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Apple Faces $1.4 Billion Lawsuit by Chinese AI Firm in Siri Patent Fight
Topic of the day
A Shanghai company that was recently awarded a Chinese patent for a voice assistant similar to Apple Inc.'s Siri has filed a patent-infringement lawsuit against Apple that, if successful, could prevent the American tech giant from selling many of its products in its most important market outside the U.S. Shanghai Zhizhen Network Technology Co. said Monday that it is suing Apple for an estimated 10 billion yuan ($1.43 billion) in damages in a Shanghai court, alleging the iPhone and iPad maker's products violated a patent the Chinese artificial-intelligence company owns for a virtual assistant whose technical architecture is similar to Siri's. Siri, a voice-activated function in Apple's smartphones and laptops, enables users to dictate text messages or set alarms on their devices. As part of the suit, Shanghai Zhizhen, also known as Xiao-i, asked Apple to stop sales, production and the use of products flouting the patent--a category that includes virtually all the U.S. company's devices.
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Encouraging international economic data has sent the Swiss stock market into the new week with significant gains. The SMI gained 2.2 percent to 10,230 points. The tensions between the USA and China receded into the background. Only the shares of the luxury goods manufacturers Richemont and Swatch, which are heavily dependent on business in China, were slowed somewhat, although they nevertheless posted gains of 0.3 percent (Richemont) and 0.9 percent (Swatch). The market was led by cyclical companies such as ABB, which gained 4.1 percent, and Sika, which advanced by 3.1 percent. However, investors also turned to shares in the pharmaceutical industry, which are considered less sensitive to economic cycles. Lonza gained 2.4 percent, Novartis 2.5 percent, Roche 2.6 percent and Alcon 2.5 percent. In the second row, Dufry shares closed 2.5 percent higher. The operator of duty-free shops may have weathered the worst, Baader Helvea analysts suspected, but at the same time noted that it was not possible to predict when the volume of travel would pick up again.
European stocks rise after a sharp rise in German manufacturing orders last month, though coronavirus concerns continue to weigh. The Stoxx Europe 600 lifts 2%, the FTSE 100 is up 2.3%, the CAC-40 gains 1.9% and the DAX climbs 2.7%. The gains came despite news that the Australian state of Victoria has declared a state of emergency over coronavirus and fears about the potential re-introduction of movement restrictions in Germany and elsewhere. Societe Generale SA (-0,7%) vowed to cut costs at its trading business after the lender swung to an unexpected loss in the second quarter as it set aside more money for potential loan losses and posted writedowns related to its trading operations. HSBC Holdings PLC's (-2,9%) net profit plummeted in the second quarter as the impact of the coronavirus pandemic complicated the bank's efforts to refocus on Asia while dealing with rising U.S.-China political tensions. Siemens Healthineers AG (-8,9%), a medical technology spinoff of the German conglomerate, said it would acquire U.S.-based Varian Medical Systems Inc. for $16.4 billion, roughly 25% above its current market value. The deal will create a world leader in the area of cancer therapy, Siemens deputy CEO Roland Busch said in a statement.
U.S. stocks rose, lifted by a surge in technology stocks like Apple and Microsoft, as well as signs that the rate of new coronavirus infections could be slowing. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 236 points, or 0.9%, as of the close of trading in New York, getting August off to a strong start. The index climbed 2.4% in July. Trading volumes are expected to slide in coming weeks with the onset of the summer vacation season, leading to a potential increase in volatility. The S&P 500 rose 0.7%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite climbed 1.5%, giving the benchmark a fresh record. Microsoft Corp.(+5,6%) said it will move forward with plans to buy the U.S. operations of the hit video-sharing app TikTok, capping weeks of covert dealmaking that were almost upended by an 11th-hour intervention from President Trump. The transaction could reshape the global tech landscape and further strain already tense U.S.-China relations. Clorox Co. reported a 21.9% gain in sales for the latest quarter as consumers stocked up on cleaning goods and personal-care items due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and it said on Monday that it will promote Linda Rendle, the company’s president, to chief executive in September. The Oakland, Calif., household-supplies producer posted fiscal fourth-quarter sales of $1.98 billion, up from $1.63 billion in the comparable period last year. Analysts polled by FactSet were expecting $1.87 billion.
Japanese stocks were broadly higher as hopes for recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic grow, thanks partly to signs of slowing new infections and expanding manufacturing activity in the U.S. Earnings remain in focus with Sony Corp. and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group scheduled to report their results later in the day.
U.S. Treasury yields rose Monday as strong manufacturing data across the U.S., Europe and China suggested the global economic recovery was on track despite mounting worries how rising coronavirus infections could stall growth. The 10-year Treasury note yield was up 2.6 basis points to 0.551%, while the 2-year note rate held steady at 0.111%. The 30-year bond yield climbed 4.6 basis points to 1.244%.
Deutsche Bank rises the Gea target to 26 (25) EUR – Sell
CS lowers the BNP target to 45 (47) EUR – Outperform
CS rises the L'Oreal target to 235 (225) EUR – Underp.
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