Technology Roundup – Facebook’s Trump suspension referred to independent Oversight Board; Solar stocks on the move after Biden signs flurry of climate orders

Published on: January 21, 2021
Author: Amy Liu

Facebook’s Trump suspension referred to independent Oversight Board

Facebook’s (FB +1.5%) independent Oversight Board is taking on its highest-profile case yet: the indefinite suspension of former President Donald Trump from Facebook and Instagram.

The company referred its decision to the Oversight Board to render a final call on whether Trump can return to the platform.

The Oversight Board’s decisions are binding on Facebook and can’t be overruled by CEO Mark Zuckerberg or anyone else.

And it comes a day after the inauguration of Joe Biden as president; Facebook had said its decision was for an indefinite time, but at least through the inauguration.

While Facebook awaits the board’s decision, Trump will remain suspended, it says.

“Our decision to suspend then-President Trump’s access was taken in extraordinary circumstances: a U.S. president actively fomenting a violent insurrection designed to thwart the peaceful transition of power; five people killed; legislators fleeing the seat of democracy,” Facebook says.

The case starts with a five-member case review panel, whose findings will be shared with the entire Oversight Board, where a majority will decide.

The case has clear implications for Facebook engagement – as social media engagement has dipped following Trump’s effective removal from various platforms.

Solar stocks on the move after Biden signs flurry of climate orders

Solar stocks (TAN +4%) surge across the board, a day after Pres. Biden moved to rejoin the Paris climate agreement and signed a series of executive orders focused on combating climate change just hours after taking the oath of office.

SunPower (SPWR +14.4%), SunWorks (SUNW +25.7%), Maxeon Solar (MAXN +12%) and Canadian Solar (CSIQ +8.2%) have jumped to new 52-week highs today, while others sporting sizeable gains include ENPH +4.1%, SEDG +5.5%, FSLR +4.8%, NOVA +5.3%, RUN +5.8%.

Polar Power (POLA +38%), with exposure to solar hybrid type systems, hits all-time highs.

Fuel cell and biofuel makers also trade mostly higher, including PLUG +3.3%, FCEL +5.2%, BLDP +1.7%, GEVO +7.3%, REGI +3.6%.

Apple shares rise after price target boost ahead of ‘record’ quarter; VR headsets could launch next year

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) plans to release an “expensive” VR headset as early as next year, according to Bloomberg sources..

The pricing for the headset will come in above rivals, which range from $300 to $900, due in part to development challenges.

Some Apple insiders told Bloomberg the company might only sell one headset per day in each of its 500 retail stores.

The headsets could include powerful chips like the recently launched in-house M1 silicon, higher resolution displays, and a cooing fan.

Apple’s product will be a standalone VR headset, similar to Facebook’s Oculus.

Codenamed N301, the headsets are in prototype stage so the details could still change.

Apple is still planning for its AR glasses, which the company had targeted for a 2023 release but will likely take longer.

In other Apple news, Morgan Stanley (Overweight) raises the company’s price target from $144 to $154 ahead of the Q1 results on January 27.

The firm expects a “record quarter” with checks pointing to “strength across its portfolio of Products & Services.”

The print will also include the iPhone 12 launch and continuing tailwinds from the remote work and learning trends.

Apple shares up 3% to $136.20.

Last quarter, Apple reported an iPhone sales miss and weak Greater China revenue thanks to the pandemic-delayed iPhone 12 launch.