By Aaron Pressman and Adam Lashinsky
November 5, 2018

This is the web version of Data Sheet, Fortune’s daily newsletter on the top tech news. To get it delivered daily to your in-box, sign up here.

Good morning, and welcome to a week in which politics will trump business.

And yet there’s so darn much going on, particularly in the tech sector.

In fact, this likely will be a week of reconciliation as the market digests the horrible performance of tech stocks in October. Specifically, they’ll focus on the problematic earnings reports last week from Apple and Alibaba. A glitch attributable to human error—I am that human—resulted in Data Sheet readers getting Aaron’s excellent observations about Apple’s earnings on Friday rather than mine. I had written my observations Thursday evening, and we published them on Friday. I suggested Wall Street may look back at the violent reaction, down 6.6%, to Apple’s revised iPhone unit reporting as a blip.

More troubling still was Alibaba’s report. Similarly to Apple’s, it reflected an outstanding quarter completed but pointed to weaker results ahead. More to the point, Alibaba’s results speak directly to a slowing Chinese economy. As Breakingviews smartly noted last week, if the upcoming “Singles’ Day” online shopping celebration disappoints, there will be even more pain for Alibaba.

What explains all this bad tech news? The Wall Street Journal editorial page suggested, before the Apple and Alibaba news, that the plunge in tech stocks is a normal rotation away from riskier tech companies as interest rates rise and sturdier assets become more attractive. The Economist posits that how the slowing economy plays out in China is of paramount interest for all capital markets.


I have a fairly long recommended reading list for you this morning. If you’re half as interested as I am in the right way to do media product development, one short and one long article are worth a look. The review in The New York Times of its own parent company’s outstanding quarter, in which it reached four million total paid subscriptions, is the epitome of smart execution in a trying environment. New York Magazine’s feature on The Skimm, which has seven million nonpaying subscribers, also inspires. The irrepressible Yves Behar is at it again with a startup that provides modular housing.

My hunch is that most readers of The New Yorker in California will vote for Gavin Newsom for governor. This article won’t make them feel particularly good about their vote as it paints the state’s next leader as a distracted, insecure talking-point machine.

Finally, The Economist editorialized, in unusually strong words, in favor of the U.S. electing a Democratic House of Representatives as a counterbalance to Donald Trump. Noting the toxic political American dialogue, the magazine writes: “Mr. Trump did not begin this abasement. But he has embraced it as enthusiastically as anyone and carried it to new depths of his own devising.”

Please vote.

Adam Lashinsky


You May Like