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FAANG Report: Amazon's home assistant Alexa suffers a blackout in Europe; Apply may rally to new highs

Facebook is in the middle of a difficult dilemma over demands by China to ban the page of pro-independence party in Hong Kong
The Alexa home assistant
Amazon's home assistant went quiet in several European countries. Inc's (NASDAQ:AMZN) Alexa home assistant went missing in action in Europe for parts of Wednesday after it went down in Germany, Spain and portions of the United Kingdom, a report by The Verge said.

It is not clear what caused the outage, although one publication said it might have been due to a reported error at the Amazon Web Services facility in Ireland.

Most people online seemed to be upset that Amazon gave no update or word about what was happening and why, especially since Amazon wants people to turn their homes into complete Alexa hubs, down to their microwaves, the report said. 

Amazon shares were up almost 0.8% to $1,990.22.

Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares may now be in position to carve out new all-time highs and could get another boost when it reports new earnings in late October, a report by CNBC said.

"Apple is in a very solid technical position," founder Todd Gordon said on CNBC's "Trading Nation." Apple shares have gained more than 10% since its market cap crossed $1 trillion for the first time last month, becoming the first US company to do so.

Gordon noted that on a chart of Apple, the stock has been trading in an upward parallel channel, and is now moving toward the higher end of that channel.

Apple shares added 0.01% to $222.23.

READ: Facebook Stories hits 300M daily active users and welcomes advertisers to the feature

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has found itself in the middle of another political dispute after police in Hong Kong asked the social media giant to remove the official page of the pro-independence National Party, a report by Bloomberg said.

The National Party was given an unprecedented ban, with threats of fines and imprisonment for those aiding the group. The request puts Facebook in a difficult position, and refusal could hamper any future efforts by the company to expand in China.

While China censors media outlets and bans Facebook, Twitter and Alphabet Inc’s Google in mainland China, the special administrative region of Hong Kong has relatively fewer restrictions on the press and the internet.

Facebook shares were 1.8% higher at $167.92. 

Still on China, a former research scientist for Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Jack Poulson, said in a letter to the US Senate that they should demand answers from the company on a censored search engine known as Project Dragonfly being developed by the search giant for Beijing, a report by The Guardian said.

Poulson decried a “pattern of unethical and unaccountable decision making from company leadership”, chief among which was the company’s secrecy around Project Dragonfly, which he described as “a version of Google Search tailored to the censorship and surveillance demands of the Chinese government”, the report said.

He said a prototype feature that would allow a Chinese partner company to access a user’s search history by querying their phone number; an “extensive censorship blacklist” for terms including “human rights”, “student protest” and “Nobel prize”; and code that ensures that only government-approved data would be returned for searches about air quality.

Google stock gained 0.36% to $1,188.97.

READ: Google ends ban on cryptocurrency-related advertising

Netflix Inc (NASDAQ:NFLX) said its special during the US Thanksgiving holiday will be a marathon showing of Mystery Science Theater 3000, a report by Engadget said.

The marathon in 2018 will come with a difference as that will be the day when the new Season 12 will arrive on screens.

When the show was on Comedy Central, there would be a Thanksgiving Day marathon every year, offering 10 or so movies back-to-back, of the show.

Netflix stock rose 2.8% to $379.84.  

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February 14 2019

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