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  • Fri, Oct. 21, 1:21 PM
    • A coordinated Internet attack has taken a wide variety of sites offline for millions of users today.
    • The incident, a distributed denial-of-service attack on traffic company Dyn, came against the domain name system infrastructure that helps connect users to sites, and it's coming in waves: After earlier outages, Dyn has warned that it's under assault again.
    • The earlier attack took a number of sites off line for hours, including Amazon (AMZN +1%), Twitter (TWTR -0.3%), Etsy (ETSY -0.8%) and Spotify (Private:MUSIC) as well as many more.
    • The Department of Homeland Security says it's "looking into" the attack.
    | Fri, Oct. 21, 1:21 PM | 85 Comments
  • Wed, Oct. 19, 3:55 PM
    • Notable primarily for the hold-out by Brooks, the best-selling solo artist in U.S. history, to offer anything from his catalog on other services (iTunes, Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal etc.).
    • Brooks: "It is a joy to work with a company that is all about the customer when it comes to service, and all about the music and its creators when it comes to the music. I applaud Amazon on their commitment to quality and thank them for this opportunity.”
    • Amazon: "This is a landmark moment for both Amazon Music and Garth Brooks. Garth Brooks is a legendary country music superstar who continues to shatter industry records and amaze fans three decades into his career. We are honored to make his music available for streaming for the first time ever, exclusively on Amazon Music.”
    • Music by the artist is available to stream or purchase as of today.
    • Amazon Music Unlimited (AMZN) is additionally noted to be the official sponsor of Brooks' world tour commencing in 2017.
    • Whether this is a sign of other deals to come or not remains to be seen. However, securing a big-name artist historically averse to digital music services is a positive start within a streaming climate where exclusive deals have the potential to sway consumers between one offering or another.
    • Previously (October 12): Amazon introduces Amazon Music Unlimited streaming service
    | Wed, Oct. 19, 3:55 PM | 13 Comments
  • Wed, Oct. 19, 1:17 PM
    • Barron's has introduced a tracking index of stocks favored by younger consumers.
    • Though the combined performance on the group of 50 stocks smashed the returns of the S&P 500 over the last five years, this year it lags slightly so far.
    • As expected, the price-earnings ratio of the Barron's Next 50 Index skews higher due to the focus on longer-term millennial growth.
    • Some of the companies making the initial list are Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Barnes & Noble Education (NYSE:BNED), Boston Beer (NYSE:SAM), Chipotle (NYSE:CMG), Etsy (NASDAQ:ETSY), GameStop (NYSE:GME), GoPro (NASDAQ:GPRO), GrubHub (NYSE:GRUB), Kate Spade (NYSE:KATE), Live Nation (NASDAQ:LIVE), Lululemon (NASDAQ:LULU), MasterCard (NYSE:MA), Match Group (NASDAQ:MTCH), Monster Beverage (NASDAQ:MNST), Shake Shack (NYSE:SHAK), Square (NYSE:SQ), and Yelp (NYSE:YELP).
    • A millennial-focused ETF launched last spring, the Global X Millennial Thematic ETF (NASDAQ:MILN), has outperformed the S&P 500 Index over its brief history.
    | Wed, Oct. 19, 1:17 PM | 72 Comments
  • Mon, Oct. 17, 5:24 PM
    • Together with the existing Northern Virginia region, the Ohio region will service the eastern and central United States.
    • Amazon's AWS division now counts 14 regions and 38 availability zones around the world, with regions in the UK, France and Canada additionally forthcoming. In the U.S., 16 availability zones across 5 regions are now live.
    • With Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) thoroughly focused on AWS, expect even further infrastructure developments beyond those mentioned above as demand for cloud-computing services continues to escalate.
    • Blog post
    | Mon, Oct. 17, 5:24 PM | 11 Comments
  • Mon, Oct. 17, 9:43 AM
    | Mon, Oct. 17, 9:43 AM | 16 Comments
  • Sat, Oct. 15, 11:43 AM
    • E-commerce sales during the holiday season are forecast to increase 17.2% this year to $94.71B, which represents a record 10.2% of all retail sales for the period.
    • The +17% growth also represents the fastest pace for holiday e-commerce sales since 2011.
    • Impressively, Amazon is expected to grow its holiday e-commerce market share above the 25% it took down last year.
    • Outside of Amazon, investors can bet on online retail broadly through the Amplify Online Retail ETF (NASDAQ:IBUY). IBUY aims to match the price and yield performance of the EQM Online Retail Index.
    • The IBUY is up 8% since launching in April, compared to a 5% drop for the S&P Retail ETF (NYSEARCA:XRT).
    • The top ten holdings of the Amplify Online Retail ETF are Etsy (NASDAQ:ETSY), Grubhub (NYSE:GRUB), Blue Nile (NASDAQ:NILE), eBAY (NASDAQ:EBAY), RetailMeNot (NASDAQ:SALE), Copart (NASDAQ:CPRT), (NASDAQ:FLWS), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), (NASDAQ:STMP), and NutriSystem (NASDAQ:NTRI).
    • This year's e-commerce boom will also be a net positive for shippers FedEx (NYSE:FDX) and UPS (NYSE:UPS), despite the increasing logistical challenges amid a higher mix of large packages. There's also Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) to consider after the company made a dramatic commitment to invest more in e-commerce during an investor meeting a few weeks ago.
    • Previously: Winners and losers from the retail sales report (Oct. 14)
    | Sat, Oct. 15, 11:43 AM | 14 Comments
  • Fri, Oct. 14, 9:05 AM
    • Retail sales increased 2.7% Y/Y and 0.6% M/M in September on broad gains across categories. The sales totals for August were also nudged slightly higher.
    • Sales from nonstore retailers like Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) were up 10.6% Y/Y to once again account for a higher percentage of overall sales.
    • The building material & garden equipment category showed a 1.4% M/M and 5.6% Y/Y gain which bodes well for Home Depot (NYSE:HD) and Lowe's (NYSE:LOW).
    • Department stores (DDS, SHLD, JCP, M, JWN) lagged again as sales fell 0.7% M/M and 6.4% Y/Y, while furniture and home furnishing stores (HVT, WSM, KIRK, RH, BBBY) outpaced the broad averages in the sector.
    • Restaurant sales (NASDAQ:BITE) showed a nice jump from August, although the breakdown between large publicly-traded chains and independent restaurants isn't broken down.
    • The early take from retail analysts is that the overall tone from the report is ever-so-slightly positive for Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) and Target (NYSE:TGT).
    • Previously: Retail sales track higher as expected (Oct. 14)
    | Fri, Oct. 14, 9:05 AM | 39 Comments
  • Thu, Oct. 13, 3:51 PM
    • The pairing was expected.
    • Though a press conference is scheduled this afternoon to formally disclose the arrangement, TechCrunch notes VMware posted the announcement slightly early on its company blog.
    • A cloud service running on AWS (AMZN -0.6%) and revolving around VMware's (VMW -0.2%) vSphere platform titled "VMware Cloud on AWS" to be offered.
    • Will be operated, managed and sold by VMware as an on-demand, elastically scalable solution.
    • Full availability slated for mid-2017, with betas to begin earlier in the year.
    • Further details
    • Update (5:12PM ET): Official press release
    | Thu, Oct. 13, 3:51 PM | 5 Comments
  • Thu, Oct. 13, 6:36 AM
    • Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is hiring more than 120K seasonal employees across its fulfillment centers, sortation centers and customer service sites in the United States for the upcoming holiday season.
    • More than 14,000 seasonal positions were transitioned to regular, full-time roles after the holidays last year, and Amazon expects to increase that number this year.
    | Thu, Oct. 13, 6:36 AM | 22 Comments
  • Wed, Oct. 12, 10:34 AM
    | Wed, Oct. 12, 10:34 AM | 38 Comments
  • Wed, Oct. 12, 9:11 AM
    • Launching today, with three pricing plans – an individual plan with $7.99/month, $79/year for Prime member and $9.99 for non-Prime member options, an Echo-only plan for $3.99/month and a soon-to-come family plan priced at $14.99/month or $149/year.
    • Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) founder and CEO Jeff Bezos: "Amazon Music Unlimited brings real value to the millions of people who are already Prime members, with a choice of subscribing for only $7.99 a month or even $79 per year. Plus, customers are going to love Amazon Music’s all-new app for iOS, Android and desktop. And if you want a sense of the future of voice-controlled music, go ahead and ask Alexa for a free Music Unlimited trial, and play around on your Echo. If you don’t know the name of a song but know a few lyrics, if you want to hear songs from a specific decade, or even if you’re looking for music to match your mood, just ask.”
    • Amazon's existing Prime Music service counted around 2M songs and 1K curated playlists and personalized stations. Amazon Music Unlimited, however, enables access to tens of millions of songs along with thousands of curated playlists and personalized stations, bringing Amazon's music foray closer in line to Apple Music (NASDAQ:AAPL), Spotify (Private:MUSIC), Google Play Music (GOOG, GOOGL) and others.
    • Amazon Music Unlimited
    | Wed, Oct. 12, 9:11 AM | 72 Comments
  • Tue, Oct. 11, 1:21 PM
    | Tue, Oct. 11, 1:21 PM | 60 Comments
  • Sat, Oct. 8, 9:09 AM
    • Retailers want the U.S. election over and quick. The negative tone has created a degree of uncertainty with consumers that has impacted spending and traffic patterns, according to a host of top execs.
    • "There is just great uncertainty as to what is going to happen in the U.S. in particular as a result of the outcome of the election," noted Yum Brands (NYSE:YUM) CEO Greg Creed recently. "People may be hunkering down a little bit," he added.
    • Expect the topic to be raised on a large number of Q3 earnings calls over the next month to explain away revenue misses.
    • It's not an excuse that everyone is buying into. Retail Metrics president Ken Perkins doubts that daily shopping needs are cut short by election fascination and notes consumer confidence is measuring high. Then there's Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) which seems to be rolling right along without any Clinton-Trump fatigue.
    • Beyond the election wildcard, two underestimated factors impacting some retailers in a more concrete way are the lower level of SNAP (food stamps) benefits being paid out by the government and the elevated cost of health care. There is also the massive challenge with a millennial generation that shuns chains. Just ask anyone in the restaurant sector (NASDAQ:BITE).
    • Add it all up and it makes for a challenging period for a mix of retailers that includes Dollar General (NYSE:DG), Dollar Tree (NASDAQ:DLTR), Fred's (NASDAQ:FRED), Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST), Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT), Target (NYSE:TGT), Staples (NASDAQ:SPLS), McDonald's (NYSE:MCD), Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen (NASDAQ:PLKI), Wendy's (NYSE:WEN), Supervalu (NYSE:SVU), Kroger (NYSE:KR), SIgnet (NYSE:SIG), TJX Companies (NYSE:TJX), and Casey's General Stores (NASDAQ:CASY).
    | Sat, Oct. 8, 9:09 AM | 73 Comments
  • Thu, Oct. 6, 9:40 AM
    • Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) management is talking quite a bit about e-commerce during its Investment Community presentation.
    • While that's not a surprise, there's still an underlying tone that the company's strategy is to ride out the extra costs of tech and e-commerce investments in order to adapt and evolve.
    • "We’re moving with speed to position the company to win the future of retail," noted CEO Doug McMillon. He also said point blank that the world's largest retailer is going to look more like an e-commerce company over time. That's a stipulation that may have been inconceivable three or four years ago.
    • Keeping with the e-commerce theme, guidance on store openings for the next two years was on the light side.
    • Naturally, the $3B acquisition of was a talking point
    • The retailer also disclosed in a SEC filing yesterday that it has increased its position in to 10.8% of the shares that don't have voting power.
    • Shares of Wal-Mart are down 2.69% in early trading after the company's guidance came in below expectations.
    • The all-in bet by Wal-Mart on e-commerce has implications for other online sellers such as Target (NYSE:TGT), Staples (NASDAQ:SPLS), Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) and (of course) Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN).
    • Previously: Wal-Mart execs in the spotlight at investment meeting (Oct. 6)
    | Thu, Oct. 6, 9:40 AM | 38 Comments
  • Thu, Oct. 6, 9:17 AM
    • AT&T (NYSE:T) has set a multi-year strategic deal with Amazon Web Services (NASDAQ:AMZN), designed to help migration to AWS for AT&T customers new and old.
    • Solutions the two will develop will span cloud networking, mobility, Internet of Things (IoT), security and analytics.
    • Though there's room for future expansion, the partnership focuses at first on three areas: Business Cloud Networking (using AT&T NetBond), the Internet of Things (preconfiguration of AT&T sensors/devices with AWS Cloud) and Threat Management (utilizing AT&T's "Threat Intellect" basis for its security platform).
    | Thu, Oct. 6, 9:17 AM | 9 Comments
  • Thu, Oct. 6, 2:18 AM
    • Looking to gain an even more dominant position in retail, Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) is accelerating its investment in e-commerce.
    • The company is on track to double the number of warehouses dedicated to online sales by the end of 2016 and has installed technology that for the first time puts them on par with Amazon's (NASDAQ:AMZN) robot-staffed facilities, according to supply-chain consultants.
    • More highlights will likely be given at Wal-Mart's annual investor conference later today.
    | Thu, Oct. 6, 2:18 AM | 40 Comments