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In its annual mobile apps survey, Research firm Gartner predicted that by 2019 virtual assistants will account for 20% of all smartphone interactions. With that level of user engagement, predictably all of the largest technology companies are invested in the segment and each brings a different strength to the field.

Will 2017 be the year of the virtual assistant? Image source: Pixabay.

Amazon Echo powered by Alexa. Image source: Amazon.com.

Amazon

Many media reports are calling Amazon’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) Alexa the hit of the Consumer Electronics Show. In 2015, Amazon made a skills kit available to developers that allowed partners to incorporate voice commands. Fast forward to 2017 and Alexa can integrate with an estimated 5,000 third-party apps, from refrigerators to TV’s, from cars to vacuums, and lest we forget, the Echo smart home speaker. The novelty of this device made it among the top selling items on Amazon’s website during the holidays. This was a brilliant strategic move by a company without a smartphone as an installed base. Amazon does, however, have a roster of well-known companies in its corner including Ford, Samsung and LG to name a few. In addition to product integration, Alexa can be found in a dizzying number of bots that can order a pizza from Domino’s, schedule an Uber, or check your Capital One balance. This gives Amazon the early lead in terms of reach and momentum, but the lack of a mobile device means that challenges remain.

stock exchange today: Mammoth Energy Services, Inc. (TUSK)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jack Delaney]

    Mammoth Energy Services (Nasdaq: TUSK) provides drilling and related services for North American gas and oil explorers.

    Even though Mammoth was just founded in 2014, it had $243 million in revenue between June 30, 2015, and June 30, 2016.

stock exchange today: Pingtan Marine Enterprise Ltd.(PME)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin] Related HTGM 20 Biggest Mid-Day Losers For Thursday 25 Stocks Moving In Thursday's Pre-Market Session HTG Molecular Diagnostics Obtains CE Mark for its HTG EdgeSeq ALKPlus Assay EU (GuruFocus)
    Related SSH 15 Biggest Mid-Day Gainers For Wednesday 12 Biggest Mid-Day Losers For Tuesday Healthcare – Top 5 Gainers / Losers as of 11:00 am (Seeking Alpha) Gainers
    HTG Molecular Diagnostics Inc (NASDAQ: HTGM) rose 63.6 percent to $3.50 in pre-market trading after the company disclosed that it has obtained CE marking in the EU for HTG EdgeSeq ALKPlus Assay.
    Sunshine Heart Inc (NASDAQ: SSH) rose 20.3 percent to $2.61 in pre-market trading after the company issued a business update regarding execution of its strategic growth plan.
    bebe stores, inc. (NASDAQ: BEBE) shares rose 11.1 percent to $4.29 in pre-market trading after the company disclosed that it is exploring strategic alternatives.
    Cancer Genetics Inc (NASDAQ: CGIX) rose 10.3 percent to $3.20 in pre-market trading after the company posted a narrower-than-expected quarterly loss.
    Five Below Inc (NASDAQ: FIVE) rose 8.8 percent to $41.50 in pre-market trading after the company reported better-than-expected earnings for its fourth quarter.
    FireEye Inc (NASDAQ: FEYE) rose 8 percent to $12.40 in pre-market trading. Goldman Sachs upgraded FireEye from Sell to Buy.
    PVH Corp (NYSE: PVH) shares rose 7.4 percent to $97.60 in pre-market trading after the company posted upbeat earnings for its fourth quarter and issued a strong earnings forecast.
    Bitauto Hldg Ltd (ADR) (NASDAQ: BITA) shares rose 7 percent to $26.00 in pre-market trading after dropping 1.30 percent on Wednesday.
    Pingtan Marine Enterprise Ltd (NASDAQ: PME) rose 6.6 percent to $4.50 in pre-market trading after gaining 0.48 pe
  • [By Rich Smith]

    Shares of Chinese fishing company Pingtan Marine Enterprise (NASDAQ:PME) collapsed on Wednesday, closing the day down more than 28.2%.

    So what

    The selling appears to have been initiated in response to an incendiary reportpublished earlier today by short-seller “Aurelius Value.” Among other things, this report alleged that Pingtan:

  • [By Rich Smith]

    Shares of Chinese fishing company Pingtan Marine Enterprise (NASDAQ:PME) collapsed on Wednesday, closing the day down more than 28.2%. On Thursday, they fell a further 11.9% before recovering to close down only 3.4%.

stock exchange today: Formula Systems (1985) Ltd.(FORTY)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    On Friday, technology shares rose by 0.26 percent. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMAT), up 9 percent, and Formula Systems (1985) Ltd. (ADR) (NASDAQ: FORTY) up 19 percent.

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    In trading on Thursday, technology shares fell by 0.32 percent. Meanwhile, top losers in the sector included Mitek Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: MITK), down 13 percent, and Formula Systems (1985) Ltd. (ADR) (NASDAQ: FORTY), down 8 percent.

stock exchange today: Dunkin' Brands Group, Inc.(DNKN)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Asit Sharma]

    Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:DNKN) is currently testing a concept in 300 U.S. stores that may surprise many of its investors: a streamlined menu.

  • [By John Udovich]

    While theMacys Thanksgiving Day parade sponsored by Macy’s, Inc (NYSE:M) is the most well known corporate sponsoredThanksgiving parade,Dunkin Brands Group Inc (NASDAQ:DNKN) and McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) also sponsor parades in major USA cities that will help them grab some extra consumer attention and perhaps help the bottom line a bit.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Dunkin’ Brands Group (DNKN) has dropped 3.5% to $54.16 after getting cut to Sell from Neutral at Goldman Sachs.

    Morgan Stanley (MS) has risen 1.1% to $42.95 after getting upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    The market is treating Chipotle as if it is an Amazon, Tesla, Apple or Google, when in fact all they do is make burritos. With the money it would cost you to buy Chipotle today @ $14 billion dollars you could buy Wendy’s (WEN), Cheesecake Factory (CAKE), Papa John’s International (PZZA), and Dunkin’ Brands (DNKN). Chipotle would need to generate at least $24 in earnings per share in order to justify the current market cap — they are not even expected to generate half of that next year. Chipotle is expected to report Q1 on April 25 and the market, in my opinion, has already more than priced in good news.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Keurigs plight (actually, JABs) is worsening, with the K-cup market slowing to almost no growth now, and Keurig continuing to lose own brands share. Starbucks (SBUX) echoed the notion of a K-cup market slowdown at its seminar on Wednesday (and is guiding for its [consumer packaged goods, or CPG,] growth below recent trends), but it expects to increase its share of total CPG coffee to 20% from 15%. Come early February it will be a year since the closing of the Keurig deal for JAB Holdings. The pressure on JAB is more significant if we take into account the high leverage of the deal (JAB contributed one fourth of the $12Bn price tag). It is a tough predicament. On the one hand we argue that to make that deal work, they need to buy more (own) brands either from the retail channel (that can be extended to CPG: Dunkin (DNKN)? Panera (PNRA)?), or outright buy CPG brands (like the entire Kraft Heinz portfolio, and or Tata Groups Eight OClock brand). But can/how do they fund these deals? Maybe Mars and Warren Buffett (Mars is involved in office coffee with Starbucks), private equity, and or 3G can help? While this note is not about Positive-rated Mondelez, we have mentioned before a scenario where Kraft Heinz buys Mondelez and partly funds the deal by selling its own CPG coffee business (~$3Bn we say) to JAB as well as divests the Mondelez 20% plus stakes in Keurig (North America) and Jacobs Douwe Egberts (Western Europe), which together at this stage are worth ~$7-8Bn. But, yes, JAB will need deep-pocket partners and generous lenders. Net, JAB needs to do something soon.

  • [By WWW.USATODAY.COM]

    While McDonald’s (NYSE: MCD) and Dunkin’ Brands’ (NASDAQ: DNKN) Dunkin’ Donuts both now sell premium espresso-based beverages along with other fancy coffee drinks, people don’t view those brands the way they see Starbucks. The Seattle-based coffee chain exists in its own world, where it can sell out of $10 cups of whisky-barrel-aged coffee while it opens more than a thousand Reserve stores selling pricier drinks than its normal, already expensive beverage lineup.

stock exchange today: Golar LNG Partners LP(GMLP)

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Roberto Pedone]

    Golar LNG Partners LP (GMLP), a limited partnership, owns and operates floating storage and regasification units and LNG carriers under long-term charters. This stock closed up 3.5% at $32.74 in Monday’s trading session.

    Monday’s Volume: 432,000

    Three-Month Average Volume: 81,559

    Volume % Change: 283%

    From a technical perspective, GMLP bounced notably higher here right off its 200-day moving average of $31.79 and back above its 50-day moving average of $32.56 with strong upside volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of GMLP within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if GMLP manages to take out Monday’s intraday high at $32.96 to some more near-term overhead resistance at $33.15 with high volume.

    Traders should now look for long-biased trades in GMLP as long as it’s trending above its 200-day at $31.79 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that’s near or above 81,559 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then GMLP will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $34.78 to its 52-week high at $36.

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