Yandex.Money adds multicurrency support
Last month, Yandex (YNDX) announced that it was adding multicurrency support to its Yandex.Money payment platform. Yandex.Money initially worked with the Russian ruble, but Yandex is now upgrading the platform to support transactions in ten foreign currencies in addition to the ruble.
The supported foreign currencies include the US dollar, the euro, the British pound, and the Chinese yuan. Yandex hopes that the platform’s multicurrency support will make it more attractive to freelancers, the remote workforce that’s powering what has come to be known as the gig economy. Yandex’s revenue rose 39% YoY (year-over-year) in the fourth quarter.
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Flexible work schedule fueling the gig economy
Morgan Stanley estimates that the worldwide gig economy was valued at $3.7 trillion in 2017. As more and more people embrace flexible work schedules and are able to work from home, the gig economy is expected to continue expanding.
Some of the major companies contributing to the gig economy include Upwork (UPWK), Lyft (LYFT), and Uber. Upwork operates a freelancing marketplace. Its revenue rose 23% YoY to $67.3 million in the fourth quarter. Lyft (LYFT) and Uber provide ride-hailing services. Yandex and Uber run a taxi joint venture called Yandex.Taxi in Russia.
Serving the gig economy
Besides Yandex, PayPal (PYPL) and Square (SQ) are two other payment companies seeking a piece of the rapidly expanding gig economy. PayPal recently introduced instant bank transfer support, which allows customers to shift funds from their PayPal accounts to their bank accounts in seconds. The instant bank transfer feature is viewed as part of PayPal’s attempt to woo freelancers to its platform. On its part, Square issues a debit card that drivers who work for its Caviar food delivery service can use to receive their payments.
In efforts to diversify its business outside the advertising industry, Yandex (YNDX) has entered the consumer hardware market.
Broadcom (AVGO) stock fell ~8.5% after markets closed yesterday following the semiconductor giant's fiscal 2019 second-quarter earnings release. It missed analysts' revenue estimate and cut its fiscal 2019 revenue guidance by $2 billion to $22.5 billion due to sluggishness in its semiconductor solutions business.
The SPDR Gold Shares ETF (GLD), which tracks physical gold prices, has underperformed the broader markets year-to-date, rising just 4.4% compared to the S&P 500’s (SPY) gain of 15.9% as of June 14. The sentiment for gold, however, has been turning around.
Safe havens such as Treasuries and gold were back in favor on June 14 as stocks fell due to rising tensions in the Middle East, concerns over growth, and the looming threat of the US-China trade war. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index fell 0.67% in the first hour of trading.
Lululemon (LULU) stock rose 2.1% on June 13 in reaction to better-than-expected first-quarter results and an upgraded outlook for fiscal 2019 overall. The company's first-quarter adjusted EPS grew 34.5% to $0.74 on revenue growth of 20.4% to $782.32 million. Analysts had expected EPS of $0.70 and revenue of $755.31 million. Here's why the outlook got an upgrade.
As of 4:40 AM Eastern Time today, US crude oil active futures were at $51.83, ~4% below their closing level in the previous week. If US crude oil prices stay at those levels today, they'll mark their third week of decline in five weeks.
Amazon is discontinuing its Amazon Restaurants service, which has been delivering food for restaurants in parts of the United States. Amazon Restaurants launched in the United States in 2015 and entered the British market the following year. However, it met strong opposition in the British market.