Public clouds hit a wall in innovation

As it opens this week, AWS re:Invent is not taking place in Vegas but is virtual and free. Virtual events are a silver lining of the pandemic because they keep me off airplanes and eliminate seven miles of walking each day at the bigger public cloud conferences. Maybe I’m getting lazy in my old age, but the time that virtual events save seems to be more productive.

Not to pick on AWS, but when we look at the announced innovations at public cloud events during the past year, few were game changers. Yes, most vendors will continue to move toward the intelligent edge, providing more points of presence, and they will continue to exploit artificial intelligence. However, these are mostly evolutionary steps rather than revolutionary ideas.

It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about moving from containers to serverless containers or from relational databases to purpose-built cloud-based databases or from outdated

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Why Wall Street Is Warming Up To Apple

In the first couple of days following Black Friday, Apple stock climbed about 7%. The market value gain came as Wall Street turned even more bullish on the Cupertino company.

Sell-side upgrade on the stock

It all started on November 30, a day when the broad market did not fare all that well. Loop Capital’s analyst Ananda Baruah saw enough reasons to upgrade Apple from hold to buy. According to him:

“Apple shares have historically outperformed in scenarios of consistent upside to Wall Street forecasts or as negative trends, principally iPhone shipments, stop worsening.”

The analyst did not seem to forget any major area of the business to justify the upgrade: Mac, iPad, AirPod, Watch and Services. Even optimism towards the speculated iPhone 13 supported bullishness. Ananda’s earnings-per-share estimate is now about 10% above consensus.

Not to be outdone, old-time Apple bull Katy Huberty, from Morgan Stanley, also weighed in.

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Stock futures mostly flat as Wall Street awaits news on stimulus, vaccines

U.S. stock futures held steady on Wednesday evening as investors awaited news on stimulus negotiations and the vaccine approval process.

Futures contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 ticked down 0.1%, while those for the Nasdaq 100 gained 0.1%.

The move in futures comes after a relatively quiet day on Wall Street as investors monitored developments in Washington about a possible stimulus bill. During Wednesday’s session, the Dow and S&P 500 gained 0.2%, while the Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.1%. The slight move higher for the S&P 500 resulted in a new record high.

On Capitol Hill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer issued a joint statement calling on Republicans to work with them on another round of Covid relief funding, using a bipartisan proposal from Senate moderates as a starting point.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell rejected the $908 billion proposal

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Biden will stop Trump’s border wall construction, but there will be maintenance

“We’re looking at project timelines, estimated construction completion and looking to prioritize segments of the wall to minimize the potential threats created by a stoppage,” said one senior CBP official involved in the conversations.

At several locations along the border, crews have been working around-the-clock to install as much of the 30-foot steel bollard fencing as possible before Trump leaves office and the paychecks cease. The companies will be entitled to compensation from the Biden administration for the “demobilization” costs of withdrawing crews and equipment, but the contracts have a termination clause that allows the government to break the deals, said Raini Brunson, a spokeswoman for the Army Corps, which oversees the private companies building the barrier.

“The termination clause permits the government to exercise its right to terminate the contract for its convenience,” Brunson said. “If terminated for convenience, the contractor is entitled to submit a request for termination

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Airbnb Has a Good — But Not Necessarily Great — IPO Story to Sell Wall Street

Between the enthusiasm that markets have been showing both towards Internet growth plays and (more recently) towards companies seen as reopening plays, Airbnb should get a post-IPO valuation comfortably above the $18 billion valuation it received in an April funding round, and perhaps also above the $31 billion valuation it got in a 2017 funding round.

But a little bit like Uber (UBER) ahead of its 2019 IPO, Airbnb’s story is pretty complicated, featuring several things to be encouraged by but also a few things to be concerned about.

Key positives for Airbnb’s story:

  1. The company was seeing strong double-digit growth before COVID hit. Revenue was 32% in 2019 to $4.81 billion, while gross booking value (GBV – the total value of bookings on Airbnb’s platform, minus cancellations and alterations) rose 29% to $37.96 billion. (source: Airbnb’s IPO prospectus)
  2. Though Airbnb is still seeing revenue/bookings declines, demand has improved a
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Stocks edge higher on Wall Street on latest vaccine hopes

Stocks edged higher in afternoon trading Monday after investors received several pieces of encouraging news on COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, tempering concerns over rising virus cases and business restrictions

The benchmark S&P 500 index rose 0.3%, led by banks, industrial companies and other businesses that have been beaten down by the virus.

The latest vaccine developments are helping to raise hopes that some normalcy will eventually be restored to everyday life and the economy. It is also tempering lingering concerns about new government controls as the virus spikes in

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5TH WALL FORUM Offers Free Event To Connect Theater And Virtual Technology

5TH WALL FORUM Offers Free Event To Connect Theater And Virtual Technology

Now accepting applications to participate and/or observe in the first-ever 5th Wall Forum, a FREE community-building event running December 4th and 5th helping theatre-makers utilize and network with new technologies.

5th Wall Forum is a virtual event bringing together industry insiders from the theater and technology worlds to create opportunities for new kinds of virtual performances for paying audiences. The Forum’s goal is to inspire actors, directors, producers, and creatives with the potential of new theatrical digital platforms and virtual performance spaces. We don’t mean Zoom theater. Attendees will gain an understanding of web, virtual reality, and augmented technology platforms that meet the needs of the theater industry, while connecting with technologists and digital artists enabling technology for live performance. Participants will walk away with a clear plan of action to bring their work to a virtual stage or with an interdisciplinary team to incubate ideas.

Who is 5WF

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Workday Drops Despite Q3 Beat: What Wall Street Is Saying

Shares of accounting software maker Workday  (WDAY) – Get Report dropped premarket Friday following its third quarter earnings release despite topping earnings and revenue estimates as the company also issued weak guidance for 2021. 

The company said it expects software demand to continue to come under pressure in 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Shares fell 3.5% to $222.80 in premarket trading Friday.

Here’s what Wall Street is saying about Workday:

Barclays (Equal Weight rating maintained, PT lowered to $234 from $238)

The big debates for investors post a healthy Q3 will be how conservative guidance is, especially around Q4 subscription backlog growth (14-16% YoY vs 20% plus so far this year), and how this year’s bookings numbers translate into next year’s subscription revenue. We believe that there was a fair amount of investor excitement going into earnings that a healthy Q3 would translate into positive estimate revisions

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As Bitcoin Surges 15%, Here’s What Wall Street’s Saying About The Cryptocurrency’s Meteoric Resurgence


Amid a pandemic that’s seen the U.S. dollar tank in value, the price of bitcoin has exploded nearly 150% this year and 15% in the past week alone, sparking a wave of renewed attention from Wall Street as the pioneering cryptocurrency nears its all-time price peak from late 2017 (before the crypto market infamously crashed).

Key Facts

At a New York Times conference on Wednesday, JPMorgan Chase’s billionaire chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon, who in 2017 regrettably called bitcoin a fraud, said he’s a “believer” in blockchain technology (JPMorgan now has its own token) and “properly backed, properly regulated” cryptocurrency, but that bitcoin isn’t his “cup of tea,” and too many questions remain around its regulation.

But bitcoin’s resurgent price prompted billionaire hedge fund manager Ray

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Why Is Citi Helping Big Tech Storm Wall Street?

(Bloomberg Opinion) — Alphabet Inc.’s deeper dive into the U.S. financial system shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Technology giants have found a way into all corners of people’s lives; the latest plan to offer consumers new forms of bank accounts is simply one of the final frontiers.

a sign on the side of a brick building: WESTBURY, NEW YORK - MARCH 20: A general view of a Citibank sign as photographed on March 20, 2020 in Westbury, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

© Photographer: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America
WESTBURY, NEW YORK – MARCH 20: A general view of a Citibank sign as photographed on March 20, 2020 in Westbury, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The puzzling part of Alphabet’s expansion of Google Pay is why Citigroup Inc. is a willing participant in Silicon Valley’s invasion of Wall Street’s turf.


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Last week, Bloomberg News and others reported that Citigroup and a California credit union were Alphabet’s initial partners for a venture that would offer checking accounts through Google Pay. The official announcement on Wednesday revealed that 11 banks and

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