Analysts Not Atwitter Over Twitter; Apple and Alibaba Can’t Fight This Feeling Anymore; No Seven Year Itch for Consumer Confidence

Tweetered out…

Image courtesy of ddpavumba/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of ddpavumba/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Twitter earnings were all the rage yesterday. However, they weren’t much more than that. The micro-blogging site posted better than expected numbers for its third quarter revenue. But that $361 million figure and $0.01 profit the social media site pulled in was just not enough to turn Wall Street’s attention away from the negative, which is: slow user growth. Analysts are more than a bit concerned that it lacks a certain something. That something being broad mainstream appeal. While user growth was up to 284 million from 271 million in the second quarter, the pace at which it grew was simply too slow. It also doesn’t help that actual usage –  as in people who were already members – slowed as well. Users are just not spending as much time On Twitter as analysts would like. Basically, analysts feel that…I hate to say it…that it’s just not Facebook. There. I’ve said it. Don’t hate me for it.

No fear of commitment…

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What happens when a US tech giant and a Chinese e-commere giant start gushing all over each other? Well for one, the e-commerce giant hits a pricey milestone. In this case, I’m talking about Alibaba topping the $100 mark yesterday all because of talk of potential. Really. As in the potential for things to happen. At the WSJD global tech conference, Apple CEO Tim Cook and Alibaba CEO Jack Ma entertained a little lovefest over each other and the potential opportunities that could potentially occur from potential partnerships from the two companies – particularly with regard to Apple Pay. All this talk of potential set Wall Street tongues wagging. Jack Ma said of Apple and Cook, “I hope we can do something together.” How touching. How touching that the mere “hope” of something coming out of a union between Apple and Alibaba caused stock prices to increase. But Tim Cook took the gushing to new heights when he said of Jack Ma and Alibaba, “We’re going to talk about getting married later this week.” How potentially beautiful.

It’s all about the confidence, baby…

Image courtesy of sheelamohan/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of sheelamohan/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Feeling confident, are we? Well, actually we are, at least according to the handy dandy Consumer Confidence Conference Index, that good old barometer of all things fiscally confident, (or lack thereof). October’s reading was a very robust 94.5, which just so happens to be the highest reading in seven years and a far cry from September’s paltry 89. Experts had expected a number in the 86 range, but what do they know? Actually a lot, but let’s move on. So what exactly is making us so confident these day? It’s the not so little things like a strong labor market and low gas prices. If those things aren’t enough to boost your self-esteem, then I don’t know what is. Now if we could just keep riding this fiscal wave…

 

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The EU Is Mad At Apple, The EU’s Cabdrivers Are Mad At Uber and Nobody’s Mad At Expedia

An Apple a day isn’t keeping the EU away…

Image courtesy of digitalart/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of digitalart/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Apple (AAPL), Starbucks and other major American corporations are being investigated by the European Commission for tax evasion. It’s only fair, after all, since the US started this whole tax evasion investigation business going after Swiss banks and their clients. It seems that some countries including Ireland, the Netherlands and even teeny tiny Luxembourg are very gracious to certain large corporations when it comes to how much they charge them in taxes. Apple apparently paid only about 2% on tens of billions of dollars in foreign income by putting that chunk of cash through a subsidiary in Ireland “with no declared tax residency.”  Yeesh. It sounds like the average US citizen pays a higher rate on his or her taxes than a company that just offered a seven to one split. However, Apple CEO Tim Cook swears that every dollar that was owed to Uncle Sam was duly handed over. Which brings us back to the United States and the whole big raging debate on how much corporations should be taxed and then what to do with that money. Enter the politicians and well…you can be sure nothing will get resolved.

Offensive driving?

Image courtesy of digitalart/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of digitalart/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Speaking of Europe, our neighbors across the pond experienced some traffic issues today courtesy of cab drivers in London, Madrid, Paris, Berlin…While ride-sharing app Uber was busy getting a $1.2 billion investment infusion from multiple investors, cab drivers overseas were busy planning protests to show their lack of appreciation for this innovative technology. Cab drivers are a wee bit irritated over the service, arguing the app threatens their livelihood, is unregulated and unsafe. However, what makes it anymore unsafe than riding in a traditional cab is unclear. EU drivers also have to put up $270,000 to get a license. Uber drivers do not. Just to be certain their voices were heard, they took great pains to snarl traffic, block tourist centers and shopping districts and leave thousands of potential passengers stranded and frustrated.

A bit of excitement at Expedia…

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

You can now congratulate Expedia on being the largest (though not the only) travel website to officially accept bitcoin for hotel payments. It has teamed up with bitcoin payment processor Coinbase to help out with the virtual/crypto-currency which has had exchange rates from $395-$659. It joins a growing illustrious and industrious list of companies accepting bitcoin for a variety of goods and services, including trips to space on Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic. You can start spending all those bitcoins at Expedia on Wednesday…assuming you have any.