Richard Branson: Virgin Orbit could replace satellites for the Air Force in 24 hours

Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson’s space ambitions have expanded from tourism to launching satellites. Branson touted on Thursday the quick turnaround capability that rocket launcher Virgin Orbit may soon be able to provide the U.S. military. div > div.group > p:first-child »> « From the government’s point of view, if satellites got lost in any conflict in the future, God forbid, we’re about the only company in the world that could replace them in 24 hours, » Branson said in an interview with CNBC’s Morgan Brennan. Branson met with…

SurveyMonkey shares collapse after Q4 earnings and announcing its CFO is leaving

SurveyMonkey tanked as much as 15 percent Thursday, a day after reporting fourth-quarter earnings results. div > div.group > p:first-child »> The company reported a loss per share of 3 cents, exactly in line with Wall Street estimates, and quarterly revenue of $67.9 million, beating out consensus estimates of $65.9 million. The company also announced Tim Maly, who serves as both chief financial officer and chief operating officer, is retiring during the second quarter. SurveyMonkey, formally SVMK Inc., posted a GAAP net loss for the quarter of $25 million, marking…

Analysts see ‘more questions than answers’ for Nvidia’s earnings

A little over two weeks after Nvidia issued a negative earnings pre-announcement, analysts expectations continue to be very low for the gaming-card company when it reports after the bell on Thursday. div > div.group > p:first-child »> Nvidia surprised investors and analysts on Jan. 28 by warning of a huge revenue miss,citing macro deterioration in China, data center issues, and weaker than expected sales. The stock has lost almost half its value in the last four4 months alone. However, since the pre-announcement Nvidia is up 10 percent at $153.91 heading…

Wealthfront joins the battle for deposits with a high-yield cash account

Wealthfront is going after a key banking function: Storing people’s cash. div > div.group > p:first-child »> The decade-old fintech company, which began as an automated financial advisor start-up, announced the launch of a cash account Thursday. The move allows Wealthfront to hold customers’ money and return a 2.24 percent yield. « We view the banking industry is the next piece in financial services for targeting innovation, » Wealthfront founder Dan Carroll told CNBC in a phone interview. « The best financial decisions can ultimately be on autopilot, and this…

Chinese phones now account for a third of the European market, with Huawei leading the way

The latest figures from market analysts Canalys have quantified a trend that many of us might have sensed in 2018: the rise of the Chinese phone in Europe. The year saw huge flagship launch events in Paris hosted by Huawei and Oppo, accompanied by Xiaomi’s gradual expansion into more countries across the continent and OnePlus’ enduring popularity. Canalys says that 32 percent, or roughly one-third, of smartphone shipments in Europe in 2018 were from Chinese manufacturers, with Huawei taking the lion’s share of that with more than 23 percent of…

Pirates found a way to load paid apps on iPhones for free, and Apple could be losing money

Software pirates have hijacked technology designed by Apple to distribute hacked versions of Spotify, Angry Birds, Pokemon Go, Minecraft and other popular apps on iPhones, Reuters has found. Illicit software distributors such as TutuApp, Panda Helper, AppValley and TweakBox have found ways to use digital certificates to get access to a program Apple introduced to let corporations distribute business apps to their employees without going through Apple’s tightly controlled App Store. Using so-called enterprise developer certificates, these pirate operations are providing modified versions of popular apps to consumers, enabling them…

Amazon loaded up on low-risk government bonds last year as investors dumped tech stocks

As investors dumped tech stocks in the fourth quarter of 2018 on concerns of rising interest rates, an emerging trade war with China and a looming government shutdown, Amazon followed suit and loaded up on low-risk government bonds. div > div.group > p:first-child »> Amazon increased its U.S. government and agency securities holdings by a record $6.8 billion in 2018, ending the year with $11.7 billion worth of the debt, the most ever, according to the company’s annual report. That’s more than double the amount Amazon had in the previous…

Morgan Stanley: An electric pickup from Tesla or Rivian is a ‘serious problem’ for Detroit

The auto industry’s electric vehicle revolution has only just begun, Morgan Stanley told investors in a note on Thursday, and the highly profitable pickup truck market is next. div > div.group > p:first-child »> « An electric pickup truck successfully launched by a new player (i.e. Rivian or Tesla) could be a serious problem for the Detroit based [traditional automakers], » Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas said in a note to investors. Jonas is widely known on Wall Street for being one of the first to recognize the significance of…

Google adds haptic feedback to its iOS keyboard

Google is adding haptic feedback to its iOS keyboard today. Version 1.40 of Google’s Gboard, spotted by 9to5Google, includes an option to turn haptic feedback on for recent iPhones dating back to the iPhone 7. It’s a subtle vibration for each key press, and it’s something that Apple doesn’t offer with its own built-in iOS keyboard. Most third-party keyboards also don’t offer haptic feedback for key presses, and the ones that do often cost money. Every letter press, symbol, and number provides a tiny vibration in Google’s Gboard update, and…

Phone makers aren’t even trying to keep their secrets secret anymore

The Samsung Galaxy S10 will be launched at Samsung’s February 20th event this year, and the first preorders will be delivered by March 8th. I can tell you these dates straight up, without any hedging or caveating, because they’re official, courtesy of Samsung’s newly published reservation page for the new phone. On that page, the company throws up a white flag of resignation, admitting that “we know you know what is coming.” Who is Samsung capitulating to? Industrious leakers like evleaks and Roland Quandt, who, year after year, preempt flagship…

JP Morgan is rolling out the first cryptocurrency by a US bank to transform the payments business

The first cryptocurrency created by a major U.S. bank is here – and it’s from J.P. Morgan Chase. div > div.group > p:first-child »> The lender moves more than $6 trillion around the world every day for corporations in its massive wholesale payments business. In trials set to start in a few months, a tiny fraction of that will happen over something called ‘JPM Coin,’ the digital token created by engineers at the New York-based bank to instantly settle payments between clients. J.P. Morgan is preparing for a future in…

Tesla introduces ‘Dog Mode’ to keep your pets from getting too hot

Tesla officially introduced a new feature on Thursday called « Dog Mode » that aims to keep owners’ pets comfortable while left unattended in the vehicle. div > div.group > p:first-child »> « Dog Mode » keeps climate control on while the car is parked and also includes a display screen with the temperature so that people passing by can see that owners’ pets are safe, Tesla said. The electric car maker showed off « Dog Mode » in a tweet early Thursday. It’s one of several software updates the…

One of the world’s largest crypto exchanges says it’s still profitable ‘even in this bear market’

Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, is still profitable despite last year’s market meltdown, its chief financial officer said. div > div.group > p:first-child »> Last year saw the prices of major virtual currencies plunge dramatically. Bitcoin, the most valuable crypto, is down 80 percent from a near-$20,000 record high it set in December 2017. « To date, even in this bear market, we still run a profitable business, » Binance CFO Wei Zhou told CNBC in a phone interview Wednesday. The company doesn’t disclose its financials…

CEO of Australia’s largest telco weighs in on profit decline

div > div.group > p:first-child »> Australia’s largest telecom company Telstra will soon be ready to give customers the next-generation of ultra-high speed mobile internet, known as 5G, its CEO said on Thursday. Mobile is the « engine room » of Telstra’s business and it will be a critical part of the future, Andrew Penn told CNBC’s « Street Signs. » « We have had more than 200 sites rolled out on 5G now, » he said. « We’ll be one of the first global operators to actually put 5G…

The LG G8 has a vibrating OLED screen for a speaker

LG is continuing its dripfeed of pre-announcement G8 ThinQ announcements today with some news on the phone’s audio capabilities. The phone uses the same “Crystal Sound OLED” branding that LG has used on some of its TVs before; this means that the entire display will vibrate to work as a speaker, which was previously rumored. The news also confirms that the G8 will be the first flagship G-series phone not to use an LCD. The G8 still has a bottom-facing speaker for louder use cases like speakerphone calls, and LG…

As information increasingly drives economies, China is set to overtake the US in race for data

China will generate more data than the United States by 2025 as it pushes into new technologies such as the so-called Internet of Things, according to a new report. div > div.group > p:first-child »> Data created and replicated in China will outpace the global average by 3 percent annually, a study from the International Data Corporation and data storage firm Seagate found. The report said in 2018, China generated about 7.6 zettabytes of data and that number will grow to 48.6ZB in 2025. A zettabyte is approximately around a…

Tesla is not ‘quite out of the woods yet,’ says Morgan Stanley’s Adam Jonas

Tesla has made progress reducing its cash burn but the electric-car maker is not « quite out of the woods yet, » Morgan Stanley’s Adam Jonas told CNBC on Wednesday. div > div.group > p:first-child »> The auto analyst expects Tesla to burn about $600 million, possibly as much as $1 billion, in cash in the first quarter, but said a partnership with a tech company or another original equipment manufacturer « could go a long way. » The key for Tesla is to expand beyond a « standalone electric…

Cramer Remix: The market may not be able to handle this perfect storm

With all of the investors fretting about the trade war with China and the Federal Reserve’s plans for interest rates, what CNBC’s Jim Cramer is really worried about here is jeans. div > div.group > p:first-child »> « Yep, I think the biggest threat to this bull market is denim, » he said Wednesday on « Mad Money » as stocks rose on hopes of a U.S.-China trade deal. « I, right now, at this very moment, am more worried about jeans than I am about China. » Cramer was…

Digital Currency Group CEO says most cryptocurrencies will fail, but bitcoin is still king

A bear market could be just the beginning of the pain for most cryptocurrencies, according to one widely followed industry expert. div > div.group > p:first-child »> Barry Silbert, CEO and founder of Digital Currency Group, said besides bitcoin the majority of the once blazing hot crypto market will eventually be worthless. « I’m not a believer in the vast majority of digital tokens and believe most will go to zero, » Silbert told CNBC in a phone interview following its quarterly call with investors. The rise in initial coin…

Apple’s big services push will reportedly kick off with a March 25 event

Apple is holding an event on March 25 to announce new services, including streaming video and subscription news, according to reports in BuzzFeed and Bloomberg. div > div.group > p:first-child »> Adding new subscription services would help Apple bolster its services revenue, which the company is counting on to spur growth as iPhone sales fall. iPhone revenues were down 15 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018, and things don’t look much brighter for the iPhone as the year rolls on. Today, the company’s services revenue includes a large component…

A lot of ‘negative surprises’ will hit markets in coming months: Hedge-fund veteran Mark Yusko

Morgan Creek Capital CEO Mark Yusko, who has a bearish outlook for the year, told CNBC on Wednesday that the market is a rubber ball bouncing down the stairs toward a « bad place. » div > div.group > p:first-child »> While each of the major U.S. indexes has gained about 10 percent year to date, the hedge-fund veteran foresees bad news on a number of fronts, including economic, earnings, revenue and corporate layoffs. « I see lots of negative surprises, » Yusko said on « Power Lunch. » «…

Silicon Valley hedge funder Glen Katcher sees an ‘incredible opportunity’ in SoftBank

Some of the best investments that Silicon Valley has been chasing after can be found on just one stock: Softbank, hedge funder Glen Kacher told CNBC on Wednesday. div > div.group > p:first-child »> The founder and chief investment officer of Light Street Capital, based in Palo Alto, California, called the Japanese conglomerate an « incredible opportunity. » SoftBank is the firm’s largest equity holding. « Their stake in Alibaba is their entire market cap. They also own incredible assets, » including a big stake in Yahoo Japan and Sprint,…

Yelp jumps on earnings and says its increasing share buyback by $250 million

Yelp shares jumped more than 7 percent after releasing its earnings report Wednesday where it announced it is increasing its share buyback by $250 million. The company handily beat analyst expectations on both revenue and earnings per share. div > div.group > p:first-child »> Here are the numbers Yelp posted compared to analyst expectations: Earnings per share: $0.37 per share vs. estimate of $0.10 per share, per Refinitiv Revenue: $244 million vs. estimate of $241 million, per Refinitiv The company also announced three new board members. Twilio COO George Hu,…

Cisco shares rise on better-than-expected revenue and earnings

Cisco shares rose in extended trading on Wednesday after the manufacturer of networking equipment reported quarterly revenue and earnings that beat analysts’ estimates. div > div.group > p:first-child »> Here are the key numbers for Cisco’s fiscal second quarter: Earnings: 73 cents per share, excluding certain items, vs. 72 cents per share as expected by analysts, according to Refinitiv.Revenue: $12.45 billion, vs. $12.41 billion as expected by analysts, according to Refinitiv. Revenue increased by about 5 percent from a year earlier in the quarter, which ended on Jan. 26. Cisco…

Two ways GM and Amazon can make money on Rivian’s electric pickups

The reported investment automaker General Motors and online giant Amazon made in an electric pickup truck major could yield two very different payouts for such different companies, say two auto industry analysts. div > div.group > p:first-child »> Neither Amazon nor General Motors commented on reports on Tuesday that each company had taken a stake in the Michigan-based startup that wants to be the first automaker to bring an electric pickup to market. GM and Amazon each may have its own unique uses for Rivian’s electric platform. Their investments together…

The stolen Equifax data has never been found and experts suspect a spy scheme

On September 7, 2017, the world heard an alarming announcement from credit ratings giant Equifax: In a brazen cyber-attack, somebody had stolen sensitive personal information from more than 140 million people, nearly half the population of the U.S. div > div.group > p:first-child »> It was the consumer data security scandal of the decade. The information included social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, information from credit disputes and other personal details. CEO Richard Smith stepped down under fire. Lawmakers changed credit freeze laws and instilled new regulatory oversight of credit…

Google’s 2019 expansion plans will put offices in 24 out of 50 states

Google CEO Sundar Pichai today announced that the company will expand its US footprint into several new states, including Nebraska, Nevada, and Oklahoma. The company plans to build new offices and data centers across the country, citing more than 10,000 construction jobs in those areas and total investments of more than $13 billion. In 2018, the company invested $9 billion in facility expansions. “With this new investment, Google will now have a home in 24 total states, including data centers in 13 communities,” Pichai wrote in a blog post. “2019…

Apple is targeting April to launch its new video service: Netflix not included, HBO in doubt

Apple is in the final stages of preparing its new streaming video service, which will feature free original content for device owners and a subscription platform for existing digital services. But don’t expect Netflix to be a part of it, and HBO’s participation is also in doubt, according to people familiar with the matter. div > div.group > p:first-child »> Apple is aiming to launch service in April or early May. It will allow customers to sign up for existing digital streaming products and watch them in the iOS TV…

Google will spend $13 billion on U.S. real estate in 2019, expanding into Nevada, Ohio and Texas

Google’s massive footprint is only getting bigger in 2019. div > div.group > p:first-child »> CEO Sundar Pichai said in a blog post on Wednesday that the company is building new data centers and offices and expanding several key locations across the U.S., spending $13 billion this year. Pichai outlined the plans, which include opening new data centers in Nevada, Ohio, Texas and Nebraska, the first time the company will have infrastructure locations in those states. The company is also doubling its workforce in Virginia, providing greater access to Washington,…