Apple (AAPL) - Get Report shares caught a lift on Wednesday after the company beat on earnings per share and revenue expectations. Make no mistake about it, the bar was certainly lowered for the tech giant, but that's not stopping investors from believing that perhaps the worst is over for now.
Although sales and profits slumped, one encouraging sign from Apple is its services revenue, which climbed 19% year over year. Part of that drive has been Apple Pay, which allows users to pay via their smartphone through apps and at retail locations that accept it.
According to CEO Tim Cook, 75% of contactless payments made in the U.S. are done through Apple Pay -- a staggering piece of the market share.
Perhaps driving that share gain, and could continue to do so going forward, is the incredibly slow experience customers are going through when paying with chip-and-signature cards.
While the wait time may be a small price to pay for added security, long lines can quickly add up and as a result, tech-savvy individuals are turning to the smartphones for faster service.
Shares of Apple closed $102.95 Wednesday, up 6.5%.
Sticking with Apple we've got a new lookalike popping up. This time, it's not the iPhone though. Instead, it's Xiaomi's first laptop.
The Chinese-based smartphone and electronics maker has been one of a handful of smartphone makers that have caused market-share headaches in China for Apple over the past few years.
The question now becomes, will its laptop do the same thing?
The company's Mi Notebook Air -- I know, sounds pretty similar to Apple's Macbook Air -- comes in display sizes of 13.3" and 12.5", which costs approximately $750 and $540, respectively. While the company may see some traction in China and other parts of Asia, I wouldn't expect a whole lot in the U.S.
For starters, Xiaomi isn't selling the device in the U.S. at the moment. Second, PC sales have stagnated in the U.S. and have had trouble maintaining any sort of momentum since tablets were released several years ago.
Given that the market is non-ideal and has plenty of more well-known and overall more trusted brands, I would look for Xiaomi to stay focused on China and other Asian markets for now.
The IRS wants more info on one of the company's offshore tax strategies, but has had trouble getting what it needs. The time in question dates all the way back to year-end 2010, and while Facebook has reportedly supplied some documents, it has not provided much of the information requested in the summonses.
Facebook reportedly did not show up to an IRS office on June 29, as requested.
Apparently, the way Facebook valued its intellectual property in the past could be "problematic."
It's unknown how this will all work out. Best case for Facebook, which reports earnings on Wednesday after the case, is that the everything turns out fine. Worst case, the company will likely have to pay back taxes as well as any fines.
Shares of Facebook closed at $123.34 Wednesday, up 1.75% ahead of earnings. After initially reporting, shares are up more than 6%.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.