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Recode Daily: Apple’s path to $1 trillion continues unabated

Plus, analyze Elon Musk’s tweets while you’re waiting for Tesla’s Q2 earnings today; the most successful venture investment of all time; has the internet switched its allegiance from cats to dogs?

Guillaume Payen / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images

Apple reported accelerating sales growth in its fiscal third quarter, pushing it closer to becoming the first company to pass a $1 trillion valuation. More expensive iPhones, its “services” business — which includes Apple Music and the App Store — and its wearables business are driving growth. Apple also projected revenue growth would continue in its September quarter — a strong hint that the company will once again introduce a new iPhone in September. Shares will likely trade up today. [Kif Leswing / Business Insider]

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Bonus: You can listen to (or read) a previously unpublished interview with Apple’s then-CEO Steve Jobs; the conversation has been dusted off to mark the occasion of the 10th anniversary of Apple’s App Store. [Nick Wingfield / The Wall Street Journal / The Information]

Tesla will report its second-quarter earnings today — but watch the numbers, instead of CEO Elon Musk’s antics, for a key to the company’s future. It’s a critical time as Tesla attempts to ramp up from a luxury automaker to a mass market one while also becoming profitable. The most important numbers to watch: Tesla’s production rate, revenue, losses and cash position. And if you want an enjoyable dose of prime Elon, check out this graphical analysis of his 4,925 tweets. [Johana Bhuiyan / Recode]

Facebook banned 32 accounts and pages for “coordinated inauthentic behavior,” saying their activity was similar or connected to that of Russian accounts during the 2016 election. Facebook says it doesn’t know who is behind the campaigns, but Russia seems like a good guess. Some of the political influence campaigns were aimed at stoking division around white supremacy and the Abolish ICE movement. Is the U.S. government — and the world — too reliant on one or two companies to protect democracy? [Kurt Wagner / Recode]

The U.S. is creating a risk-management hub aimed at guarding the nation’s banks, energy companies and other industries from major cyber attacks that could cripple critical infrastructure. Saying “our intelligence community had it right about Russian interference,” Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen made the announcement at a government-hosted cybersecurity summit in New York City. The new center is designed to be a partnership between several private companies and federal agencies, with Homeland Security at its head. [Dustin Volz / The Wall Street Journal]

As big supermarkets face a crisis, experimental local groceries are innovating to serve niche audiences and advance social causes. Stores like Kroger, the nation’s largest chain, are being cannibalized by a host of discount competitors and by the growing dominance of Amazon and online delivery. So in cities and small towns, a new breed of small community stores are trying things like work training, medical clinics, package-free products and unstaffed stores on a customer honor system. [Kim Severson / The New York Times]

This may be the most successful angel investment of all time: Back in 1995, Jackie and Mike Bezos plowed $245,573 into their son’s then-fledgling e-commerce website. One IPO and three stock splits later, his parents’ stake would be worth almost $30 billion today — a return of about 12 million percent. They may still control as much as $10 billion worth of Amazon shares. [Tom Metcalf / Bloomberg]

Recode Presents ...

Flipkart Group co-founder and CEO Binny Bansal is coming to our two-day Code Commerce event in New York City, September 17 and 18. Walmart recently agreed to pay $16 billion for a majority stake in Flipkart, India’s homegrown rival to Amazon. The deal will provide Flipkart with one of the most powerful allies in retail as it goes up against Amazon’s logistics might — and checkbook — in perhaps the most important emerging e-commerce market in the world. Bansal joins a speaker lineup that already includes the CEOs of retail and e-commerce heavyweights like Shopify, Macy’s, Instacart, Crate and Barrel and Zola. Last year’s event sold out — and registration prices increase on August 3 — so sign up today.

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