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Global stocks mostly rise with US tech giants surging

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Stock markets picked up Wednesday, with US tech giants surging as investor optimism over the reopening of the economy offset worries about the hit from coronavirus shutdowns.Equities have enjoyed a broad advance for several weeks as virus infection and death rates slow overall, allowing some governments to lift strict stay-at-home measures that have hammered businesses.But while there was a general feeling the worst is past, increased China-US tensions continue to cast a shadow over trading floors, along with an accumulating mountain of indicators of profound economic weakness.The World Bank warned the crisis could leave about 60 million people in extreme poverty, and estimated that the global economy might contract by five percent this year.Federal Reserve minutes showed worries about the lasting damage from COVID-19 on businesses.Policymakers worried that "even after social-distancing requirements were eased, some business models may no longer be economically viable," espe…

Apple, Google Unveil Technology for Covid-19 Exposure Alerts

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Apple Inc. and Alphabet Inc.'s Google released technology Wednesday to help governments track the spread of Covid-19 through apps that notify users if they have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for coronavirus.The tech giants, which make the world's dominant smartphone operating systems, jointly developed the protocol, which allows app developers to use mobile devices' Bluetooth signals to identify devices that have come near each other.U.S. states including North Dakota, Alabama and South Carolina, as well as 22 countries, have requested and received access to the newly released technology, the companies said.The technology, which was previously released in beta versions, is intended to complement health workers' use of conventional means to trace infected people's contacts. The apps may need a high level of user adoption to effectively track Covid-19 outbreaks, public-health experts say.Though Apple and Google are providing tools for developers, th…

iOS Update Addresses iPhone Coronavirus Gripes -- Including Mask Issues

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The iOS Coronavirus Update is available for your iPhone and is ready to install.That's what the iOS 13.5 notification should say when it pops up on your iPhone in the next few days.On Wednesday, Apple released an update to its iPhone and iPad software that addresses some of the issues we've complained about during our lockdown lives. For one, it's speeding up Face ID unlocking for iPhone users wearing protective masks. It also made an important tweak to group FaceTime calls.It's not a huge update by any measure, but it is a useful one. I've been testing a beta version on my iPhone 11 for the last couple of weeks without any issue. (No battery life hit or performance slowdowns to report.)When you download it, here are the three big things you want to know about.Faster Mask UnlockNo, Apple's Face ID won't suddenly recognize you when you're wearing a mask, an issue I wrote about a few weeks ago. But it does make it e…

Apple Buys the Rights to Tom Hanks Movie "Greyhound"

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The Tom Hanks-written and Sony-produced film was supposed to debut in theaters on Father's Day before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Apple(NASDAQ:AAPL) just bought the rights to movie star Tom Hanks' World War II film Greyhound, which had originally been slated for a Father's Day release in theaters but because of the COVID-19 pandemic will debut online.
The film, which Apple paid $70 million for streaming rights to the film for fifteen years, CNBC reports. The film, which Hanks wrote and Sony(NYSE:SNE)produced, cost around $50 million to make, according to the CNBC report. Greyhound is the latest movie to land on the list of films that were scheduled to debut in movie theaters but were switched to a digital format as theaters across the world remain shutdown. Trolls World TourScoob, and My Spy are just a few examples. Sony is retaining the Chinese rights to the film with the aim of releasing it in theaters, notes CNBC. Winning the bidding war for the rights to Greyhound is a win …

Wall Street climbs as investors hold out for recovery; Nasdaq at 3-month high!

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(Reuters) - Wall Street's main indexes surged and the Nasdaq hit a three-month high on Wednesday, as investors clung to hopes of a recovery from a coronavirus-fueled slump amid signs of more stimulus for ailing sectors.The tech-heavy index, now about 5% below its all-time high hit in February, boosted by Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN), which were trading at record levels, as well as Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL).The S&P 500 was about 12% below its all-time peak and the Dow Jones index was short by 17%.The three indexes have rallied more than 30% from March lows on unprecedented stimulus, but gains have been capped this month as traders digest mixed headlines on progress in developing a coronavirus vaccine.The S&P 500 tumbled 1% in the final hour of Tuesday's session after a report raised doubts about positive results from Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) Inc's early-stage trial for a COVID-19 vaccine."We don't expect very big gains from here, but…

Johns Hopkins' Adalja Says Moderna Vaccine Is 'Great News,' Needs Followup

The n = 8 thingThe company’s statement led with the fact that all 45 subjects (in this analysis) who received doses of 25 micrograms (two doses each), 100 micrograms (two doses each), or a 250 micrograms (one dose) developed binding antibodies.Later, the statement indicated that eight volunteers — four each from the 25-microgram and 100-microgram arms — developed neutralizing antibodies. Of the two types, these are the ones you’d really want to see.We don’t know results from the other 37 trial participants. This doesn’t mean that they didn’t develop neutralizing antibodies. Testing for neutralizing antibodies is more time-consuming than other antibody tests and must be done in a biosecurity level 3 laboratory. Moderna disclosed the findings from eight subjects because that’s all it had at that point. Still, it’s a reason for caution.Separately, while the Phase 1 trial included healthy volunteers ages 18 to 55 years, the exact ages of these eight people are unknown. If, by chance, they…

Roku Is Looking to Raise Up to $500 Million

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Following its first-quarter earnings release last week, streaming TV platform Roku (NASDAQ:ROKU) is now looking to raise approximately $500 million in fresh capital. In regulatory papers filed yesterday, the company said it had entered into an equity distribution agreement with Morgan Stanley and Citigroup to sell up to 4 million shares in an "at-the-market" offering.The deal is not a secondary offering open to public investors; an equity distribution agreement is a type of private placement. Here's what investors need to know.Raising up to $500 millionRoku says it will use the net proceeds for working capital and general corporate purposes, which may include debt repayment, capital expenditures, or acquisitions, according to the prospectus for the deal. The company does not have any current commitments or agreements regarding acquisitions or investments. Based on the stock's closing price on May 12, Roku estimates that the maximum gross proceeds from the deal could …