Tech Elevates S&P 500 Back to Nearly Record High

Markets surged in mid-week, driven by the strong performance of major technology companies. The markets opened slightly lower this morning, however, unable to hold onto their previous gains. Despite today’s soft open, the mid-week surge was a good sign, and I’m generally optimistic that our industry will continue rallying over the long term.

Stocks rose sharply on Wednesday, putting the S&P 500 just below its all-time high set in February, as shares of the major tech companies recovered some of their steep losses from the previous session,” write Fred Imbert and Maggie Fitzgerald of CNBC. “Facebook, Amazon and Netflix were all up at least 1.5% while Alphabet advanced 1.8%. Microsoft and Apple gained more than 2.8% each.”

It’s gratifying to see the strength of our industry, especially in these difficult times. I’m confident that our innovation and collective sense of purpose will create the foundations for a broader economic recovery.

Will New 5G Features Convince Millions to Buy the iPhone 12?

5G capabilities may drive demand for Apple’s new iPhones, creating millions of new customers worldwide.

“Apple has long been expected to debut a batch of 5G-enabled iPhones this fall. Now it appears all of the company's new phone releases this year may be able to connect to the next generation of super-fast wireless networks, according to Wedbush analyst Dan Ives. That's a significant milestone that could help convince millions of people to upgrade their smartphones. 5G could make the iPhone 12 a must-have product,” writes Clare Duffy of CNN Business.

SoftBank Shifts Focus, Invests in Large Tech Firms Such as Apple, Amazon and Facebook

SoftBank, which had gained a reputation for betting on tech startups, is apparently broadening its investment portfolio to include more established technology companies.

SoftBank Group Corp. founder Masayoshi Son said that he is creating an asset management company to invest in publicly traded stocks, including the biggest tech companies in the world. Son said the unit would have about $555 million in capital and has already started investing. Among the stocks purchased already are Apple Inc., Inc. and Facebook Inc.,” writes Pavel Alpeyev of Bloomberg Technology. “Son has been shifting the Japanese conglomerate away from the telecom industry toward investment activities. He created the $100 billion Vision Fund to invest in private startups, such as Didi Chuxing and Coupang.”

Cisco Earnings Drop as More Firms Opt for Multi-Cloud Offerings

The growing popularity of multi-cloud has apparently put a damper on Cisco’s prospects, and investors responded by selling shares of the legendary tech company.

Cisco shares fell about 6% in extended trading on Wednesday after the maker of computer networking equipment provided a disappointing forecast,” writes Jordan Novet of CNBC.

From my perspective, this isn’t surprising news. The trend toward multi-cloud has been gathering momentum for a while, making it harder for companies like Cisco to close deals for traditional enterprise products and services.

“While much of the technology sector is seeing growth as the economy moves online and more companies rely on software to run their businesses, Cisco is struggling to keep pace because its business historically has centered around expensive hardware. Big public cloud offerings from AmazonMicrosoft and Google have hurt demand for Cisco’s gear in recent years, and the company’s investments in software haven’t made up for the decline,” Novet writes.