Big Tech Is Teaming Up To Listen To Our Secrets

It’s the Five on Friday, where we bring you the biggest market stories of the week, including Netflix’s global report, a new twist in the trade war, and much more.

Dec. 20, 2019


Stocks hit record highs this week as a so-called phase one trade deal between China and the U.S. was reached.

What does this mean?

The rumors of progress first broke last Friday when a tweet from President Trump indicated that a deal had been struck. Then, on Sunday, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said that it was “totally done”, notwithstanding some needed revisions. This agreement came into place just before the next planned round of U.S. tariffs on $160 billion worth of Chinese imports and, if successful, will nearly double U.S. exports to China over the next two years. However, there has been some muted caution on Wall Street, with many declaring the deal more of a ‘trade truce’ and China reluctant to commit to an amount of agriculture products it’s willing to buy. Concerns over the longevity of the deal will also have risen upon the U.S. government’s decision to impeach President Trump on Wednesday. 

Bet you didn’t know

It took exactly 526 days from the start of the trade war to reach a phase one trade deal.


Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) released previously withheld regional subscriber numbers in a filing to the SEC this week, which showed strong international growth.

What does this mean?

Netflix stock has been on the rise this week following the release of its international subscriber numbers for the first time. Though the service is number one in the U.S. with more than 60 million subscribers, domestic growth has slowed recently. However, international growth has accelerated, which partly explains why the company wants investors to focus on a fresh narrative: that Netflix is in fact an international business whose growth will come from Latin America, Asia, Europe and elsewhere. The Asia-Pacific region is the fastest-growing segment, with 14 million subscribers, more than triple what it had at the end of March 2017. The EMEA region is the company’s second-largest, with 47 million subscribers. Meanwhile, Latin America has nearly doubled the number of its subscribers since the start of 2017 to more than 29 million. In short, U.S. subscribers may not be the key to Netflix’s success, as the company looks ahead to an important new year. 

Bet you didn’t know

A recent study shows that Netflix users spend a collective 165 million hours using the service every single day.


Boeing looks set to lose a lot of money following the company’s decision to suspend 737 Max production from January. 

What will this cost?

Boeing (NYSE: BA) shares fell more than 4% on Monday as the company decided to suspend production of the 737 Max as the timeline for the beleaguered plane’s return to service slipped into 2020, with regulator investigations going on longer than expected. Since the aircraft’s two crashes in October 2018 and March 2019, the plane has been grounded. The flight ban has drained cash from Boeing since it has been unable to deliver its planes to customers, while new orders have nearly all but dried up this year. The Boeing 737 Max range is one of the company’s most important products, generating tens of billions in sales annually. The decision also had a wider effect, considering Boeing is America’s largest exporter and its supply chain includes hundreds of firms and tens of thousands of workers. Some good news though is that the company isn’t planning to lay off or furlough employees at its plant in Renton, Washington. 

Bet you didn’t know

Boeing is currently developing several environmentally-friendly planes that are named after Muppet characters, such as the ‘Fozzie’ and the ‘Kermit Kruiser’.


Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL), and Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) are working with Zigbee Alliance to create a new standard for home products, enabling better sales for the likes of the ‘Homepod’ and ‘Echo’ devices.

What does this mean?

So, it looks like we’ve finally reached the point as a species where we just accept that Big Tech (Brother) is watching us. That is the only conclusion I can draw from its decision to move forward with the creatively named “Project Connected Home over IP’. According to Amazon, Google, and Apple, the project will work to create a new standard for the smart home so that people can buy products knowing that they’ll work efficiently and securely. The project aims to enable communication across smart home devices, mobile apps and cloud services and to define a specific set of IP-based networking technologies for device certification. The reason? Money of course! People might be more willing to buy standardized products that can talk to one another. It’s unclear when the first products will be on the market.

Bet you didn’t know

Back in July, an Apple whistleblower reported that employees regularly heard confidential details through Siri, including drug deals, medical details, and people having sex. 


Hasbro (NASDAQ: HAS), which holds the master toy license for Star Wars-branded toys, has finally revealed its collection of figurines based on the hit Disney (NYSE: DIS) Plus show: ‘The Mandalorian’. You all know what that means? The first images of fan-favorite ‘Baby Yoda’ dolls are now out. Print-to-order mugs, T-shirts and magnets are easy to produce quickly; however, sculpting toys and creating accurate three-dimensional objects takes a bit more time, so the toys will not be available until spring 2020, but are available for pre-order. The collection will surely give Hasbro a hefty windfall of cash next year, which can be added to any sales from the just-released ‘Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker’ range of toys. 

What does this mean?

Within 10 minutes of reading this news on CNBC, I had pre-ordered a little ‘Baby Yoda’ figure for my desk at work, because that is just who I am now. ?

Bet you didn’t know

The most expensive collectible ‘Star Wars’ toy of all time is the original 1980 Rocket launcher Boba Fett. It will set you back roughly $150,000.

The Week In Numbers

2 million

is how many people in Brazillian’s signed a petition this week to have Netflix remove a Christmas comedy special that depicts Jesus as gay.

4 million

is how many additional cybersecurity workers analysts predict will be needed to combat cyber-threats from 2020.

$50 billion

is how much the new merger of Fiat Chrysler and PSA Group is worth. 

MyWallSt operates a full disclosure policy. MyWallSt staff currently hold long positions in companies mentioned above. Read our full disclosure policy here.