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Amazon challenges Shopify, Activision Blizzard diversifies board, Skechers signs pickleball winners

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Yahoo Finance Live examines several of today's stories tied to trending stock tickers, including Amazon's new "Buy with Prime" service and Shopify implementing bitcoin payments.

Video Transcript

DAVE BRIGGS: Welcome back to Yahoo Finance Live. Time now for our triple play. I'm playing video games, no surprise, guys, Activision Blizzard my play. ATVI in the news on two fronts. Good news first-- the gaming company is adding two women to its board, Lulu Cheng Meservey immediately, and they'll nominate Kerry Carr in June at their next meeting. The company had actually been in violation of California law, which requires publicly traded companies with six or more people on the board to have at least three women directors, so righting a wrong there.

Now, on the flip side, a report in "The Wall Street Journal" says Meta chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg pressured the "Daily Mail" to bury a negative story about her former boyfriend, Activision's CEO Bobby Kotick. Kotick has been under pressure for allowing sexual harassment at the company. Not entirely clear yet if Kotick would stay on if Microsoft's purchase of Activision goes through. The share price is down slightly since the offer. It's up, though, 17% year to date and on the day, just fractional movement down at the moment.

RACHELLE AKUFFO: Certainly good to see, at least on the positive side, more women there coming on to the Activision Blizzard board. Now my pick is Shopify. Ticker symbol is SHOP. Now the stock was falling more than 10% in intraday trading before clawing back some gains. We now see that it's down about 8.1%. They're down about $42.89. Now this was actually after Amazon announced its new Buy It With Prime service. Now this allows customers to buy directly from Amazon's online stores of trusted merchants. It's going to start off as an invite-only service to merchants using fulfillment by Amazon, and it will roll out this year.

But the problem is, this means it's scooping up some of these smaller merchants online, these smaller retailers that Shopify is really popular with. Especially with the pandemic, a lot of people are starting these small businesses. And we did see also that Square and PayPal also falling today.

But we do know that SHOP has also been making some other moves. They've been expanding in terms of accepting crypto through their Ottawa operations. And this means that lower fee and faster Bitcoin payments can come through on the emerging Lightning Network. The stock, though, still down more than 65% year to date, as a lot of some of these struggling pandemic darlings. So it is going to be an uphill battle, as they come out of the pandemic.

BRAD SMITH: And we do know Amazon has really led on those conversion rates, and marketers really do like that. And so with Shopify's move here, we'll see if they're able to continue to compete with that move from Amazon. Leaning into my own neverending fascination about the range of Skechers brand ambassadors, from Kim K's Super Bowl ad years back, to Willie Nelson, Martha Stewart-- more recently, you've got a few golfers and now, Tyson McGuffin and Catherine Parenteau.

If you haven't heard their names before, fret not. They are in the pickleball arena, as this is one that the company has decided that they were going to put some more marketing dollars in. So this is all part of their ambassador marketing calculus in the footwear category. And the company reports earnings for Q1 on April 26, so we're going to get an actual new breakout for financials that's going to be interesting. Skechers says that the company will present segment results as wholesale and direct to consumer. They're also coming off of a record Q4. And I'm particularly interested in what they'll forecast with a new competitor in Lululemón, if you will, that has entered into-- yeah, that's the French pronunciation.

DAVE BRIGGS: Wow, limón.

BRAD SMITH: Limón, yes, into the footwear category in the women's segment. So for Skechers here, that's particularly what I'm going to be keeping an eye on. Shares lower here on the day, though.

DAVE BRIGGS: Say it again? Limón.

BRAD SMITH: Lululemón.

DAVE BRIGGS: Lululemón.

BRAD SMITH: Hard O-N.

DAVE BRIGGS: You had me at professional pickleball players, which caught my fascination. And you know what Topgolf has done for this game of golf, a company called Rally hopes to do with pickleball. They're opening a 27,000 square foot, two acre facility in Charlotte next year-- indoor, outdoor courts, restaurants and bars. Pickleball is the sport of the next generation. Man, it is exploding, my friend.

BRAD SMITH: You had me at Topgolf. That's my jam.

DAVE BRIGGS: We need to hang out there.

BRAD SMITH: We do.

DAVE BRIGGS: Topgolf, we all love.