Today we are watching…
1. Facebook (#fb)
When the president threatened to stop looting with shooting over the weekend, Twitter hid his tweet behind a warning while Facebook just let a post sit there. Mark Zuckerberg says Facebook is not “the arbiter of truth,” but now employees are staging a virtual walk-out to protest his lack of action. President Trump has built a support base impenetrable to whatever he says; you’re either with him or against him, just as Facebook has numbed investors to brand damage. The company’s shares have rebounded aggressively, and that shouldn’t change amid the protesting. The market-movers never mix politics with investing, unless, of course, there’s anti-trust risk. In view of the market, there isn’t so far.
2. Uber Technologies (#uber)
The White House is taking a heavy-handed approach to crowd control amid wide-scale protesting. It’s enforced curfews in some cities, which means round-the-clock services like Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash must suspend operations to be in compliance. It’s unclear what financial toll that will take, as business was already down significantly, but it certainly takes the wind out the sails of a stock market rebound. Uber has already laid off 14% of its workforce and is fighting with policymakers over whether many of its riders should be classified as ‘employees’ and qualify for healthcare benefits. The downsizing will allow the company to survive, but a disappointing result in the courts could be disastrous.