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Why Apple, Alibaba Lead 6 Hot Tech Stocks You Should Be Watching

Loading the player… From new products and partnerships to key chart moves, here’s a look at six top tech stocks you should keep an eye on today: Apple ( AAPL ), Alibaba ( BABA ), Netflix ( NFLX ), Facebook ( FB ), Microsoft ( MSFT ) and Google owner Alphabet ( GOOGL ). Apple Apple is working on its answer to the Amazon Echo and Google Home personal-assistant speakers, according to a report from The Information on Tuesday. The report says Apple will unveil the device at its developers conference in mid-June. Shares are on track for a four-day win streak, up 1.6% intraday on the stock market today , with the stock’s volume tracking higher than average on Wednesday. Apple is nearing the 100 price level, which the stock gapped below after the company’s quarterly earnings report missed expectations. Alibaba Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has revealed that the SEC is investigating its accounting practices in relation to its consolidation policies, transaction practices and operating data from Singles Day, its biggest shopping day of the year. Shares are plunging 6.1% in heavy volume, breaching the 50-day line. Shares are now trading 17% below their 52-week high. Netflix Netflix is rising amid fresh reports that the European Union is seeking to require a quota for local content on streaming platforms. And this week, Netflix announced it will be the exclusive host of new Disney films, beginning in September. Shares climbed above the 50-day line in Tuesday’s session and are continuing 2.2% higher today in fast trade. The stock is now 24% below its all-time high. Facebook And Facebook, which re-entered buy range in Tuesday’s session, is retaking its 10-day line in above-average volume today, rising 0.2%. The stock is now trading just 2% below its all-time high. Microsoft Microsoft is nearing its 50-day line after retaking its 200-day line in Tuesday’s session. Shares are now 7% below their late-December high and up 1.5% Wednesday. Alphabet Alphabet is rallying 0.8%, also nearing its 50-day line after taking its 200-day line Tuesday. It’s trading 8% below a flat base buy point at 791.05.

Apple, Tesla Self-Driving Cars May Kill Off Consumer Auto Insurance

If Apple ( AAPL ), Tesla Motors ( TSLA ), Alphabet ‘s ( GOOGL ) Google and others succeed in making self-driving cars prevalent by 2040 and ride-hailing startups Uber and Lyft prosper, auto insurance may no longer be needed by many U.S. consumers, says S&P Global Market Intelligence. S&P released five reports this week analyzing the push into self-driving electric cars by Google, Tesla, China’s Baidu ( BIDU ) and others. While the business models of traditional automakers such as General Motors ( GM ) and Ford ( F ) will undergo big changes, the impact of self-driving cars on the $137 billion auto insurance industry and companies like Allstate ( ALL ) could be monumental, says S&P. “The advent of a totally driverless car threatens the core auto insurance liability business model,” said one S&P report. “A shift to driverless cars would theoretically shift the legal liability away from the driver, since the incidence of crashes would likely be reduced, and the liability in a crash would shift from human error to product liability, potentially reducing or removing the need for auto liability insurance.” Here are five other takeaways from S&P’s deep dive into self-driving cars and ride-sharing alliances.  Noting Apple’s $1 billion investment in China’s ride-hailing leader Didi Chuxing, which has an alliance with Lyft, S&P said ride-hailing apps may eventually summon autonomous cars. Uber, the leader in ride-sharing, is losing money, says S&P. Both Uber and Lyft face “competitive markets and issues related to how to classify their drivers and operate within federal laws and local rules.” While Apple has not officially announced plans, it seems to be gearing up in automotive technology. “Multiple hires made since the beginning of last year, including former Tesla employees, indicate an interest,” S&P said. “We also note substantial increases in R&D and capex over the past few years.” General Motors, which in early 2016 invested $500 million in Lyft, intends to integrate autonomous driving technology from Cruise Automation once it completes its planned $1 billion purchase of that company. Lyft drivers are a potential customer base for GM’s upcoming Bolt electric vehicle, says S&P. Radio service providers such as iHeart Communications, formerly Clear Channel, will likely face intensifying rivalries versus Sirius XM Radio ( SIRI ) and  Pandora Media ( P ), as well as Apple CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto. RELATED: Apple Gets Lift From China Ride-Hailing Service Investment Toyota Joins Apple, GM In Finding Ride-Hailing Partners Meet Uber’s Self-Driving Car, As Autonomous Race Heats Up .

Apple Building Siri-Based Rival To Amazon Echo

Apple ( AAPL ) reportedly is making a voice-response personal-assistant device to take on Amazon ( AMZN ) Echo and similar room appliances. The device will leverage Apple’s Siri application from its mobile devices, The Information reported Tuesday . The device will have a microphone and speaker that people can use to turn on music, get news headlines and make other spoken requests, the news website said. Apple is expected to release a software development kit to open up the device to third-party developers. The Cupertino, Calif.-based company will unveil the project at its Worldwide Developers Conference, which runs June 13-17 in San Francisco. Siri today offers limited third-party support, including services such as Yelp ( YELP ), Rotten Tomatoes and Shazam. Amazon largely created the market for always-listening digital assistants with Echo, introduced in late 2014. The e-commerce giant released an SDK last year for Alexa, the voice assistant that powers its Echo speakers. Last week, Alphabet ( GOOGL )-owned Google unveiled a conversational assistant that builds on its Google Now service and will support third-party services. It will sell a voice-activated speaker called Google Home later this year. Other digital assistant services include Microsoft ’s ( MSFT ) Cortana and Facebook ’s ( FB ) M. RELATED: Google echoes Amazon’s Echo, opens new virtual-reality door Amazon.com Has Likely Sold 3 Million Echo Speakers To Date