Online Shopping

Facebook looking good with ad business pushing social media giant to record revenues

Facebook Inc. posted record revenue and profit in the fourth quarter as online holiday shopping and increased use of the company’s platforms during the pandemic drove a surge in its ad business.

However, the social-media giant warned Wednesday that uncertainty from regulatory probes and the potential for weaker ad-targeting capabilities related to Apple Inc.’s iOS 14 operating system could hurt its business.


Facebook posted revenue of $28.07 billion, up from $21.08 billion in the final quarter of 2019. Facebook’s profit rose 52% to $11.22 billion, or $3.88 a share. Both measures far exceeded analysts’ projections.

The company has pushed for years to make its platforms essential

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Retirees, Protect Yourself From Thieves Online

Whether it’s fake online shopping sites, identity theft or scam artists using phone or email, fraud is on the rise, with a record 1.3 million cases in the first nine months of 2020, according to the Federal Trade Commission. 

Although anyone can become a victim, FTC data show that consumers age 80 and older are far more likely to be scammed by phone and lose the most money, a median of $1,250. “Even if you do everything perfectly, you can still be susceptible to fraud,” says Shameka Walker, a fraud and identity theft program manager for the FTC. 

By now, you probably know not to give out sensitive information to anyone contacting you and that credit cards offer more protection against fraud than debit cards. With a credit card, the most you’ll be responsible for is $50. Debit cards, on the other hand, could leave you paying for all

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The Phoenix area shopped more online in 2020, helping cities survive

Stuck at home last spring and summer as cases of COVID-19 soared, Arizonans found something else to do: shop online.

Online shopping in Maricopa County jumped up by about 27% from March, when Gov. Doug Ducey issued a stay-at-home order, to May, when the lockdown was lifted, according to taxes collected for online sales. By November, it had increased by about 71%.

Those numbers don’t give a complete picture of online spending in Arizona because they only capture local purchases from retailers that don’t have stores or warehouses in the state. This includes at least the portion of Amazon sales through third-party vendors. Big-box stores, such as Target and WalMart, also submit tax collections for online sales, but it falls under a different category.

Nationally, Americans spent about 40% more online and mail-order shopping in November compared with March, according to a U.S. Census retail survey.

New online sales tax

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Amazon Stock Gets a Price Upgrade Ahead of Holiday Quarter Earnings

Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) was uniquely positioned to take advantage of the pandemic. The rapid increase in online shopping has been a huge boost to the company. With coronavirus vaccines now being distributed, are Amazon shareholders going to feel a letdown? Don’t count on it. In fact, Amazon stock just got a big price target increase, with a Bank of America analyst predicting AMZN will hit $4,000.


Source: Sundry Photography /

The company reports Q4 earnings — which include the all-important holiday shopping season — on Feb. 2. Look for that to kickstart another round of growth for AMZN shares.

Amazon is an A-rated Portfolio Grader stock. It has a proven track record for growth, but offers the safety of a solid foundation. That’s important for when economic conditions change and result in market turbulence. That’s why Amazon features prominently in my list of seven “Mega-Cap Stocks With

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