Era

How Big Tech Surged in the Coronavirus Era

The U.S. economy’s free fall may be nauseating for some sectors, but for the four tech giants that posted earnings results on Thursday, the past three months have been more like a thrill ride.

The day after taking tough questions from the House Judiciary Committee on whether they’ve become too powerful, chief executive officers from Google-parent Alphabet, Amazon, Apple and Facebook revealed that their influence is only growing.

These captains of tech industry posted a collective $28 billion in profits and added $214 billion in market value, a gobsmacking set of figures even in the best of times. But it stands out against a doom-filled backdrop of a U.S. economy that shrank 33 percent, while fears stretch worldwide across other businesses — from Main Street mom-and-pops to the arbiters of global luxury — that are dancing on the knife’s edge of real or potential extinction.

That may be stunning, but

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With an Assist From Millennials, Online Auctions Are Thriving in the Covid Era

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Some people still balk at buying a pair of designer loafers online and relish the tactility of trying a dress on in person; but a $1.34 million jewel encrusted bracelet or Babe Ruth’s 1921 home-run baseball bat just shy of $1 million, all unseen? No problem. The Covid crisis has created many a new world, and buying blind is one of them. For those with deep pockets, the money is still there, and with buyers itching to spend, the industry has adapted fast.

“Our online sales program launched in 2016,” says Brooke Lampley, Sotheby’s vice chairman, where the Cartier bracelet was sold last month. Here, record prices were also achieved for Cognac ($118,580) sold in any auction (including live sales). “What’s new is really the volume and scale of the program: In 2020 to date, we have held 92 online auctions, totaling $150+

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