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#GeniusUpDailyNews!: Markets Right Now: Stocks rebound, led by tech companies!

The latest on developments in financial markets (all times local):
The latest on developments in financial markets (all times local):

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Stocks are rising at the open on Wall Street Friday, led by gains in technology companies, as the market tries to rebound from steep losses a day earlier.

Intuit gained 4.8% after the maker of TurboTax reported quarterly earnings and revenue that topped expectations.

The major indexes are still looking at weekly declines. Investors have been worrying about the escalating trade war between the U.S. and China, though things were quiet on the trade front early Friday.

The Dow rose 168 points, or 0.7%, to 25,658. The S&P 500 added 18 points, or 0.7%, to 2,840.

The Nasdaq gained 62 points, or 0.8%, to 7,690.

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#GeniusUpDailyNews!: Earthlings get first glimpse of a black hole

Earthlings get first glimpse of a black hole
Earthlings get first glimpse of a black hole

The history books will mark Wednesday, April 10, as the day humanity got its first look at a black hole.

That’s when astronomers around the world unveiled the results of the “herculean task” of providing the first direct visual evidence of a supermassive black hole captured by a global network of eight telescopes on five continents, collectively called the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT). The “event horizon” marks the distance from a black hole at which light is trapped by its enormous gravity, the point of no return.


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This is the first direct visual evidence of a supermassive black hole and its shadow. (Photo: nsf.gov)

“We have seen what we thought was unseeable,” said EHT director Sheperd Doeleman at a press briefing hosted by the National Science Foundation and EHT in Washington, D.C. “We have seen and taken a picture of a black hole.”

“We’ve been studying black holes so long, sometimes it’s easy to forget that none of us have actually seen one,” said France Cordova, director of the National Science Foundation, at the D.C. conference, one of seven concurrent briefings in cities including Brussels, Shanghai and Tokyo.

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The black hole, which scientists said is 6.5 billion times more massive than the sun and spins clockwise, was discovered more than 50 million light years from Earth at the center of a galaxy called Messier 87 (M87).

“What we see is larger than the size of our entire solar system,” Heino Falcke, a Netherlands professor told BBC News. “And it is one of the heaviest black holes that we think exists. It is an absolute monster, the heavyweight champion of black holes in the universe.”

“You have probably seen many, many images of black holes before,” said Falcke at the press briefing. “But they were all simulations or animations. And this is precious to all of us, because this one is finally real.”

The decadeslong endeavor to capture the massive black hole culminated in one week in April 2017, during which all eight telescopes observed the same areas of space and collected vast amounts of data that then took months to analyze. Over 200 researchers took part in the project, computing data over the course of two years.

But before this revelation, three years ago Katie Bouman, an MIT graduate student in electrical engineering and computer science, led the development of a new algorithm to help astronomers produce the first image of a black hole.

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Black holes are invisible, dense remnants of a large star that died in a supernova explosion, according to NASA. Their intense gravity field pulls in everything around it, including light.

“But some black holes, especially supermassive ones dwelling in galaxies’ centers, stand out by voraciously accreting bright disks of gas and other material,” reported Science News. “The EHT image reveals the shadow of M87’s black hole on its accretion disk. Appearing as a fuzzy, asymmetrical ring, it unveils for the first time a dark abyss of one of the universe’s most mysterious objects.”

The picture of the black hole captured by the Earth-spanning telescope network shows a halo of “emission from hot gas swirling around [the black hole] under the influence of strong gravity near its event horizon.” It is further confirmation of Albert Einstein’s general Theory of Relativity, which predicted the existence of black holes.

“This has been our first chance to see the inner workings of black holes and to test a fundamental prediction of Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity,” Feryal Ozel, an astrophysicist who was the modeling and analysis lead on the project, told ABC News. “Not only the existence of a shadow that indicates a point of no return — or an event horizon — but also the size and shape of that shadow.”

“It’s a dream come true, on many levels,” she added.

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#GeniusUpDailyNews: New IPOs Companies, Pinterest and Zoom are set to enter the public market today, with both tech companies pricing their shares above expected ranges! @empiregenius

The #GeniusUpDailyNews professionals are talking about now, curated by @EMPIREGENIUS. Join the conversation on today’s stories in the comments. 

Pinterest and Zoom are set to enter the public market today, with both tech companies pricing their shares above expected ranges. Pinterest, which is listing on the New York Stock Exchange, will price its IPO at $19 per share — above its earlier estimate of $15 to $17, while video conference company Zoom will list on Nasdaq at $36 per share. The two are the latest tech startups to IPO; ride-hailing company Lyft debuted in March and rival Uber is expected to do so shortly. • Here’s what people are saying.

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Dozens of U.S. health care professionals have been charged for health care fraud schemes and illegally prescribing narcotics in the latest federal enforcement action addressing the nation’s opioid crisis. The crackdown involves 60 individuals and more than a quarter million illegal prescriptions written in several states. About 130 Americans die each day from an opioid overdose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. • Here’s what people are saying.

Amazon is set to leave China’s domestic e-commerce market in July, shutting its third-party online marketplace and cutting seller services on its Chinese website. The company has also been in talks to merge its e-commerce business for goods imported into China with NetEase’s Kaola, a local competitor, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing an anonymous source. Chinese customers will still be able to order from Amazon’s global store. • Here’s what people are saying.

Facebook is working on an Alexa and Siri rival, reports CNBC, citing anonymous sources, with the tech giant’s augmented reality and virtual reality group reportedly beginning to build the tool in early 2018. The move comes as voice assistants and smart speakers grow by double-digit percentage points in the U.S. Amazon currently dominates the market with its Echo device. • Here’s what people are saying.

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With baby boomers making up a large portion of current construction workers, the industry is worried about the labor deficit that will occur when they retire. In an effort to attract younger talent, construction companies such as CM Lab Simulations and Caterpillar are using virtual reality simulators during job training to entice those who grew up on video games. • Here’s what people are saying.

Idea of the Day: Work-life balance is about each person setting their own priorities, says Kalaari Managing Director Vani Kola. But companies have a crucial role in this as well.

“Companies are made of people. The onus is on the employee to understand his/her needs and for the leadership to support those needs.” 

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