TOP 5 STOCKS TO WATCH OUT TODAY 18 MARCH 2021

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TOP 5 STOCKS TO WATCH OUT TODAY 18 MARCH 2021

1.Morgan Stanley -Morgan Stanley has become the first big U.S. bank to offer its wealth management clients access to bitcoin funds, CNBC reported on Wednesday.

In an internal memo, the bank told its financial advisers it would launch access to three funds allowing ownership of bitcoin, CNBC reported, citing people with direct knowledge of the matter.

The decision was taken after the bank’s clients demanded exposure to the cryptocurrency, according the report.

Morgan Stanley did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Bitcoin surged to a record high of $61,781.83 on Saturday, but has since fallen as investors consolidated gains and on news of plans by India to ban cryptocurrencies.

The cyrptocurrency has been gaining mainstream acceptance lately, with Elon Musk’s Tesla Inc and Square Inc betting on it.

Last month, Bank of NY Mellon Corp formed a new unit to help clients hold, transfer and issue digital assets.

Access to the funds will only be allowed to people who have at least $2 million in assets held by the bank. Investment firms with at least $5 million at the bank will also be eligible. In both cases, the accounts have to be at least six months old, according to the report.

2.FACEBOOK-Facebook Inc said on Wednesday it is starting to remove the recommendations it gives global users for political and social issue Facebook groups, a move it has billed as turning down tension on the site.

The company also announced in a blog post changes aimed at reducing the reach of groups that break site rules, including showing them lower in algorithmic recommendations and alerting people when they go to join a group that has previously violated policies.

Researchers and civil rights organizations have long warned that Facebook groups, a product the company has vigorously promoted as providing places for people with common interests, like sports or music, have also been used to spread misinformation and organize extremist activity.

In an interview on Tuesday, Tom Alison, Facebook’s vice president of engineering, said Facebook was aggressively investing in groups.

He said the changes to political and civic group recommendations, which Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced on an earnings call in January, were due to users wanting to see less political content.

“They want us to turn down the temperature a little bit,” said Alison.

He said newly created groups on any topic would need to wait 21 days before becoming eligible for recommendation in order to give Facebook time to understand how a group would operate.

Since 2017, Facebook has made groups a strategic priority, and Zuckerberg credits the feature as a way to foster “meaningful connections.” Last year, it stepped up promotion of groups in news feeds and search engine results.

But during the coronavirus pandemic, Facebook stopped recommending health groups to users, saying they needed authoritative sources of information. It also cracked down on certain groups in recent months as part of policy changes to curb “militarized social movements.”

In the months before the U.S. election and the Jan. 6 Capitol assault, Facebook groups buzzed with misinformation and violent rhetoric. “Stop the Steal” groups rapidly swelled despite the pauses on recommendations.

 3. MICROSOFT :The White House’s task force looking into the recent hack of Microsoft Corp ‘s Exchange met this week with representatives of the private sector, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement on Wednesday

The group, which met on Monday, “included private sector members for the first time” who were invited “based on their specific insights to this incident,” she said.

Hacking groups are using recently discovered flaws in the Exchange mail server software to break into targets around the world.

The White House group noted that paying to mitigate the hack “weighs particularly heavily on small businesses,” Psaki said.

The breadth of the exploitation has led to urgent warnings by authorities in the United States and Europe about the weaknesses found in Exchange.

The White House group “discussed the remaining number of unpatched systems, malicious exploitation, and ways to partner together on incident response, including the methodology partners could use for tracking the incident, going forward,” Psaki said.

The security holes in the widely used mail and calendaring software leave the door open to industrial-scale cyber espionage, allowing malicious actors to steal emails virtually at will from vulnerable servers or to move elsewhere in the network. Tens of thousands of organizations have already been compromised, Reuters reported, and new victims are being made public daily.

4.AT&T:-AT&T Inc said Wednesday it will halt some free data services in response to a California net neutrality law, the latest flashpoint in an ongoing debate over internet rules.

The U.S. wireless carrier said the state law bans “sponsored data” services that allowed companies such as video providers to pay for some data usage of certain AT&T wireless customers.

“Given that the Internet does not recognize state borders, the new law not only ends our ability to offer California customers such free data services but also similarly impacts our customers in states beyond California,” AT&T said in a statement.

It declined to disclose how many customers are impacted.

In February, U.S. Judge John Mendez said he would not block California’s 2018 net neutrality law that barred internet service providers from blocking or throttling traffic, or offering paid fast lanes. The law had previously been on hold.

AT&T wireless customers on tiered plans who also have an AT&T video service like DIRECTV or AT&T TV and stream that service over the AT&T wireless network are impacted.  AT&T wireless customers on unlimited plans are unaffected.

The company notified customers late Tuesday of the change effective March 25 in an email titled “Data Free TV ends.”    

The Federal Communications Commission under former President Barack Obama adopted net neutrality rules in 2015. These were overturned in 2017 by the FCC under President Donald Trump. California’s legislature responded by adopting a state law requiring net neutrality in August 2018.

Under the Obama administration, the FCC sent letters raising concerns about AT&T and Verizon sponsored data practices violating net neutrality rules. The Trump FCC ended those inquiries and said the free data plans had “enhanced competition in the wireless marketplace”.

Some critics contend sponsored data services could prod users into avoiding competitors’ video services.

In January, the U.S. Justice Department withdrew its Trump-era legal challenge to the California net neutrality law after President Joe Biden, a Democrat, took office.

Industry groups that challenged the law have appealed Mendez’s decision to the Ninth U.S. Court of Appeals.

5.NOKIA-  Finnish telecom equipment maker Nokia sees its comparable operating margin growing to 10-13% in 2023, it said on Thursday.

Nokia said in a statement ahead of presentations to investors later in the day that it also expected to grow faster than the market in 2023.

“We have a clear and detailed plan for how we will reset the business, accelerate competitiveness and scale up our lead in the markets we choose to play in,” Chief Executive Officer Pekka Lundmark said.

“This plan will enable us to deliver double-digit comparable operating margins in 2023,” he said.

The company had earlier cut its 2020 operating margin guidance to 9% from 9.5% and for 2021 forecast a margin of 7-10%.

Lundmark took on the top job at Nokia in August after product missteps by the company saw it lag Swedish rival Ericsson and Chinese group Huawei in the race to win deals to sell 5G network equipment.

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