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    Live Blog Apple Q2 Live BlogApple (AAPL) is slated to report fiscal second-quarter earnings after the bell and analysts got the huge quarter they were looking for. Apple (AAPL) earned $2.33 on $58 billion in revenue. We are thrilled by the continued strength of iPhone, Mac and the App Store, which drove our best March quarter results ever," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO in the press release.

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    Facebook (FB), looking to further expand the usage of its popular Messenger platform, has announced it will soon allow users to make video calls inside Messenger. "Now you can have face-to-face conversations with your friends and the people you care about, via Messenger," Facebook's Stan Chudnovsky, Head of Product for Messenger and Param Reddy, Engineering Manager, wrote Monday in a blog post.

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     . Condé Nast's Style.com will soon be replacing words with dresses, according to the fashion Web site BusinessOfFashion.com. Style.com will no longer be home to fashion news and instead will be transformed into an e-commerce site, launching first in the U.K. this fall and in the U.S. in early 2016.

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    The Apple Watch is widely viewed as Apple's first foray into the luxury market: It carries a price tag of up to $17,000 and is being sold at upscale boutiques and department stores such as Colette in Paris and Maxfield in Los Angeles.So it may seem surprising that J.C. Penney (JCP) -- a department store known for catering to bargain shoppers -- was one of the small group of retailers that rushed to design an app for the smartwatch ahead of its launch last Friday. Is there really much overlap between the affluent, early-adopters who buy the Apple Watch and the serial deal hunters that frequent their stores?It’s too early to know, but J.C. Penney (JCP) is looking at it this way: The retailer estimates that more than 50 percent of its 86 million customers are iPhone users, and so there's a good chance that many of those Apple devotees will try out the tech giant's latest device."We have to move fast, and this is a risky proposition. No one’s ever done this before," said Mike Rodgers, J.C. Penney's (JCP) executive vice president for omnichannel.Two J.C. Penney (JCP) engineers worked at Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., for about three months to build the Apple Watch app. Because of the secrecy surrounding the project, Rodgers said he "had no idea" exactly what his staffers were developing until they returned to home base.Rodgers imagines that the primary case for the Apple Watch app will be as a "shopping companion" to customers who are out and about at J.C. Penney (JCP) stores. That's why one function will allow them to look for an out-of-stock item in a different color or size at the four J.C. Penney (JCP) stores closest to their location. The app will even give them turn-by-turn directions to the store that has the item in stock.And if you've saved an item in your online shopping basket while browsing on your desktop, smartphone or tablet, you can call up that list of items on the Apple Watch app to identify them easily in store.The other core functions of the app seem geared toward online shoppers, such as a gift ideas feature that suggests items that cost between $25 and $100. At launch, J.C. Penney (JCP) will build that list with items that are "trending" on its Web site, but in the future, they could curate it for a special occasion such as Father's Day or graduation. If you like one of the products, you can add it to a list of saved items and then easily purchase it from your phone, tablet or desktop later.J.C. Penney's Apple Watch app can also quickly check the status of an online order to see where it is along its journey to your doorstep.For now, that short list of functions is all that the Apple Watch app will allow shoppers to do. But J.C. Penney (JCP) said that simplicity is deliberate, in part because no one quite knows how shoppers are going to use the device, and in part because the retailer had a tight timeline to build it.The company expects to develop new iterations of the app as it hears from customers about how they are using the Apple Watch.If J.C. Penney's (JCP) app design is a preview of how the broader retail industry may use the Apple Watch, it seems that the playbook for these new devices will be a similar to their strategies for the phone.With traditional smartphone apps, many retailers have found that shoppers do not use them when they're on the subway killing time or on the couch at home unwinding: They're using them inside the store to do price comparisons, read customer reviews or look for out-of-stock colors and sizes. And so when it comes to the Apple Watch, it appears J.C. Penney (JCP) -- and probably other retailers -- will be looking to deliver even more immediacy and efficiency to that connection between physical shopping and online browsing."When someone's in the store shopping, the easier you can make it for them to get information about the shopping experience, the better it’s going to be," Rodgers said.




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    Texas Instruments Inc.' s stock climbed 1.1% in afternoon trade Monday, after Raymond James upgraded the semiconductor maker by two notches, as the recent pullback in price has left it with a rather positive reward-versus- risk profile. Analyst J. Steven Smigie raised his rating to strong buy, after being at neutral for the last two years. He set a $62 stock price target, which is 12% above current levels.

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    * Further gains in biotech, social media seen limited. * Investors view cyber security, cloud services as growth areas. By David Randall. When the Nasdaq Composite last hit record highs during the dotcom era, fund manager Walter Price struggled with justifying paying 400 times a company's earnings for rapid growth.

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    Credit Suisse (CS) hired M&A media and telecom banker Ihsan Essaid from Perella Weinberg Partners. Credit Suisse (CS) co-heads of global M&A Robin Rankin and Greg Weinberger said the hire reflects the bank's commitment to investing in the technology, media and telecom, or TMT, space. Essaid joins as a managing director in the M&A Group, covering media and telecom in the Americas.

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    Shares of Verizon Communications (VZ) were gaining 0.36% to $50.21 Monday following reports that sports network ESPN (DIS) sued the telecommunications company over its new FiOS Custom TV cable plans. ESPN (DIS) said it is seeking damages related to the new plans which let Verizon FiOS customers choose from smaller bundles of channels in their cable plans, according to CNBC.

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    Tesla Motors (TSLA) is working to build a presence in your driveway but the company's biggest opportunity may be a presence in your home. Tesla will announce plans this week for a new energy storage product, which CEO Elon Musk termed a "major new product line." It may allow consumers and businesses to discharge energy from a battery as opposed to the grid.

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    Project Spring could still leave Vodafone (VOD) lacking bounce. The European telecoms operator has been counting on its GBP19 billion two-year investment plan to outflank rivals in network infrastructure. But, halfway through the program, the competitive environment is shifting around Vodafone (VOD), leaving the operator on the back foot in key European markets.

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    As Twitter prepares to report its first-quarter earnings on Tuesday, analysts' opinions about the potential of the company are still mixed. The San Francisco-based social media company has been busy announcing multiple new product releases in an effort to boost engagement and increase the number of people who use its service.

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    As data grows, so do startup opportunities. Venture capitalists are always looking for the next big investment in tech, whether it's cloud-computing, data analysis, or software development. But a growing trend in startup funding seeks to give the smaller retail investor a shot at getting in on the ground floor of the next Google (GOOG) or Facebook.