Nasdaq 100 futures surged after-hours on Thursday after encouraging earnings from Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL). The online retailer’s Q1 profit jumped 41%, marking its eighth straight quarter in the black, while the Google parent’s profit grew 29%, with no indications of an advertising backlash. Strong earnings were also seen at Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), but both of their revenues missed estimates.
Facebook is pressing its enforcement against what it calls “information operations” – bad actors who use the platform to spread fake news and false propaganda. The new technologies will find phony accounts and expand security measures to protect against “more subtle and insidious forms of misuse.” Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) will also add customizable security, privacy features and notify users if they have been targeted.
Apple fans in Southeast Asia are rejoicing as the first store in the region is expected to open on May 22, according to CNBC. The launch in Singapore has been shrouded in the company’s usual veil of secrecy; legal documents that have come to light in the past detail strict non-disclosure agreements for Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) contractors and suppliers, including $50M payouts for each breach.
AOL chief Tim Armstrong is setting up leadership for Oath, the umbrella of brands that AOL parent Verizon (NYSE:VZ) is taking on in buying the core Internet services from Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO). He’s tapping Yahoo’s Atte Lahtiranta to lead tech, Verizon’s Ralf Jacob to manage digital media and AOL president (and former Yahoo) Tim Mahlman to lead advertising.
As the latest member to depart over the course of the company’s fundraising process, JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) has left the mammoth bank blockchain consortium led by startup R3 CEV. It wants to gather $150M from investors and give them a 60% stake in the firm. Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), Banco Santander (NYSE:SAN), Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) and National Australia Bank left the group in quick succession in late 2016.
Bitcoin surged to a new all-time high of $1,331.31 on Thursday, capping a run of more than 20% in April. Investors seem to be betting big on the digital currency as the SEC reviews a petition submitted by the Bats Exchange that will find it reconsidering the listing of the Winklevoss Bitcoin ETF. Related tickers: COIN, OTCQB:BTCS
Banks news out of the U.K… Royal Bank of Scotland (NYSE:RBS) has posted its first quarterly profit since 2015 as CEO Ross McEwan stepped up the pace of cost-cutting. Barclays (NYSE:BCS) took a one-off impairment charge on its African business, while boss Jes Staley faces a shareholder revolt. The U.K. government has also cut its stake in Lloyds (NYSE:LYG) to below 1% – more than eight years after a taxpayer bailout.
Making it one of the world’s most valuable private technology companies, Didi Chuxing (Private:DIDI) has closed a new $5.5B funding round. That could put its worth at around $50B after snapping up Uber’s (Private:UBER) China business last year. Investors reportedly include SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBY), Silver Lake Kraftwerk, China Merchants Bank and an arm of Bank of Communications.
Anthony Levandowski, the man at the center of UBER‘s legal spat with rival Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL) over allegedly stolen self-driving car technology, is stepping aside as chief of the high profile autonomous project. He’s not leaving Uber, but he won’t be working on LiDAR sensors (key to the dispute) while the litigation proceeds. Eric Meyhofer will take his place for the time being.
Following outrage over the violent removal of a United Airlines (NYSE:UAL) passenger earlier this month, Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) will end overbooking on its flights by the end of June. CEO Gary Kelly said the move had been under consideration for some time. United has meanwhile settled with David Dao, although terms and the amount will be kept confidential.
Shares of Honeywell rose as much as 4% AH following news that hedge fund Third Point had added to its stake in the company. Dan Loeb wants Honeywell (NYSE:HON) to separate its aerospace division, a step he said would create more than $20B in shareholder value. The stock is now a top-five holding of Third Point.
Growing U.S.-Canada trade tensions? Boeing (NYSE:BA) has asked the U.S. Commerce Department to investigate alleged subsidies and unfair pricing for the new CSeries plane. “Bombardier (OTCQX:BDRAF, OTCQX:BDRBF) has embarked on an aggressive campaign to sell CSeries aircraft into the U.S. market at absurdly low prices – less than $20M for airplanes that cost $33M to produce, based on publicly available information.”