Pfizer on Friday committed to supply up to 40 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine this year to a World Health Organization-backed effort to get affordable shots to poor and middle-income countries.
After posting fresh record highs earlier this week, US stocks dived Friday morning as fear of new Covid-19 lockdown measures in Europe and US loomed large. This was compounded by the Senate opposition to President Joe Biden’s proposed new fiscal stimulus. Dow shed about 190 points to reach 30,985 (–0.6%), S&P 500 shed 17 to reach 3,836 (–0.5%) and NASDAQ 60 points to reach 13,473 (–0.4%).
Nissan has said Brexit will give the company a competitive advantage over its car industry rivals. The Japanese carmaker did not stop investing in the UK in the run-up to the country leaving the EU and plans to continue doing so. Announcing this, COO Ashwani Gupta said that new customs procedures amounted to ’peanuts.’ The company pledged to build new electric vehicle batteries in the UK.
Jobless claims have lowered to 900,000 as fewer Americans applied for unemployment benefits. This number is still high and points to the job cuts seen due to the coronavirus pandemic. According to a report by the Labor Department, a faltering economy has been inherited by President Joe Biden. According to the government, state jobless benefits are being received by around 5.1 million Americans.
United Airlines said Wednesday that it finished one of the worst years in its history by losing $1.9B in the last three months of 2020. Revenue plunged 69% in the fourth quarter compared with a year earlier. United lost a total of $7.1B in 2020. The company said it has started to cut $2B in annual structural costs from its operations and expects higher profit margins in 2023 than it saw in 2019.
Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma made his first public appearance in months in a video published by Chinese state media. Ma was seen speaking to teachers in rural China as part of a philanthropic event. Ma had not made a public appearance or social media post since late October. The Jack Ma Foundation, his philanthropic organization, confirmed that Ma participated in an online award ceremony Wednesday.
My Pillow CEO and founder Mike Lindell said his company’s products are being dropped by retailers including Kohl’s and Bed Bath & Beyond. Lindell was photographed at the White House Friday holding documents that reportedly contained notes about election-related conspiracy theories. He said in an interview with the Right Side Broadcasting Network that ’two companies dropped’ his bedding products.
HSBC will shut down 82 branches in the UK this year. It says the move has been prompted by customers moving to online banking due to Covid-19 and changing habits. There will still be 511 branches left and the staff of the shut branches will be moved to nearby branches. HSBC also said the branches that would be closed are within a mile of a post office, which would allow small businesses to bank.
According to property manager JLL, foreign investors claimed more than a third of commercial real estate deals in Beijing in 2020, an increase from prior years. This is a reflection of the overall surge in foreign capital that China attracted last year. As of Nov, foreign direct investment for 2020 reached $129.47B, more than the same period a year ago and a record high
The Seoul High Court sentenced Samsung’s top leader, Lee Jae-yong, to two and a half years in prison on Monday for bribing South Korea’s former president, Park Geun-hye, to win government support for a 2015 merger between two Samsung affiliates. Experts say the sentence could create a leadership vacuum and hamper Samsung’s decision-making on future large-scale investments.
A third straight monthly gain of industrial production was witnessed in the United States with a rise of 1.6% being witnessed in the month of December. Even with this continuous rise, industrial production still remains below levels reached before the pandemic. The month of November had seen a 0.5% increase while October showed an increase of 1%.
The Producer prices have risen less than expected in the month of December, even though consumer prices continued to rise as expected. A rise of just 0.3% was seen in producer prices as compared to the 0.4% which were expected. This led to the producer prices being up similar to as seen in November, 0.8% YoY. Pricing power is continuously being limited due to the pandemic response.
Earlier this week, Google revealed that it was ’conducting experiments’ to evaluate the merit of its services to news outlets in Australia. Media reports suggested that Australian news websites were not showing up in searches following the experiment. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg called out to Google, accusing it of ’blocking’ users when it should be paying for the content.
The Financial Conduct Agency had introduced the special measures due to the exceptional financial hardship as a result of Covid-19. It has this week confirmed that the ban will be lifted for cars and other products after 31 January, thought it has proposed for the restriction on repossession of homes to be extended to 31 March.
Nearly five years after joining the world’s largest retailer, Walmart’s e-commerce chief, Marc Lore, has left Walmart. Lore had joined the company in order to take its online business to higher levels amid stiffer competition from Amazon. A redesign of the website and app were led by Lore during his time. The online assortment of Walmart expanded from 10 million to 80 million items.