Is Spotify Technology Stock Outpacing Its Business Services Peers This Year?

The Business Services group has plenty of great stocks, but investors should always be looking for companies that are outperforming their peers. Spotify (NYSE:SPOT) is a stock that can certainly grab the attention of many investors, but do its recent returns compare favorably to the sector as a whole? A quick glance at the company’s year-to-date performance in comparison to the rest of the Business Services sector should help us answer this question.

Spotify is one of 315 individual stocks in the Business Services sector. Collectively, these companies sit at #2 in the Zacks Sector Rank. The Zacks Sector Rank gauges the strength of our 16 individual sector groups by measuring the average Zacks Rank of the individual stocks within the groups.

The Zacks Rank emphasizes earnings estimates and estimate revisions to find stocks with improving earnings outlooks. This system has a long record of success, and these stocks tend to be on track to beat the market over the next one to three months. Spotify is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #1 (Strong Buy).

Within the past quarter, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for SPOT’s full-year earnings has moved 33.9% higher. This shows that analyst sentiment has improved and the company’s earnings outlook is stronger.

Our latest available data shows that SPOT has returned about 61.3% since the start of the calendar year. Meanwhile, stocks in the Business Services group have gained about 7.4% on average. This means that Spotify is performing better than its sector in terms of year-to-date returns.

Another Business Services stock, which has outperformed the sector so far this year, is Inter & Co. Inc. (INTR). The stock has returned 10.1% year-to-date.

Over the past three months, Inter & Co. Inc.’s consensus EPS estimate for the current year has increased 6.6%. The stock currently has

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The DOL’s final fiduciary rule expands the scope of investment advice subject to ERISA | Global law firm

On April 23, 2024, the US Department of Labor (DOL) issued a final rule (the Final Rule) expanding the definition of an “investment advice fiduciary” with respect to employee benefit plans and IRAs for purposes of determining who is a “fiduciary” under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (ERISA). The Final Rule imposes ERISA’s fiduciary protections on many types of investment advisory relationships that were exempted under the DOL’s previous regulatory definition of “investment advice fiduciary,” which has been the standard since 1975. In the DOL’s view, the Final Rule better ensures that retirement investors’ reasonable expectations are honored when they receive advice from financial professionals who hold themselves out as trusted advice providers, by requiring that such advisors adhere to stringent conduct standards and mitigate their conflicts of interest.

Timeline, practical considerations and next steps

The Final Rule is scheduled to become effective on September 23, 2024, along with changes to related prohibited transaction exemptions (PTEs), except for PTE 2020-02 and PTE 84-24, for which there will be an additional one year transition period where exemptive relief will require a written acknowledgement of fiduciary status and compliance with impartial conduct standards. It is widely anticipated that the Final Rule will be subject to litigation challenging its enforceability.

Although the fate of the Final Rule remains unclear, financial institutions and professionals are advised to begin reviewing their current processes and policies and consider what changes are necessary to comply with the Final Rule. In addition, parties that rely on PTE 2020-02 and the QPAM Exemption should review the revised requirements of those exemptions in detail to ensure the relief offered by those PTEs will be available for their businesses, and, if not, consider whether another exemption is available or if an individual exemption needs to be

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Transforming Engagement Can Change The Insurance Industry

Alex Zukerman is Chief Strategy Officer at Sapiens, empowering insurers with digital software platforms, solutions and services.

There’s a reason why companies mold their business around their customers. Around 84% of consumers feel that the experience a company delivers—including value, personalization and transparency—is just as important as the goods and services it sells. Traditional insurers, however, tend to struggle with the customer experience (CX).

For decades, the insurance sector has engaged with policyholders the old-fashioned way—agent phone calls, snail mail and page after page of paperwork. In retrospect, the ingrained inner workings of the industry—a product of time—now stick out like a sore thumb, especially in this digital age.

With technologies advancing and consumer expectations rising, modern market forces are compelling the industry to compose a new symphony of engagement—where a company’s interactions foster strong B2C relationships, experiences and loyalty. In the realm of insurance, seamless communication between insurers, intermediaries and policyholders across multiple digital platforms and touchpoints is now the benchmark for robust engagement.

Beyond fixating on the “latest” technologies, insurers can transform their CX by facilitating a customer interface that enhances and diversifies engagement strategies. Old engagement habits die hard, but the rapidly evolving digital consumer landscape that now surrounds insurers necessitates a two-part reevaluation.

Step 1: Reinvent Distribution

Insurers’ first course of action should be to reconfigure distribution approaches to insurance offerings. The reality is that more and more consumers are leveraging mobile apps and websites to search for and access insurance content. Therefore, traditional insurers have an opportunity to meet customers on the digital channels they already use. This means adopting omnichannel approaches and embedded insurance models that meet customers in their preferred areas using their preferred methods at times that are most suitable.

The gradual integration of IoT technologies and AI products like

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