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How to download a copy of everything Google knows about you

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We’ve already published a pretty extensive guide on how to find out everything Google knows about you.

It knows a lot, particularly if you use its services such as Google Maps or search. I discovered late last year that it knows my name, gender, birthday, personal cell phone numbers, where I work, where I’ve been over the past several years, the types of hobbies I enjoy and more.

In the archive you’re about to download, you’ll get a copy of nearly everything Google has stored on its servers, including Gmail contacts, Chrome bookmarks, transactions from various Google services, locations stored in Google Maps, and more.

You’ll find all sorts of data, including (in my case, dating back to Nov. 8, 2013):

  • Every single place I’ve searched in Google Maps.
  • The apps I’ve opened on Android down to the exact second I opened it.
  • Rewards cards I once used in Google Pay.
  • Everything I’ve asked Google Assistant.
  • Every comment I’ve left on YouTube and every video I’ve watched.
  • Every Android app I’ve searched for or downloaded.
  • Every news article I’ve read on Google News.
  • Ads I viewed or visited in any of Google’s products.
  • All of my Gmail files including Spam and Trash.

… and more.

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Stock futures are little changed ahead of key inflation report

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U.S. stock futures were mostly flat on Monday evening ahead of a highly anticipated inflation report set for release before Tuesday’s opening bell on Wall Street.

Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 13 points, or less than 0.1%. Those for the S&P 500 rose by a similarly modest amount, while those for the Nasdaq 100 climbed about 0.2%.

The move in futures comes ahead of the March reading for the consumer price index, scheduled to be released at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists polled by Dow Jones are projecting the headline index to rise by 0.5% month-over-month and 2.5% year-over-year.

Government officials, including Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on Sunday and Biden administration economists on Monday, stressed that while they expect a jump in inflation in the months ahead, the change could prove temporary due to comparisons with last year’s pandemic lockdowns and extra consumer spending from stimulus checks and pent-up demand.

Private sector strategists and economists also said that the reading may not be a true gauge of rising prices.

“We will soon see impact from the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic on the economic data. A particular focus area will be inflation. Our message is simple: Don’t fall prey to this head fake,” Putnam Investments said in a note on Monday.

Fed officials said they are willing to let inflation run hot for a period of time without changing their accommodative policy stance, including asset purchases and a benchmark interest near zero.

Markets were quiet on Monday, with the three major indexes pulling back slightly. The S&P 500 finished just a hair under its previous record close, while the Dow slipped 55 points. The Nasdaq Composite was the laggard, shedding 0.4%.

The bond market was also subdued on Monday, with the 10-year Treasury yield edging slightly higher to trade near 1.67%. Yields move inversely to prices.

The market has been calm over the past week as Wall Street settled into a lull ahead of the first-quarter earnings season. Corporate news is set to pick up later in the week, with JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Delta Air Lines among the companies set to report quarterly results.

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PC market had best Q1 since 2015, fastest growth in 20 years: Gartner

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Customers looking at laptop computers at a Best Buy in Los Angeles.

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A lot of people and businesses are still buying PCs, extending a boom that started last year during the Covid-19 pandemic as people needed computers to work or go to school from home.

PC shipments to retailers and other vendors were up 32% in the first quarter of 2021 from the same quarter in 2021, according to a new estimate from Gartner. The research firm said it was the highest PC growth rate it had tracked since 2000, and estimated that 69.9 million laptops and desktops were shipped in the quarter.

PC shipments fell sharply in the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic before picking up later in the year, making for an easy comparison. But the boom is real on an absolute basis as well: Total PC shipments were also the highest they’ve been since 2015, when they came in at 71.7 million, according to Gartner.

Gartner’s stats do not include Chromebooks, which are inexpensive laptops running a Google-designed browser operating system and are popular with schools. Including Chromebooks, Gartner estimates that the PC market grew 47% in terms of shipment numbers during the quarter.

Monday’s report suggests that PC sales are historically strong at the moment and that a work-from-home PC sales boom may not end as offices recall more workers and students go back to school. The stats also suggest that PCs will continue to require a lot of new chips and other components during a worldwide semiconductor shortage.

“We believe, at least this year, especially in the first half of this year, PC demand will remain strong. The question is how strong it’s going to be in the second half of this year to next year,” Gartner researcher Mikako Kitagawa told CNBC.

The first quarter is usually a slow time for PC sales, especially compared to the holiday quarter.

Kitagawa said that this quarter’s results may have been even stronger if not for a global chip shortage and other supply chain issues which are forcing some PC vendors to say they will ship computers months later than usual.

“The supply chain was completely disrupted one year ago, and the supply chain is disrupted right now because of a global semiconductor shortage,” Kitagawa said.

According to the report, the top five PC makers are Lenovo, HP, Dell, Apple, Acer, and Asus.

Other sales estimates also suggest a hot PC market during the period: Canalys estimates that the PC market grew by 55% in the quarter, and IDC estimates 55% growth as well.

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Market braces for key inflation report Tuesday that may test the Fed’s mettle

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Shoppers wearing protective masks push shopping carts inside a Costco store in San Francisco, California, on Wednesday, March 3, 2021.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The pace of consumer inflation is likely to have returned to prepandemic levels in March, and it is expected to heat up even more in the next couple of months.

Rising inflation is one of the biggest fears in the market, and if it gets too hot, it could corrode asset values, limit buying power and eat away at corporate margins.

It is inevitable the reopening economy will generate some pick-up in inflation, with demand up sharply and supply chain issues resulting in shortages. Newly vaccinated consumers are also expected to resume traveling and other activities outside the home, which could create a temporary surge in services inflation.

But the Fed and some economists argue this inflationary pick up will be temporary, meaning it should not derail the recovery or result in Fed rate hikes. That makes every new inflation report very important to markets, and that is the case with Tuesday’s 8:30 a.m. release of March CPI.

The March consumer price index is expected to show a moderate 0.2% increase in core inflation, excluding food and energy prices, according to economists polled by Dow Jones. On a year-over-year basis, that is a 1.5% pace, compared to 1.3% in February.

March headline inflation is expected to increase by 0.5% or 2.5% year-over-year, up from 1.7% in February. By May, some economists expect headline inflation could be running at an year-over- year rate of 3.5% or more. The headline rate was last at 2.5% in January, 2020.

“We remain positive but once we get to the end of this year and early next year, and we’ve worked through the supply chain bottlenecks and demand has normalized, as the economy opened up, we don’t think it’s a sustained source of inflation over the medium term,” said Blerina Uruci, senior U.S. economist at Barclays.

Uruci expects core inflation to reach 2.3% by May but then it could be below 2% in the second half of the year.

The Fed has taken great pains to assure markets that it does not expect the inflation trend to remain hot and that the increase is largely the result of base effects. That means the gains in inflation appear larger when compared to the weakness in prices a year ago, when the economy was shutdown.

“I think this year we should be prepared for a lot of volatility in inflation. We’ll have those base effects now and we have a little bit of deceleration after that,” Uruci said.

The central bank has also altered its inflation policy and says it will tolerate inflation running above its 2% target for a period, before it would raise interest rates.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell has been driving the message that the Fed is not worried about inflation just yet. He told it to the audience of “60 Minutes” Sunday evening. On an International Monetary Fund panel last week, Powell argued that the U.S. has lived in a period of low inflation for a quarter century and he expects that trend to continue.

“We want to see inflation move up to about 2%. And we mean that on a sustainable basis. We don’t mean just tap the base once. But then we’d also like to see it on track to move moderately above 2% for some time. And the reason for that is we want inflation to average 2% over time,” Powell said in the “60 Minutes” interview. “Inflation has been below 2%. We want it to be just moderately above 2%. We want it to be just moderately above 2%. So that’s what we’re looking for. That’s the situation we’re looking for. And when we get that, that’s when we’ll raise interest rates.”

Fed: Don’t be alarmed

Jim Caron, head of global macro strategy at Morgan Stanley Investment Mangement, said the market is now taking its cue from the Fed and that Powell has prepared the markets.

“He gave the market a pregame to see these high inflation prints and not get alarmed. His message to the market is don’t be alarmed by it. It’s coming back down,” said Caron. He said Powell has made it clear that inflation should not be a long-term problem. The Fed has said it wants to keep policy easy to help the economy and the labor market, with millions still unemployed.

“The way we frame this debate is whether we think inflation is unanchored or anchored,” said Caron. “I think where Powell is coming down is he’s saying it is anchored because it really is just base effects…The way he’s coming down on it is by saying there’s a lot of slack in the economy.”

But then there’s the potential for surprises, like on Friday, when March producer price inflation showed a surprise 1% jump, double what was expected. The market took the data in stride, but that may not be the case if the CPI is hotter.

“The CPI will be more relevant for the market,” said Peter Boockvar, chief investment strategist at Bleakley Advisory Group. Boockvar expects inflation to be more persistent than the Fed expects, and the market could react to any signs of that.

“Companies are only now beginning to increase prices to offset their own cost pressures,” he said.

Uruci said the inflation picture has altered since the pandemic, but she was not surprised by the jump in PPI, as it is consistent with what she is seeing in CPI. “We have really been highlighting the buildup of pipeline price pressures,” Uruci said. She said PPI was boosted by two things that would not necessarily show up in problem for consumer inflation. One was a rise in export prices and the other a strong gain in prices of goods sold to the government.

“We expect services to only start picking up in Q3 and Q4. If we’re wrong in that forecast ,and that happens sooner, we could see elevated inflation for the rest of the year,” she said.

Inside the March CPI, she expects to see a pickup of 0.1% in shelter, which is about a third of the index. Because of the slowdown in rentals, shelter inflation has slowed to about 1.6% from over 3% prepandemic. She said the vaccine news may help lower vacancy rates in some metropolitan areas, lifting rental prices.

The test for the Fed is how March CPI and the next several reports line up.

“Fed officials can utter the word “transitory” until they are blue in the face, but 1) how will they know? and 2) will market participants still get nervous, despite Fed reassurance, when the inflation readings reach levels not seen in a very long time? ” wrote Stephen Stanley, chief economist at Amherst Pierpont. “Buckle up, this could be a bumpy ride!”

Stanley made the comment following Friday’s PPI report.

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