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Amazon, Twitter, Apple, S&P 500 Record: 5 Things You Must Know Thursday

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Here are five things you must know for Thursday, April 8:

1. — Stock Futures Edge Higher After S&P 500’s Record Close

Stock futures edged higher Thursday following the S&P 500’s record close after the Federal Reserve indicated it wasn’t near to ending its accommodative policy.

Contracts linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 9 points, S&P 500 futures gained 12 points and futures on the tech-heavy Nasdaq jumped 111 points.

In the minutes from its March meeting, the Fed said it would be some time before conditions were met that would warrant a scaling back of its monthly asset purchases of $120 billion or a boost in short-term interest rates from nearly zero.

The Fed noted Wednesday that the economy was “a long way” from its goals of maximum employment and inflation of 2%.

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“The Fed has made it clear that they will remain patient and wait for full employment before tightening,” said Jeff Buchbinder, equity strategist for LPL Financial. “That will be a tougher position to maintain later this year after most of the jobs lost from the pandemic are recovered.”

Benchmark 10-year Treasury yields ticked slightly lower early Thursday to 1.649%.

Stocks ended mixed Wednesday with the S&P 500 closing at a record high of 4,079 – its 18th record close of 2021 – and the Dow gaining 0.05% to 33,446. The Nasdaq slipped 0.07%.

Jim Cramer on Jamie Dimon and Collision of Business and Politics

2. — Thursday’s Calendar: Jobless Claims and Levi Strauss Earnings

The U.S. economic calendar for Thursday includes weekly Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m. ET and a speech from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell at the International Monetary Fund’s Debate on the Global Economy at 12 p.m.

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Earnings reports are expected Thursday from Levi Strauss  (LEVI) – Get Report, Conagra Brands  (CAG) – Get Report, Constellation Brands  (STZ) – Get Report and WD-40  (WDFC) – Get Report.

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3. — Voter Turnout at Amazon Union Drive About 55%

Voter turnout for a union election at an Amazon.com  (AMZN) – Get Report warehouse in Alabama was about 55%, with the vote count expected to begin as soon as Thursday afternoon, according to the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union.

More than 3,200 mail ballots were received by the National Labor Relations Board in an election at Amazon’s warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama, the union said. About 5,800 workers at the facility have been sending in their ballots by mail since voting opened in February.

The workers are voting on whether to join the RWDSU. They have called for higher pay and better working conditions.

If the vote succeeds, the warehouse employees in Alabama would become the first of Amazon’s 800,000 U.S. employees to unionize.

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According to the union, hundreds of ballots were challenged “mostly by the employer.”

Amazon is a holding in Jim Cramer’s Action Alerts PLUS member club. Want to be alerted before Jim Cramer buys or sells AMZN? Learn more now.

4. — Twitter Reportedly Discussed a $4 Billion Takeover of Clubhouse

Twitter  (TWTR) – Get Report held talks in recent months to acquire social audio app Clubhouse but the talks are no longer ongoing, Bloomberg reported.

The companies discussed a potential valuation of roughly $4 billion for Clubhouse, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter. It’s unclear why the discussions stalled, the people added.

Bloomberg reported earlier this week that Clubhouse was in talks to raise funding from investors in a round valuing the business at about $4 billion. After the talks with Twitter failed to proceed, Clubhouse began to explore whether it made sense to instead raise financing at that valuation.

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Clubhouse, which lets users host their own online radio shows, launched less than a year ago. Twitter’s Clubhouse competitor, called Spaces, launched in late 2020 but is still in beta form.

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Twitter shares rose 1.43% in premarket trading Thursday to $69.98.

5. — Chip Shortage Delays MacBook and iPad Production: Report

Production of some Apple  (AAPL) – Get Report MacBooks and iPads has been postponed because of the global chip shortage, Nikkei reported.

Chip shortages have caused delays in a key step in MacBook production – the mounting of components on printed circuit boards before final assembly, sources told Nikkei Asia. Some iPad assembly was postponed because of a shortage of displays and display components, sources said.

Jim Cramer’s Semiconductor Stock Picks Amid Chip Shortage

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Apple has pushed back a portion of component orders for the two devices to the second half of the year from the first half, the people told Nikkei.

Production plans for Apple’s iPhones so far haven’t been affected by the supply shortage, although the supply of some components for the devices was “quite tight,” Nikkei reported, citing two sources.

The global semiconductor shortage has impacted items such as smartphones and automobiles.

Apple was rising 0.58% in premarket trading to $128.64.

Apple is a holding in Jim Cramer’s Action Alerts PLUS member club. Want to be alerted before Jim Cramer buys or sells AAPL? Learn more now.

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Elon Musk Says He’ll Pay $11 Billion in Taxes in 2021 But Twitter Wants ‘Proof’

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Elon Musk took to Twitter to clarify once and for all that he will be paying a whopping $11 billion as taxes this year.

If the number of times Elon Musk could count when someone has asked him to pay the full taxes, he would be a very rich..wait, never mind. The Tesla boss is rich beyond any private individual has been in history, reports said.

Musk has increasingly been facing criticism from many politicians and many others who insist he has not been paying taxes as compared to the profits his companies have been making. On Sunday, the SpaceX CEO took to Twitter to share that he will be paying a whopping $11 billion as taxes.

For those wondering, I will pay over $11 billion in taxes this year— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 20, 2021

But some of the questions did not stop. One person tweeted how they needed to see Musk’s tax returns while yet another asked how much percentage was that of his total income.

A few were, however scathing of the government who thought they will add that amount to their pockets rather than using it for some proper development.

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Wow that’s enough to give each person in the world almost $2 million but instead the government will just stick it in their pockets— greg (@greg16676935420) December 20, 2021

Why not $200 billion? Asking for a Senator— litquidity (@litcapital) December 20, 2021

Earlier this week, Democratic US Senator Elizabeth Warren has tweeted to say that Musk should pay taxes and stop “freeloading off everyone else” after Time magazine named him its “person of the year”.

In response, Musk shot four tweets in which he said that the senator reminded him of a friend’s angry mom who yelled at everybody. He tweeted, ““And if you opened your eyes for 2 seconds, you would realize I will pay more taxes than any American in history this year.” “Don’t spend it all at once … oh wait you did already.”

He added further, “You remind me of when I was a kid and my friend’s angry Mom would just randomly yell at everyone for no reason.”

Musk responded by saying that he “will pay more taxes than any American in history this year”. This Twitter exchange left netizens divided as even though many supported Warren and agreed that Musk should pay more taxes, others felt that he was already doing enough.

Musk’s Tesla is worth about $1 trillion. Over the last few weeks, he has sold nearly $14 billion worth of Tesla shares.

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The Tesla boss has been pushing for his colonize Mars agenda for years now, and has made it very clear in some occasions that he would rather spend the money on putting humanity on the red planet, than pay his taxes. “My plan,” the SpaceX founder tweeted about his fortune, “is to use the money to get humanity to Mars and preserve the light of consciousness.”

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Twitter Admits Policy ‘Errors’ After Far-Right Abuse Its New Rules of Posting Pictures

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Twitter’s new picture permission policy was aimed at combating online abuse, but US activists and researchers said Friday that far-right backers have employed it to protect themselves from scrutiny and to harass opponents.

Even the social network admitted the rollout of the rules, which say anyone can ask Twitter to take down images of themselves posted without their consent, was marred by malicious reports and its teams’ own errors.

It was just the kind of trouble anti-racism advocates worried was coming after the policy was announced this week.

Their concerns were quickly validated, with anti-extremism researcher Kristofer Goldsmith tweeting a screenshot of a far-right call-to-action circulating on Telegram: “Due to the new privacy policy at Twitter, things now unexpectedly work more in our favor.”

“Anyone with a Twitter account should be reporting doxxing posts from the following accounts,” the message said, with a list of dozens of Twitter handles.

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Gwen Snyder, an organizer and researcher in Philadelphia, said her account was blocked this week after a report to Twitter about a series of 2019 photos she said showed a local political candidate at a march organized by extreme-right group Proud Boys.

Rather than go through an appeal with Twitter she opted to delete the images and alert others to what was happening.

“Twitter moving to eliminate (my) work from their platform is incredibly dangerous and is going to enable and embolden fascists,” she told AFP.

In announcing the privacy policy on Tuesday, Twitter noted that “sharing personal media, such as images or videos, can potentially violate a person’s privacy, and may lead to emotional or physical harm.”

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But the rules don’t apply to “public figures or individuals when media and accompanying Tweets are shared in the public interest or add value to public discourse.”

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By Friday, Twitter noted the roll out had been rough: “We became aware of a significant amount of coordinated and malicious reports, and unfortunately, our enforcement teams made several errors.”

“We’ve corrected those errors and are undergoing an internal review to make certain that this policy is used as intended,” the firm added.

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Jack Dorsey Post Twitter Is Chasing His Crypto, Fintech Dream

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At a packed Miami conference in June, Jack Dorsey, mused in front of thousands of attendees about where his real passion lay: “If I weren’t at Square or Twitter, I’d be working on Bitcoin.”

On Monday, Dorsey made good on one part of that, announcing he would leave Twitter for the second time, handing the CEO position to a 10-year veteran at the firm. The 45-year-old entrepreneur, who is often described as an enigma with varied interests from meditation to yoga to fashion design, plans to pursue his passion which include focusing on running Square and doing more philanthropic work, according to a source familiar with his plan.

Well before the surprise news, Dorsey had laid the groundwork for his next chapter, seeding both companies with cryptocurrency-related projects.

Underlying Dorsey’s broader vision is the principle of “decentralisation,” or the idea that technology and finance should not be concentrated among a handful of gatekeepers, as it is now, but should, instead, be steered by the hands of the many, either people or entities.

The concept has played out at Square, which has built a division devoted to working on projects and awarding grants with the aim of growing Bitcoin’s popularity globally. Bitcoin price in India stood at Rs. 44.52 lakh as of 12:50pm IST on December 1.

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Dorsey has been a longtime proponent of Bitcoin, and the appeal is that the cryptocurrency will allow for private and secure transactions with the value of Bitcoin unrelated to any government.

The idea has also underpinned new projects at Twitter, where Dorsey tapped a top lieutenant – and now the company’s new CEO Parag Agrawal – to oversee a team that is attempting to construct a decentralised social media protocol, which will allow different social platforms to connect with one another, similar to the way email providers operate.

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The project called Bluesky will aim to allow users control over the types of content they see online, removing the “burden” on companies like Twitter to enforce a global policy to fight abuse or misleading information, Dorsey said in 2019 when he announced Bluesky.

Bitcoin has also figured prominently at both of his companies. Square became one of the first public companies to own Bitcoin assets on its balance sheet, having invested $220 million (roughly Rs. 1,650 crore) in the cryptocurrency.

In August, Square created a new business unit called TBD to focus on Bitcoin. The company is also planning to build a hardware wallet for Bitcoin, a Bitcoin mining system, as well as a decentralised Bitcoin exchange.

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Twitter allows users to tip their favourite content creators with Bitcoin and has been testing integrations with non-fungible tokens (NFTs), a type of digital asset that allows people to collect unique digital art.

Analysts see the transition as a positive signal for Square, the fintech platform he co-founded in 2009. Square’s core Cash App, after a bull run in its share in 2020, has experienced slower growth in the most recent quarter. It is also trying to digest the $29 billion (roughly Rs. 2,17,240 crore) acquisition of Buy Now Pay Later provider Afterpay, its largest acquisition ever.

But these ambitions will not pay off until years from now, analysts cautioned.

“The blockchain platform they’re trying to develop is great but also fraught with technical challenges and difficult to scale for consumers. I think he’ll focus more on Square and crypto will be part of that,” said Christopher Brendler, an analyst at DA Davidson.

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© Thomson Reuters 2021

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Interested in cryptocurrency? We discuss all things crypto with WazirX CEO Nischal Shetty and WeekendInvesting founder Alok Jain on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.

Cryptocurrency is an unregulated digital currency, not a legal tender and subject to market risks. The information provided in the article is not intended to be and does not constitute financial advice, trading advice or any other advice or recommendation of any sort offered or endorsed by NDTV. NDTV shall not be responsible for any loss arising from any investment based on any perceived recommendation, forecast or any other information contained in the article.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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