In today’s top stories, Shopify shares popped after CEO Daniel Ek (pictured) gave a rosy forecast, alongside gas futures after an explosion at a Texas liquefied natural gas plant. Meanwhile, ARK Invest buys more Tesla shares, Intel cuts back spending plans and the outlook for fintech stocks dampens.
Spotify’s growth outlook
Spotify’s stock price surged on Wednesday after chief executive Daniel Ek spoke optimistically at the company’s investor day presentation. He expects the company to generate $100bn in revenue within the next 10 years — up from $10.9bn in 2021. Ek also noted that the firm’s podcast business, which it has spent more than $1bn on strengthening, is close to profitability and should see returns in the next couple of years. The stock is up 26% over the past month.
‘Grim’ mood for fintech
At the Money 20/20 Europe trade show taking place from 7–9 June, CNBC said fintech bosses warned of difficulties for the industry amid worsening macroeconomic conditions. Stripe co-founder Josh Collison said he was unsure the company could justify its $95bn valuation, while digital bank Zopa is likely to face further delays to its IPO. Iana Dimitrova, CEO of OpenPayd, called the mood “very grim”, adding that she was unsure whether the payment software firm will be able to finalise its funding round.
Intel rethinks spending plans
The semiconductor giant has followed other tech firms in adjusting its near-term spending as economic uncertainty continues. The company has also imposed a temporary hiring freeze. While computer shipments are forecast to fall by around 7% this year, Intel has been in the process of a $100bn expansion plan. The Wall Street Journal reported that the firm sees itself “at the start of a long-term growth cycle” for the chip making industry.
Gas futures jump after Texas explosion
The lead European natural gas contract surged in early trading on Thursday after an explosion at a Texas liquefied natural gas plant. The facility, which accounts for around 20% of US LNG processing, is set to close for at least three weeks, prompting concerns about LNG exports to Europe. Dutch TTF gas futures jumped 16% in early trading, while the leading UK LNG contract was up 36%. Meanwhile, shares in ExxonMobil reached a record eight-year high on Wednesday as crude prices rose.
Tesla’s China comeback
After a series of lockdowns impacted production at its Shanghai plant, Tesla recorded knockout May figures despite only recently resuming operations. The EV maker produced 33,544 cars in its Shanghai factory last month, up from 10,757 in April. On the back of this promising news, ARK Invest’s Cathie Wood has been snapping up Tesla shares, buying at least 50,000 shares over the past two weeks.
The events of the past couple of years have highlighted the importance of living and working in a secure world. Companies have had to deal with multiple cybersecurity threats as hackers look to exploit vulnerabilities. Meanwhile, governments have been ensuring that critical infrastructure is protected, especially amid the increased threat of state-sponsored attacks. What does this mean for cybersecurity stocks like CrowdStrike, Zscaler and Cloudflare?
Wall Street’s top picks
May is traditionally a difficult month for the stock market, but the S&P 500 held its own this year, staying flat. The best performers this month were mainly energy stocks, with lithium producer Albemarle and hydrocarbons exploration firm Devon Energy beating the competition. The losers included US chain Target and sportswear retailer Under Armour, which have been battered by rising inflation and slower consumer spending.
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