Best Fidelity ETFs

Source: Best Fidelity ETFs | Bankrate

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13:57Statement on Final Rule Regarding Tailored Shareholder Reports for Mutual Funds and ExchangeTraded Funds; Fee… US Exchange Commission

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Microsoft in Advanced Talks to Increase Investment in OpenAI

Microsoft previously invested $1 billion in OpenAI.Photo:Mike Segar/REUTERS 

Microsoft Corp. MSFT 1.26% is in advanced talks for a new round of funding in OpenAI, according to a person familiar with the matter, as the software giant seeks to further incorporate artificial intelligence into its products.

No deal has been reached between the two sides and the funding amount could vary as negotiations evolve, the person said. The companies have held talks in recent weeks, according to people familiar with the matter. Microsoft invested $1 billion in OpenAI in 2019.

The new cash could help bankroll the tremendous computing power OpenAI needs to run its various artificial intelligence products on Azure, Microsoft’s cloud computing service.

The startup already uses Azure as its exclusive cloud partner and has agreed to give priority to Microsoft when bringing new technologies to market.Everything is now a tech thing. Columnist Joanna Stern is your guide, giving analysis and answering your questions about our always-connected world.

OpenAI earlier this year launched Dall-E 2, a project that allowed users to generate art from strings of text and showed the fast advances being made in that segment of AI technology. Last week, Microsoft announced it was integrating Dall-E 2 with various products including Microsoft Design, a new graphic design app, and the image creator for search app Bing.

Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Microsoft have each developed its own image-generating models—but have been slower to release them to the public, in part because of ethical concerns.

A newer set of startups have moved more quickly. In August, artificial intelligence startup Stability AI released its own text-to-image generator to the public. It then raised $101 million in new funding from investors including Lightspeed Venture Partners and Coatue Management.

OpenAI, led by the technology investor Sam Altman, began as a nonprofit in 2015 with $1 billion in pledges from Tesla Inc. CEO Elon Musk, LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman and other backers.

In 2019, OpenAI created a for-profit company and raised the $1 billion from Microsoft, citing greater computing and staffing needs. OpenAI said it would cap profits at the company, diverting the remainder to the nonprofit group.

Much of OpenAI’s research is focused on the potential impacts of artificial general intelligence, the idea that AI systems could one day become better than humans at performing some of the most important tasks.

Some researchers have cautioned that recent advances in AI contribute to unwarranted hype around the technology, and many applications are fraught with ethical issues.

OpenAI said more than 1.5 million users created over 2 million images a day using Dall-E 2 after it was released to the public this month. The technology can turn text descriptions like “an Andy Warhol style painting of a bunny rabbit wearing sunglasses” into realistic images and artworks.

OpenAI has also developed programs to automatically generate text or computer code from written language samples, which are used by companies including Salesforce Inc. CRM 0.02% and Intel Corp. INTC 0.76%

By: Berber Jin and Miles Kruppa

Source: Microsoft in Advanced Talks to Increase Investment in OpenAI – WSJ

Critics:

Criticism of Microsoft has followed various aspects of its products and business practices. Frequently criticized are the ease of use, robustness, and security of the company’s software. They’ve also been criticized for the use of permatemp employees (employees employed for years as “temporary,” and therefore without medical benefits), the use of forced retention tactics, which means that employees would be sued if they tried to leave.[246]

Historically, Microsoft has also been accused of overworking employees, in many cases, leading to burnout within just a few years of joining the company. The company is often referred to as a “Velvet Sweatshop”, a term which originated in a 1989 Seattle Times article,[247] and later became used to describe the company by some of Microsoft’s own employees.[248] This characterization is derived from the perception that Microsoft provides nearly everything for its employees in a convenient place, but in turn overworks them to a point where it would be bad for their (possibly long-term) health.

As reported by several news outlets,[249][250] an Irish subsidiary of Microsoft based in the Republic of Ireland declared £220 bn in profits but paid no corporation tax for the year 2020. This is due to the company being tax resident in Bermuda as mentioned in the accounts for ‘Microsoft Round Island One’, a subsidiary that collects licence fees from the use of Microsoft software worldwide.

Dame Margaret Hodge, a Labour MP in the UK said, “It is unsurprising – yet still shocking – that massively wealthy global corporations openly, unashamedly and blatantly refuse to pay tax on the profits they make in the countries where they undertake business”.[250]

In 2020, ProPublica reported that the company had diverted more than $39 billion in U.S. profits to Puerto Rico using a mechanism structured to make it seem as if the company was unprofitable on paper. As a result, the company paid a tax rate on those profits of “nearly 0%.” When the Internal Revenue Service audited these transactions, ProPublica reported that Microsoft aggressively fought back, including successfully lobbying Congress to change the law to make it harder for the agency to conduct audits of large corporations.

“Embrace, extend, and extinguish” (EEE),[253] also known as “embrace, extend, and exterminate”,[254] is a phrase that the U.S. Department of Justice found[255] that was used internally by Microsoft[256] to describe its strategy for entering product categories involving widely used standards, extending those standards with proprietary capabilities, and then using those differences to strongly disadvantage competitors. Microsoft is frequently accused of using anticompetitive tactics and abusing its monopolistic power.

People who use their products and services often end up becoming dependent on them, a process known as vendor lock-in. Microsoft was the first company to participate in the PRISM surveillance program, according to leaked NSA documents obtained by The Guardian[257] and The Washington Post[258] in June 2013, and acknowledged by government officials following the leak.[259]

The program authorizes the government to secretly access data of non-US citizens hosted by American companies without a warrant. Microsoft has denied participation in such a program. Jesse Jackson believes Microsoft should hire more minorities and women. In 2015, he praised Microsoft for appointing two women to its board of directors

.

Related contents:

“Investment History”. Microsoft. Retrieved 2022-08-30.Menzes, Bill (April 1999). “Microsoft Joins @Home Solutions”. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2008-10-31.[dead link]“Accel Partners”. iWon. Archived from the original on 2006-05-26. Retrieved 2008-10-31.

Conlin, Robert (1999-09-27). “Microsoft Invests $15 Million in Akamai Technologies”. ECT News Network. Retrieved 2008-10-31.“Ameranth Technology Systems Inc. Announces Investment by Microsoft”. CBS Interactive. 2000-06-19. Archived from the original on 2012-07-11. Retrieved 2008-10-31.“AMERICAN CITY BUSINESS JOURNALS AND MICROSOFT ENTER INTO PARINERSHIP”. Business Publisher. Dun and Bradstreet. 2001-02-15. Retrieved 2008-10-31.

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Burned By Tech Stocks? Consider These 3 ETFs Instead

Unfortunately, hopping off the tech-stock roller coaster may be harder than you think. Seven of the largest 10 companies in the S&P 500 index are in tech (eight if you consider Tesla a tech company).

Tech’s influence on the broader market

The list of S&P 500 tech stocks includes Microsoft, Alphabet, and Amazon. All three have negative year-to-date performance. Worse, these stocks and their large-cap tech peers are heavily represented in index funds and ESG funds, not to mention tech funds.

There are times when increasing your exposure to a broad market index fund can be a defensive tactic. But that strategy won’t help right now if you’re sick of getting burned by tech.

What you can do is increase your exposure to ETFs that invest in stable sectors like consumer goods, utilities, and healthcare. Because these sectors sell products and services that people need (vs. want), they’re less sensitive to temporary economic conditions.

For an idea of how these sectors have behaved differently from tech recently. It shows the performance of three stable sector ETFs vs. the Nasdaq 100 index over the last six months.

Those sector ETFs may look very comforting, but there’s a huge caveat here. Six months is a short window of time.

This is why changing up your portfolio in response to temporary market conditions can easily backfire. When tech eventually stabilizes, you may regret overinvesting in lower-growth sectors.

On the other hand, diversifying more outside of tech — or any one sector — is smart. That’s especially true in two scenarios. One, you may not have realized your heavy exposure to tech if that exposure is mostly through funds. And two, your risk tolerance may be lower than it was when you built your portfolio, and now you’re ready to get more conservative.

If one of those situations applies, read on for some key stats on the three ETFs shown in the chart above.

1. Consumer Staples ETF

Fidelity MSCI Consumer Staples Index ETF holds 99 large-, mid-, and small-cap consumer staples stocks. The fund’s top 10 holdings include Proctor & Gamble, Coca-Cola, Costco, and Pepsi.

FTEC’s 30-day SEC yield, a standardized measure of dividend yield, is 2.11%. The fund’s total average return over the last five years is 9.74%.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
FTEC FIDELITY COVINGTON TRUST MSCI INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY 108.67 -4.59 -4.05%
KO THE COCA-COLA CO. 64.64 -1.52 -2.30%
COST COSTCO WHOLESALE CORP. 531.72 -30.28 -5.39%
PEP PEPSICO INC. 171.71 -5.79 -3.26%

2. Utilities ETF

Vanguard Utilities ETF holds 64 utilities stocks such as Duke Energy and wind and solar energy-producer NextEra Energy. The top 10 holdings comprise 54% of VPU’s total net assets — a fairly heavy concentration.

The fund pays out a 2.7% dividend yield, per the 30-day SEC yield formula. The five-year average annual returns are 10.87%.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
VPU VANGUARD WORLD FDS VANGUARD UTILITIES ETF 154.73 -4.71 -2.95%
DUK DUKE ENERGY CORP. 110.09 -3.71 -3.26%
NEE NEXTERA ENERGY INC. 71.02 -2.51 -3.41%

3. Healthcare ETF

The Health Care Select Sector SPDR Fund invests in healthcare companies that are also in the S&P 500. This approach gives you the sector exposure you want, plus a focus on larger, established organizations.

There are 64 stocks in the XLV portfolio, including UnitedHealth Group, Johnson & Johnson, and Pfizer. Like VPU, this fund has a top-10 concentration of more than 50%.

XLV has a 30-day SEC yield of 1.3% and has returned an annual average of 15% over the last five years.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
XLV HEALTH CARE SELECT SECTOR SPDR ETF 130.28 -3.44 -2.57%
UNH UNITEDHEALTH GROUP INC. 508.55 -15.87 -3.03%
JNJ JOHNSON & JOHNSON 180.56 -3.03 -1.65%
PFE PFIZER INC. 49.07 -1.44 -2.85%

Diversify for stability

The recent tech sell-off is a reminder not to bet too big on any one sector — even technology. To diversify outside of tech and build more stability into your portfolio, consider ETFs in less cyclical sectors. Consumer staples, utilities, and healthcare are three examples.

If tech stocks are roller coasters, stocks in these stable sectors are more like tilt-a-whirls. You may still need a seatbelt, but the highs and lows should be less extreme.

Source: Burned by tech stocks? Consider these 3 ETFs instead | Fox Business

.

More content:

Microsoft Boosts Revenue Forecast, Alphabet Growth Slows

It was a tale of two tech companies and their quarterly results after the bell on Tuesday.

Microsoft reported the tech equivalent of a hat trick. For the quarter, Microsoft reported profit and revenue that topped expectations, and the company forecast double-digit revenue growth for the next fiscal year.

The key driver being demand for cloud computing services, and its shares jumped about 4%.

Microsoft forecast Intelligent Cloud revenue of $21.1 billion to $21.35 billion for its fiscal fourth quarter. That is compared with a Wall Street consensus of $20.933 billion, according to Refinitiv data. Microsoft & Google’s parent Alphabet recorded results on Tuesday

“It was a record third quarter, driven by the continued strength of the Microsoft Cloud, which surpassed $23 billion in revenue, up 32% year-over-year,” said CEO Satya Nadella, in the post-earnings call. “Going forward, digital technology will be the key input that powers the world’s economic output.”

The company reported revenue of $49.36 billion, compared with $41.7 billion a year earlier. Analysts on average had expected revenue of $49.05 billion, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

Net income rose to $16.73 billion, or $2.22 per share, in the quarter ended March 31, from $15.46 billion, or $2.03 per share, a year earlier. That topped analyst targets of $2.19.

In contrast, Google parent Alphabet Inc reported that Google Cloud’s growth rate in the first quarter fell slightly to 43.8%, from 44.6% in the 2021 fourth quarter. Alphabet’s first-quarter revenue came in below expectations.

Shares were down 4% in after-hours trading after the company posted its slowest quarterly revenue growth since 2020.

Alphabet’s revenue during the January-March period totaled $68 billion, a 23% increase from the same time last year. The figure fell about $40 million below the average estimate among analysts polled by FactSet Research.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
MSFT MICROSOFT CORP. 270.22 -10.50 -3.74%
GOOGL ALPHABET INC. 2,373.00 -88.48 -3.59%

The first-quarter profit drooped 8% from last year to $16.4 billion, or $24.62 per share. That was also below the average analyst projection of $25.47 per share, according to FactSet.

CLICK HERE TO INVEST MORE ON TECH STOCKS

Google’s ad sales totaled $54.7 billion, during the first quarter, a 22% increase from the same time last year.

Source: Microsoft boosts revenue forecast, Alphabet growth slows | Fox Business

.

Critics:

By: Peter Cohan

Wall Street’s favorite FAANG is mired in its worst monthly stock performance in two years and analysts are counting on earnings to pull it out of the tailspin. Google owner Alphabet Inc. is down about 13% in April, erasing $237 billion in market value as jittery investors dump growth stocks amid fears of bigger and faster rate hikes thanks to rising inflation.

Investors still love shares of companies that beat expectations and raise guidance. So it’s no wonder that Alphabet shares were up some 11% to an all-time high in pre-market trade on February 2.

The catalyst is the company’s fourth quarter revenue and earnings — which exceeded investor expectations. According to CNBC, Alphabet’s revenue increased 32% to $75.33 billion — $3.17 billion more than expected while its earnings per share of $30.69 was 12% above the Refinitiv consensus.

Alphabet has another advantage when it comes to boosting its stock price — most people in the world use its services many times a day. Those satisfied customers might be inclined to follow the dictum of Fidelity Magellan ex-honcho, Peter Lynch, and invest in what they know.

Sadly, that has been difficult in the last several years because of Alphabet’s high stock price. But that problem could be alleviated through Google’s plan for a July 15 “20-for-1 stock split in the form of a one-time special stock dividend,” according to Bloomberg.

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