May 7, 2018

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Situational awareness: President Trump tweeted this afternoon that he'll announce his Iran Deal decision at 2 p.m. tomorrow from the White House. "Diplomats who were familiar with the negotiations said Mr. Trump appeared inclined to scrap the deal," the NYTimes notes.

1 big thing: Apple's march to a trillion

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Apple is on track to become the first trillion dollar company in the world, with a $920 billion market cap and a cash pile of $167 billion after $100 billion in expected stock buybacks, Axios' Erica Pandey writes.

The big picture: Warren Buffett thinks Apple is the best investment, including for Apple itself, and he recently upped his stake in the company to nearly 5%. Charles Munger, his business partner, backed him up, saying, "I think we've been a little too restrained ... I wish we owned more of it."

The competition: Right behind Apple are Amazon, Microsoft and Alphabet, Google's parent company — all of which have market caps of over three quarters of a trillion dollars.

  • "Apple can reach the [trillion dollar market cap] milestone before the end of this week if last week’s momentum persists," Bloomberg's Elena Popina notes.

And, as tech rivalries intensify, there's a growing divide between old tech giants like Apple and Microsoft, which develop consumer products, and the new kids on the block — Facebook, Twitter, Snap and even Google — that rely on ad dollars.

  • Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella alluded to that divide in an interview with The Verge, saying, "you’ve got to recognize that privacy is a human right and that you need to treat it as such."
  • And Apple's Tim Cook did the same, saying, "We're not going to traffic in your personal life. Privacy to us is a human right, a civil liberty."

Yes, but: Apple (iPhone slowdowns and falling victim to Intel's chip vulnerability) and Amazon (sheer size and rapid growth that draw attention from antitrust watchers) are not immune to the Big Tech backlash, Axios' Kim Hart notes.

Be smart: Apple's stock surge — coming off rave reviews from Buffett — could propel it to the one trillion mark by the end of the week, but its stock price has rallied to all-time highs before, only to come back down to Earth.

  • And Apple may be dealing with a saturated smartphone market, and it's not yet clear what the tech giant will do to move beyond the iPhone.
2. What you missed

Flags of Israel and the United States and a 'US Embassy' sign in Hebrew, Arabic and English are seen in Jerusalem on May 07, 2018. Photo: Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

  1. Uber has determined that the Arizona crash that resulted in a pedestrian fatality in March was likely because its self-driving car's software was tuned not to react to certain road objects, according to a report from The Information. More.
  2. President Trump isn't on the list for the White House delegation to the opening of the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem on May 14th. Details.
  3. Nestle is dishing out $7.15 billion in cash to partner with Starbucks for the right to sell the coffee chain's products.
  4. First Lady Melania Trump launched a new campaign, "Be Best," on Monday, which focuses on curbing cyberbullying as part of a broader agenda to help the overall well-being of children. More.
  5. Google will no longer allow ads for bail bonds services to be posted to its platforms as of July. Read up.
  6. Trump will propose cutting funds from the Children's Health Insurance Program and the Affordable Care Act as part of a $15 billion package of reductions in previously approved spending, per the Washington Post.
3. 1 fun thing

"Mondelez International Inc. is betting that if you pay more for a classy cookie, you’ll eat more of them," Bloomberg's Craig Giommona reports.

  • "The company, which makes Oreos and Chips Ahoy ... has agreed to buy Tate’s Bake Shop for about $500 million. ... It produces thin, buttery specimens of the chocolate-chip variety."
  • "Tate’s cookies are typically more expensive than mainstream brands, giving Mondelez a new set of premium products. A 7-ounce bag of Tate’s whole wheat dark chocolate cookies was selling for $8.95 on Walmart.com on Monday, while a 14.3-ounce bag of Oreos was $2.98."

Grab some milk and read up.

Mike Allen