Apple is keeping partners in the dark about how it plans to package and price its video service

Apple is going to announce its new video streaming service plans at an event in Cupertino, Calif., on Monday, March 25. div > div.group > p:first-child »> Over the past few months, CNBC has reported many details on Apple’s plans. But the big open question is the pricing, and whether there will be any discounted bundles that encompass multiple services. A steep discount on available streaming video services could give consumers an immediate reason to sign up for Apple’s new service. Here’s what people familiar with the company’s plans have…

Tim Cook reportedly met with a Chinese official as he tours the country ahead of Apple’s big event

Apple CEO Tim Cook reportedly met with a top official in China Friday as he tours the country ahead of the China Development Forum and Apple’s own event on Monday. div > div.group > p:first-child »> State-run news agency Xinhua reported that Cook met with Chinese Vice Premier Sun Chunlan on Friday. Apple did not immediately return a request for comment on the topic of the meeting or other reasons for Cook’s trip to China, but Xinhua said Sun « made positive remarks » about Apple’s role in relations between…

Cowen lowers Tesla price target to $180 and says Model 3 deliveries could be weaker than expected

Wall Street research firm Cowen lowered its price target on Tesla from $200 to $180 on Friday, saying data suggests deliveries during the quarter could fall below expectations, even with Tesla’s « typical end of quarter frantic push. » div > div.group > p:first-child »> Analyst Jeff Osborne is lowering his Model 3 delivery forecast from 55,000 to 47,500 and his Model S and Model X delivery forecast from 21,500 to 18,000, based on data from government and third-party sources. Cowen maintains the equivalent of a sell rating on the…

Analyst Mark Mahaney says ‘Stranger Things 3’ is reason enough to buy Netflix in the short term

Media giant Netflix shouldn’t be too worried about Apple’s new streaming service, which is expected to be announced on Monday, closely followed analyst Mark Mahaney told CNBC. div > div.group > p:first-child »> That’s partially thanks to the highly anticipated season 3 release of Netflix original « Stranger Things, » Mahaney, RBC Capital Markets lead tech analyst, told « Squawk Alley » on Friday. « We think that can be reason by itself to buy stock in the short term, » Mahaney said of the show, which has earned more…

Nokia shares dive on potential Alcatel-Lucent compliance issues

Finnish network equipment maker Nokia said on Friday it was looking into transactions at its former French rival Alcatel-Lucent which it acquired in 2016, after reporting possible compliance issues at the unit to U.S. authorities. Shares were down 5.12 percent by 12:12 p.m. EST, on track for worst day since October 2017 and bottom of the pan-European STOXX 600 index. « The last night comment on possible fines stemming from business transactions of Alcatel-Lucent is hurting the stock, the market is really sensitive about Nokia these days, » said Kimmo…

Majority of bitcoin trading is a hoax, new study finds

New research is casting even more doubt on the legitimacy of bitcoin trading. div > div.group > p:first-child »> An analysis published by Bitwise this week shows that 95 percent of bitcoin spot trading is faked by unregulated exchanges. The survey, first reported by The Wall Street Journal, echoes concerns by regulators that cryptocurrency markets are still ripe for manipulation. Bitwise, an asset manager in the process of trying to list the first-ever bitcoin exchange traded fund, said it met with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday to discuss…

Uber faces fresh legal challenge over driver data

Uber drivers in the U.K. are filing a lawsuit against the company over allegations the firm has continuously broken European data protection laws. div > div.group > p:first-child »> Four drivers are taking legal action against the ride-hailing giant, claiming the company is « failing to honour its obligations » under the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) legislation. Under GDPR rules, individuals have the right to access personal data held by any company — even their employer. Companies have one month to respond to a request for data, whether…

Tesla brings back its referral program, sort of

Tesla is bringing back its once popular referral program in a new form just months after killing it, the company said. div > div.group > p:first-child »> But the program will be different from its previous incarnation, which Tesla said was too costly to keep up. For every customer a Tesla owner refers, the company will give both people 1,000 miles of free use of its Supercharger charging network and will enter the referrer into drawings for a special edition of the Model Y crossover monthly and second generation Tesla…

Here’s how Snap is pitching big pharma advertisers to peel them away from Facebook

Snap is trying to get pharmaceutical companies to place ad campaigns for products that are relevant to younger audiences, ranging from birth control to vaccinations, on Snapchat. div > div.group > p:first-child »> To make the case, it’s positioning itself as a friendlier social network than Facebook and Twitter, a place where young people feel comfortable discussing private matters and may be more receptive to ads that refer to health matters, according to a slide deck seen by CNBC. Pharmaceutical companies still invest billions in television ads, their primary platform…

New York Times CEO warns publishers on the dangers of partnering with Apple

Apple is expected to launch an ambitious new entertainment and paid digital news service on Monday, as the iPhone maker pushes back against streaming video leader Netflix. But it likely will not feature the New York Times. Mark Thompson, chief executive of the biggest U.S. newspaper by subscribers, warned that relying on third-party distribution can be dangerous for publishers who risk losing control over their own product. « We tend to be quite leery about the idea of almost habituating people to find our journalism somewhere else, » he told…

Three stocks to hedge against an economic slowdown

The Federal Reserve painted a more somber economic picture this week, and one money manager said its outlook is on the money. div > div.group > p:first-child »> « You just look around the world and you see everything slowing down and we’ve been an island, » Ron Weiner, managing director and partner at RDM Financial Group, told CNBC’s « Trading Nation » on Thursday. « It just doesn’t look like there’s a great amount of upside around the globe so I think that’s going to hurt the U.S. to…

Don’t chase Apple into this ‘battleground’ range, says chart analyst

All eyes are on Apple ahead of Monday, when the company is expected to debut a new streaming TV service and a bundled subscription Apple News offering. div > div.group > p:first-child »> Street analysts and investors alike believe this could be the catalyst that propels the stock back to previous highs. The stock was up slightly in Friday’s premarket trading, after gaining as much as 4 percent during Thursday’s session. It’s now back above its 200-day moving average for the first time since November, pushed higher by a series…

Underground farming could transform the way your coriander, watercress and rocket is grown

While we may associate farming with sunshine, fresh air and pretty patches of land, innovation and technology are beginning to change where food is grown. In London, for instance, one farm is using LED technology and hydroponic systems to produce greens 33-meters below the surface. The company, aptly named Growing Underground, says its process uses 70 percent less water than a traditional, « open-field farming. » Hydroponics, as the Royal Horticultural Society puts it, relates to « the science of growing plants without using soil, by feeding them on mineral…

Analysts say shares of China’s Tencent are still a buy despite its dismal earnings

div > div.group > p:first-child »> Chinese tech juggernaut Tencent posted on Thursday its slowest profit growth in 13 years, but analysts say shares in the company are still worth buying. In fact, at least three firms raised their price targets on the stock after the quarterly results. On Friday, the stock closed at 365 Hong Kong dollars per share (about $46.52). « We actually … continue to have a buy rating and raise the target price to 430 (Hong Kong) dollars yesterday following the results, » Alicia Yap, head…

China may miss out on $5.5 trillion in growth if it doesn’t take data privacy more seriously

If China doesn’t step up its efforts on issues such as data privacy and intellectual property protection, the country could lose out on a 37 trillion yuan ($5.5 trillion) growth opportunity in the decade ahead, according to new analysis. div > div.group > p:first-child »> Based on research from economics consulting firm AlphaBeta, the report published Thursday by the nonprofit Hinrich Foundation found that China’s 2017 flows of digital data contributed 3.2 trillion yuan of value to the domestic economy, and 1.6 trillion overseas. By 2030, the analysts expect growth…

Read Elon Musk’s email urging Tesla employees to help with deliveries

As Tesla rushed to make as many vehicle deliveries as possible by the end of March, CEO Elon Musk sent an e-mail to all employees urging them to volunteer to help out with deliveries, no matter their role. div > div.group > p:first-child »> The move is typical — Tesla usually calls for « all-hands on deck » to try to meet end-of-quarter goals. However, at Tesla’s factories and stores, the company is making do with fewer hands than it had to help at the fourth quarter of 2018. Tesla…

Cramer: Investors need a new playbook now that the Fed ended rate hikes this year

Investors need not worry that the Federal Reserve induced a market « sea change » by calling off interest rate increases this year and adjust their game plan to make money, CNBC’s Jim Cramer said Thursday. div > div.group > p:first-child »> The major averages all rose higher during the session on the agency’s monetary policy reversal, he said. « This is a dramatic shift—we don’t need to worry about more rate hikes—and that’s why it’s causing a sea change in the stock market right now because we’re in a…

Child abuse charges against YouTube channel’s mom underscore lack of oversight for kids

The lighthearted videos appeared to be scripted, edited and neatly produced, and featured their young stars engaging in wholesome mischief as playful music hummed in the background. It was a recipe that worked for « Fantastic Adventures, » a hit YouTube family comedy series created by an Arizona family and shut down this week amid allegations of child abuse off-screen. Before YouTube terminated it, the family’s channel had attracted nearly 800,000 subscribers and amassed more than 2 million views — potentially netting upwards of $20,000 per sponsored video. But while…

Apple’s stock is on a tear as it builds suspense for its upcoming event with a product launch spree

Apple’s stock is on a tear this week as it releases a string of products in the lead up to its highly-anticipated event on Monday. div > div.group > p:first-child »> The stock had its biggest rally Thursday since January, closing up 3.7 percent at $195.09 per share for its ninth positive day in the past 10 trading days. Apple fell just short of taking back the title of the world’s largest public company from Microsoft. Still, Apple is once again approaching $1 trillion in market value, adding about $33…

Comcast has a new streaming box for cord cutters that you can get for $5 per month

Comcast is making it easier for its broadband-only customers to access streaming video without an outside set-top box. div > div.group > p:first-child »> For $5-per-month, Comcast will give its internet-only customers a connected box to watch Netflix, Amazon Prime and other streaming applications, eschewing the need for a separately purchased device such as a Roku, Apple TV or Amazon Fire TV. Called Flex, the device and service will be available for Comcast customers on March 26.Flex will only be available to Comcast internet customers. It will come with a…

Facebook employees had access to millions of user passwords

Facebook stored « hundreds of millions » of account passwords without encryption and viewable as plain text to tens of thousands of company employees, according to a report Thursday by cybersecurity journalist Brian Krebs. div > div.group > p:first-child »> Facebook confirmed the report in a blog post. The incident could have affected as many as 600 million users, a significant portion of Facebook’s user base of 2.7 billion people. « As part of a routine security review in January, we found that some user passwords were being stored in…

Tesla is suing former employees and self-driving startup Zoox for allegedly taking secrets

Tesla is suing self-driving car startup Zoox and several former Tesla employees for allegedly stealing company information. div > div.group > p:first-child »> The electric car maker says former employees Scott Turner, Sydney Cooper, Christian Dement, and Craig Emigh, « absconded with select proprietary Tesla documents useful to their new employer, and at least one of them used Tesla’s confidential information to target other Tesla employees for hiring by Zoox, » according to a suit filed in a U.S. District Court in Northern California. In doing so the defendants, including…

San Francisco could ban Amazon’s cashier-free stores

San Francisco is considering a ban on cashless Amazon stores as it weighs a bill that would make it one of a growing list of cities forbidding cashless retailers. div > div.group > p:first-child »> Just this week, New Jersey followed Philadelphia’s lead in signing into law a cashless store ban. Lawmakers argue that cashless stores can effectively discriminate against low-income consumers, who may not have a bank account or credit card. But businesses say going cashless is good for consumers and reduces the risk of robbery and the ability…

Apple is on a hardware-launching bonanza ahead of its big TV announcement

Apple has announced three new products so far this week, an unusual spree of releases for the technology giant which usually prefers to reveal new products as part of a flashy stage show. div > div.group > p:first-child »> But this week’s announcements, which include new versions of the iPad Mini, the iPad Air, the iMac and Apple’s AirPods, were made quietly, through press releases posted early in the morning. The new products announced by Apple aren’t the company’s major product lines. The new iPads are updated versions of previous…

2020 hopeful Beto O’Rourke says he’d rather see Big Tech regulated than broken up

Presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke said Wednesday he’d rather see Big Tech regulated than broken up. div > div.group > p:first-child »> The comments take a slightly different tack than Sen. Elizabeth Warren and her proposal to dismantle some of Silicon Valley’s giants, but ultimately pit another Democratic 2020 candidate against the likes of Facebook and Google. « I’m not sure if having five more Facebooks — if you broke up Facebook into five component parts, or any of these other large social media or technology companies — makes as much…

Fiat is struggling in the US. Is the Italian brand ready to pull the plug on America, again?

Fiat is marking its 120th anniversary with a pint-sized concept car appropriately dubbed the Centoventi, or 120 in Italian. div > div.group > p:first-child »> The prototype that made its debut this month at the Geneva Motor Show is believed to offer a hint of one of the battery-powered production models the brand is working up. But the debut of the Centoventi, which is even smaller than the familiar Fiat 500, comes at a time when the future of the Fiat brand is coming into question, especially its role in…

Needham upgrades Apple to strong buy, sees 20% rally in the next year

Apple was upgraded to strong buy from buy at Needham on Thursday, as the firm primarily sees Apple’s ecosystem as having « value upside. » div > div.group > p:first-child »> « We anticipate better than previously expected results from both Services and Wearables, Home and Accessories, as well as valuation upside created by falling churn and strong barriers to entry » for competitors, Needham analyst Laura Martin said in a note to investors. Apple is expected to unveil a new streaming TV service at an event on March 25.…

Volvo to put cameras and sensors in its cars to tackle drunk driving

Volvo Cars is set to install in-car cameras and sensors to monitor drivers for signs of intoxication and distraction. div > div.group > p:first-child »> The firm said the technology will be used to monitor drivers and, when needed, enable the car « to intervene if a clearly intoxicated or distracted driver does not respond to warning signals and is risking an accident involving serious injury or death. » Actions the car could take include limiting speed to slowing down and then parking the car in a safe place. Installation…

The new iPad Mini is compact but incredibly powerful, and fans will love it

Finally, it’s confusing and bizarre that the new Mini this uses the older Apple Pencil instead of the new one. That means it still charges awkwardly in the Lightning port, instead of on the side of the iPad, like on the iPad Pros. Make sure you buy the first-generation Apple Pencil instead of the second-generation version, which has the same name, or it won’t charge. If you’re buying from Apple’s web site, use the « Select » function and make sure you’re buying the version that supports the Mini. If…

Micron says memory chip recovery is coming later in the year, sending shares higher

U.S. chipmaker Micron Technology on Wednesday said it sees a recovery in the memory chip market coming and reported a quarterly profit that beat estimates as cost controls helped offset falling demand and prices, sending its shares up nearly 5 percent. Micron makes NAND storage chips that are used in phones and internet servers as well as DRAM chips that help computer processors communicate with those storage chips. The company beat revenue expectations for the fiscal second quarter ended Feb. 28. Although it gave a forecast for its fiscal third…