"Who do they think there are?" That's what presidential hopeful Donald Trump wants to know about Apple (AAPL - Get Report) and the company's refusal to unlock the iPhone of the San Bernardino gunman.

Following a court order demanding the company to provide access into the phone, CEO Tim Cook fired back, vowing to protect customers' privacy.

"Specifically, the FBI wants us to make a new version of the iPhone operating system, circumventing several important security features, and install it on an iPhone recovered during the investigation," Cook said in the letter to customers. "In the wrong hands, this software -- which does not exist today -- would have the potential to unlock any iPhone in someone's physical possession."

Cook worries that unlocking the phone for the FBI this time, can and will lead to other incidents in the future, forcing management to question where the line should be drawn. 

While it may set a dangerous precedent, Trump's stance that Apple should unlock the device to help explain more details behind the horrific incident that left 14 people dead also makes sense. 

For now, Apple is standing firm and has chosen where the line will be drawn. Perhaps that will change in the future, but it doesn't appear it will happen any time soon. 

Shares of Apple closed at $98.12, up 1.5% on Wednesday.


Jokes about Groupon (GRPN - Get Report) stock being on sale have pretty much run themselves dry now that shares have cratered 85% over the past five years. But that hasn't stopped Alibaba (BABA - Get Report) from taking advantage of a deal. The Chinese tech giant gobbled up 33 million shares, good for 5.6% of the company. 

Last week, Groupon beat on top- and bottom-line earnings estimates, which helped jump-start the stock. In just a few days, from Thursday's close to Tuesday's close (Monday was closed due to a holiday), shares soared a whopping 82%. 

The move has brought the stock into positive territory for 2016 -- not something a lot of others can say -- with shares up 20% on the year. 

Investors may question why Alibaba is buying into Groupon, and the most likely explanation is the Chinese e-commerce player continues to look for ways to expand its presence in the U.S. 

Although it may lead some investors to wonder whether Alibaba will acquire Groupon, Alibaba has been known to take stakes in other U.S. entities, such as Zulily (ZU and Jet.com, without acquiring them. 

Shares of Groupon closed at $3.79, down 7.1% on Wednesday. Shares of Alibaba closed at $66.38, a fraction of a percent.


Shares of Priceline (PCLN  closed up 11% Wednesday after the company topped earnings per share and revenue expectations for the most recent quarter. 

The company saw bookings climb 13% year over year for its fourth quarter, impressing investors, especially after the 7% bookings growth it saw in the previous quarter. Although Priceline saw a big hit to its bottom line due to forex pressures, it's being shrugged off as guidance came in strong as well. 

Priceline's results follow that of Expedia (EXPE - Get Report) , shares of which saw a double-digit jump last week despite missing on revenue and earnings expectations. Despite the shortcomings though, Expedia did impress investors when it came to bookings, which climbed 17% in the quarter, excluding eLong and its acquisitions. 

Travel stocks have been on the move lately, with Priceline, Expedia and TripAdvisor (TRIP - Get Report) up 21.5%, 18%, and 12.5% since Feb. 8. TripAdvisor topped earnings estimates last week. 

Shares of Priceline closed at $1,235.56, up 11.2% Wednesday.


Glass half-full or half-empty? That's what AMC Networks  (AMCX - Get Report) management will have to decide when looking at the somewhat disappointing viewership results its hit TV show The Walking Dead received in its premiere last weekend. 

The bad? A 6.8 rating in adults 18-49 and 13.7 million overall viewers were down 12% from last year's premiere. 

The good? The Walking Dead still drew a sizable crowd and, considering the circumstances, actually did pretty darn good. The mid-season premiere episode went live Sunday. As if Valentine's Day weren't enough to keep some viewers otherwise occupied, the show had to compete with the National Basketball League's All-Star Game (and Kobe Bryant's last All-Star appearance), specials from The Bachelor and The Tonight Show and the television debut of Disney's (DIS - Get Report)  Frozen

That's quite the lineup. 

Shares of AMC Entertainment closed at $65.55, down 3.2% Wednesday.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.