts its share price at $2,112 per share. I like the upside. Tesla (TSLA) $845 Source: franz12 / The second-highest share price in our $5,000 portfolio, we can thank Elon Musk for doing a five-for-one stock split in August 2020. Without it, TSLA would take up 86% of our investment capital. I’m an unabashed Tesla fan, so I’m not going to give you reasons why the valuation is over-the-top, although there’s no question it puts all the other large car companies to shame with its $810 billion market cap. InvestorPlace contributor Matt McCall recently gave investors some wise advice regarding the electric vehicle (EV) maker. McCall believes that rather than griping about the price you have to pay for its shares, embrace the fact that even the mighty Tesla has corrections, so buy like crazy on the rare occasion that it happens. To illustrate his point, McCall references its pullback in September 2020, shortly after its stock split. On Aug. 31, it was trading just under $500. In a week, it fell 34% after Tesla was left off the annual additions list for the S&P 500. 7 Cheap Stocks to Buy as Democrats Gain Control Ultimately, Tesla was added to the index on Dec. 31. As money managers added TSLA to their portfolios, it moved even higher. Nvidia (NVDA) $528 Source: Hairem / If you’re one of the lucky investors who joined the Nvidia bandwagon five years ago when it was trading around $26, you’re sitting on an annualized total return of more than 79% through Jan. 13. It’s crazy to think that things can get any better for NVDA shareholders over the next five years. Still, they actually could, given the growth in gaming, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence. As my InvestorPlace colleague, Faizan Farooque, recently stated, you most certainly won’t be buying Nvidia if you’re a value investor — it trades at 45 times its forward earnings, far higher than many of its peers — but when it can grow sales at 50% a quarter and continue to beat analyst expectations, it most certainly deserves a premium valuation. In June 2019, I argued that Nvidia’s free cash flow made it a great stock to buy on dips. At the time, it had lost about half of its value over nine months — October 2018 to June 2019 — and was trading around $145. Some 18 months later, it’s up almost four-fold and generating more than $4.2 billion in 12-month free cash flow. Buy some now and wait for the next big dip. It’s bound to happen sooner or later, no matter the near-term prospects. SVB Financial (SIVB) $465 Source: Pavel Kapysh / I’m not going to say too much about SVB Financial because it’s one of those bank stocks to buy that you have to get to know for yourself to understand why it’s so special. You wouldn’t think this was the case by the analyst coverage of its stock. At the moment, 21 analysts cover SIVB, with eight rating it a buy and 12 a hold with an average price target of $424.49. Sure, it’s come a long way over the past year compared to its peers — it has a one-year total return of 74.2% — but that’s because investors recognize that the bank’s laser-like focus on providing lending, asset management, and banking services to innovators and entrepreneurs will always be in demand. Recently, it announced that it would pay $900 million to buy Boston Private Financial Holdings (NASDAQ:BPFH) for a combination of cash and stock. The Boston-based private bank specializes in wealth management and other banking services. Together, SVB Financial’s wealth management business will have almost $18 billion in assets under management. The 7 Best Marijuana Stocks on the Markets Right Now Continue to ignore SIVB at your peril. Roku (ROKU) $418 Source: JHVEPhoto / The streaming platform has gotten off to a hot start in 2021, up 26% year-to-date and more than 205% over the past 52 weeks. Roku and HBO Max parent, Warner Media, buried their longstanding disagreement recently by announcing that the streaming service would be available on Roku as of Dec. 17, 2020. By getting a spot on Roku, HBO Max is now on all the major over-the-top platforms. “We believe that all entertainment will be streamed and we are thrilled to partner with HBO Max to bring their incredible library of iconic entertainment brands and blockbuster slate of direct-to-streaming theatrical releases to the Roku households with more than 100 million people that have made Roku the No. 1 TV streaming platform in America,” Scott Rosenberg, SVP of Roku’s platform business, said in a statement. The key part of the above statement is that Roku believes that all entertainment will eventually be streamed. I couldn’t agree more. That’s why I recommended ROKU stock in December 2017 and still recommend it among stocks to buy in 2021. Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B) $235 Source: Jonathan Weiss / I recently read an article about the reasons why Warren Buffett failed in 2020. This kind of analysis of the Oracle of Omaha has been going on for years, possibly as long as Buffett’s been investing in stocks to buy. Yes, Berkshire Hathaway severely underperformed the S&P 500 in 2020 — up 2.5% versus 16.5% for the index — but I’ve always believed that the biggest boost to BRK stock will come when the holding company has to be methodically wound down due to the passing of Buffett and Charlie Munger. Consider that its equity portfolio, which is massive at $271 billion, represents just one-third of Berkshire’s assets at the end of September 2020. I can assure you that the true value of the $418 billion or so in privately-owned assets on its balance sheet is worth far more than this. When the time comes to wind it down, the board will do what’s necessary to ensure fair value is obtained for every business. It’s possible the process could take a decade or more. The 7 Best Startups You Can Buy on StartEngine Right Now When people say that Warren Buffett has lost his touch, they forget that the final tally has not been given. Not by a longshot. Dollar General (DG) $213 Source: Jonathan Weiss / It’s not a secret that Dollar General caters to customers that don’t have a tremendous amount of disposable income. It probably also doesn’t come as a surprise that its employees aren’t flush with cash, so the fact that it will pay those of its 157,000 employees who get a vaccine four hours of pay is noble. And smart business. “‘We do not want our employees to have to choose between receiving a vaccine or coming to work,’ Dollar General (DG) said in a press release, noting that its hourly workers face hurdles to getting vaccinated, such as travel time, gas mileage or childcare needs.” If there’s a retailer that has done well during Covid-19, Dollar General would have to be at the top of the list. In early December, Dollar General reported Q3 2020 results that included 12.2% same-store sales growth and a 62.7% increase in earnings per share. As a result, it’s passed on a total of $173 million in 2020 for employee appreciation bonuses. As it continues to open more stores while simultaneously growing its gross margins, the fact that it remembered that its employees are the ones who deliver this good fortune to shareholders is a big reason why DG stock will continue to move higher in 2021. Apple (AAPL) $130 Source: Hadrian / Most of the talk around AAPL stock right now revolves around its long-simmering Project Titan and its efforts around delivering its own autonomous electric vehicle. The Verge recently reported that Apple held discussions in 2020 with Canoo (NASDAQ:GOEV), the EV startup using a platform based on a skateboard to provide a much better cabin design for its future vehicles. Canoo apparently just wanted some investment capital. Apple, on the other hand, was thinking more about acquiring the business and integrating it into its existing work in this area. The two didn’t come to an agreement. Canoo went public and Apple’s now working with Hyundai (OTCMKTS:HYMTF) on getting a self-driving EV to market by 2024. Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives recently suggested that Apple could be worth $3 trillion by sometime in 2022 due to strong iPhone 12 sales. He projects it could sell as many as 250 million in 2021. “If Apple continues to execute at this pace, a $3 trillion market cap could be on the horizon over the 12 to 18 months,” Ives is reported to have said. 7 Dividend Stocks That Are Growing Their Payouts As I write this, it’s at $2.2 trillion. Williams-Sonoma (WSM) $125 Source: designs by Jack / Several news outlets reported that the retailer’s CEO, Laura Alber, sold some Williams-Sonoma stock just before Christmas. Don’t be alarmed; it was only 15,000 shares or 3.5% of her total holdings. And it was part of her Rule 10b5-1 trading plan started in September 2019. As I always like to say, even wealthy CEOs have bills to pay. Over the past year, Williams-Sonoma stock has delivered a total return of 61.4% for its shareholders, including Alber. That’s double the returns of the specialty retail sector as a whole and three times the entire U.S. markets’ performance. In June 2016, I called WSM one of the best retail stocks to buy due to its excellent omnichannel experience. Going on five years later, nothing’s changed about that assertion. During Covid-19, business at the retailer has been full-speed ahead. Here’s what I said about it in December: “It’s got a business that’s ideally balanced between online and brick-and-mortar sales. In the second quarter, it generated 76% of its sales online; in Q3, due to the novel coronavirus constraints, its online sales accounted for 70% of its total revenue — while growing by almost 50% over last year– and that’s during a pandemic,” I said on Dec. 9. “More importantly, its Q3 profits were through the roof — up 151% to $2.56 a share thanks to significantly higher margins — and that was only through Nov. 1. It doesn’t include Black Friday and Cyber Monday.” The world’s going digital, and that’s good news for Williams-Sonoma. Thor Industries (THO) $105 Source: Angel DiBilio / There is no question that 2020 was good for recreational vehicle manufacturers such as Thor Industries, as people young and old sought the great outdoors, away from the maddening, Covid-19 crowd. The problem for investors who’ve followed the RV industry for any length of time is that the good times never seem to last. In the case of the novel coronavirus, once vaccines make humans comfortable with packing together in large crowds, the great outdoors won’t be nearly as enticing as Paris or Australia. That being said, the latest push into RVs may be coming from a sub-set of consumers who might actually take to the open road. “All dealers are reporting a high mix of first-time buyers as evident by lack of trade-in units,” said Wells Fargo analyst Tim Conder in a July 15, 2020 note. “Dealers are saying as high as 80% of customers are first-time buyers … vs. the typical 25% mix. The pandemic is driving the purchase decision for new-entrants.” If even half of those first-time buyers stick around long enough to upgrade to a bigger or better model, Thor Industries might not have to worry about the eventual downturn. To me, THO is one of the perfect stocks to buy for the long haul, buying more whenever it corrects by more than 5-10%. On the date of publication, Will Ashworth did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. Will Ashworth has written about investments full-time since 2008. Publications where he’s appeared include InvestorPlace, The Motley Fool Canada, Investopedia, Kiplinger, and several others in both the U.S. and Canada. He particularly enjoys creating model portfolios that stand the test of time. He lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia. At the time of this writing Will Ashworth did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace Why Everyone Is Investing in 5G All WRONG Top Stock Picker Reveals His Next 1,000% Winner It doesn’t matter if you have $500 in savings or $5 million. Do this now. The post 10 Smart Stocks to Buy With $5,000 appeared first on InvestorPlace.

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    (Bloomberg) -- Inc. is offering other companies the ability to use the building blocks of the Alexa digital assistant for their own automated versions, the latest effort to embed the company’s voice software into other devices.Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV will be the first to use Alexa Custom Assistant, relying on Amazon-built speech recognition and other software to power the automaker’s in-car tools, Amazon said Friday in a statement. The retail and technology giant also invited other companies to customize the underlying Alexa system with their own wake word, voice and unique capabilities.Alexa is most closely associated with Echo smart speakers, but Amazon has been working to extend the software’s reach, and fend off rivals like Apple Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google, by adding utility for tasks like home automation and the potentially lucrative and fiercely contested market for in-car software. Amazon, which lacks the massive base of captive smartphone users of its main rivals, has suggested voice assistants should be able to talk to one another. The company, like competitors, already offers for rent elements of the technology that powers its digital assistant, but Alexa Custom Assistant represents a more complete set of tools, Amazon said.Previously, owners of some newer Fiat Chrysler models who wanted to roll their windows down or inquire about the weather at their destination had to shift between two experiences: speaking to a custom-built voice software by pressing a button on the steering wheel, or invoking Alexa by voice. The new arrangement folds all interactions into one system, integrating in-car functions with the rest of Amazon’s web of data.The companies declined to comment on the terms of the deal. An Amazon spokeswoman said that under the new arrangement, Amazon will manage voice data for users who choose to sign in with an Amazon account, sharing with Fiat Chrysler only the intent of a user’s action. Some automakers, wary of inviting Silicon Valley to step between them and their drivers, have resisted striking deals with technology companies to power car functions and entertainment systems. Some have turned to developers like Cerence Inc. to build custom-made voice assistants.Fiat Chrysler, which will complete its merger with French rival PSA Group next week to become Stellantis NV, has adopted a more frugal technology strategy than larger competitors in the wake of its 2009 bankruptcy. As a result, it has been more open to partnering to navigate the technological disruption of the auto industry. It was among the first automakers to strike a deal with Waymo, the self-driving unit of Alphabet, to supply minivans for Waymo’s robotaxi fleets.Automakers “are starting to say the capabilities are so compelling that it’s hard to say no entirely,” said Matt Arcaro, who tracks automotive technology use for researcher IDC. “The multiassistant vehicle is the goal right now, and I don’t think there is a lot of cooperation between Google and Alexa in working together.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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