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Beyond Meat rockets higher after Tim Hortons says it'll offer plant-based meat in breakfast sandwiches across Canada (BYND)

Wed, 06/12/2019 - 4:12pm  |  Clusterstock

  • Beyond Meat's stock gained nearly 12% after Tim Hortons announced it'll offer plant-based meat in breakfast sandwiches across Canada. 
  • Shares plunged 25% on Tuesday after JPMorgan downgraded the name. 
  • An increasing number of fast-food restaurants are adding vegan and vegetarian options to their menus. 
  • Watch Beyond Meat trade live.

Breakfast sandwiches have boosted Beyond Meat's stock after Wall Street analysts cooled on the company.

Shares of Beyond Meat traded up as much as 16% Wednesday after the company announced that three of its breakfast sandwiches are available on menus at Tim Hortons across Canada.

The news came after analysts earlier this week rushed to cut ratings on the stock. On Tuesday, shares tanked 25% after JPMorgan's Ken Goldman cut his rating to "neutral," and on Wednesday, Sanford C. Bernstein's Alexia Howard the last bullish voice on Wall Street cut her rating "market perform." Both analysts cited Beyond Meat's stretched valuation. 

Shares have had a volatile few days of trading following a meteoric 600% climb since the May 1 initial-public-offering pricing and the company's better-than-expected earnings release. Traders have had to contend with Nestle announcing its own plant-based burgers  and grocery stores saying they weren't sure Beyond Meat burgers belonged in the meat aisle.

Tim Hortons has been testing Beyond Meat breakfast sandwiches in Canada since May. In April, its sister brand Burger King announced that its Impossible Whopper would be rolled out nationwide by the end of 2019 after a successful limited launch at locations in and around St. Louis, Missouri. The Impossible Whopper was the result of a partnership with Impossible Foods, a competitor to Beyond Meat.

Beyond Meat's stock could see a major boost if it secures a partnership with a chain such as McDonald's, analysts at Jefferies wrote in a note. An increasing amount of fast-food chains are adding vegan items to menus to meet the growing demand for plant-based meat alternatives. Del Taco, Taco Bell, and Chipotle have all began to offer vegan and vegetarian options recently. Chick-fil-A and McDonald's are also exploring adding vegan options to their menus. 

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THE EVOLUTION OF THE US NEOBANK MARKET: Why the US digital-only banking space may finally be poised for the spotlight (GS, JPM)

Wed, 06/12/2019 - 4:01pm  |  Clusterstock

This is a preview of a research report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about Business Insider Intelligence, click here.

Neobanks, digital-only banks that aren’t saddled by traditional banking technology and costly networks of physical branches, have been working to redefine retail banking in major markets around the world.

Driven by innovation-friendly regulatory reforms, these companies have especially gained traction in Europe over the last three years. While the US is home to some of the oldest neobanks — including Simple, which set up shop in 2009, and Moven, which was founded in 2011 — the country's neobank ecosystem has lagged behind its European counterpart.

That’s largely because of an onerous regulatory regime, which has made it very difficult to obtain a banking license, and the entrenched position incumbents hold in the financial lives of US consumers. Navigating the tedious and costly scheme for obtaining a banking charter and appropriate approvals has been a major stumbling block for the country’s digital banking upstarts. However, developments over the past year suggest these startups are finally poised for the spotlight in the US. 

In this report, Business Insider Intelligence maps out the factors contributing to this shifting tide, examines how key players are positioning themselves to take advantage, and explores how incumbents can embark on their own digital transformations to stave off disruption.

The companies mentioned in this report are: Aspiration, Chime, Goldman Sachs' Marcus, JPMorgan Chase's Finn, N26, and Revolut. 

Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

  • Despite lagging behind Europe, recent developments suggest that neobanks are finally ready for the spotlight in the US.
  • Three distinct influences are responsible for creating the fertile ground for this evolution: regulation, shifting consumer attitudes, and the activity of incumbent banks.
  • Among those driving this evolution in the US are foreign neobanks including Germany’s N26 and UK-based Revolut.
  • Meanwhile, two notable incumbent-owned outfits have deployed amid great fanfare: Marcus by Goldman Sachs and Finn by Chase. 
  • In this increasingly competitive landscape, incumbent banks have a range of strategic options at their disposal, including overhauling their entire business for the digital era.

 In full, the report:

  • Details the factors contributing to a shift in the US' neobank market.
  • Explains the different operating models neobanks in the US are deploying to roll out their services and meet consumer demands.
  • Highlights how incumbent banks are tapping into the advantages offered by stand-alone digital outfits. 
  • Discusses the key strategies established players need to deploy to remain relevant in the US' increasingly digital banking landscape.

Interested in getting the full report? Here are two ways to access it:

  1. Purchase & download the full report from our research store. >>Purchase & Download Now
  2. Subscribe to a Premium pass to Business Insider Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report and over 100 other expertly researched reports. As an added bonus, you'll also gain access to all future reports and daily newsletters to ensure you stay ahead of the curve and benefit personally and professionally. >> Learn More Now

The choice is yours. But however you decide to acquire this report, you've given yourself a powerful advantage in your understanding of the fast-moving world of Fintech.

SEE ALSO: Latest fintech industry trends, technologies and research from our ecosystem report

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Howard Schultz takes a 'detour' in travels across America, postponing any announcement on whether or not he'll actually run for president

Wed, 06/12/2019 - 3:49pm  |  Clusterstock

  • Howard Schultz announced on Wednesday that he would put his travels across American "on hold" after three back surgeries.
  • "Today, I am feeling much better, and my doctors foresee a full recovery so long as I rest and rehabilitate," Schultz wrote in an email. "I have decided to take the summer to do just that."
  • In January, Schultz announced he was "seriously considering running for president as a centrist independent." 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Howard Schultz is putting his travels across American on hold, without any announcement about if he will run for president or not. 

On Wednesday, the former Starbucks CEO announced that he planned to take the summer to recuperate after three back surgeries in the past two months. 

"Today, I am feeling much better, and my doctors foresee a full recovery so long as I rest and rehabilitate," Schultz wrote in an email. "I have decided to take the summer to do just that."

"I take this detour from the road reluctantly," Schultz added. "My concern for our country's future remains, as does my belief that the American people deserve so much more from our elected officials. Civility. Honesty. Real problem solving. My belief in these ideals will never waver."

In January, Schultz announced he was "seriously considering running for president as a centrist independent." In the months that followed, Schultz traveled America discussing his political ideology, first on his book tour and then on his "Heart of America" tour. 

Before his surgeries, Schultz indicated he would announce his decision on if he would run for president or not in the spring or early summer.

On Wednesday, HuffPost reported that Schultz told staff this morning that he would not make a decision about declaring his candidacy until after Labor Day. HuffPost's Amanda Terkel reported that Schultz told staff "if Biden does not appear to be the nominee, he would think about jumping into the presidential race after Super Tuesday."

Schultz has espoused a centrist ideology, slamming both the right and the left. 

"I'm as concerned with the current left-leaning tilt of the Democratic Party toward socialism and the leading Democratic nominees at this point ... as I am about reelecting Donald Trump," Schultz told Business Insider in March.

Read more: Howard Schultz on big business, socialism, and the presidential potential of Joe Biden and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Schultz also told Business Insider that he admired former Vice President Joe Biden. 

"I admire Vice President Biden. I know him, I've traveled with him. How could I not admire him? He served the country for 40-plus years — he's a great man," Schultz said. 

At the time, Schultz said it was "too early" to say whether Biden's decision to enter the race would influence his decision to run for president. In May, Fox Business reported that Schultz's decision on running for president would be linked to how Biden's campaign fares. 

"I think it's instructive that Mayor Bloomberg did not run as a moderate Democrat, could not find a path," Schultz said. "Whether Vice President Biden runs or not, it would be interesting to see whether he can find a path."

Schultz stepped down as Starbucks CEO in 2017. He led Starbucks to incredible growth, especially after returning as CEO in 2008 after a period serving as chairman. His leadership was also marked by his continued commitment to social issues.

Schultz left his position as chairman in June 2018 after leading the company for three decades. The move triggered rumors of a presidential bid. 

SEE ALSO: Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is cooling it on his potential 2020 presidential run because of Joe Biden

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The US budget deficit skyrocketed to a record $207.8 billion in May

Wed, 06/12/2019 - 2:53pm  |  Clusterstock

  • The US budget deficit ballooned to a record high in the month of May, as federal spending continued to outpace income despite a solid economy.
  • The gap between the amount the government takes in and spends rose nearly 42% last month.
  • In the first eight months of the fiscal year, the deficit increased about 39% to $738.6 billion.

The US budget deficit ballooned to a record high in the month of May, as federal spending continued to outpace income despite a solid economy.

The gap between the amount the government takes in and spends came in at $207.8 billion last month, the Treasury Department said Wednesday, nearly 42% higher than a year earlier. The increase happened in part because of June 1 falling on a Saturday, a non-business day, meaning some benefit payments were made earlier than usual.

Lawmakers typically try to reduce the deficit when the economy is strong, but recent legislation has taken it in the opposite direction. In the first eight months of the fiscal year, the deficit increased about 39% from a year earlier to $738.6 billion.

Tariff receipts were up sharply in May, rising 80% from a year earlier. President Donald Trump has imposed duties on several of the US's largest trading partners in a bid to pressure concessions on policies seen as unfair. But evidence shows that tariffs act as a tax on businesses and consumers at home.

The sweeping tax-cut package that took effect last year is expected to cost $1.9 trillion over the next decade as it constrains government receipts. Republicans vowed the package would pay for itself through higher growth, but evidence suggests otherwise.

Meanwhile, federal spending has jumped more than 9% since the fiscal year began in October. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office expects the annual deficit to come in at around $1 trillion by 2022 and remain above that level for at least seven years.

SEE ALSO: A key GOP lawmaker just reversed on the promise that Trump's tax cuts will pay for themselves

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Investor behavior has reached an extreme not seen in 15 years. Here's why that could be signaling a stock-market explosion to new highs.

Wed, 06/12/2019 - 2:45pm  |  Clusterstock

  • A recent study from Bernstein found that flows into bonds and out of stocks have diverged to a degree not seen in 15 years.
  • The firm said this ongoing bifurcation could send stocks soaring higher in the future and provided historical context to support its assertion.
  • Click here for more BI Prime stories.

The word "rational" rarely comes to mind when investors think about the mercurial day-to-day gyrations of the market. When tensions and emotions run high, it's easy to focus on the minutiae, make ill-informed decisions, and lose a sense of the bigger picture.

The quantitative-strategy team at Bernstein believes investors have done just that. In a new research note, the firm sounded the alarm on the glaring divergence between recent flows into bonds and the corresponding exodus from equities. 

Since the beginning of the year, total equity-fund outflows have tipped the scales at $155 billion, while bonds absorbed aggregate inflows of $182 billion over the same period. That marks the largest bifurcation between the two asset classes in 15-plus years.

"There are often tensions like this in the market, but the degree of this tension is at the extremes of historical experience," Inigo Fraser-Jenkins, a senior analyst at Bernstein who leads the firm's global quantitative and European equity strategy, said in the client note.

And at present time, this extreme trend is showing no signs of stopping. Last week alone, net bond inflows grew $17.5 billion — the largest deposit in more than four years — while investors redeemed $10.5 billion worth of equity holdings.

The graph below shows just how out of whack flows are compared with the past.  

But there's one big catch: Bernstein finds that, historically speaking, these overextended conditions have portended large stock-market gains ahead. And considering the benchmark S&P 500 is already roughly 2% from all-time highs, a new record seems imminently attainable.

The chart below — which shows the forward returns for global stocks when Bernstein's indicator has moved more than two standard deviations away from its average — provides investors with a sanguine outlook for equities when these metrics are overemphasized. The most compelling column is arguably the rightmost one, which shows 52-week gains exceeding 10% following each prior instance.

Today, the disparity is even more exaggerated — crossing over three full standard deviations — which strengthens the case for a reversal.

Ultimately, Bernstein believes that irrational investor behavior has overexaggerated current allocations — setting the stage for what could be a sharp, forceful turnaround over the medium term.

However, it's important to note that even though these metrics are stretched on a historical basis, Bernstein doesn't see a sharp, short-term trend reversal without an exogenous catalyst or event to get the ball rolling.

When areas of the market are this afflicted, historical analysis and proper positioning can set investors up to reap the rewards of this reversion to the mean.

SEE ALSO: A full-blown recession and double-digit stock losses: Morgan Stanley just unveiled its revised bear case for the trade war — and it's not pretty

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How RootIO is broadcasting radio shows using a bucket in #Uganda The open-source toolkit allows users to broadcast using just a smartphone and a transmitter - @TshepototheT (Update)

Wed, 06/12/2019 - 6:16am  |  Timbuktu Chronicles
Tshepo Tshabalala reports on RootIO covered earlier:
Radio is still and continues to be a powerful medium across most of the African continent. Not only is radio used to share community information but it is cheap and very accessible. In Uganda a mixing of radio’s power with new mobile and internet technologies has created a cheap and powerful open-source toolkit that allows communities to create their own micro-radio stations. All one needs is an inexpensive smartphone and a transmitter and a community that will share, promote and collaborate on dynamic content...[more]

A top DOJ official just outlined why the agency has everything it needs to go after Big Tech — and Facebook, Google, and Amazon should be nervous (AAPL, GOOGL, FB, AMZN)

Tue, 06/11/2019 - 7:58pm  |  Clusterstock

  • The nation's antitrust laws provide enforcement officials with all the tools they need to promote competition in the tech industry, Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim said Tuesday.
  • Delrahim made the comments as the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission are beginning to scrutinize Apple, Alphabet, Facebook, and Amazon.
  • He also defended the DOJ against the charge that it focuses too much on consumer prices in weighing the effects of companies' market power, acknowledging there can be other harms.
  • Delrahim's comments come as his own role in the investigating the tech companies has come under scrutiny.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Makan Delharim thinks the current legal code is more than sufficient to safeguard competition in the tech industry.

As federal enforcement officials begin to probe Alphabet, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon over potential antitrust violations, some policymakers and legal experts have questioned whether new laws are needed to rein in the companies. But in a speech at a conference in Tel Aviv Israel Tuesday, Makan, the top antitrust official in the Justice Department, made clear he's not among them.

"We already have in our possession the tools we need to enforce the antitrust laws in cases involving digital technologies," Makan, an assistant attorney general, said in the speech, which CNBC previously reported. "US antitrust law is flexible enough to be applied to markets old and new."

Pointing to the government's case 20 years ago against Microsoft and the nation's long history of challenging the power of dominant companies, he added: "Those who say we need new or amended antitrust laws to address monopoly concerns should look to history and take heart."

Debate has been growing over what, if anything, policymakers should do about the power wielded by the big-tech companies. Google parent Alphabet has already been fined by European regulators three times for anti-competitive actions. Apple just lost a decision at the US Supreme Court in an antitrust case and is the subject of a formal antitrust complaint in Europe made by Spotify. Facebook has drawn intense scrutiny for all the data it's collected on its billions of users and the ways in which its immense social network has been hijacked to widely spread propaganda.

Antitrust laws are old but adequate

Earlier this month, the Washington Post reported that the DOJ and the Federal Trade Commission have divvied up oversight over the four biggest tech companies, with the DOJ looking at Apple and Alphabet and the FTC taking on Amazon and Facebook.

But some antitrust experts and other policymakers have argued that new laws are needed to control the companies. Senator Elizabeth Warren, who is running for president, has called for legislation that would classify as "utilities" any tech company with more than $25 billion in revenue that runs a marketplace or has its own platform. It would also bar those tech utilities from owning companies that participate on their service.

The US has two major antitrust laws — the Sherman Antitrust Act and the Clayton Antitrust Act. Both are more than 100 years old and were written in an earlier era of monopolies, but in Delrahim's view, they are robust enough to handle any of today's problems.

"Through their general wording, and their focus on competitive process and consumer welfare, the antitrust laws allow US courts to continue to apply legal principles and sound economic reasoning to identify harmful practices that the antitrust laws should prevent," he said.

Read this: Top antitrust enforcer at DOJ reveals 3 ways the agency could make a case against big tech companies like Google and Apple

The DOJ is concerned with more than just prices

In recent years, many antitrust experts on the left have charged that the courts and enforcement regulators have paid too much attention to consumer prices when it comes to evaluating the impact of a company's dominance over a particular market or potential mergers. But Delrahim pushed back against that view.

The DOJ recognizes that monopolies sometimes lower prices and that limited competition can have harms other than just increased consumer costs, he said. Innovation and quality can also be hampered when companies have too much power or too few rivals to keep them honest.

"The Antitrust Division does not take a myopic view of competition," Delrahim said. "It is well-settled ... that competition has price and non-price dimensions," he continued.

But as the DOJ ramps of its probe of Alphabet and Apple, Delrahim himself is now facing criticism. Warren on Tuesday called for him to recuse himself from any investigations into the two companies, because of lobbying work he did for them. Delrahim lobbied on Google's behalf in 2007 for its acquisition of DoubleClick and on Apple's behalf in 2006 and 2007 on patent issues.

"Your past work as a lobbyist for two of the largest and most scrutinized tech companies in the world creates the appearance of conflict of interest," Warren said in a letter to Delrahim, which was previously reported by The Verge. "As the head of the antitrust division at the DOJ, you should not be supervising investigations into former clients who paid you tens of thousands of dollars to lobby the federal government."

Got a tip about the tech industry? Contact this reporter via email at twolverton@businessinsider.com, message him on Twitter @troywolv, or send him a secure message through Signal at 415.515.5594. You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.

SEE ALSO: Here's why the failed attempt to break up Microsoft will make or break the crackdown on Facebook, Amazon, and Google, according to 2 top lawyers in the Microsoft case

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Amazon, Apple and Google dominate some surprising markets, researcher finds, giving the government a lot of fodder for investigations (GOOG, AMZN, AAPL)

Tue, 06/11/2019 - 7:30pm  |  Clusterstock

  • The head of antitrust at the Department of Justice said Tuesday that officials will be scrutinizing big tech companies looking for anticompetitive behavior.
  • Interestingly, several top tech companies actually have significant market share in areas that you might not expect.
  • Their command of so many markets could give federal investigators a lot of things to look at, should they want to peer deeply into these company's businesses.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The head of antitrust at the Department of Justice said Tuesday that officials will scrutinize big tech companies in search of evidence of anticompetitive behavior.

The Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission have already agreed to divvy up responsibility for the fresh burst of oversight, with the DOJ looking at Google and Apple, and the FTC looking at Amazon and Facebook, according to recent news reports.

On Tuesday, Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim explained, in a video speech to a conference in Tel Aviv, Israel, the kinds of behavior and market conditions the DOJ will look for. On his radar: higher prices, loss of consumer privacy, exclusive deals and mergers designed to protect a monopoly or harm a competitor.

Read: Breaking up Facebook would make Instagram less safe for people, executive says

For the big tech companies that now have targets on their backs, there's a lot of risk: Google, Amazon, and Apple each command a giant swath of various tech markets. Here are some of the biggest markets dominated by the Big Tech threesome, according to market research firm Gartner, which could attract the attention of regulators.

Amazon:

  • Amazon is a giant in ecommerce sales, the No. 1 online retailer, based on US total sales, with an estimated more than 100 million paid Prime members.
  • But it is also the No. 1 — by a mile — cloud computer provider, too, based on revenue. Interestingly, its size has meant that it is the only meaningful challenger to Google in its core market of online product searches.
  • Gartner estimates that 55% of product searches start on Amazon.com, signaling a shift away from traditional search engines.

Apple

  • Apple commands only about 14% of the worldwide smartphone market, which makes it the No. 2 player behind Samsung for 2017 and 2018.
  • Apple is the No. 4 player in the PC market behind Lenovo, HP and Dell with almost 7% share in the first quarter of 2019. (Data does not include iPads.)
  • Because Apple makes its own chips for use in its products, its semiconductor business is huge, too. In 2018, it commanded a nearly 9% share of the market, Gartner says, which amounts to being in second place in terms of market share behind Samsung. 

That kind of buying power on electronics materials gives Apple a lot clout. And its clout could rise higher if Apple ever moves away from Intel chips for its PCs, switching to its own design, as it's been rumored to be working on for years and reportedly could do next year. For now, its still using Intel, including its brand new, high end, $6,000 Mac Pro

Google

  • Google is the internet search advertising leader by a mile. Google has been in antitrust hot water in Europe for years, including billions of dollars in fines involving its search and Android businesses.
  • But Google is also the No. 3 cloud provider behind Amazon and Microsoft, Gartner points out.
  • When it comes to online advertising, Google and Facebook combined control 75% of the market. They are often referred to as the duopoly.

SEE ALSO: Amazon consumer CEO Jeff Wilke says that he's okay with government scrutiny but that the company shouldn't be broken up

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One of Tesla's largest US Supercharger stations has a plush, private customer lounge in the middle of a folksy California town — take a look inside (TSLA)

Tue, 06/11/2019 - 7:16pm  |  Clusterstock

KETTLEMAN CITY, California — Amid swaths of farmland and a smattering of gas stations, fast-food restaurants, and motels, one of Tesla's largest US Supercharger stations sits tucked away from the main street that runs underneath the 5 Freeway, on a corner lot that used to be a Burger King drive-thru.

Across the street to the east is a gas station and a Carl's Jr., to the south an auto-repair shop, and to the west two budget hotels.

Farther south across State Route 41, there's a recently built strip mall, curiously named Bravo Farms, whose architecture was designed to resemble old Western saloons of generations past.

The Tesla Supercharger station, unlike the Burger King before it, makes use of nearly all the available space. An expanse of covered solar parking shelters the 40 Supercharger stalls on the lot. A private lounge invites Tesla travelers to rest in plush armchairs, plug in their mobile devices, and enjoy soothing music.

There are vending machines, restrooms, and Tesla staff inside the lounge. A separate display section shows off Tesla Energy products: the solar panels and Powerwall battery packs it sells to residential and commercial customers.

On one of the large flat-screen displays inside the lounge is a real-time world map with the locations of every Supercharger station on the planet. There are three numbers at the bottom of the screen — kilowatt-hours delivered, miles enabled, and gallons of gasoline saved — that tick up as you watch.

This is Tesla's domain. Its presence in an otherwise folksy enclave — one of at least seven on the route here from Hawthorne, California, where SpaceX's headquarters and a Tesla design studio are located — is a clear sign that Tesla is gearing up to own the electric-car future.

SEE ALSO: Tesla Model 3s are starting to show up in stores for the first time

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The Kettleman City Supercharger station is one of Tesla's largest charging sites in the US. Another in Baker, California, sits along a major route connecting Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

 

 



This trip served two purposes: to determine whether I could make it to the Kettleman City Supercharger without stopping to top up, and to check out Tesla's newest digs.

I planned to drive from Los Angeles in the red Model S P100D Tesla loaned to me. Before I got on the road, I stopped briefly at the Supercharger station on the SpaceX campus in Hawthorne.

I got there with 46 miles of range left.

About 17 minutes in, I'd already gained 54 miles of range.

I didn't plan to fully charge the Model S in Hawthorne — only enough to know I could comfortably drive to Kettleman City. In the meantime, I went inside with some Starbucks rations I rounded up minutes earlier.

I was on the road to Kettleman City shortly after noon, with about 250 miles of range on the P100D's battery. I used Waze in conjunction with the Model S's navigation system. Waze predicted a 2:53 p.m. arrival.

Here's my route, beginning in Hawthorne.

I drove conservatively, used Autopilot — Tesla's driver-assist feature — some of the way, and resisted the urge to indulge in Ludicrous Mode. It paid off. A little more than halfway to Kettleman City, the Model S P100D still had about 159 miles of range left.

Like all electric cars, the Model S employs regenerative braking when you lift your foot off the accelerator. The energy that would've been lost using the brakes to moderate the car's speed on this hill is instead transferred back to the battery via the electric motor. On one long downhill stretch of Interstate 5, the Model S was in a constant state of energy regeneration. By the time I reached the bottom of the hill, the battery had gained 3 miles of range.

 

 



You can barely see the Kettleman City station from Interstate 5, but it's about a half-mile from the nearest off-ramp.

I reached the Kettleman City Supercharger station at 2:50 p.m., three minutes earlier than Waze predicted — and with 61 miles of range left on the P100D's battery.

This used to be a Burger King.

Here it is today. The transformation is stunning.

When I arrived, I took an open spot close to the entrance.

It was late on a Saturday afternoon in early December — that post-Thanksgiving quiet before the next holiday travel crush. I was the only Tesla driver there for about 20 minutes. I took a second to find the access code for the lounge on Model S's touchscreen.

Let's go inside.

Tesla, being a master of product integration and its own best advertiser, immediately pitches you on its solar panels ...

... and the Powerwall energy-storage solution ...

... and then it gives you estimates of how those products could benefit you.

Next is this handy workstation with chargers for your mobile devices and vending machines for your hunger and thirst. But the best part sits just to the left of this section ...

... the lounge.

Another display shows every Supercharger location on the planet. Numbers at the bottom of the screen show kilowatt-hours delivered, miles enabled, and gallons of gasoline saved. They tick up as you watch.

I sat for a while in the lounge, coffee in hand, while my borrowed Model S sat plugged in. I left the Kettleman City station with a full charge.

And here we are back in Hawthorne. Night was falling by the time I left Kettleman City, but it was an easy drive back home to LA, with about 70 miles of range to spare.

The Kettleman City Supercharger station was everything I expected it to be: comfortable, convenient, and accommodating.

I wasn't terribly surprised by the light traffic when I visited. There will probably be other occasions where Tesla's larger stations are bustling with activity, especially as more of the 400,000-plus people who preordered the Model 3 get their cars.

Something else became abundantly clear after driving the Model S P100D for a week: Tesla's effort to expand the Supercharger network is essential. There were stations on every route between my apartment and the office — and every other place I traveled in my corner of Los Angeles.

There were multiple stations on the route to Kettleman City, too. I never needed to stop, but knowing that I could is what mattered.



Elon Musk says a Tesla with 400 miles of range is coming soon (TSLA)

Tue, 06/11/2019 - 7:00pm  |  Clusterstock

  • Tesla is expecting to introduce a vehicle that can achieve 400 miles of battery range soon.
  • "It won't be long," CEO Elon Musk said during the electric-car company's shareholders' meeting on Tuesday.
  • Musk remarked on producing a longer-range vehicle as he boasted about the success of the Model 3, which itself can travel up to 310 miles on a full charge. He did not say whether one of Tesla's current vehicles or an as-yet-unannounced car will reach that 400-mile number.
  • The longest-range Model S can achieve 370 miles on a full charge, and the forthcoming second-generation Tesla Roadster is expected stretch out to 620 miles.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Tesla plans to give its cars even more range. 

"It won't be long before we have a 400-mile range car," Tesla CEO Elon Musk said during the electric-car company's shareholders' meeting on Tuesday.

Musk made that prediction as he highlighted the sales performance of the Model 3, which became the best-selling electric car in the world last year.

The Model 3 can travel up to 310 miles on a full charge. Musk did not say whether one of Tesla's current vehicles or an as-yet-unannounced car will reach that 400-mile range. The longest-range Model S can achieve 370 miles on a full charge, and the forthcoming second-generation Tesla Roadster is expected to stretch out to 620 miles.

Read more: Elon Musk just said Tesla has a good shot of setting a record for deliveries this quarter

A longer-range electric vehicle would likely reduce any lingering anxiety among buyers shopping for plug-in cars, and boost Tesla's profile as the market leader in long-range EVs. The company's biggest competitors like Chevy's Bolt EV and the Nissan Leaf Plus come in second with 238 miles and 226 miles of range, respectively.

Additionally, Musk expressed interest in enabling Teslas to use other high-speed charging networks, which would be an added convenience for Tesla owners, though the company's proprietary Supercharger network is already one of the most robust electric-vehicle charging networks in the world.

Shares of Tesla rose about 3.5% in after-hours trading to $224.82 on Tuesday evening.

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'Hong Kong, Singapore, go hard at it': Morgan Stanley CEO shares his plan to win over wealthy Asians

Tue, 06/11/2019 - 5:42pm  |  Clusterstock

  • Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman said the Wall Street bank is planning to invest in its wealth-management business in "core Asia" out of offices in Hong Kong and Singapore. 
  • Gorman also said he doesn't see any reason why the number of Morgan Stanley financial advisers should fall below 15,000. The bank ended 2018 with 15,694 wealth representatives, according to an earnings release.   
  • Gorman spoke Tuesday at the firm's financial-services conference, where he was interviewed by the bank analyst Betsy Graseck. 

Morgan Stanley, known for being a top wealth manager in the US, has begun to set its sights on business opportunities outside its home market, according to CEO James Gorman. 

One particular area of focus is in Asia, where Gorman said he sees a lot of opportunity. Speaking at the firm's annual financial-services conference on Tuesday, Gorman said the bank has several partnerships in Japan that it could leverage to grow in that country but that servicing Asian clients outside Japan, from offices in China and Singapore, offers the greatest opportunity. 

"The real opportunity is core Asia," Gorman said. "Most of the clients there, the ultra-high-net worth, are effectively what I call walking institutions. They are people who operate like family offices, endowments, hedge funds, and so on. That business is growing nicely. That's where I'd like to invest; that's the core. Hong Kong, Singapore, go hard at it."

China represents the largest opportunity for global wealth managers because the country's robust and dynamic economy is creating wealth at a staggering scale. In 2017, a new billionaire was created in China once every three days, according to a report from UBS and PricewaterhouseCoopers. In 2006, there were just 16 Chinese billionaires, but in 2017, the tally hit 373 — one-fifth of the global total — including 106 people who became billionaires that year.

Among US and European banks, the Swiss banks Credit Suisse and UBS have been most vocal about the opportunity they see for managing wealth in Asia. Though Morgan Stanley doesn't disclose regional figures, the vast majority of its wealth-management revenue is generated in the US. 

Morgan Stanley already offers wealth-management services from offices in Hong Kong and Singapore, not to mention maintaining a small wealth-management business in Australia, Gorman's native country. 

Gorman also added that he doesn't expect to go after growth in Europe, where the bank had a business it sold a few years ago after it lost money in 20 of 21 years. 

"I'd much rather have another 20 people in Paramus than 20 people in Munich with all the regulatory stuff," Gorman said, referring to the city in northern New Jersey. "So we got out of that. Asia is a little different."

The bank also sees growth in the US, where it has a leading market share, according to Gorman. The bank ended 2018 with 15,694 wealth representatives, according to a January statement. That makes it one of the largest wealth managers in the US. 

"I've told the folks I will be disappointed if we saw the numbers drift below 15,000 in the near term," Gorman said. "There's no reason why the business should be shrinking. But the solution isn't to go and find FAs doing $200,000 in production, it's to find a smart young college grad to go work in a team that's doing $10 million in production."

He added: "If you look at where the assets are for the big teams, I'd much rather throw more resources at them than to put another small producer in another small town in America." 

Andy Saperstein, Morgan Stanley's wealth chief, said that as technology helps to make advisers more efficient, they'll become more and more productive. Saperstein spoke with Graseck in a separate conversation earlier on Tuesday. 

"It won't be long before you see teams with production of $50 million and someday even $75 million or $100 million," he said. A spokeswoman declined to disclose the current production figures for teams.  

In what was a wide-ranging discussion, Gorman also said he's beginning to think of the firm's banking unit as its own profit center. In April, he named wealth management cohead Shelley O'Connor chairman and CEO of the firm's two banks and gave her a mandate to hire people. 

"We want to think of the bank now as its own profit center and invest in it for growth. I would really like the bank side to be much bigger," he said, adding that "we're stable, but we're stable around markets. I'd like us to have some stability that is not market tied, and that's really around the bank."

Gorman also said he felt like Wall Street analysts were a little too bullish on the firm's prospects for securities trading in the second quarter. 

"A lot of the analyst models have us beating the first quarter," Gorman said. "I'd be very surprised if that happened."

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Inside Salesforce's $15.7 billion takeover of Tableau, which came together at Marc Benioff's San Francisco mansion and almost died last week amid wild market swings (CRM, DATA)

Tue, 06/11/2019 - 5:31pm  |  Clusterstock

  • Salesforce pursued Tableau for around six months before agreeing a deal to buy it for $15.7 billion in a mega-deal announced Monday, sources familiar with the transaction told Business Insider.
  • Conversations between the two companies started out with a personal text message from Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff and came together at Benioff's San Francisco mansion. 
  • Over the course of six months, it nearly came together three other times, one person said, but volatility on the public markets got in the way of the all-stock deal.
  • Click here for more BI Prime stories.

Salesforce's $15.7 billion acquisition of Tableau announced Monday started with a text, came together over a meeting in a San Francisco mansion, and very nearly fell apart multiple times. 

Around six months ago, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff was looking for a way to put to use all of the data generated through MuleSoft, the big data platform it acquired for $6.5 billion in May 2018, according to two people familiar with the process. 

Benioff, who's known for his personal involvement in acquisitions, reached out to the team at Tableau over text message to see if there was any way the two companies could work together, the people said.

Over the next six months, there was a lot of push and pull. The tie-up had nearly come together three times before, one person said. But market volatility kept getting in the way.

From December 13 to 24, a few weeks after conversations first started, Salesforce's stock fell 14% and Tableau's stock fell nearly 16%.

At the same time, the CBOE Volatility Index, a measure of market volatility, hit its highest point of 2018. Typically, companies don't want to go through major events such as mergers or public offerings if the VIX has spiked. 

Both companies' stock prices continued to fluctuate around 5% to 10% nearly week-to-week up until the deal was signed.

Since neither company was willing to budge on price, and it was an all stock-deal, the deal was postponed until the market had rebounded, the people said.

On June 3, less than a week before the deal was announced, tech stocks were hit hard on worries that Facebook and Google might face more anti-trust scrutiny. Salesforce shares traded down 4% and Tableau's stock dropped to $108.26, its lowest price in six months.

Until last Friday, it wasn't so clear that the deal would happen.

"I think that we've tried to do something for a long time, and it's just hard to get the stars to align," Benioff said on a conference call Monday. "And I think that we're fortunate that we got there. "

Ultimately, Salesforce agreed to acquire Tableau in all-stock transaction that gave Tableau 1.103 shares of Salesforce for every one share of its own stock. This valued the company at $175 per share, up from where it closed on Friday at $125.22.

If the deal gets approved by shareholders, the acquisition is expected to close by the end of October.

Tableau bounced back from turmoil

Tableau is a data visualization platform that transforms swaths of data into easy to digest graphics. It competes with Microsoft Azure's Power BI, as well Looker, which Google acquired last week for $2.6 billion.

When Salesforce approached the company about an acquisition six months ago, Tableau was on the upswing after a period of turmoil.

The stock hit a high of $128.74 per share in 2015, before plummeting, sinking to just $37.22 per share at one stage in 2016. In an effort to right its course, the company switched to a subscription revenue model in 2017 from a model where customers paid a higher price up front to use it perpetually. In the years since, the stock has slowly gained momentum, and eventually surpassed its previous high last year. 

It was around the time that things picked up financially for Tableau that Benioff initiated discussions.

Read more: From an email to a $6.5 billion deal in 46 days: How Salesforce's bid for MuleSoft came together

With its downward slump in the rear-view mirror, Tableau CEO Adam Selipsky and the board of directors made clear that there would be a high bar for the company to sell, two of the people said. On the other hand, Salesforce was very conscientious about the optics of overspending on an acquisition, they said.

Once the conversations gained momentum, Benioff invited both teams over to his home in one of San Francisco's toniest neighbhorhoods, with large houses and views of the Pacific Ocean. It was there that the teams "put meat on the bones" of the deal, one person said.

Salesforce brought in Bank of America Merrill Lynch to advise financially. The bank had previously worked with the company on its acquisition of MuleSoft.

Tableau worked with Goldman Sachs on the deal. The bank was lead left on Tableau's IPO in 2013, and led their follow on deals later that year and again in 2014. Goldman had also recently sold three other companies to Salesforce, including MuleSoft. 

It's unclear whether Tableau spoke with any other companies during the acquisition discussions.

Salesforce declined to comment.

SEE ALSO: McDonald's, Nvidia and Salesforce all want a bite of the Tel Aviv tech crop. Here's what you need to know about Israel's bustling M&A scene.

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I drove a $50,000 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan to find out if it's still better than Honda's and Toyota's offerings — here's the verdict (FCAU)

Tue, 06/11/2019 - 5:23pm  |  Clusterstock

  • The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is the only plug-in hybrid minivan currently on the market.
  • I tested a $50,000 Limited version, crammed with tech and outfitted with an "S" appearance package.
  • The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is our reigning minivan champ, beating out the popular Honda Odyssey and the Toyota Sienna.
  • After my latest test, I can say that the Pacifica is still the king.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.


Believe it or not, all minivans are not created equal.

The Honda Odyssey is an engineering masterpiece, while the Toyota Sienna could get you through a zombie apocalypse. Both can haul lots of kids, pets, and gear.

Read more: We drove 3 of the most popular minivans in the US — and the winner was clear

But the Chrysler Pacifica is special. It's the spiritual descendant of the original minivan, rolled out decades ago. And it continues to lead with a combination of comfort, versatility, technology, and style — even though the Odyssey and Sienna provide stiff competition.

Of course, if you want a plug-in hybrid minivan, the Pacifica is your only choice. I recently re-tested a $50,000, well-equipped 2019 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid. Read on to find out if the champ continued to impress.

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Behold! The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan, in Limited trim with a "Velvet Red Pearl-Coat" paint job. This test car was $45,395 before being optioned up to $50,375.

The last time I tested the Pacifica, I concluded that "the key selling feature for the Pacifica is that it's simply a damn pleasant place to spend time." I didn't just favor it over the Honda Odyssey and the Toyota Sienna due to its hybrid-ness.

Read the review.



This is essentially the same minivan I tested a few years back. The Pacifica nameplate replaced the Town & Country, and the hybrid version arrived in 2017.

I think the Pacifica is the best-looking minivan on the road, with a nice, shapely design. Our tester got the aggressive "S" package treatment, hence the blacked-grille, trim, and wheels.

Obviously, you can't do that much with the rear end of what's basically a small bus with a huge liftgate.

See what I mean. The contrast between the front view of the Pacifica and the rear is nothing new, however.

Deploy doors! The Pacifica's dual automated sliders can be operated from the front seat, back seats, or by using the key fob.

Minivans absolutely kill it on cargo capacity, and the Pacifica is no exception. You have 32 cubic feet with all the seats up ...

... And about 90 cubic feet with the third row dropped. With all seats except the fronts out of the picture, you're working with a cavernous 140 cubic feet.

Our tester came with a black interior, dressed up with piping. The second row had captain's-style seats.

And they were kid approved!

Overall, seating comfort was exceptional.

The front seats are heated and cooled and would be a joy on a long journey.

The dual-pane moonroof floods the cabin with natural light.

The bucket seats with "S" logos are crafted from Nappa leather.

The leather-wrapped and heated steering wheel is downright lovely, and the instrumentation is tech-y without being off-putting.

Again, what we have here is a minivan, and that's mean maxi-storage and lots of cupholders.

The sliding side doors can be controlled or locked using these buttons.

Push-button ignition is the industry standard and ...

The Pacifica's fob has remote start as well as sliding-door control and liftgate activation.

The Pacifica makes use of Chrysler's quite good Uconnect infotainment system. It covers all bases, from Bluetooth pairing to GPS navigation to USB/AUX connectivity.

The system runs off a seven-inch touchscreen that's responsive and easy to use.

Throughout the vehicle, there are places to plug in devices.

Our Pacifica also tester included a pair of rear-seat entertain screens ...

... as well as wireless headphones and a remote. Passengers can access their own entertainment while the driver can continue to listen to music.

The Harman/Kardon audio system is a wonderful 20-speaker setup with a 760-watt amplifier.

Let's check out that hybrid powertrain!

The Pacifica's eHybrid system has a 3.6-liter V6 yoked to a hybrid electric system whose two electric motors provide 260 total horsepower. It's hooked up to a continuously variable transmission or CVT.

Here's the hatch for the plug-in charger.

It's very straightforward.

A charging cable is supplied. It will take over 12 hours to replenish the 16 kWh battery from a wall outlet with 120-volts. Level 2 charging at 240 volts will get the job done in around two hours.

The hybrid powertrain can run on electricity only for about 33 miles. On gas alone, the Pacifica's combined city/highway number is 30 mpg, while "MPGe" is 82. Those are good numbers for a minivan.

And remember, there's no range anxiety if you have a gas motor!

So what's the verdict?

The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is still my favorite minivan. I'd like it even if it weren't in hybrid trim - but the bump up in MPGs with the plug-in tech is certainly a selling point. The $50,000 price tag is also justified by the Pacifica's near-luxury interior and graceful exterior styling.

When I last reviewed the vehicle, I wrote:

I'm not going to say that the Pacifica is exhilarating to drive; it isn't. The 0-60 mph run consumes about 8 seconds, which is actually respectable considering the Pacifica weighs almost 5,000 pounds. Take that bulk into a corner with any spiritedness and you can feel the suspension protesting.

Guess what? That hasn't changed! To be honest, the Odyssey still drives better. But the Pacifica is simply nicer. Will it outlive the tank-like Sienna? Probably not.

But if you'd like your minivan to have just a bit extra, to be the highest expression of the genre, the Pacifica should be your choice. The hybrid adds frosting on the cake, in the form of better fuel economy and lower emissions. And the "S" package adds a menacing flavor to the Chrysler.

The Pacifica is our reigning minivan-comparison champion, and now that I've once again checked in with this dandy vehicle, I can safely say that the king remains at the top of the hill.

 



WATCH: Executives from Morgan Stanley, Citi, and Barclays explain how they encourage innovation within big, unwieldy banks

Tue, 06/11/2019 - 5:22pm  |  Clusterstock

 

  • Like a large cruise ship, big banks aren't know for their ability to move quickly or change direction at a moment's notice. Banks' size and regulatory requirements means fostering change is often times a marathon, not a sprint.
  • Executives at Barclays, Morgan Stanley and Citi spoke on Monday at Business Insider's IGNITION: Transforming Finance event about how they navigate these challenges and encourage innovation within big, unwieldy banks. 

As Amazon and Uber have raised the bar around what people expect from digital-centric companies, it presents banks with a unique technical challenge: How do they provide similar conveniences, while also remaining just as safe and reliable as they have always been?

Megan Brewer, executive director and head of the technology innovation office at Morgan Stanley, Mariquit Corcoran, managing director and head of partnerships and programmes for group innovation at Barclays, and Gavin Michael, head of technology at the Global Consumer Bank at Citi, spoke Monday at Business Insider's IGNITION: Transforming Finance event. Their discussion touched on the ways they entice technologists to work with their firms, how they encourage innovation within all parts of their companies, and the endless cycle of technological innovation.

You can watch the full discussion here. 

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Top antitrust enforcer at DOJ reveals 3 ways the agency could make a case against big tech companies like Google and Apple (AMZN, AAPL, GOOGL, FB)

Tue, 06/11/2019 - 5:20pm  |  Clusterstock

  • The head of antitrust at the Department of Justice said Tuesday enforcement officials will be scrutinizing the big tech companies for signs of at least three broad categories of anticompetitive conduct.
  • Conduct that could raise red flags include signs of collusion, exclusive arrangements, and certain mergers and acquisitions, Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim said.
  • Taking issue with the notion that the antitrust laws are inadequate to deal with the tech giants, Delrahim cited numerous examples of how the DOJ has targeted anticompetitive practices in the industry in the past.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The Justice Department's top antitrust official on Tuesday laid out the types of behavior the agency's going to be looking for as it scrutinizes the big tech companies for antitrust concerns.

The department will be looking for signs of three broad categories of potentially anticompetitive behavior, Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim said in a speech at a conference in Tel Aviv, Israel. Those categories include collusion among particular companies; exclusivity arrangements; and acquisitions, particularly of nascent competitors, he said. 

"As we think about antitrust enforcement in the digital economy, the key issues that antitrust enforcers must untangle are whether a company is growing due to superior price, quality, and innovation, or whether some transaction or business practice is, on balance, anticompetitive in purpose and effect," Delrahim said in his speech, which CNBC previously reported.

The Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission have agreed to divvy up responsibility for the big tech companies, according to recent reports. The DOJ will oversee antitrust scrutiny of Google and Apple, while the FTC will look into Amazon and Facebook, according to the reports.

The DOJ has targeted tech before

Delrahim did not discuss the current inquiries into those companies. But he did dispute claims by some critics that the current antitrust laws either can't be applied or would be difficult to use against today's tech giants, citing numerous examples of how enforcement officials have taken action to stop anticompetitive behavior in the tech industry.  

Companies can violate antitrust laws when they coordinate with other companies to fix prices or dominate markets. In 2008, the DOJ quashed Google's planned deal with Yahoo to take over the sale of search ads on Yahoo's sites, Delrahim noted. It also filed a series of complaints between 2010 and 2012 against a collection of tech companies, including Apple, Intel, and Google, alleging that they had conspired to artificial keep salaries of tech workers in check by agreeing not to poach each other's employees, he said.

"The [DOJ's] Antitrust Division may look askance at coordinated conduct that creates or enhances market power," he said.

Corporations have also gotten into trouble over exclusivity deals, which can bar partners from offering customers competing products or suppliers from dealing with rival firms. The Microsoft antitrust trial was largely about its effort to bar computer makers from pre-installing any web browser on their devices other than its Internet Explorer software, Delrahim noted.

"The Microsoft case ... is a useful illustration of how problematic exclusive tying arrangements may occur in technology markets," he said. "This theory is broadly applicable to other technology markets," he continued.

Read this: Here's why the failed attempt to break up Microsoft will make or break the crackdown on Facebook, Amazon, and Google, according to 2 top lawyers in the Microsoft case

The other area Delrahim discussed where companies can run afoul of antitrust law is through mergers and acquisitions. Acquisitions can be beneficial for competition in certain cases, he said. But in other cases it can serve to throttle competition and stymie innovation, he said.

Standard Oil and AT&T show how mergers can hurt competition

Standard Oil, the archetype of the early 19th and 20th-century monopolist, amassed its power in part through acquiring rivals, Delrahim noted. So too did AT&T, the once-dominant telephone company, he said. 

"It is not possible to describe here each way that a transaction may harm competition in a digital market," he said, "but I will note the potential for mischief if the purpose and effect of an acquisition is to block potential competitors, protect a monopoly, or otherwise harm competition by reducing consumer choice, increasing prices, diminishing or slowing innovation, or reducing quality."

At least on the face of things, the big tech companies would seem to be most vulnerable on the exclusivity and acquisition fronts.

Google already was fined $5 billion by the European Union for requiring phone makers that wanted to use its version of the Android operating system and its Google Play store to include with them its search and Chrome browser apps. Apple is under fire for its control of the iOS App Store, which is the only authorized way to get applications on iPhones and iPads.

Meanwhile, there have been growing calls for Facebook to be forced to unwind its acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp, which some have argued were represented potential competitors to the social-networking giant. 

Got a tip about the tech industry? Contact this reporter via email at twolverton@businessinsider.com, message him on Twitter @troywolv, or send him a secure message through Signal at 415.515.5594. You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.

SEE ALSO: Elizabeth Warren pulled a ninja move to turn tech angst into a crackdown with real teeth, and tech is going to suffer even if she's not president

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We talked to some of the smartest minds on Wall Street about how tech is transforming finance. Here's what they had to say.

Tue, 06/11/2019 - 5:08pm  |  Clusterstock

The world's biggest financial institutions are spending billions on technology.

And, as I wrote in a weekly note to BI Prime subscribers on Sunday, the industry is reaching an inflection point where those massive investments are starting to pay off.

But challenges remain. There are new startups posing fresh competition. There's a talent war with Silicon Valley. Customer expectations are evolving. And there's the cultural challenge of driving innovation in huge organizations that have been around for decades and operate in a tightly regulated industry.

Business Insider hosted IGNITION: Transforming Finance at the New York Stock Exchange on Monday to discuss all of this and more. Here are the highlights. 

Meghan Morris, senior financial reporter at Business Insider, talked to Huw Richards, global head of digital investment banking at JPMorgan, and Lucien Foster, global head of digital partnerships at BNY Mellon.

Alyson Shontell, Business Insider's US editor-in-chief, talked to Gavin Michael, head of tech for the global consumer bank at Citigroup, Mariquit Corcoran, head of partnerships and programmes for group innovation at Barclays, and Megan Brewer, head of the technology innovation office at Morgan Stanley.

Dakin Campbell, senior finance correspondent at Business Insider, talked to Omer Ismail, head of consumer digital finance in the Americas for Goldman Sachs' Marcus division.

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MARY MEEKER'S TECH STATE OF THE UNION: Everything happening on the internet in 2019

Tue, 06/11/2019 - 5:03pm  |  Clusterstock

Legendary analyst and investor Mary Meeker unveiled her 2019 Internet Trends Report on Tuesday at Vox Media's Code Conference.

The report, now in its 24th year, compiles and crunches data from a wide range of sources to provide insights into the biggest trends in digital. This year, Meeker focused on trends that have kept Silicon Valley and lawmakers in Washington, D.C. busy, such as the future of work, education, and immigration.

Read More: Brex, the credit card for startups, raised $100 million at a $2.6 billion valuation — more than double what it was worth nine months ago

Meeker's 2018 report heavily emphasized data and personalization, e-commerce innovation, and China's rising intensity and leadership in internet-related markets.

Here's what's happening on the internet in 2019, according to Meeker:

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FedEx ditching Amazon is a 'watershed moment' that has huge implications for the future of logistics (AMZN, FDX)

Tue, 06/11/2019 - 4:14pm  |  Clusterstock

  • FedEx on Friday severed its US air package-delivery contract with Amazon.
  • The carrier will continue to deliver packages for Amazon internationally.
  • Watch FedEx trade live.

The US logistics industry may be on the verge of further disruption from the online-retailing juggernaut Amazon. Amazon has increasingly set its sights on the segment, which is critical for its core business, threatening the prospects of the incumbents UPS and FedEx.

FedEx said on Friday that it was severing its US air package-delivery contract with Amazon as the battle for e-commerce shipping heats up. The carrier will continue to deliver packages for Amazon for US ground services as well as international air and ground delivery.

The announcement comes as the online-retailing giant has increasingly used its own parcel carrier, Amazon Air, to serve its customers directly. In addition, Amazon is pushing the frontier of delivery services through its highly anticipated rollout of drone-delivered packages.

The ramifications for the parcel industry would be huge if Amazon decided to also serve third-party customers. This strategy has driven the growth of the company's cloud-computing segment, Amazon Web Services, which is by far the leading player in the red-hot industry.

"We believe FDX's strategic break-up with AMZN is a watershed moment for the Parcel industry that signals AMZN's emergence as a significant player in the industry and brings a new level of risk to numbers at both UPS and FDX," the Morgan Stanley equity analyst Ravi Shanker wrote.

Still, FedEx won't be crushed by its contract with Amazon ending. In a statement released on Friday, FedEx said Amazon accounts for less than 1.3% of its revenue. Still, Amazon paid FedEx $200 million in 2018 alone. 

The delivery industry has long been dominated by rivals FedEx and UPS, who have struggled with how to best deal with the Amazon, which is both a large customer and a threat.

"It is possible that UPS may benefit in the near-term from AMZN moving some business from FDX to UPS," Shanker added. "But we note that FDX gave up the business for a reason and UPS may not want to take it on for the same reason."

Shankar holds an "equal-weight" rating on FedEx shares, as well as a "cautious" view on the US freight-transportation industry. His FedEx price target is $143 a share — 15% below where it's trading.

FedEx is up less than 2% this year.

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