Tech Firms Probed Over Fake Reviews
Topic of the day
The U.K.'s antitrust regulator launched an investigation into whether Amazon.com Inc. and Google are doing enough to crack down on fake reviews, adding a new layer to regulatory scrutiny of U.S. tech giants. The Competition and Markets Authority said the move stems from concerns Amazon and Alphabet Inc.'s Google haven't been doing enough to address fake reviews on their sites, but added that it hasn't yet reached a view on whether the companies have broken the law. The tech giants have for years been dogged by inauthentic reviews, whereby third-party sellers offer financial rewards for reviewing their products. But the practice is hard for the companies to police, with compensation coordinated out of their reach. The move comes amid recent investigations into Silicon Valley's market power and privacy practices, turning the spotlight to misleading online reviews. The coronavirus pandemic has prompted a shift to online consumption, increasing consumers' reliance on online reviews to decide on product purchases. The CMA's decision follows an initial investigation, opened in May 2020, assessing several platforms' internal systems and processes for spotting and dealing with fake reviews.
After the previous day's premiums, the air was out on the Swiss stock market on Friday. Traders were looking for new impetus, but were not found. Nevertheless, the environment for equities remains favorable. Although some small central banks in Europe, such as those in the Czech Republic and Hungary, have recently raised interest rates, the major central banks such as the Fed in the U.S. and the ECB in Europe are likely to hold still for quite a while, it was said in trading. This was also ensured by John Williams, head of the U.S. Federal Reserve branch in New York. For he reiterated his view that interest rate hikes were not yet so soon on the agenda. The SMI gained just under 0.1 percent to just under 12,000 points. Among the 20 SMI stocks were ten losers and ten winners. Turnover was 30.15 (previously: 33.56) million shares. In the banking sector, Credit Suisse rose 1.9 percent, while competitor UBS shares gained 0.2 percent. Investors reacted with relief to the passed stress tests of the two major banks in the United States.
The main European equity indices were little changed on Friday, after a strong market advance on Thursday. However, investors were reassured by the US inflation figures. The Stoxx Europe 600 index fell 0.1% on Friday to 457.6 points. Over the week, the index rose by just over 1.2%. In Paris, the CAC 40 and the SBF 120 each lost 0.1% on Friday. In Frankfurt, the DAX 30 gained 0.1%, while in London, the FTSE 100 gained 0.4%. Aveva Group shares look more appealing than rivals, says HSBC, increasing its recommendation on the industrial-software developer to buy from hold and its price target to 4345 pence from 3870p. HSBC says the valuation is attractive, especially versus peers, and it's optimistic the combination of a new chief executive and revenue savings from the company's acquisition of OSIsoft should boost growth. "The key downside risks include potential weakness in key end markets could see growth stall and margins weaken, integration challenges and lower-than-expected synergies from the OSISoft acquisition," says HSBC analyst Michael Tyndall. The manufacturer of seamless tubes Vallourec announced on Thursday evening the success of its capital increase with preferential subscription rights (DPS), via the issue of 52,954,807 new ordinary shares at a price of 5.66 euros per share, representing a gross amount, including issue premium, of 299.7 million euros. Total demand for the new shares amounted to 64,995,718 shares, corresponding to a subscription rate of 122.74%, Vallourec said.
U.S. stocks mostly rose, lifted by robust gains among shares of everything from banks to oil producers and manufacturers. Driving stocks higher this week, investors say, was data signaling a fresh acceleration in the world economy, as well as optimism over the prospect of additional fiscal stimulus. President Biden and a group of 10 centrist senators agreed to a roughly $1 trillion infrastructure plan Thursday that would go toward improving the electrical grid, transit, roads and bridges and other forms of infrastructure. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 0.7%. For the week, it rose 3.4%. The S&P 500 climbed 0.3%, notching its 31st record close of the year, while the Nasdaq Composite inched down less than 0.1%.Nike Inc. posted record quarterly sales, topping $12 billion for the first time in its 50-year history, on pent-up U.S. consumer demand for sneakers and sportswear this spring. Revenue in the May ended quarter nearly doubled to $12.34 billion from $6.31 billion a year ago, when sales were depressed by the spread of Covid-19. Nike's direct sales -- those items ordered through its apps, websites or own stores – climbed 73% to $4.5 billion. CarMax shares put the pedal to the metal with a 6% premarket jump after the used-car retailer blew past earnings estimates for its fiscal first quarter. FedEx Corp. said it would boost capital spending by 22% this year to add capacity to its network, after a surge in e-commerce packages caused ground delivery delays and left some freight customers without service.
At the beginning of the trading week, the East Asian stock markets and Australia are showing slight declines. The indices are mostly moving in narrow ranges around their closing levels on Friday. In Hong Kong, trading is suspended due to a severe weather warning. Should this be lifted, trading could still start in the afternoon (local time), the Hong Kong stock exchange announced. But a suspension for the entire trading day is also possible. The Nikkei-225 in Tokyo is barely moving, at 28,050 points. In Seoul, the Kospi is down 0.1 per cent at 3,299 points after the recent record chase – slight gains at the opening have been given back.urec.
U.S. Treasury yields eased back slightly from Friday's closing levels, as Asian stocks started the week on a cautious note. Yields marched higher last week but at an orderly pace, with long-dated debt registering the steepest weekly climb in months.
UBS rises Gazprom to Buy (Neutral)
Credit Suisse rises WPP to Neutral (Underperform) – Target 1.060 (835) p
Credit Suisse rises Puma target to 95 (91) EUR – Neutral
Produced by MBI Martin Brückner Infosource GmbH & Co. KG on behalf of Swissquote. All news is acquired with journalistic accuracy. No liability is assumed for delays or errors.