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Morning Brief: Trump Determined to Punish Hedge Fund Favorite Amazon.com, Report Says

The President has been putting pressure on the postmaster general to raise rates for Amazon and other companies that ship packages, the Washington Post reported.

President Trump has stepped up his war on e-commerce giant Amazon.com, one of the most popular stocks held by hedge funds. Trump, who has made it very clear he is unhappy with his coverage by The Washington Post, which is privately owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, has personally been urging Postmaster General Megan Brennan to double the rate the U.S. Postal Service charges Amazon.com and other companies that ship packages, according to The Post, citing three people familiar with their conversations. This would dramatically raise the costs for these shipping companies. According to the report, Brennan has explained to Trump that these companies have contracts that must be reviewed by a regulatory commission and that the Postal Service benefits from Amazon’s business. Shares of Amazon.com fell about 0.50 percent on Friday, to $1,574.37.

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Credit Suisse raised its price target on PayPal Holdings from $85 to $93 after the electronic payments pioneer announced that it will acquire Swedish-based iZettle for $2.2 billion. “The acquisition of iZettle significantly expands PayPal's in-store presence, strengthening PayPal's platform to help millions of small businesses around the world grow and thrive in an omnichannel retail environment,” PayPal says in a statement, calling iZettle “the leading small business commerce platform in Europe and Latin America.”

In its note to clients, Credit Suisse calls PayPal “the key fin-tech consolidator in the space.” The bank also retained its outperform rating on the stock. At the end of the first quarter, 32 hedge funds established new positions in the stock, while 30 counted the stock among their top-ten holdings, according to whalewisdom.com. Stephen Mandel Jr.’s Lone Pine Capital was one of the largest shareholders. PayPal was also the fourth-largest U.S. long holding of Portland Hill Asset Management. Shares of PayPal rose 2 percent, to close at $80.79.

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Melvin Capital said that as of May 17 it owned 2.475 million shares of Roku, or 5 percent of the streaming TV company, according to a new 13G filing. It did not hold a position in the stock at the end of the first quarter, according to its latest 13F filing.

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