Twitter Buys Magic Pony Technology, Plus Apple Heads To India

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“Benign, natural materials including dirt/sand” — Statement by GNP Company, a large producer of poultry products, which is recalling over 55,608 pounds of chicken after the USDA reported the poultry may be contaminated with “extraneous materials.” Hope you’re in the mood for soil tonight.

MARKET SNAPSHOT

Big Picture

  • While U.S. stocks had a strong day yesterday, they couldn’t compare to Europe’s whopping 3.5% gain, as Brexit fears subsided and markets everywhere rallied

Market Movers

  • Shares of Disney were up after its Pixar division set an animated box office record for Finding Dory, which raked in $136.2 million over the weekend

CORPORATE PRIMER

Walmart looks east…

…You guessed it—China. Don’t worry, our favorite low price guarantee outlet isn’t going anywhere—but it is tweaking its game plan. Walmart is selling its Chinese e-commerce business to JD.com, China’s second-largest online retailer. Wal-Mart believes this move will better its image and presence in China, the market everybody’s trying to break into. The JD x Walmart partnership goes both ways, too: Walmart is also taking a 5% stake in JD.com. How does JD feel? Let’s put it this way: who wouldn’t want to partner with the world’s most lucrative company?

If you thought Twitter was done….

…After investing $70 million in SoundCloud last week, think again: yesterday, it acquired Magic Pony Technology (yes, that’s the real name). To be clear, Magic Pony Technology has no connection to My Little Pony (sorry to disappoint)—it’s actually a machine-learning company whose technology improves the quality of video streams. Twitter, as you might recall, is all about live streaming these days (remember its purchase of Periscope?) and, well…you get the picture. Of course, the fact remains that despite all its wheeling and dealing, Twitter is still struggling to grow its user base at the pace Wall Street expects, but investors are hopeful this deal will nudge the social media giant in the right direction.

Apple falls far from the tree…

…And lands all the way in India? The country may just be the hottest new destination for tech companies. India has had quite the busy few days: first, its central bank head announced his resignation over the weekend. Then yesterday, it officially and completely changed its stance on foreign direct investment, now allowing companies like Apple to enter the country for business. If the tech monster makes the obvious decision to act right away, its margins could skyrocket almost immediately. Expect U.S. tech companies to flock to India for expansion, but who better to pioneer the movement than Apple itself?

WORLD MACRO

“Remain” is the new “Leave”…

…Or at least for now. In the latest back-and-forth news on Brexit (that’s code for whether the U.K. will stay in the European Union or go it alone), new polls show the “remain” camp regaining ground against the opposing “leave” camp, meaning the likelihood of Britain peacing out of the EU seems to have declined. That was music to investors’ ears, who are more or less hoping the status quo wins out—and markets steadied around the world yesterday as a result, recovering some of last week’s losses. That being said, plenty could still happen between now and Thursday’s looming vote, and any sign of doubt could send global markets tumbling again. And if the Brexit is actually voted through? All bets are off.

OTHER STORIES

ECONOMIC CALENDAR

  • Monday: Treasury Bill Auctions
  • Tuesday: Adobe, FedEx Earnings
  • Wednesday: Bed Bath & Beyond, Barnes & Noble Earnings; Existing Home Sales
  • Thursday: BlackBerry, Accenture Earnings; New Home Sales; Weekly Jobless Claims
  • Friday: Durable Goods Orders; Consumer Sentiment

SEEKING REFUGE

Even if the Humans of New York Facebook page is your only source for news, you probably know that the refugee crisis has had a widespread and heartbreaking impact. But what you may not know is that forced displacement is at an all-time high. According to the UNHCR, one in 113 people on Earth is either an asylum-seeker, internally displaced or a refugee.

  • As of the end of 2015, 65.3 million people worldwide were displaced. For a sense of size, that’s like the entire population of the U.K. up and leaving. Compare this to 59.5 million in 2014…and consider the fact that this is the first time ever that the threshold of 60 million has been crossed.
  • How does this figure break down? 3.2 million people are in industrialized countries awaiting a decision on asylum, 21.3 million are refugees and 40.8 million are internally displaced (meaning they’re forced to leave home, but are still located in their home country).
  • So where do most refugees come from? Unsurprisingly, Syria is the main source, at 4.9 million. 2.7 million have come from Afghanistan, and 1.1 million from Somalia. That still leaves us with 56.6 million…meaning we can’t just blame a few countries.
  • Incase these figures haven’t shocked you enough, let’s put it this way: an average of six people are displaced every minute. That’s twice as fast as we breathe.

INTERVIEW QUESTION OF THE DAY

Rounded off to the nearest whole year, how many years would it take for your money to double in an investment that was increasing with an annual compound rate of 3.5%?

(Answer)

BUSINESS TERM OF THE DAY

Irrational Exuberance — The term “irrational exuberance” was first used by Alan Greenspan, the former head of the Federal Reserve. He made the term famous at a black tie dinner in Washington in 1996, and it came to symbolize the booming bull market. Oh, the roaring 90’s.

HISTORY-MAKING STATISTIC

We all know social security isn’t looking good these days, and unfortunately, neither are pensions. The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation told Congress that it will have a deficit of $53.4 billion in today’s dollars by 2025 if it cannot raise an additional $15 billion. Ouch.

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