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FAANG Report: Amazon narrows choice of 2nd HQ to three cities; Facebook hit for white supremacist ad

Apple slapped with a downgrade after its earnings report while Netflix got a double upgrade
capital dome in Washington DC
Amazon is narrowing the finalists for its second headquarters

Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN) has narrowed its choice of its second headquarters to three cities and the seeming front-runner is not that well known, a report by Investopedia said.

The three choices are Crystal City, Dallas, Texas, and New York City. The first is in North Virginia in the suburbs outside Washington, DC.

Amazon is believed to be negotiating what investment targets it would need to hit to qualify for incentives with government officials there and talking with JBG Smith Properties (JBGS), a publicly traded real-estate investment trust, about the Crystal City real estate it owns.

Crystal City is just across the Potomac River from Washington. It has long been a favorite to win the bidding process because Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has a home there and owns the Washington Post newspaper. The city is also a smart choice because it has good access to tech talent and excellent transport links, two factors that rank high on Amazon’s wish list, as well as numerous ready-to-occupy buildings, the report said.

Later on Monday, the Wall Street Journal said Amazon plans to split its second headquarters evenly between two locations. 

Amazon shares dropped 3.6% to $1,605.34 by midsession on Monday.

READ: Amazon gives all US customers free shipping with no minimum purchases during holiday season

The CEO of Alphabet Inc's Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Sundar Pichai, appeared to be unprepared for the magnitude of the walkout by company employees over the treatment of women in the company, a report by Forbes said.

Pichai had told employees in an internal email that he supported the protesters and had indicated managers should not take punitive action against those who participated in the walkout.

The CEO said: “It’s been a difficult time here. There’s been anger and frustration within the company. We all feel it. I feel it too. At Google we set a very high bar, and we clearly didn’t live up to our expectations.”

The need for CEOs and other top executives to respond to a crisis and issue a public apology is getting pretty common, the report said.

In 2018 alone, Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, Uber’s Dara Khosrowshahi, Starbucks' Kevin Johnson, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, and United Airlines' Scott Kirby all were challenged to issue statements and act in response to their company’s troublesome behavior.

Google shares declined 2.89% to $1,027.22.

Talking of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), the company has apologized after it approved an ad campaign targeted at people interested in a conspiracy theory favored by white nationalists, a report by the BBC said.

In a tweet, senior UK MP Damian Collins, the chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, called Facebook's approval of the ad campaign "appalling and irresponsible".

He added that the Intercept's investigative reporting showed "how easy" it was for extremist groups to promote their messages of hate on the social network.

"Once again, the site has only taken action when someone else has brought it to their attention," Mr Collins told the BBC.

Facebook shares lost 1.64% to $147.89.

FAANG Report: Facebook removes 8.7 million images of nude children; Google bans "F" word in workplace

Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares were downgraded for the second time since its earnings report because weaker iPhone sales are expected, a report by CNBC said.

Rosenblatt Securities said it has lowered its expectations for iPhone production and shipments. The firm cut its rating on the most valuable public company in the US to neutral from buy. It said in a research note to clients that it will be difficult for Apple to offset weaker volume with higher selling prices in the second half of 2019.

"Calendar fourth-quarter guidance reflects our cautious view on weaker than expected sell-through and production reductions for iPhone XS/XR," analyst Jun Zhang wrote. We "downgrade to neutral."

Apple also was downgraded by Bank of America Merrill Lynch on Friday.

Apple shares retreated 3.48% to $200.25.

A brokerage, Buckingham Research, took the opposite tack when it came to streaming giant Netflix Inc (NASDAQ:NFLX), a separate report by CNBC said.

Buckingham raised its rating two notches to buy from underperform for Netflix shares, saying that while it was previously cautious on its "elevated" stock price, it still believes it is a top-notch option.

"We have always viewed Netflix as the continued top streaming category winner," analyst Matthew Harrigan wrote in a research note to clients on Monday.

Consequently, the brokerage said they are "increasing our price target to $406 from $349, providing 31% upside, with the stock's 27% decline from its July 12-month high being the primary upgrade catalyst."

Netflix stock eased 0.43% to $307.78.

Reporting by Rene Pastor, contactable on [email protected] 

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