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The latest business news delivered in a convenient, AD-FREE, easy-to-read stream. Brought to you by News Plexus, a pioneer in sustainable news publishing.

The latest business news delivered in a convenient, AD-FREE, easy-to-read stream. Brought to you by News Plexus, a pioneer in sustainable news publishing.
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NewsPlexus Media August 6, 2020

Facebook launches its new TikTok clone, Instagram Reels
Facebook's Instagram is officially launching its answer to the hit short video app TikTok — Instagram Reels. The new Instagram feature will let users record and edit 15-second videos with audio, and will let users add visual effects. Users will be able to share Reels with followers in Instagram in a dedicated section called Reels in Explore, or in the Story feature where posts disappear after 24 hours.
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NewsPlexus Media August 6, 2020

Samsung's new phones test consumer demand for pricey gadgets
Samsung aims to lift its sinking smartphone sales with three new models that will test consumer willingness to buy high-priced gadgets during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. The latest Galaxy phones, unveiled Wednesday during an online showcase, will cost $1,000 to $1,300. Such prices are have become standard for top-of-the-line phones in recent years. But they might cause sticker shock at a time of double-digit unemployment that could last through at least the end of the year, as the global economy struggles to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
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NewsPlexus Media August 5, 2020

Beyond Meat's 2Q sales jump as more try plant-based burgers
More people are throwing plant-based burgers on the grill this summer. Beyond Meat, which makes pea protein-based burgers and sausages, said Tuesday its second quarter revenue jumped 69% to $113 million as more households tried its products in the U.S. and elsewhere.
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NewsPlexus Media August 5, 2020

New York Fed: Black-owned business hard hit by pandemic
Black-owned businesses have been almost twice as likely to fail as businesses overall during the current pandemic, according to a study released Tuesday by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The study determined that a major reason for this was that Black-owned businesses are heavily concentrated in cities that have been hardest hit by the virus and they entered the pandemic with weaker financial conditions.
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NewsPlexus Media August 5, 2020

Questions being raised after Kodak's stock has a big moment
Eastman Kodak's potentially lucrative deal to help the U.S. government make more generic drugs domestically is threatening to turn into a regulatory headache for the fallen photography giant. Kodak's depressed stock price surged last week before the company announced its plans to work with President Donald Trump's administration in exchange for a $765 million loan. That prompted Sen. Elizabeth Warren to send a Monday letter asking the Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate whether insider trading laws have been broken.
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NewsPlexus Media August 5, 2020

Ex-Google exec sent to prison for stealing robocar secrets
A former Google engineer has been sentenced to 18 months in prison after pleading guilty to stealing trade secrets before joining Uber's effort to build robotic vehicles for its ride-hailing service. The sentence handed down Tuesday by U.S. District Judge William Alsup came more than four months after former Google engineer Anthony Levandowski reached a plea agreement with the federal prosecutors who brought a criminal case against him last August.
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NewsPlexus Media August 4, 2020

Google buys $450M stake in ADT to give Nest a new perch
Google is paying $450 million for a nearly 7% stake in longtime home and business security provider ADT Inc., a deal that will open new opportunities for one of the internet's most powerful companies to extend the reach of its Nest cameras and voice-activated voice assistant.
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NewsPlexus Media August 4, 2020

Google unveils budget Pixel phone as pandemic curbs spending
Google has started selling a long-delayed budget smartphone boasting the same high-quality camera and several other features available in fancier Pixel models that cost hundreds of dollars more. The Pixel 4a unveiled Monday will be available Aug. 20 after months of delay caused by supply problems triggered by the pandemic.
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NewsPlexus Media August 3, 2020

Trader Joe's says no to changing ethnic-sounding label names
Trader Joe's, which said earlier this month it was moving to change the names of some of its products after an online petition denounced them as racist, now says it will stick with labels like Trader Jose's and Trader Ming's for Mexican and Asian food. "We want to be clear: we disagree that any of these labels are racist," the popular grocery chain said in a statement posted on its website. It added, "We do not make decisions based on petitions."
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NewsPlexus Media August 1, 2020

The pandemic-fueled boom in online shopping shows no signs of slowing down, providing more business for delivery companies like United Parcel Service Inc. UPS said Thursday that shipments from businesses to U.S. consumers soared 65% in the second quarter, helping lift the delivery giant to a $1.77 billion profit. The results were better than expected, and UPS shares jumped 15% in midday trading.
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NewsPlexus Media July 31, 2020

Australia to make Google and Facebook pay for news content
The Australian government said on Friday it plans to give Google and Facebook three months to negotiate with Australian media businesses fair pay for news content. In releasing a draft of a mandatory code of conduct, the government aims to succeed where other countries have failed in making the global digital giants pay for news siphoned from commercial media companies.
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NewsPlexus Media July 31, 2020

US is expected to report a record-breaking economic plunge
Having endured what was surely a record-shattering slump last quarter, the U.S. economy faces a dim outlook as a resurgent coronavirus intensifies doubts about any sustained recovery the rest of the year. A huge plunge in consumer spending as people stayed home and avoided shopping, traveling or gathering in crowds as the virus raged is estimated to have sent the economy sinking at a roughly 32% annual rate in the April-June quarter. That would be more than triple the previous worst quarterly economic fall, a 10% drop set in 1958.
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NewsPlexus Media July 30, 2020

Starbucks says it sees better times ahead as stores reopen
Starbucks' revenue shrank 38% in its most recent quarter but the coffee giant says it's recovering faster than expected as its stores reopen from coronavirus lockdowns. The Seattle-based company said Tuesday that it expects coronavirus-related losses to ease through the rest of this year.
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NewsPlexus Media July 29, 2020

Target joins Walmart in ending Thanksgiving store shopping
Target is joining Walmart in closing its stores on Thanksgiving Day, ending a decadelong tradition of jump-starting Black Friday door buster sales. The move, announced Monday, comes as stores are rethinking this year's Black Friday shopping bonanza weekend — along with other key retail days during the holiday season — as the country battles the coronavirus pandemic.
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NewsPlexus Media July 29, 2020

McDonald's facing uneven recovery, 2Q sales down 30%
Business did improve for McDonald’s throughout the second quarter as restrictions lifted across the globe, but the fast food giant faces a bumpy — and expensive — recovery. McDonald's President and CEO Chris Kempczinski said the coronavirus pandemic continues to cause uncertainty and depress consumer sentiment But he believes the April-June period will be the trough in the company's performance.
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NewsPlexus Media July 29, 2020

US consumer confidence tumbles in July as COVID-19 spreads
U.S. consumer confidence tumbled in July to a reading of 92.6 as coronavirus infections spread in many parts of the country. The Conference Board, a New York research organization, reported Tuesday that its Consumer Confidence Index fell from a June reading of 98.3. The weakness came from a drop in the expectations index, which measures consumer views about the short-term outlook for income, business and labor market conditions.
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NewsPlexus Media July 29, 2020

Air travel not expected to recover until 2024
Global air travel is recovering more slowly than expected and it will take until 2024 to return to pre-pandemic levels, the trade association for the airline industry said Tuesday. The International Air Transport Association pushed back its prediction by one year due to the slow containment of the outbreak in the U.S. and in developing countries.
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NewsPlexus Media July 23, 2020

US sales of existing homes jump 20% after a 3-month slump
Americans stepped up their home purchases in June by a robust 20.7% after the pandemic had caused sales to crater in the prior three months. But the housing market could struggle to rebound further in the face of the resurgent viral outbreak and a shrinking supply of homes for sale. Sales of existing homes rose last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.72 million, the National Association of Realtors said Wednesday.
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NewsPlexus Media July 23, 2020

Microsoft weathers pandemic, beats Wall Street expectations
Microsoft said the coronavirus pandemic has increased demand for its flagship products, reporting quarterly earnings Wednesday that beat Wall Street expectations.The software giant said an ongoing trend of working and learning from home has fueled increased demand for its cloud computing services and workplace productivity products, such as email and video conferencing.
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NewsPlexus Media July 23, 2020

Tesla makes $104M profit in 2Q despite factory shutdown
Tesla overcame a seven-week pandemic-related shutdown at its California assembly plant to post a surprising $104 million net profit for the second quarter. It was the electric car and solar panel maker’s fourth-straight profitable quarter, qualifying it to be included in the S&P 500 index of corporate titans. That decision will be made later.
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NewsPlexus Media July 22, 2020

With stadiums, theaters closed, Coke 2Q revenue plunges 28%
Coca-Cola's revenue plunged 28% in the second quarter, but the company thinks the worst could be behind it. Coke Chairman and CEO James Quincey said sales improved sequentially in May, June and July despite surging cases in key markets like the U.S., Iran and Australia.
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NewsPlexus Media July 21, 2020

Head of the line: Big companies got coronavirus loans first
Ever since the U.S. government launched its emergency lending program for small businesses on April 3, there have been complaints that bigger companies had their loans approved and disbursed more quickly. There is now evidence to back up those complaints.
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NewsPlexus Media July 20, 2020

Petition urges Trader Joe's to change ethnic food labels
Responding to calls for Trader Joe's to stop labeling its international food products with ethnic-sounding names, the grocery store chain said it has been in a yearslong process of repackaging those products and will soon complete the work.
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NewsPlexus Media July 20, 2020

Demand for robot cooks rises as kitchens combat COVID-19
Robot food service was a trend even before the coronavirus pandemic, as hospitals, campus cafeterias and others tried to meet demand for fresh, customized options 24 hours a day while keeping labor costs in check. Robot chefs appeared at places like Creator, a burger restaurant in San Francisco, and Dal.komm Coffee outlets in South Korea. Now, some say, robots may shift from being a novelty to a necessity. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control says the risk of getting COVID-19 from handling or consuming food outside the home is low. Still, there have been numerous outbreaks among restaurant employees and patrons.
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NewsPlexus Media July 20, 2020

Baseless Wayfair child-trafficking theory spreads online
The baseless conspiracy theory took off after an anonymous user posed a bizarre question in an internet chatroom: What if retail giant Wayfair is using pricey storage cabinets to traffic children? Self-proclaimed internet sleuths quickly responded by matching up the names of Wayfair products to those of missing children, producing social media posts that have since overrun Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
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NewsPlexus Media July 20, 2020

Netflix promotes content chief to co-CEO; adds 10M new subs
Netflix added a flood of new subscribers amid the coronavirus pandemic and also offered clues to a possible successor for founding CEO Reed Hastings, who on Thursday named the company's chief content officer, Ted Sarandos, as co-CEO. But it was investor disappointment in the outlook for new subscribers that helped drive down the stock 9% to $480.70 in after-hours trading.
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NewsPlexus Media July 17, 2020

Walmart latest retailer to require customers to wear masks
Walmart will require customers to wear face coverings at all of its namesake and Sam's Club stores, making it the largest retailer to introduce such a policy that has otherwise proven difficult to enforce without state and federal requirements. Hours after Walmart's announcement, supermarket chain Kroger, based in Cincinnati, and department store Kohl's, based in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, followed suit. Kohl's policy will go into effect on Monday, while Kroger's mask protocol will go into effect July 22.
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NewsPlexus Media July 16, 2020

Amazon unveils shopping cart that knows what you're buying
Amazon has a new cure for long supermarket lines: a smart shopping cart. The cart, which Amazon unveiled on Tuesday, uses cameras, sensors and a scale to automatically detect what shoppers drop in. It keeps a tally and then charges their Amazon account when they leave the store. No cashier is needed.
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NewsPlexus Media July 16, 2020

"Growth has stalled": Surge in US infections hits Delta
Delta Air Lines lost $5.7 billion during a brutal three-month stretch in which the coronavirus pandemic brought travel to a near standstill, and any hoped-for recovery has been smothered by a resurgence of infected Americans. "Growth has stalled," Delta CEO Ed Bastian said. "It was growing at a pretty nice clip through June. The virus, unfortunately, was also growing."
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NewsPlexus Media July 14, 2020

As beach towns open, businesses are short foreign workers
Businesses in beach communities and mountain getaways up and down the East Coast are fretting about a shortage of workers as the summer season picks up steam. The concern comes after the Trump administration announced in June that it was extending a ban on green cards and adding many temporary visas to the freeze, including J-1 cultural exchange visas and H-2B visas.
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NewsPlexus Media July 14, 2020

Chatham announces plan to buy newspaper publisher McClatchy
Hedge fund Chatham Asset Management plans to buy newspaper publisher McClatchy out of bankruptcy, ending 163 years of family control. The companies did not put a price on the deal in an announcement Sunday. The agreement still needs the approval of a bankruptcy judge; a hearing is scheduled for July 24.
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NewsPlexus Media July 12, 2020

'A slap in the face:' Goya faces boycott over Trump praise
The CEO of food company Goya is facing an uproar over his praise for President Donald Trump, with some Latino families purging their pantries of the products and scrambling to find alternatives to the beloved beans, seasoning and other products that have long been fixtures in their cooking. But the controversy is also drawing attention to the mixed political sentiments of Latinos in the U.S. Many of them oppose Trump because of his derogatory comments about Hispanics and harsh policies toward immigration.
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NewsPlexus Media July 9, 2020

United Airlines warns 36,000 workers they could be laid off
United Airlines is warning 36,000 employees — nearly half its U.S. staff — they could be furloughed in October, the clearest signal yet of how deeply the virus pandemic is hurting the airline industry. The outlook for a recovery in the airline industry has dimmed in just the past two weeks, as infection rates rise in much of the U.S. and some states impose new quarantine requirements on travelers.
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NewsPlexus Media July 2, 2020

California sues Cisco for bias based on Indian caste system
California regulators have sued Cisco Systems, saying an engineer faced discrimination at the company's Silicon Valley headquarters because he is a Dalit Indian. India’s caste system long placed Dalits at the bottom of a social hierarchy, once terming them “untouchables.” Inequities and violence against Dalits have persisted for decades after India banned caste discrimination. The engineer worked on a team at Cisco’s San Jose headquarters with Indians who all immigrated to the U.S. as adults, and all of whom were of high caste, according to the lawsuit filed Tuesday by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing.
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NewsPlexus Media July 2, 2020

A pinch where it hurts: Can Facebook weather the ad boycott?
On Wednesday, more than 500 companies officially kicked off an advertising boycott intended to pressure Facebook into taking a stronger stand against hate speech. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has agreed to meet with its organizers early next week. But whether Zuckerberg agrees to further tighten the social network's carefully crafted rules probably boils down to a more fundamental question: Does Facebook need big brand advertisers more than the brands need Facebook?
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NewsPlexus Media July 2, 2020

Congress extends relief program for COVID-slammed businesses
The House on Wednesday easily passed a temporary extension of a subsidy program for small businesses slammed by the coronavirus, speeding the measure to President Donald Trump. Approval by voice vote without debate came after Democrats pushed the legislation through the GOP-controlled Senate late Tuesday as spikes in coronavirus cases in many states led to renewed shutdowns of bars and other businesses.
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NewsPlexus Media July 2, 2020

Judge deals setback to key Trump policy limiting asylum
A federal judge has knocked down a cornerstone border policy of the Trump administration that denies asylum to people who travel through other countries to reach the U.S.-Mexico border without first seeking protection in those countries. U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly ruled that authorities violated federal rule-making procedures by not seeking public feedback before putting the policy into effect in July 2019.
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NewsPlexus Media July 2, 2020

Michigan governor closes indoor bars, allows to-go cocktails
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Wednesday that she was closing indoor seating in bars in parts of the state, including a college town where one brewpub has been linked to about 140 infections. Whitmer also signed a bill allowing bars and restaurants to sell to-go cocktails in an effort to help those businesses.
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NewsPlexus Media July 2, 2020

24 shot to death in attack on drug rehab center in Mexico
Gunmen burst into an unregistered drug rehabilitation center in central Mexico and opened fire Wednesday, killing 24 people and wounding seven, authorities said. Police in the north-central state of Guanajuato said the attack occurred in the city of Irapuato. Three of the seven wounded were reported in serious condition.
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NewsPlexus Media July 2, 2020

Closing bars to stop coronavirus spread is backed by science
Authorities are closing honky tonks, bars and other drinking establishments in some parts of the U.S. to stem the surge of COVID-19 infections — a move backed by sound science about risk factors that go beyond wearing or not wearing masks. In the words of one study, it comes down to the danger of “heavy breathing in close proximity."
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NewsPlexus Media July 1, 2020

Striking shipbuilders are losing health coverage in pandemic
The stakes are growing in a strike against Navy shipbuilder Bath Iron Works during a global pandemic as company-provided health insurance is running out for 4,300 shipbuilders who've left their jobs. Striking workers from Machinists Union Local S6 will be responsible for their own insurance effective Wednesday, just days after three workers who carpooled together tested positive for the coronavirus.
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NewsPlexus Media June 30, 2020

Diageo goes green with carbon neutral distillery in Kentucky
Spirits giant Diageo announced Monday that it's going green with its newest whiskey-making venture in the Bluegrass State. Its distillery being built at Lebanon, Kentucky, is expected to be carbon neutral — a first for the London-based company. The $130 million distillery of Bulleit bourbon is expected to be fully operational in 2021.
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NewsPlexus Media June 30, 2020

AMC pushes back movie theater reopening by 2 weeks
AMC Theaters, the nation’s largest chain, is pushing back its plans to begin reopening theaters by two weeks following the closure because of COVID-19. The company said Monday that it would open approximately 450 U.S. locations on July 30 and the remaining 150 the following week.
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NewsPlexus Media June 30, 2020

Billions of dollars in aid for small businesses go unclaimed
Billions of dollars offered by Congress as a lifeline to small businesses struggling to survive the pandemic are about to be left on the table when a key government program stops accepting applications for loans. Business owners and advocacy groups complain that the money in the Paycheck Protection Program was not fully put to work because the program created obstacles that stopped countless small businesses from applying. For those that did seek loans, the ever-changing application process proved to be an exercise in futility.
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NewsPlexus Media June 30, 2020

Fed's program for loaning to Main Street off to slow start
Michael Haith, owner and CEO of a Denver-based restaurant chain called Teriyaki Madness, is in an unusual position for people like him: He's making money through food delivery and pickup and wants to borrow funds so he can expand. Yet so far, a Federal Reserve lending program set up specifically for small and medium-sized businesses like his hasn't been much help. He can't find a bank that's participating in the program, and he isn't clear on a lot of the details about how it works. For example, he isn't sure how much he could borrow.
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NewsPlexus Media June 29, 2020

Starbucks latest to say it will pause social media ads
Starbucks is the latest company to say it will pause social media ads after a campaign led by civil rights organizations called for an ad boycott of Facebook, saying it doesn't do enough to stop racist and violent content. Starbucks said Sunday that its actions were not part of the “#StopHateforProfit” campaign, but that it is pausing its social ads while talking with civil rights organizations and its media partners about how to stop hate speech online.
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NewsPlexus Media June 29, 2020

Microsoft to permanently close all physical stores
Microsoft said Friday it is permanently closing nearly all of its physical stores around the world. Friday's announcement reflects what the company calls a "strategic change" for its retail business as sales increasingly shift online.
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NewsPlexus Media June 29, 2020

American Airlines will book flights to full capacity
American Airlines will start booking flights to full capacity next week, ending any effort to promote social distancing on its planes while the United States sets records for new reported cases of the coronavirus. American's move matches the policy of United Airlines but contrasts sharply with rivals that limit bookings to create space between passengers to minimize the risk of contagion.
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NewsPlexus Media June 29, 2020

Facebook to label all rule-breaking posts — even Trump's
Facebook said Friday that it will flag all "newsworthy" posts from politicians that break its rules, including those from President Donald Trump. Separately, Facebook's stock dropped more than 8%, erasing roughly $50 billion from its market valuation, after the European company behind brands such as Ben & Jerry's and Dove announced it would boycott Facebook ads through the end of the year over the amount of hate speech and divisive rhetoric on its platform. Later in the day, Coca-Cola also announced it joined the boycott for at least 30 days.
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NewsPlexus Media June 28, 2020

L'Oreal to remove words like 'whitening' from skin products
French cosmetics giant L'Oreal said Saturday that it will remove words like "whitening" from its skin care products, a move that comes amid global protests against racism sparked by the death of George Floyd in the United States.
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