Feb 2, 2018

Tech giants report record profits

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. Photo: Jason Redmond / AFP / Getty Images

Amazon's quarterly profit has topped $1 billion for the first time: "TECH ROARS: APPLE BEST QTR IN HISTORY OF BIZ," Drudge writes.

The big picture: "Three of the biggest tech companies reported record quarterly financial results ... as they extended their dominance over swaths of the global economy," The Wall Street Journal writes in its lead story:

  • "Apple’s revenue rose 13% to $88.29 billion, fueled by its move to increase smartphone prices ... The company, whose profits topped $20 billion for the first time, is also increasingly benefiting from its services business, including App Store sales and music and payments services."
  • "Google parent Alphabet recorded its 32nd consecutive quarter of revenue growth of 20% or more, continuing a dominant run as it handles more than 90% of internet searches and owns the world’s most influential video site."
  • "Amazon — long known for prioritizing growth over earnings — delivered a profit exceeding $1 billion for the first time as its revenue jumped 38% to $60.5 billion."

The debates ahead, per The Journal:

  • "As the tech giants expand their clout across a widening band of commerce, they have increasingly drawn scrutiny from lawmakers and consumers over a range of issues, from their dominance of certain markets, to how they use their vast troves of consumer data, to the impact their products have on society."
  • "The extraordinary runup in their share prices has helped fuel popular awareness of the companies’ power."

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Updated 51 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Esper catches White House off guard with opposition to military use, photo op

Defense Secretary Mark Esper said at a press briefing Wednesday that he does not currently support invoking the Insurrection Act, an 1807 law that permits the president to use active-duty troops on U.S. soil, in order to quell protests against racial injustice.

Why it matters: President Trump threatened this week to deploy military forces if state and local governments aren't able to squash violent protests. Axios reported on Tuesday that Trump is backing off the idea for now, but that he hasn't ruled it out.

Updates: George Floyd protests continue for 9th day

Demonstrators march on Pennsylvania Avenue on June 3. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Largely peaceful protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people continued Wednesday, marking nine straight days of demonstrations.

The latest: As several major cities moved to lift curfews, NYPD officers "aggressively" dispersed large crowds in Brooklyn and Manhattan beyond New York City's 8 p.m. curfew, per the New York Times. The National Guard was stationed outside many protests Wednesday night, including in Hollywood and Atlanta.

Trump hits back at Mattis: "I gave him a new life"

President Trump speaks at the White House. Photo: Doug Mills - Pool/Getty Images

President Trump unloaded on his former defense secretary via Twitter on Wednesday, hours after James Mattis condemned him for making a "mockery of our Constitution" in his response to mass protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing.

What he's saying: "Probably the only thing Barack Obama & I have in common is that we both had the honor of firing Jim Mattis, the world’s most overrated General. I asked for his letter of resignation, & felt great about it. His nickname was 'Chaos', which I didn’t like, & changed it to 'Mad Dog'"