“Everyone wants to know if I’ve decided…and I have. uberSELECT helps you ride in style like me” — The one and only Ken Bone, aka the real winner of Sunday’s presidential debate. Lest you think the Bone zone has entered the sellout zone, keep in mind he was offered $100,000 from an adult webcam service. And Uber could use some good publicity: yesterday it simultaneously lost an employment ruling in New York and was sued by a disability rights group.
- U.S. stocks closed a bit lower yesterday, as investors weren’t quite sure how to take conflicting news: there was weak economic data out of China (that’s bad) but oil prices rose (that’s generally been good). The jury’s out, folks
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
…For Delta in its Q3 earnings report yesterday. We at the Brew are an optimistic bunch, so let’s start with the good: the second-largest U.S airline beat earnings estimates, and persistently low fuel costs (shout-out OPEC oil oversupply) were 22% lower than last year. The bad: despite the earnings triumph, profits were still down 4%, and management will purposely limit seat growth next year to prop up low airfares that have been crushing airline profitability. In other words, we may be celebrating the low fares, but Delta ain’t happy about it. And let’s not forget the ugly: remember the power outage that caused thousands of flights to be cancelled back in August? Well, Delta lost a whopping $150 million from the ordeal. Yikes.
Discovery Goes Digital
…Like everybody else. Discovery, owner of the much-loved channels Discovery Channel and Animal Planet, announced a $100 million investment in Group Nine Media. Who dat? Group Nine Media is a new holding company that’s made up of millennial-focused digital players Thrillist, NowThis, The Dodo and now, Discovery’s digital assets. The move underscores a trend of traditional media companies investing in online publishers as more and more people consume media via smartphones.
Pin the Tail on the Projections
…It’s good, but slightly missed estimates. Pinterest, everybody’s favorite visual-search-social-media tech giant (good luck coming up with a better description than that), announced it had hit 150 million monthly users yesterday. Stellar numbers, but short of earlier company projections that it would hit that number by the end of 2015. This isn’t a bad sign for Pinterest, just a case of high expectations—which is all too common in today’s tech scene (Tesla, anyone?). Pinterest is also expecting $300 million in revenue for 2016, up 200% from 2015. Keep on keepin’ on.
Meet the Newest Fintech Startup
…Goldman Sachs? Yes, you read that right. Add consumer lending to the growing list of Goldman fintech additions. Named Marcus, after Goldman founder Marcus Goldman, the platform offers personal loans of up to $30,000. Goldman believes “a straightforward personal loan is a better solution” than the current complexities of dealing with high-interest rate credit cards with tons of fees. And with the recent controversy of fintech startup Lending Club, Goldman hopes its two-to-six-year fixed rate loans at rates of between 5.99% and 22.99% will fill the hole.
Verizon Goes On the Offensive
…And gives Yahoo a good ol’ nudge. Let’s remember that in June, Verizon agreed to buy Yahoo’s core assets for nearly $5 billion. Fast forward to today, after Yahoo revealed 500 million user accounts were hacked. Well, Verizon’s less than enthused. Yesterday, the angry acquirer indicated that the massive hack could affect or halt the multi-billion dollar acquisition. Verizon is placing the burden on Yahoo to prove its “innocence,” and it appears that more work must be done for the deal to close as scheduled near year. But it’s not just Yahoo that’s under fire: Verizon is cutting five call centers and up to 3,200 jobs, a surprising move in light of an agreement reached in May to end a strike by Verizon’s unionized employees. It would seem controversies are contagious.
- Deutsche Bank said to implement hiring freeze as CEO cuts costs
- Twitter picks horse racing for its first global sports stream
- Streaming to Periscope is no longer confined to phones
- Samsung offers $100 incentive to trade in Note 7 phones
- Monday: Columbus Day (Banks Closed, Markets Open)
- Tuesday: Alcoa Earnings (-)
- Wednesday: CSX Earnings (+); Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (-); Fed Minutes Release
- Thursday: Delta (+/-), Progressive Earnings (+/-); Weekly Jobless Claims (+)
- Friday: JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, PNC Earnings; Producer Price Index; Retail Sales; Consumer Sentiment
Over the past decade, the tech industry has fueled the surge of the non-employer “gig” economy. While self-employed and freelance professionals were once at its core, huge growth in companies like Uber and Airbnb suggest that entire industries are now joining the gig economy. There’s a twist. This week, the Brookings Institute released a study to measure its growth. Following the IRS definition of “non-employer firms” as businesses that earn over $1,000 without any employees, the researchers tracked the number of such firms in lodging and transportation industries from 2010 to 2014. Here’s a look at what they found:
- The ground transportation industry sure got a Lyft. The 48% growth in gig employment has far outpaced traditional payroll employment, which grew only 6.4%.
- Gig employment in the lodging industry grew nearly three times as quickly as payroll employment, achieving 9.7% growth compared to 3.6%.
- It all depends on location. The report examined growth between 2012 and 2014 of payroll and gig employment in the top 50 metro U.S. areas. Unsurprisingly, gig employment grew 141% in San Francisco, but only went up 38% in Miami.
Interview Question of the Day
Can you cut a cake into eight equal pieces using just three cuts? (Answer)
Startup of the Day
Hyperloop One, aka Elon Musk’s other moonshot company, just raised $50 million and hired former Uber CFO Brent Callinicos to be its chief financial advisor. What’s with all the hype (yes, pun intended)? Hyperloop is a novel way to move people or things anywhere in the world quickly, safely and efficiently. The company uses electric propulsion to accelerate a passenger or cargo vehicle through a tube in a low pressure environment. Basically, right out of the Jetsons.
Food for Thought
Looking for a job this holiday season? Amazon might be able to hook you up: it’s hiring a significant 120,000 temporary workers in the U.S.—20% more than last year—as e-commerce continues to pick up steam. Need more evidence? The old guard of Macy’s, Target and Kohl’s have all announced they’re hiring fewer temp workers than usual. It’s a common refrain here at the Brew, but the times, they truly are a changin’. Speaking of which, shoutout to Bob Dylan for winning the Nobel Prize in Literature.
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