Tesla Shares Soar in Advance of Split

Shares of Tesla have skyrocketed since company announced its stock split last week. “Shares cracked the $2,000 barrier Thursday and, of course, are rising again on Friday,” writes Al Root of Barron’s. “What’s going on? We’ll admit it: We don’t know. There is the stock split that has excited investors, and helped push shares up 45% since the announcement. There is inclusion in the S&P 500, which looks likely since Tesla reported the quarterly profit that qualified the company stock for inclusion.”

Does Tesla merit that kind of valuation? Only time will tell. “Once the split goes into effect on August 31, current Tesla investors will get five shares for each one they own. That will cut the price by a fifth, to almost $420 a share. The market value of Tesla, now hovering around $390 billion, will remain the same,” writes Paul R. La Monica of CNN Business.

Apple Reaches $2 Trillion Market Cap

Apple has doubled its valuation over the past two years, becoming the first publicly traded U.S. company to attain a market capitalization of $2 trillion.

Apple hit a market cap of $2 trillion Wednesday, doubling in valuation in just over two years to become the first publicly traded U.S. company to reach the milestone,” writes Jessica Bursztynsky of CNBC. “Apple first reached a $1 trillion market cap on Aug. 2, 2018. Wall Street has largely expected the iPhone maker to become the first to surpass $2 trillion. On July 31, Apple passed the state oil giant Saudi Aramco to become the world’s most valuable publicly traded company.”

Zoom Expands to More Devices

Zoom is now available for use on more display devices, apparently part of the company’s effort to increase at-home use during the pandemic. From my perspective, this is a smart strategic move that will benefit users and the improve company’s long-term prospects.

Zoom is expanding its massive video chat presence to several smart display devices, as coronavirus cases continue to spike across the U.S. and keep many people working and socializing from home,” writes Alison DeNisco Rayome of CNET. “In the coming months, you'll be able to video chat on Zoom via your Amazon Echo Show devices, Google Nest smart displays and Facebook Portal, the company said Wednesday.”

New Sanctions Against Huawei

The U.S. has dealt another blow to Huawei, announcing more sanctions against the Chinese company this week.

“The United States has cut off Huawei's access to vital, advanced computer chips, striking a deadly blow to the Chinese tech champion,” writes Sherisse Pham of CNN Business. “The U.S. Commerce Department on Monday announced fresh sanctions that restrict any foreign semiconductor company from selling chips developed or produced using U.S. software or technology to Huawei, without first obtaining a license to do so.”

Epic Games Fights Back Against Apple

A battle has broken out between Apple and Epic Games, the developer of  Fortnite and other popular online games.

Apple Inc. threatened to remove Epic Games Inc.’s developer account, cut off its developer tools and limit its ability to supply key graphics technology to other apps in the latest skirmish in a battle over app store fees. The iPhone maker’s plans were disclosed in a court filing by Epic on Monday,” write Malathi Nayak and Mark Gurman of Bloomberg.  “The developer has asked a California federal court to block Apple’s removal of the popular Epic game Fortnite from the App Store. Epic sued Apple last week over the move. Epic also asked the court to stop Apple from terminating its developer account on Aug. 28. Epic said it will probably suffer irreparable harm if the court doesn’t order the Fortnite game app to be made available to smartphone users.”

Airbnb Files to Go Public

Airbnb, a pioneering company built on technology that enables people to rent their homes or spare room to travelers, is apparently going public.

“Airbnb said on Wednesday that it had confidentially filed to go public, taking a key step toward one of the largest public market debuts in a generation of ‘sharing economy’ start-ups,” writes Erin Griffith of the New York Times. “Airbnb’s offering would signal the end of an era for the first wave of highly valued start-up ‘unicorns,’ many of which were founded in the recession of 2008 and then rode a wave of growth fueled by smartphones, gig work and copious amounts of venture capital.”