Stocks are hit hard by virus, election, and the next test will be Apple and Big Tech earnings

  • Tech was one of the worst performing sectors in Wednesday’s sell-off, and it could be a battleground for the market when Big Tech favorites like Apple, Amazon, and Alphabet report earnings Thursday.
  • Stocks skidded on worries about the coronavirus, which has now spread so much that European leaders are locking down their economies again.
  • Investors also fear the U.S. election will have no clear outcome after Tuesday’s vote, leading to days of uncertainty and volatile markets.



a man sitting at a desk: Traders wear masks as they work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange as the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues New York, May 27, 2020.


© Provided by CNBC
Traders wear masks as they work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange as the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues New York, May 27, 2020.

The stock market is selling off hard on rising virus cases and election uncertainty, and it faces another big test Thursday when Big Tech favorites report earnings.

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“I think it may be we’re beginning to see a sea change

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Top EU Antitrust Investigator Warns Against Break Up of Big Tech Companies

As the European Union increasingly targets big tech companies, top antitrust enforcer Margrethe Vestager has warned against the structural break up of big tech companies (via The Information).

The comments were somewhat surprising, as Vestager has aggressively pursued antitrust investigations against the likes of Apple, Google, and Amazon in recent years. For example, it was Vestager who led the EU’s appeal against a court ruling that overturned its demand that Apple pay 13 billion euros ($14.5 billion) in tax to the Irish government.

During a debate on the future of internet regulation within the EU, she cautioned that although it would be “doable” to force a breakup of big tech companies under current EU law, it could lead to a range of unintended consequences. Foremost among these, she said, are potentially lengthy court battles between European regulators and the tech companies themselves.

“I don’t think it is something that

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JPMorgan launches blockchain division called Onyx after a big tech client adopts its cryptocurrency for commercial use | Currency News | Financial and Business News


  • JPMorgan has launched Onyx, a new business division for its blockchain projects, after its digital token was adopted for commercial use by a big technology client for the first time this week, CNBC reported.
  • A JPMorgan spokesperson confirmed the report.
  • JPM Coin is now being used for round-the-clock global payments by a “large technology client,” the bank’s global head of wholesale payments told CNBC. The client was not named.
  • “We are launching Onyx because we believe we are shifting to a period of commercialization of those technologies, moving from research and development to something that can become a real business,” Takis Georgakopoulos said in a CNBC interview.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

JPMorgan has launched a new business division dedicated to blockchain technology, called Onyx, after the bank’s own digital currency was adopted for commercial use this week, CNBC reported on Tuesday.

A JPMorgan spokesperson

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Big jump in business closures across South Africa

South Africa reported a sharp rise in liquidations in Q3 2020 as the coronavirus lockdown continues to have an impact on businesses, new StatsSA data shows.

The total number of liquidations increased by 27.4% in the third quarter of 2020 compared with the third quarter of 2019. A year-on-year increase of 54% was recorded in September 2020.

A total of 1,395 liquidations have been recorded from 1 January – September, with the financing, insurance, real estate, business services industry reporting the most cases (428).

It was followed by unclassified businesses (416 cases) and the trade, catering and accommodation industry (272 cases).

Voluntary liquidations increased by 65 cases and compulsory liquidations increased by nine cases.  The total number of liquidations decreased by 7.7% in the first nine months of 2020 compared with the first nine months of 2019.

Liquidation refers to the ‘winding-up of the affairs’ of a company when liabilities

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Facebook and Google are back in the spotlight ahead of key earnings and a possibly testy congressional hearing. Here’s what to expect during tech’s big week.



Mark Zuckerberg wearing a suit and tie: The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images


© The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images
The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images

  • Big tech companies will be scrutinized by both lawmakers and shareholders this week, when three chief executives are set to testify before Congress and a slew of companies report their third-quarter earnings.
  • Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, and Google CEO Sundar Pichai will face a Senate panel Wednesday as lawmakers push to repeal or rewrite the legal protections that they say shield tech giants from accountability, frequently referred to as Section 230.
  • Then on Thursday, those three companies will report their third-quarter earnings — along with fellow tech giants Apple and Amazon — and show whether their businesses have kept the momentum that led them to exceed expectations earlier in the year.
  • Here’s what to expect from big tech earnings reports and government scrutiny in the week ahead.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more
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One of the world’s most popular YouTubers announced he’s dating an Australian influencer. What happened next shows how relationships can be big business for content creators.



a man and a woman standing in front of a mountain


  • Since YouTuber Ethan Dolan (of the Dolan Twins) announced he was dating Kristina Alice, the Australian influencer’s Instagram following has skyrocketed.
  • Online creators use relationships to reach new audiences, create new and different content, and even to provide professional assistance with their work.
  • But not every creator can or will use their relationship as part of their work, as concerns about privacy or how perception of their relationship will affect their work.
  • Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.

Kristina Alice was a little known Australian influencer — until one of the world’s biggest YouTubers announced that they were dating.

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The Dolan Twins are a pair of U.S.-based comedy creators who have nearly 11 million subscribers on YouTube.

In a video ‘Addressing assumptions about us’, one of the twins, Ethan, confirmed fans’ suspicions that he has a girlfriend.

And that answer was enough to jumpstart Alice’s online

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Trump-led conservatives accuse Big Tech of election interference, escalate bias charges ahead of Senate showdown

Republicans will escalate charges of anti-conservative bias against social media companies a little less than a week before Election Day when they haul the leaders of the nations’ top internet companies before a Senate committee to question how these powerful online platforms decide what content is allowed and what’s not. 

Joe Biden defends son Hunter at final presidential debate, amid Giuliani allegations

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Roger Wicker sitting in a chair talking on a cell phone: Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss. the chairman of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation adjusts his nameplate before a hearing on the 737 Max 8 crashes.


© JACK GRUBER, USA TODAY
Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss. the chairman of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation adjusts his nameplate before a hearing on the 737 Max 8 crashes.

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter’s Jack Dorsey and Google’s Sundar Pichai are scheduled to answer growing criticism from the right over the moderation of prominent conservatives’ posts, including President Trump, before the Senate Commerce Committee on Wednesday.

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Fueling tensions ahead of the hearing are explosive allegations by conservatives that Facebook and

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Contactless payments and e-commerce got a big boost from the pandemic, says Visa’s Europe CEO

The COVID-19 pandemic has sped up the shift to contactless payments and e-commerce, according to Visa Europe CEO Charlotte Hogg.



a man and a woman posing for the camera: FGF_2020_BANKING DISRUPTED


© Photo Illustration by Fortune
FGF_2020_BANKING DISRUPTED

Speaking on the second day of this year’s Fortune Global Forum—which has itself been forced from the physical world into the virtual—Hogg said the shift was even apparent in markets where cash is seen as king, such as Europe.

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The coronavirus “hasn’t killed cash, but there has been a real shift to digital,” Hogg said in an interview with Fortune‘s Jen Wieczner. “You can see real evidence of changes in behavior.”

Hogg said that during the pandemic and its attendant lockdowns, ecommerce activity surged by a quarter in 20 countries around Europe. “There has been a real shift and adoption of digital and embracing of technology that perhaps we haven’t seen before,” she said.

In Belgium, she noted, Visa has

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CNN report accuses conservatives of ‘discrediting’ Big Tech, ignores Twitter suppression of New York Post

CNN is raising eyebrows over a Sunday report that accused conservatives of trying to “discredit” giant social media companies while omitting the controversy surrounding Twitter and Facebook’s efforts to suppress explosive New York Post reports about Hunter Biden. 

“A right-wing offensive is underway to discredit social media companies just days before the election,” CNN technology reporter Brian Fung began the report. “What began as complaints about anti-conservative censorship by social media companies has now evolved into outright allegations of election interference, as high-ranking Republicans have accused online platforms of helping Democrats by way of their content moderation decisions.” 

Fung continued, “Outside experts have found little evidence to support claims of widespread, systematic political bias in Silicon Valley’s technology. But the conservative allegations are an explosive charge and a dramatic escalation ahead of Election Day. They reflect not only the stakes of the race, but also the fact that Facebook, Twitter

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Big Tech’s biggest critics are racing to raise money for Biden’s campaign

Some of the staunchest critics of Facebook, Google and other Silicon Valley giants are trying to ramp up their efforts — and their donations — to convince former vice president Joe Biden to take a harder line against the tech industry if he wins the 2020 election.



a man wearing a suit and tie talking on a cell phone: Former vice president Joe Biden at Bucks County Community College in Bristol, Pa., on Saturday.


© Demetrius Freeman/The Washington Post
Former vice president Joe Biden at Bucks County Community College in Bristol, Pa., on Saturday.

The group includes Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and other state and federal officials, as well as academics including Tim Wu and activists like Roger McNamee, a prominent early Facebook investor. They aim to host a fundraiser for Biden on Tuesday, according to an invite, hoping a fresh injection of campaign cash in the final days of the 2020 race might further nudge the Democratic presidential candidate in their direction.

“Those of us who are trying to reform the technology industry have two

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