5 Top Tech Stocks Surge to New Highs

Despite the continuing uncertainty and turmoil, the technology sector demonstrates strength and resiliency in difficult times. The world’s financial markets apparently agree.

“Money is continuing to roll into megacaps today, with the Big 5 technology companies benefiting further,” according to a post Tuesday in Seeking Alpha. “Apple (AAPL +3%), Alphabet (GOOGL, +1.5%), Facebook (FB, +2.1%), Amazon (AMZN +2.3%), Microsoft (MSFT, +1%) are near highs. Year to date these stocks have outperformed the benchmark decline of 3.5%. Amazon is the leader, up 50%, Microsoft up 29%, Apple up 26%, Facebook up 19% and Alphabet up 10%.”

Not surprisingly, the post notes how the five firms “are insulated from the stay-at-home economic effects,” a clear indication of how the top tech companies have leveraged their strengths to cope with the realities of the pandemic.

Apple Breaks Up with Intel; Upgrades App Experience

Apple is breaking off its 15-year relationship with Intel, according to published reports. “After years of rumors, it’s now official: Apple is breaking up with Intel,” writes Han Tan of Yahoo Finance, adding the decision is more symbolic than financial.

“In its 2019 financial year, Mac computers accounted for less than 10 percent of Apple’s total revenue. Over the prior three financial years (FY 2016-2018), fewer than 20 million MAC computers were sold per FY, which is less than half of the total number of iPads sold,” according to the article. “iPhones remain the company’s primary hardware product, making up about 77 percent of total units sold, while accounting for more than half of total revenue according to Bloomberg data. Meanwhile, it’s estimated that the Mac line of computers accounts for less than five percent of Intel’s annual revenue.”

Apple is also upgrading and improving the way users find and access new apps, making it easier to organize and use apps as they are introduced.

“Apple unveiled new ways to discover and organize apps, confirmed a significant change under the hood of Mac computers and announced a new feature that will let users unlock their cars with their smartphones,” writes of Kaya Yurieff of CNN Business. “The updates, announced at Apple (AAPL)'s annual Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday, highlight the company's continued effort to insert itself into seemingly every corner of our lives, from our cars and living rooms to our personal health, while also confronting the potential for app fatigue more than a decade after the App Store launched.”

Pentagon Picks New Chief Data Officer

The Pentagon has a new chief data officer. David Spirk, who had formerly served as the first CDO of Special Operations Command (SOCOM), was selected for the new role, according to a statement issued by Dana Deasy, chief information officer at the Pentagon.  As CDO, Spirk will work within the Pentagon’s CIO’s office.

“At SOCOM, Spirk helped stand up a new Data Engineering Lab focused on harnessing data for AI and machine learning. SOCOM also adopted a road map for the effort under Spirk’s direction,” writes Andrew Eversden of C4ISRNET. “Advancing AI and machine learning capabilities are a major focus of the DoD CIO’s office, which also houses the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center, an office focused on accelerating AI adoption across the Pentagon.”

Google Confronts Employee Pressure to End Sales to Police Departments

Google faces new pressure from within to end sales of its technology to police agencies.

“More than 1,600 workers at Alphabet Inc are petitioning its Google unit to stop selling email and other services to police departments,” writes Paresh Dave of Reuters. “The workers in a petition seen by Reuters expressed disappointment with Google not joining the ‘millions who want to defang and defund’ police departments.”

Google said that “generally available computing platforms like Gmail, G Suite and Google Cloud Platform, and these products will remain available for governments and local authorities, including police departments, to use,” according to the Reuters report.