“Amazon’s lead is over” — Oracle co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Larry Ellison, in a speech declaring Oracle’s intention to fight Amazon on its home turf: cloud computing. Good luck, Oracle—you’ll need it.
- U.S. stocks closed flat yesterday, fading later in the day after early gains in oiland a jump in homebuilder confidence
- Shares of WebMD dropped 5.6% after the company announced its CEO would be leaving—and that it would be doubling its stock buyback program (which evidently didn’t soften the blow)
- Shares of Lionsgate dropped sharply after Blair Witch disappointed at the box office, not to mention receiving a 36% rating on Rotten Tomatoes
Long Overdue But Finally Here
…Twitter has made adjustments to its 140 character rule. The release was initially promised for May of this year and users were getting fed up. So what’s actually changed? No, you still can’t make 1,000 character tweets, but tweets that add photos, gifs, videos, etc. will not count towards the total character limit. The idea with the changes is to make Twitter easier to use, but a quick glance at the absurdly detailed new rules shows that may not be the case. Twitter’s been struggling to satisfy Wall Street as user growth stagnates, so we’ll see if Twitter isn’t too late in addressing the problem.
Going All In
…GoPro is finally expanding its product line with its highly-anticipated drone.Trying to prove to customers (and especially investors) that it’s more than just a camera company, GoPro’s Karma drones, announced yesterday, will be priced at around $799 a pop. Not cheap. Sure, GoPro’s still updating the quality of its bread-and-butter cameras (and don’t forget its new carrying backpack), but the new drones are what has everyone’s attention. Founder Nick Woodman says GoPro is now “an experience company”—and GoPro’s future may depend on whether its foray into the controversial world of drones pans out.
Starboard’s In On It
…As usual. Call in the cake: Vista Equity Partners, a private equity firm specializing in software and tech, reached a deal with Infloblox to bring the computer network firm into its portfolio. Here’s the deal: Vista is paying $36.50 per share (that’s a hefty 33% premium) for a grand total of $1.6 billion—all in cash. And where doesStarboard Value come in the mix? Well, the activist hedge fund disclosed a 7% stake in Infoblox in April, so just north of $110 million will be headed Starboard’s way by the end of January, when the deal is expected to close. Not a bad payday.
When Shares Are Up 90%
…You know it’s a good day. And it certainly was for biotech firm Sarepta Therapeutics, which can chalk yesterday up as a major win after the FDA finally approved its muscular dystrophy drug—after years of butting heads over it. Ready to hit the market? Yes, but on one condition: Sarepta must complete a successful clinical trial showing the drug’s benefit for muscular dystrophy patients. This trial will be kinda important since it will be necessary to keep the drug on the market long-term—and the trial’s results will likely take a few more years.
- Google launches a personalized travel planner, Google Trips
- Eggo waffles recalled amid listeria fears
- Kmart to close 64 more stores across the U.S.
- Google will announce its next smartphone on October 4
- Monday: Housing Market Index (+)
- Tuesday: Adobe, FedEx Earnings; Housing Starts; Fed Meeting Begins
- Wednesday: General Mills, Bed Bath & Beyond Earnings; Fed Meeting Announcement
- Thursday: AutoZone, Rite Aid Earnings; Existing Home Sales; Weekly Jobless Claims
- Friday: PMI Manufacturing Index
All Things in Regulation
The future of transportation is here, and the U.S. government just made it official: federal auto safety regulators released a set of guidelines for the driverless car industry yesterday, declaring that they envision automated cars leading to safer roads for all. And after 40,000 auto-related deaths last year, the future couldn’t come sooner. Now, how to regulate it?
- Two things to keep in mind: yes, regulators see driverless cars as eventually being safer than human-controlled cars. On the other hand, recent crashes involving semi-autonomous vehicles (looking at you, Tesla) still need to be addressed. Hey, nobody’s perfect.
- So what’s the government putting in place? Let’s break it down: first we’ve got safety standards for the design and development of vehicles. Second, a call for states to implement uniform policies. Lastly, a clarification of current regulations over how they apply to driverless cars.
- Though regulation usually sounds like a bad thing, in this case auto manufacturers are welcoming the new rules: the government is not only endorsing the tech, but laying out a framework that could give companies the legal clarity to move forward with unveiling driverless vehicles in the next five years.
Interview Question of the Day
Two fathers and two sons go hunting. Each shoot one rabbit. How many rabbits were shot? (Answer)
Business Term of the Day
Steve Eisman — Guru investor who made a fortune by accurately predicting the housing crash. Sound familiar? He was played by Steve Carell in The Big Short. When asked at a conference yesterday if new banking regulation has gone too far, he responded by saying: “Do I think it’s fair? Tough shit.” Eisman to banks: stop whining.
Food for Thought
Thanks, Uber. Not for a convenient ride, but for mapping out a real demand curve. According to researchers, Uber riders enjoyed $1.57 in consumer surplus for every $1 they spent in 2015. That equates to $6.8 billion in consumer surplus across the U.S. last year, or $18 million a day. The Brew’s suggestion: tell that to your Econ 101 professor for some brownie points.
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