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Opinion: Facebook, gold and select SPACs fit into this uncertain stock-market environment

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Here are questions I’ve received from MarketWatch readers over the past couple of weeks.

Question: Big Tech — Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google (Alphabet) — are off their highs by 17%, 15%, 6% and 5%, respectively. I hear that portfolio rotation, higher interest rates, etc., are hurting these stocks. I know you like Facebook. Do you feel the others will get hurt badly going forward or will there be only modest pullbacks?

Answer: I know it’s apparently common knowledge among the talking heads that “higher interest rates are bad for tech stocks,” but I don’t understand that logic at all. Is anybody out there really selling their tech stocks because they want to buy Treasuries that are still only yielding 1.5%-ish. I mean, other than the people who are saying that on TV and those who are listening to them, I don’t think anybody really sits around shifting allocation strategies because Treasuries went down a little bit in the last few weeks.

So maybe there has been a self-fulfilling rotation out of tech stocks and into “reopening/value” stocks, but I’m not sure that will last. I mean, remember that I also do a lot of work on valuation, and I try to buy what I call our Revolutionary tech stocks when they are good “values.”

Anyway, if we are in a pullback (or even a burgeoning bear market) phase of the market, then I don’t think most tech stocks will be fine. There could, and most likely would be, 5%-15% potential downside in even the biggies that you mention.

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Q: With the recent rotation pullbacks, what are your top five stocks at these levels?

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A: Last week, I’d answered it this way: “Favorite stocks at this moment, though I’m not pounding the table on any of them right now, would probably be: Facebook
FB,
+1.54%
,
Vector Acquisition/Rocket Labs
VACQ,
-1.77%
,
Holicity
HOL,
+2.99%
,
SPDR Gold Shares
GLD,
+0.28%
,
Taiwan Semiconductor 
TSM,
+5.53%
,
in that order.” This week, I’d answer it the same way.

Q: It sounds like the space revolution you write about is like your picks of Apple at 20 cents or Tesla at $50. Is this accurate?

A: I hope so, but it’s a much riskier bet because these companies are still startups and valuations are going to be a while before they make “sense” for a lot of people.

Q: How long could a bear market last? Do you foresee a rotation out of tech as a real threat to our positions? When will you sell DELL as it goes to expiration on our calls?

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A: A bear market can last 10 years or more. In this day and age, I’d expect the markets would overcorrect to the downside in a matter of months because we live in a day of Kurzweil rate of change. Yes, a rotation out of tech and into “reopening/value” stocks could mean that tech stocks underperform for a little while, but longer-term valuation-minded Revolution Investing in secular growth industries will probably continue to outperform all other approaches.

I’ve trimmed some DELL
DELL,
+3.49%

calls along the way as they’ve tripled and quadrupled in value, but I still hold some April and July Dell calls that are also up like that already.

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Q: Cathie Wood (of ARK Investment Management) recently suggested that Chinese tech could outperform in the markets moving forward. What’s your read on it? And if you agree, what percentage of your portfolio would you think is a reasonable allocation to it?

A: No way do I think an even more corrupt system of technology and government in an outright communist regime in China will ever outperform over the long term. I’ve always said that I don’t want to bet very much on the companies that are able to succeed in that system. Nothing’s changed, has it?

Q: Does gold look like it can squeeze the shorts big time? It’s been quiet and congested for several months now.

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A: I don’t know if there’s enough shorts in gold to squeeze, but it does look to me like gold is a relatively safe place to have some money right now.

Q: Any thoughts on the WeWork merger? (See story here.)

A: I can’t believe that company still exists. No thanks on the stock for me.

I leave you with a picture of antelope in a dust storm I took from the car last week. It reminds me of us during this current market environment. (There are no filters on this shot):

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Cody Willard is a columnist for MarketWatch and editor of the Revolution Investing newsletter. Willard or his investment firm may own, or plan to own, securities mentioned in this column. 

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Facebook Messenger Is Launching a Split Payments Feature for Users to Quickly Share Expenses

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Facebook Messenger Is Launching a Split Payments Feature for Users to Quickly Share Expenses

Meta has announced the arrival of a new Split Payments feature in Facebook Messenger. This feature, as the name suggests, will let you calculate and split expenses with others right from Facebook Messenger. This feature essentially looks to bring an easier method to share the cost of bills and expenses — for example, splitting a dinner bill with friends. Using this new Split Payment feature, Facebook Messenger users will be able to split bills evenly or modify the contribution for each individual, including their own.

The company took to its blog post to announce the new Split Payment feature in Facebook Messenger. 9to5Mac reports that this new bill splitting feature is still in beta and will be exclusive to US users at first. The rollout will begin early next week. As mentioned, it will help users share the cost of bills, expenses, and payments. This feature is especially useful for those who share an apartment and need to split the monthly rent and other expenses with their mates. It could also come handy at a group dinner with many people.

With Split Payments, users can add the number of people the expense needs to be divided with and, by default, the amount entered will be divided in equal parts. A user can also modify each person’s contribution including their own. To use Split Payments, click the Get Started button in a group chat or the Payments Hub in Messenger. Users can modify the contribution in the Split Payments option and send a notification to all the users who need to make payments. After entering a personalised message and confirming your Facebook Pay details, the request will be sent and viewable in the group chat thread.

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Once someone has made the payment, you can mark their transaction as ‘completed’. The Split Payment feature will automatically take into account your share as well and calculate the amount owed accordingly.


For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on Twitter, Facebook, and Google News. For the latest videos on gadgets and tech, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

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Tasneem Akolawala is a Senior Reporter for Gadgets 360. Her reporting expertise encompasses smartphones, wearables, apps, social media, and the overall tech industry. She reports out of Mumbai, and also writes about the ups and downs in the Indian telecom sector. Tasneem can be reached on Twitter at @MuteRiot, and leads, tips, and releases can be sent to tasneema@ndtv.com.

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Facebook Owner Meta Launches New Platform, Safety Hub to Protect Women in India

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Meta Image

Meta (formerly Facebook) on Thursday announced a slew of steps to protect woman users on its platform, including the launch of StopNCII.org in India that aims to combat the spread of non-consensual intimate images (NCII).

Meta has also launched the Women’s Safety Hub, which will be available in Hindi and 11 other Indian languages, that will enable more women users in India to access information about tools and resources that can help them make the most of their social media experience, while staying safe online.

This initiative by Meta will ensure women do not face a language barrier in accessing information Karuna Nain, director (global safety policy) at Meta Platforms, told reporters here.

“Safety is an integral part of Meta’s commitment to building and offering a safe online experience across the platforms and over the years the company has introduced several industry leading initiatives to protect users online.

“Furthering our effort to bolster the safety of users, we are bringing in a number of initiatives to ensure online safety of women on our platforms,” she added.

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StopNCII.org is a platform that aims to combat the spread of non-consensual intimate images (NCII).

“It gives victims control. People can come to this platform proactively, hash their intimate videos and images, share their hashes back with the platform and participating companies,” Nain said.

She explained that the platform doesn’t receive any photos and videos, and instead what they get is the hash or unique digital fingerprint/unique identifier that tells the company that this is a known piece of content that is violating. “We can proactively keep a lookout for that content on our platforms and once it”s uploaded, our review team check what”s really going on and take appropriate action if it violates our policies,” she added.

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In partnership with UK Revenge Porn Helpline, StopNCII.org builds on Meta’s NCII Pilot, an emergency programme that allows potential victims to proactively hash their intimate images so they can”t be proliferated on its platforms.

The first-of-its-kind platform, has partnered with global organisations to support the victims of NCII. In India, the platform has partnered with organisations such as Social Media Matters, Centre for Social Research, and Red Dot Foundation.

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Nain added that the company is hopeful that this becomes an industrywide initiative, so that victims can just come to this one central place to get help and support and not have to go to each and every tech platform, one by one to get help and support.

Also, Bishakha Datta (executive editor of Point of View) and Jyoti Vadehra from Centre for Social Research are the first Indian members in Meta”s Global Women”s Safety Expert Advisors. The group comprises 12 other non-profit leaders, activists, and academic experts from different parts of the world and consults Meta in the development of new policies, products and programmes to better support women on its apps.

“We are confident that with our ever-growing safety measures, women will be able to enjoy a social experience which will enable them to learn, engage and grow without any challenges.

“India is an important market for us and bringing Bishakha and Jyoti onboard to our Women”s Safety Expert Advisory Group will go a long way in further enhancing our efforts to make our platforms safer for women in India,” Nain said.

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Facebook Adds New Trend Insights in Creator Studio, Which Could Help Shape Your Posting Strategy

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facebook-adds-new-trend-insights-in-creator-studio,-which-could-help-shape-your-posting-strategy

Facebook’s looking to provide more content insight within Creator Studio with the rollout of a new ‘Inspiration Hub’ element, which highlights trending content and hashtags within categories related to your business Page.

Facebook Inspiration Hub

As you can see in these screenshots, posted by social media expert Matt Navarra, when it becomes available to you, you’ll be able to access the new Inspiration Hub from the Home tab in Creator Studio.

At the right side of the screen, you can see the first of the new insights, with trending hashtags and videos from the last 24 hours, posted by Pages similar to yours, displayed above a ‘See more’ prompt.

When you tap through to the new hub, you’ll have a range of additional filters to check out trending content from across Facebook, including Page category, content type, region, and more.

Facebook Inspiration Hub

That could be hugely valuable in learning what Facebook users are responding to, and what people within your target market are engaging with in the app.

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The Hub also includes insights into trending hashtags, within your chosen timeframe, which may further assist in tapping into trending discussions.

Facebook Inspiration Hub

How valuable hashtags are on Facebook is still up for debate, but you’ll also note that you can filter the displayed results by platform, so you can additionally display Instagram hashtag trends as well, which could be very valuable in maximizing your reach.

Much of this type of info has been available within CrowdTangle, Facebook’s analytics platform for journalists, for some time, but not everyone can access CrowdTangle data, which could make this an even more valuable proposition for many marketers.

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Of course, overall performance really relates to your own creative, and thinking through the action that you want your audience to take when reading your posts. But in terms of detecting new content trends, including hashtag usage, caption length, videos versus image posts, and more, there’s a lot that could be gleaned from these tools and filters.

It’s a significant analytics addition – we’ve asked Facebook for more info on the rollout of the new option, and whether it’s already beyond test mode, etc. We’ll update this post if/when we hear back.

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