Saudi oil giant Aramco’s first-quarter profits surge 80%

Saudi Aramco overtook Apple as the world’s most valuable company

Oil giant Saudi Aramco said Sunday its profits soared more than 80% in the first three months of the year, as the state-backed company cashes in on the volatility in global energy markets and surging oil prices following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The bumper first-quarter earnings by the firm formally known as the Saudi Arabian Oil Co., which overtook Apple as the world’s most valuable company last week, show a record net income of $39.5 billion, up from $21.7 billion during the same period last year. The figure marks the oil group’s highest quarterly profit since 2019, when the Saudi government, which owns 98% of the company, listed a sliver of its worth on Riyadh’s Tadawul stock exchange in what was then the world’s largest-ever initial public offering.

In a statement, Aramco’s chief executive attributed the spike in profits to rising prices as well as the kingdom’s increase in production, along with allies in the group known as OPEC Plus. He also appeared to suggest that the disruption from the war in Ukraine had underscored the vital role of oil and gas companies like Aramco.

https://www.foxbusiness.com/

Amazon to reimburse U.S. employees who travel for abortions

The U.S. Supreme Court is due to  roll back abortion rights or even overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling

Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O), the second-largest U.S. private employer, told its staff on Monday it will pay up to $4,000 in travel expenses annually for non-life threatening medical treatments including abortions.

The decision makes the online retailer the latest company after Citigroup Inc (C.N), Yelp Inc (YELP.N) and others to respond to Republican-backed state laws curbing abortion access, helping employees bypass them. It shows how companies are eager to retain and attract talent in locations that remain important to their operations despite legal changes impacting employees’ health.

The U.S. Supreme Court is due to rule by the end of June in a case that gives its conservative majority a chance to roll back abortion rights or even overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized the procedure nationwide. About two dozen states including Oklahoma and Alabama have laws poised to limit abortion access should the Roe ruling be overturned.

Amazon’s new benefit, effective to Jan. 1 retroactively, applies if an operation is not available within 100 miles (161 km) of an employee’s home and virtual care is not possible, the company’s message said. It is open to U.S. employees or covered dependents enrolled in Premera or Aetna health plans, whether they work in a corporate office or a warehouse.

https://www.reuters.com/

Apple tops $3 trillion in value

Apple is the world’s most valuable company

Apple Inc (AAPL.O) on Monday became the first company to hit a $3 trillion stock market value, before ending the day a hair below that milestone, as investors bet the iPhone maker will keep launching best-selling products as it explores new markets such as automated cars and virtual reality.

On the first day of trading in 2022, the Silicon Valley company’s shares hit an intraday record high of $182.88, putting Apple’s market value just above $3 trillion. The stock ended the session up 2.5% at $182.01, with Apple’s market capitalization at $2.99 trillion. The world’s most valuable company reached the milestone as investors bet that consumers will continue to shell out top dollar for iPhones, MacBooks and services such as Apple TV and Apple Music.

https://www.reuters.com/

Top 10 stocks being talked about on Reddit

Reddit’s WallstreetBets choice

Following which stocks Reddit’s WallStreetBets crowd is talking about this year has paid off, as several have gone through epic rallies and seen heightened volatility.

From GameStop in January to AMC Entertainment in June, the 11 million-member forum has driven the conversation in so-called meme stocks that have exploded higher amid overwhelming demand from retail investors. Strong demand for stocks with shaky fundamentals has led to several hedge fund blowups that were caught on the opposite side of the trade betting against the company in question.

GameStop’s short-squeeze, in-part led by the WallStreetBets crowd, led to a more than 50% drawdown in multibillion dollar hedge fund Melvin Capital. Meanwhile, the sharp rally in struggling movie theater chain AMC Entertainment caused billions of dollars in losses for short-sellers in May and June.

As traders look to replicate the success of WallStreetBets stocks, one data aggregator is compiling the most mentioned stocks on. These are the top 10 stocks Reddit’s WallStreetBets forum is focused on right now, according to data compiled by SwaggyStocks. The list is based on mentions over the past 24 hours. 10: Amazon, 9: Hertz, 8: Apple, 7: Snap, 6: Ocugen, 5: AMD, 4: Digital World Acquisition, 3: WeWork, 2: Facebook, 1: Tesla.

https://markets.businessinsider.com/

Big Tech pledges billions to bolster US cybersecurity defenses

500,000 cybersecurity jobs across the U.S remain unfilled

Tech giants AppleGoogle and Microsoft have pledged billions to bolster U.S. cybersecurity following a meeting with President Joe Biden at the White House on Wednesday. The meeting, which also included attendees from the financial and education sectors, was held following months of high-profile cyberattacks against critical infrastructure and several U.S. government agencies, along with a glaring cybersecurity skills gap; according to data from CyberSeek, there are currently almost 500,000 cybersecurity jobs across the U.S that remain unfilled.

“Most of our critical infrastructure is owned and operated by the private sector, and the federal government can’t meet this challenge alone,” Biden said at the start of the meeting. “I’ve invited you all here today because you have the power, the capacity and the responsibility, I believe, to raise the bar on cybersecurity.”

In order to help the U.S. in its fight against a growing number of cyberattacks, Big Tech pledged to invest billions of dollars to strengthen cybersecurity defenses and to train skilled cybersecurity workers.

https://techcrunch.com/

Microsoft in advanced talks to buy AI

Artificial intelligence and speech technology

Microsoft Corp is in advanced talks to buy artificial intelligence and speech technology company Nuance Communications Inc at about $16 billion, according to a source familiar with the matter. The price being discussed could value Nuance at about $56 a share, the source said, adding that an agreement could be announced as soon as Monday.

Bloomberg News, which first reported the deal between Nuance and Microsoft, said bloom.bg/2Qgfm7e talks are ongoing and the discussions could still fall apart. Burlington, Massachusetts-based Nuance whose voice recognition technology helped launch Apple Inc’s assistant Siri, makes software for sectors ranging from healthcare to the automotive industries.The deal with Nuance would be Microsoft’s second-biggest deal, after its $26.2 billion acquisition of LinkedIn in 2016.

https://www.reuters.com/

 

Apple is now the world’s most valuable publicly traded company

Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil company Saudi Aramco ranked at the second place

Apple is now the world’s most valuable publicly traded company, passing Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil company Saudi Aramco. As of close of business Friday, Apple has a market valuation of $1.84 trillion, while Saudi Aramco’s is $1.76 trillion, according to CNBC. Apple’s stock, which has been on a largely-steady climb since the end of March, closed up more than 10 percent on Friday following the company’s record-breaking third-quarter earnings on Thursday, ending the day at $425.04.

Apple’s total revenue for Q3 hit $59.7 billion, up 11 percent from last year. Strong Mac and iPad sales were a highlight, and the company likely saw increased demand for the devices while people have been sheltering in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Apple also announced a four-for-one stock split as part of its third quarter earnings, which will lower the price of an individual stock.

AmazonFacebook, and Google all announced earnings yesterday as well, and for the most part, they had pretty good quarters. Amazon doubled its profit — during a pandemic. Facebook saw a daily user increase of 12 percent year over year to 1.79 billion. And combined, the four companies netted $28.6 billion in profits.

https://www.theverge.com/