Morning Beat: Novartis AG (ADR) (NVS), Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (WMT), and International Business Machines Corp. (IBM)


Novartis AG (ADR) (NYSE:NVS) is to pay $390 million to settle claims by the US Justice Department that it engaged in illegal marketing practices. Between 2007 and 2012 the pharmaceutical giant reportedly paid kickbacks to specialty pharmacies to have patients refill prescriptions for its drugs. The illegal practice has been the subject of investigations in 40 states.

The prosecutors alleged that the company selected a number of pharmacies to join its closed network dubbed EPASS. Through the network, the specialty pharmacies enticed patients to continue taking certain drugs while downplaying the risks and side effects associated with them.

Novartis AG (ADR) (NYSE:NVS) admitted to a series of wrongdoings according to the US government leading up to the settlement.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) is to begin its Cyber Monday sales a day earlier as it seeks to take an early lead in this year’s holiday sales. The world’s largest retailer will make Cyber Monday savings available to customers as early as Sunday evening 8 P.M Eastern Time.

CEO, Fernando Madeira says that in the recent years they have noticed an uptick in traffic of people searching Cyber Monday deals on their app and Web site, a day earlier and wanted to take advantage.

International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) is the latest company to see its machine learning system, SystemML accepted as a source project by the Apache Incubator. It joins Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) which has already open-sourced its TensorFlow machine learning tool under Apache 2.0.

With the Inclusion, International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) plans to donate SystemML as an open source project by next year June. Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) has already contributed its machine learning tools to the Torch open source project. Through open sourcing, tech giants hope to equip their machine learning platforms with enough data so that they can learn faster and become more powerful.

Big Blue is currently using SystemML to create industry specific machine learning algorithms for enterprise data.

Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL)‘s Youtube may have something to worry about in South Korea. Naver Corporation, the country’s largest search portal has reiterated plans to take YouTube head on, next year. While on stage at the Naver Connect 2015 Conference, the company’s executives reiterated their intentions to take over the mobile-based live streaming business.

Challenging the likes of Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX), Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) and Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL)-owned YouTube on video content is Naver’s main focus going forward. CEO Kim Sang-Hun has already emphasized on the need to enhance ‘organic connection’ between services and consumers in a bid to survive in the fast-changing global IT environment.

Viraj Shah

Viraj Shah has completed M.Com (Finance) and is currently pursuing his CFP. He tracks US markets along with other global markets like India very closely. He is very passionate about stocks, real estate, and technology. He also believes that money can always be made in the market.

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