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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 June 2, 2020

Brands weigh in on national protests over police brutality
As thousands of protesters take to the streets in response to police killings of black people, companies are wading into the national conversation but taking care to get their messaging right. Netflix’s normally lighthearted Twitter account took on a more somber tone on Saturday: “To be silent is to be complicit. Black lives matter. We have a platform, and we have a duty to our Black members, employees, creators and talent to speak up.” That got retweeted over 216,000 times and “liked” over a million times.
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NewsPlexus Media June 1, 2020

Protests force Target, CVS and Walmart to close some stores
U.S. retailers large and small have closed some of their stores across the country because of disruptions caused by the widespread street protests over the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Target, CVS, Apple and Walmart all said Sunday that they had temporarily closed or limited hours at some locations for safety reasons. In some places, their stores have been burned, broken into or looted as protests turned violent.
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NewsPlexus Media June 1, 2020

US consumer spending sinks by record 13.6% in face of virus
U.S. consumer spending plunged by a record-shattering 13.6% in April as the viral pandemic shuttered businesses, forced millions of layoffs and sent the economy into a deep recession. Last month's spending decline was far worse than the revised 6.9% drop in March, which itself had set a record for the steepest one-month fall in records dating to 1959. Friday's Commerce Department figures reinforced evidence that the economy is gripped by the worst downturn in decades, with consumers unable or too anxious to spend much.
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NewsPlexus Media May 31, 2020

Infected workers, parts shortages slow auto factory restarts
The U.S. auto industry's coronavirus comeback plan was pretty simple: restart factories gradually and push out trucks and other vehicles for waiting buyers in states left largely untouched by the virus outbreak. Yet the return from a two-month production shutdown hasn't gone quite according to plan. For some automakers, full production has been delayed, or it's been herky-herky, with production lines stopping and starting due to infected workers or parts shortages from Mexico and elsewhere.
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NewsPlexus Media May 31, 2020

Hello and welcome: robot waiters to the rescue amid virus
When Shaosong Hu saw robotic waiters serving food in China last fall, he knew exactly what he wanted for his oriental restaurant in the Dutch beachside town of Renesse. He just didn't have a clue how useful they would prove. The coronavirus pandemic has turned a whimsical idea into perhaps a window into a dystopian future where a human touch may make people cringe with fear, and a waiter clearing the table sends a customer tense with stress — only to be relieved by a soothing brush with plastic.
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NewsPlexus Media May 30, 2020

Vanishing jobs for young could create 'lock-down generation'
The U.N. labor agency reported Wednesday that more than one in every six young workers globally have stopped working during the pandemic, warning that long-term fallout could lead to a “lock-down generation” if steps aren’t taken to ease the crisis. The International Labor Organization, in a new look at the impact of the pandemic on jobs, says that work hours equivalent to 305 million full-time jobs have been lost due to the COVID-19 crisis. Many young workers face economic hardship and despair about the future.
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NewsPlexus Media May 30, 2020

CVS Health tests self-driving vehicle prescription delivery
CVS Health will try delivering prescriptions with self-driving vehicles in a test that begins next month. The drugstore chain said Thursday that it will partner with the Silicon Valley robotics company Nuro to deliver medicines and other products to customers near a Houston-area store.
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NewsPlexus Media May 30, 2020

Rising US job losses stir fears of lasting economic damage
The coronavirus crisis threw at least 2.1 million Americans out of work last week despite the gradual reopening of businesses around the country, stoking fears Thursday that the scourge is doing deep and potentially long-lasting damage to the U.S. economy. Despite a few glimmers of hope, most of the latest economic news from around the globe was likewise grim, as some of the world's most populous countries reported rising infections and deaths. The confirmed U.S. death toll has surpassed 100,000, the highest in the world.
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NewsPlexus Media May 27, 2020

Debt and coronavirus push Hertz into bankruptcy protection
Hertz filed for bankruptcy protection Friday, unable to withstand the coronavirus pandemic that has crippled global travel and with it, the heavily indebted 102-year-old car rental company's business. The Estero, Florida-based company's lenders were unwilling to grant it another extension on its auto lease debt payments past a Friday deadline, triggering the filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware.
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NewsPlexus Media May 27, 2020

Forced to adapt, businesses rethink how they make money
Many business owners are changing the way they make money as they attempt to recoup revenue lost to the coronavirus outbreak. The changes can look subtle; for example, when owners of clothing stores decide to beef up their internet business. But often such adjustments involve an entire rethinking of the business model — the blueprint that encompasses the key aspects of running a company — with significant changes to staffing, technology and inventory. For many companies, it's a matter of survival, but for others, the changes have been a silver lining amidst the crisis.
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NewsPlexus Media May 26, 2020

Restaurant chains see sales improving as dining rooms reopen
Fast food restaurants — well equipped for drive-thru and takeout service — have fared better than sit-down restaurants as the coronavirus pandemic gripped the U.S., but that gap could start to close as dining rooms reopen. U.S. customer transactions at full-service restaurant chains like Olive Garden and Applebee's plummeted 79% year-over-year at the beginning of April as lockdowns closed dining rooms across the country, according to NPD Group. Fast food sales were down as well, but by 41%.
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NewsPlexus Media May 26, 2020

Tech giants are embracing remote work. Others may follow
For a preview of the future of office work, watch how the biggest tech companies are preparing for a post-pandemic world.Silicon Valley and Seattle giants — Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, Twitter — were the first to send their employees home as the virus spread to the U.S. Now they're among the last to return them to the office. Some of their employees might never go back.
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NewsPlexus Media May 22, 2020

Iconic San Francisco gay bar to shutter in pandemic fallout
One of the nation’s most celebrated gay bars is being forced from its home amid the financial fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. The Stud is the longest continually running gay bar in San Francisco and known throughout the country as one of the bohemian, gender-bending, anything-goes institutions that made San Francisco into a gay mecca.
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NewsPlexus Media May 22, 2020

Big box rules: Target's online push readied it for pandemic
Online sales at Target more than doubled as the pandemic put millions in lockdown during the first quarter, revealing further the critical role big box stores played in getting supplies to an immobilized population. The Minneapolis company reported Wednesday that comparable-store sales, which include online purchases, rose 10.8% for the three-month period that ended May 2.
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NewsPlexus Media May 22, 2020

Uncertain future rattles Italy's famed restaurants
Italy's restaurants and pizzerias, for foodies the world over a key reason to visit, are facing an existential threat. Those that didn't fold after 10 weeks of a strict coronavirus lockdown are emerging to find that new social distancing requirements might yet drive them out of business. While Italians reveled this week in being able to sit down to a plate of spaghetti alle vongole (spaghetti with clams) at their local trattoria for the first time since March, a slew of studies suggest that as many as a third of Italy's bars and restaurants risked closing. The reasons? Financial losses already incurred by the lockdown, a projected tourism downturn, reduced table capacity and Italians' own fears about eating out.
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NewsPlexus Media May 22, 2020

Back to business, but not business as usual as nations open
As the U.S. and other countries loosen their coronavirus restrictions, it’s back to business, but not business as usual. In fact, it is becoming all too clear that without a vaccine against the scourge, the disruptions could be long-lasting and the economy won’t be bouncing right back.
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NewsPlexus Media May 22, 2020

Apple, Google release technology for pandemic apps
Apple and Google on Wednesday released long-awaited smartphone technology to automatically notify people if they might have been exposed to the coronavirus. The companies said 22 countries and several U.S. states are already planning to build voluntary phone apps using their software. It relies on Bluetooth wireless technology to detect when someone who downloaded the app has spent time near another app user who later tests positive for the virus.
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NewsPlexus Media May 22, 2020

Workers cheered as they enter South Dakota pork plant
Employees at a Smithfield pork processing plant in South Dakota where a coronavirus outbreak infected over 800 people were greeted at work Wednesday with thank you signs, cheers and waves from about a dozen area residents. “They're putting their health at risk just like the hospital workers are to continue on with this work, so I hope they feel appreciated,” said Becky Olson, a Sioux Falls resident who held a sign outside Smithfield's entrance.
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NewsPlexus Media May 20, 2020

AT&T quits Venezuela as US sanctions force it to defy Maduro
AT&T said Tuesday it will immediately ditch Venezuela's pay TV market as U.S. sanctions prohibit its DirecTV platform from broadcasting channels that it is required to carry by the socialist administration of Nicolás Maduro. The Dallas-based company's closing of its Venezuela unit is effective immediately.
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NewsPlexus Media May 20, 2020

Google says it won't build AI tools for oil and gas drillers
Google says it will no longer build custom artificial intelligence tools for speeding up oil and gas extraction, separating itself from cloud computing rivals Microsoft and Amazon. A statement from the company Tuesday followed a Greenpeace report that documents how the three tech giants are using AI and computing power to help oil companies find and access oil and gas deposits in the U.S. and around the world.
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NewsPlexus Media May 20, 2020

France: Amazon back in business after virus deal with unions
Amazon is gradually reopening its warehouses in France after working out virus safety measures with unions, in an effort to end weeks of legal troubles that had sharply curtailed the company’s French business and drawn worldwide attention. In a victory for labor unions, French courts ruled last month that Amazon hadn’t done enough to protect thousands of French workers from the coronavirus.
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NewsPlexus Media May 20, 2020

Walmart becomes a pandemic lifeline, online sales surge 74%
Walmart emerged as one of the few lifelines to millions of people as the coronavirus spread, leading to surging profit and sales for the world's largest retailer. Online sales in the U.S. jumped 74% for its fiscal first quarter that ended April 30, which captured the brunt of the pandemic's outbreak. Same-store sales rose 10% at U.S. Walmart stores on strong sales of food, health and wellness goods.
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NewsPlexus Media May 20, 2020

Tesla shareholder suit over Elon Musk tweets remains on hold
A Delaware judge has denied a request by attorneys for Tesla shareholders to pursue a lawsuit seeking to prevent CEO Elon Musk from using his personal Twitter account to disseminate information regarding the electric vehicle and solar panel manufacturer. Vice Chancellor Joseph Slights III ruled Tuesday that shareholder attorneys had not demonstrated a sufficient reason for him to allow the state court lawsuit to proceed.
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NewsPlexus Media May 20, 2020

J&J to stop selling talc-based baby powder in US, Canada
Johnson & Johnson is ending sales of its iconic talc-based Johnson's Baby Powder in the U.S. and Canada, where demand has dwindled amid thousands of lawsuits claiming it has caused cancer. The world's biggest maker of health care products said Tuesday the talc-based powder will still be sold outside the U.S. and Canada.
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NewsPlexus Media May 19, 2020

UK unemployment claims surge 69% as pandemic takes hold
Unemployment claims in Britain jumped 69% in April, as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold and hit the labor market, U.K. authorities said Tuesday. The Office of National Statistics says jobless claims surged by 856,000 to 2.1 million in April as compared to the month before.
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NewsPlexus Media May 19, 2020

April European car sales see worst drop since records began
European car sales bottomed out last month as the automotive industry faces its worst crisis in decades. Strict lockdown measures to contain the coronavirus closed most dealerships across the continent for the full month of April amid a precipitous drop in consumer spending, causing sales to collapse by an unprecedented 76%, the ACEA car manufacturers' association said Tuesday.
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NewsPlexus Media May 19, 2020

Cubicle comeback? Pandemic will reshape office life for good
When workers around the world eventually return to their desks, they'll find many changes due to the pandemic. For a start, fewer people will go back to their offices as the coronavirus crisis makes working from home more accepted, health concerns linger and companies weigh up rent savings and productivity benefits. For the rest, changes will begin with the commute as workers arrive in staggered shifts to avoid rush hour crowds. Staff might take turns working alternate days in the office to reduce crowding. Floor markings or digital sensors could remind people to stand apart and cubicles might even make a comeback.
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NewsPlexus Media May 19, 2020

Uber cuts 3,000 jobs as pandemic slashes demand for rides
Uber has cut 3,000 jobs from its workforce, its second major wave of layoffs in two weeks as the coronavirus slashed demand for rides. The San Francisco company has cut a quarter of its workforce since the year began, eliminating 3,700 people from the payroll earlier this month. Uber will be re-focusing on its core business, moving people and delivering food and groceries, said CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, in a note to employees Monday.
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NewsPlexus Media May 19, 2020

JC Penney plans to close more than 240 stores
J.C. Penney will permanently close nearly 30% of its 846 stores as part of a restructuring under bankruptcy protection. The Plano, Texas, retailer said Monday that it plans to close about 192 stores by February 2021, and then 50 additional stores in the year after that.
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NewsPlexus Media May 19, 2020

Video app TikTok names top Disney streaming exec as new CEO
TikTok, the popular short-video app that has also drawn national-security and privacy concerns, has a new high-profile CEO from Disney, Kevin Mayer. Mayer will also be chief operating officer of TikTok's Chinese parent company, ByteDance, and report to its founder and CEO, Yiming Zhang, the company announced Monday.
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NewsPlexus Media May 19, 2020

Automakers help restart US industry as globe reopens further
More than 130,000 autoworkers returned to factories across the U.S. for the first time in nearly two months Monday in one of the biggest steps yet to restart American industry, while an experimental vaccine against the coronavirus yielded encouraging results in a small and extremely early test. Stocks rallied on the vaccine news and signs that the worst of the crisis has passed in many countries. The Dow Jones Industrial Average soared about 900 points, or nearly 4%.
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NewsPlexus Media May 19, 2020

Who got what? Details scant on small-business relief effort
A small, overlooked federal agency is shouldering a massive relief effort for the nation’s small businesses and their workers left reeling by the pandemic. The Small Business Administration has committed to auditing every sizable emergency loan it approves. But six weeks after the $600 billion-plus program was launched, the agency has yet to make public the recipients of taxpayer aid.
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NewsPlexus Media May 17, 2020

US adds new sanction on Chinese tech giant Huawei
The U.S. government has imposed new restrictions on Chinese tech giant Huawei's ability to use American technology, stepping up a conflict with Beijing over industry development and security. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Friday that Washington wants to prevent Huawei from evading sanctions imposed earlier on its use of American technology to design and produce semiconductors abroad.
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NewsPlexus Media May 16, 2020

Kroger offers Fred Meyer workers extra pay after outcry
Kroger, the parent company of grocer Fred Meyer, announced Friday that it will provide “thank you" payments to hourly employees after a union outcry over the company ending a $2 per hour pay bump it implemented in March amid the coronavirus pandemic. The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union held rallies Friday at Fred Meyer stores seeking additional pay for workers while the pandemic continues, KREM-TV reported.
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NewsPlexus Media May 16, 2020

Report: Google facing onslaught of antitrust cases in US
Federal and state regulators in the U.S. are preparing to file antitrust lawsuits alleging Google has abused its dominance of online search and advertising to stifle competition and and boost its profits, according to a report published Friday. The Wall Street Journal cited unidentified people familiar with the probes in a story about the upcoming offensive by the U.S. Justice Department and the attorneys general from several states.
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NewsPlexus Media May 16, 2020

Beginning to bloom: New York creaking back to economic life
Idled contractors girded for long-awaited jobs and shoppers browsed spring flowers — though masks made stopping to smell the roses a problem — as New York state began slowly restarting its economy Friday in areas spared the brunt of the coronavirus pandemic. Smaller cities and rural regions in the middle of the state far from New York City, still gripped by the pandemic, are being allowed to open first, but gradually — industry by industry.
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NewsPlexus Media May 16, 2020

Pandemic claims another retailer: 118-year-old J.C. Penney
The coronavirus pandemic has pushed the storied but troubled department store chain J.C. Penney into Chapter 11 bankruptcy. It is the fourth major retailer to meet that fate. As part of its reorganization, the 118-year-old company said late Friday it will be shuttering some stores. It said the stores will close in phases throughout the Chapter 11 process and details of the first phase will be disclosed in the coming weeks.
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NewsPlexus Media May 16, 2020

Tesla picks Austin, Tulsa as finalists for new US factory
Tesla has picked Austin, Texas, and Tulsa, Oklahoma, as finalists for its new U.S. assembly plant, a person briefed on the matter said Friday. The person says company officials visited Tulsa in the past week and were shown two sites. It wasn't clear if there were any other finalists in the mix. The person, who didn't want to be identified because the site selection process is secret, said no final decision has been made.
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NewsPlexus Media May 16, 2020

Craft brewers upended by COVID-19 closure of tap rooms, bars
Sales of wine, spirits and other alcoholic beverages have risen during the coronavirus pandemic like foam in a freshly poured glass of beer. Just not for some craft brewers. Craft beer, particularly brews made by small, artisan producers, is often consumed in bars, restaurants, tap rooms and brew pubs — all of which have closed in many communities across the United States. While those brewers may sell some packaged brews or kegs, they rely on such venues to get by.
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NewsPlexus Media May 16, 2020

3 million more US layoffs intensify fears of lasting damage
Nearly 3 million laid-off workers applied for U.S. unemployment benefits last week as the viral outbreak forced more companies to slash jobs even though most states have begun to let some businesses reopen. Roughly 36 million people have now sought jobless aid in just the two months since the coronavirus first forced businesses to close down and shrink their workforces, the government said Thursday. An additional 842,000 people applied for aid last week through a separate program for self-employed and gig workers.
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NewsPlexus Media May 12, 2020

Tesla CEO Musk restarts California factory amid lockdown
Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirmed Monday that the company has restarted its California factory, a move that defied local government orders involving measures to contain the coronavirus. In a tweet, Musk practically dared authorities to arrest him, writing that he would be on the assembly line and if anyone is taken into custody, it should be him.
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NewsPlexus Media May 11, 2020

10 takeaways from the worst jobs report in US history
Brutal. Horrific. Tragic. Choose your description. The April jobs report showed, in harrowing detail, just how terribly the coronavirus outbreak has pummeled the U.S. economy. Most obviously, there's the 14.7% unemployment rate, the highest since the Great Depression. And the shedding of more than 20 million jobs, by far the worst one-month loss ever. But Friday's jobs report from the government contains 42 pages about just how far the job market has tumbled, along with hints of what to watch for — eventually — in a possible recovery.Here are 10 major takeaways from the April jobs report.
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NewsPlexus Media May 10, 2020

Harvesters struggle to recruit foreign crews during pandemic
U.S. custom harvesters are having problems getting into the country the foreign workers they usually rely on to run their combines. The shuttered embassies amid the global coronavirus outbreak is just the start of difficulties: Governments have closed down their borders and overseas workers who already have visas already simply cannot get a flight.
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NewsPlexus Media May 10, 2020

Musk threatens to exit California over virus restrictions
Tesla CEO Elon Musk threatened Saturday to pull the company's factory and headquarters out of California and sued local officials who have stopped the company from reopening its electric vehicle factory. In a lawsuit filed in federal court, Tesla accused the Alameda County Health Department of overstepping federal and state coronavirus restrictions when it stopped Tesla from restarting production at its factory in Fremont.
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NewsPlexus Media May 9, 2020

A rush to fill medicine cabinets and pantries ahead of the rapidly spreading COVID-19 pandemic helped fuel a surging first-quarter profit for CVS Health. The outbreak also lifted the health care giant's insurance business because patients delayed or cancelled some surgeries and used the system less.
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NewsPlexus Media May 9, 2020

Nintendo marks profit jump as people stay home amid pandemic
Japanese video-game maker Nintendo Co. scored a 33% jump in annual profit, as people stuck at home turn to playing games. Kyoto-based Nintendo, which did not break down quarterly numbers, said Thursday its sales for the fiscal year through March rose 9% from the year before to 1.3 trillion yen ($12 billion).
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NewsPlexus Media May 8, 2020

33 million have sought US unemployment aid since virus hit
Nearly 3.2 million laid-off workers applied for unemployment benefits last week as the business shutdowns caused by the viral outbreak deepened the worst U.S. economic catastrophe in decades. Roughly 33.5 million people have now filed for jobless aid in the seven weeks since the coronavirus began forcing millions of companies to close their doors and slash their workforces.
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NewsPlexus Media May 8, 2020

South African brewer says it may dump 400M bottles of beer
South African Breweries, one of the world's largest brewers, says it may have to destroy 400 million bottles of beer as a result of the country's ban on alcohol sales that is part of its lockdown measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
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NewsPlexus Media May 8, 2020

Uber loses $2.9 billion, offloads bike and scooter business
Uber lost $2.9 billion in the first quarter as its overseas investments were hammered by the coronavirus pandemic, but the company is looking to its growing food delivery business and aggressive cost-cutting to ease the pain. The ride-hailing giant said Thursday it is offloading Jump, its bike and scooter business, to Lime, a company in which it is investing $85 million. Jump had been losing about $60 million a quarter.
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NewsPlexus Media May 6, 2020

Airbnb laying off 1,900 employees due to travel decline
Airbnb says it is laying off 25% of its workforce as it confronts a steep decline in global travel due to the new coronavirus pandemic. It's a serious setback for the 12-year-old home-sharing company, which just a few months ago was valued at $31 billion and planning a hotly anticipated IPO. Airbnb lists around 7 million properties on its website.
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