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Amazon streak ends; Google rebounds; Vision Fund 2

Posted at 2:50 AM, Jul 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-26 08:27:07-04

1. Amazon miss: Amazon’s streak of record profits has come to an end.

Amazon on Thursday reported a profit of $2.6 billion for the three months ending in June — up slightly from the year prior, but well below its record of $3.6 billion set in the first three months of this year. That ends Amazon’s streak of four consecutive quarters of record profits.

The weaker profit comes as Amazon is investing heavily in expediting deliveries. The company previously announced that it would spend $800 million during the second quarter to make free one-day shipping standard for its Prime customers, effectively halving the usual shipping window. Amazon stock was down 1.4% premarket.

2. Google rebound: Any worries about slowing growth at Google parent Alphabet may have been premature.

Alphabet reported $38.9 billion in revenue for the three months ending in June, above analysts’ $38.2 billion projection. That number was up 19% from the same quarter a year earlier. The company also authorized a new $25 billion share buyback. Advertising revenue for Google, which includes YouTube, grew 14% from the same period last year to $32.6 billion.

Shares in Google were up over 8% premarket.

Alphabet’s previous quarter disappointed. The company has developed a number of new business divisions, including cloud computing and hardware. But as its core advertising business matures, investors have begun to wonder whether those new areas of business can become as big as advertising.

3: Vision Fund 2: SoftBank said Friday that it expects to raise $108 billion for the new Vision Fund 2 from the likes of Apple, Foxconn, Microsoft and Kazakhstan’s investment fund.

The Japanese tech company said it intends to invest $38 billion of its own money into the fund.

Vision Fund 2 will plow money into tech startups driven by artificial intelligence. SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son has repeatedly said that he wants to have a stake in companies leading the AI revolution.

Son launched his first huge tech fund in May 2017, with nearly half the money coming from the Saudi government. That fund has made big investments in dozens of startups such as WeWork and Slack, and is the largest shareholder in Uber.

4. Global market overview: US stock futures are higher as investors digest earnings reports and prepare for US GDP data.

GDP data for the second quarter will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET. The consensus estimate is for growth of 1.8%. Boeing’s 737 Max production slowdown could be a factor in the sluggish performance.

Companies including McDonald’s and Twitter will report earnings. Wanda Sports, the Chinese company behind the Ironman triathlon, is scheduled to start trading on the Nasdaq on Friday.

European markets opened mixed, following the trend set in Asia. Shares in Chinese carmakers skidded lower on Friday after an industry association cut its forecast for vehicle sales this year.

US stocks ended lower on Thursday, as earnings misses dragged the major stock benchmarks lower. The Dow and the Nasdaq recorded their worst one-day percentage drops in a month.

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5. Coming this week:

Friday — US Q2 GDP; McDonald’s and Twitter earnings