A warning was issued by the British Retail Consortium regarding supply issues arising for some fresh goods until the backlog of trucks at Dover is cleared. Following the closure of borders by France, thousands of trucks have gotten stranded at Dover. France closed its borders earlier this week in reaction to a new highly-infectious coronavirus variant confirmed in the UK.
Orders for U.S. long lasting goods increased 0.9% in the month of November. Though this increase exceeds economists’ expectations, it is notably smaller than October’s 1.8% increase per a Commerce Department report. The growth was largely a result of an increase in orders for transportation equipment.
Welsh brewer SA Brain & Co has handed over the running of its 156 pubs to Marston’s in a move that saved 1,300 jobs, after the Covid-19 pandemic threatened their closure. Brains said it was under ’significant financial pressure’ as the pandemic forced pubs and restaurants to close during lockdowns. The company shut operations after Wales imposed a a ban on alcohol sales and enforced 6pm closing.
The US DOJ has accused Walmart of helping to fuel the country’s opioid crisis. The lawsuit alleges the retailer pressured staff to fill prescriptions as fast as possible. It also withheld information from pharmacists, collected by its compliance unit, which indicated such orders did not have valid medical purposes. Walmart claims the lawsuit is ’riddled with factual inaccuracies.’
America’s entrepreneurs welcomed Congress’ long-delayed relief package, which provides $325 billion in aid to small companies and makes it easier for them to gain access to funds under its renewed Paycheck Protection Program. But the rescue comes too late for tens of thousands of businesses that have already closed or may have to close soon as a consequence of the Covid19 pandemic.
The US Congress’ $900 billion pandemic relief package covers a lot of ground. The bill passed Monday establishes a temporary $300 per week jobless benefit, a $600 direct stimulus payment to most Americans and a new round of subsidies for hard-hit businesses, restaurants and theaters. It also provides $82 billion for education, $10 billion for child care and $25 billion in rental assistance.
The rising number of Covid-19 cases has shattered the confidence of US consumers, Conference Board data showed. The December numbers released by the Conference Board show a sharp decline from November’s reading of 92.9 to 88.6 this month. This is the lowest level since summer. Consumer confidence gives economists and investors an indication of how willing or able American households are to spend.
Cryptocurrency company Ripple is facing a lawsuit by the Securities and Exchange Commission for allegedly violating investor-protection laws against selling unregistered securities when it sold XRP to investors. Reports said the SEC is expected to file the case against Ripple, its CEO Brad Garlinghouse and co-founder Chris Larsen. Garlinghouse said he expects the lawsuit to be filed within days.
Mozper, the debit card and app targeting children and their parents in Latin America, has raised a $3.55 million in a seed-funding round, led by Hetz Ventures. This brings the total funds raised by the startup to $5.1 million. The fresh money will allow Mozper to further position itself as a pioneer in youth banking in Latin America by consolidating its presence in Mexico.
Peloton said it will buy exercise equipment manufacturer Precor for $420 million. As a part of the deal, Peloton will acquire Precor’s sprawling manufacturing space. Following this, Peleton’s shares soared over 8% in Monday’s after-hours trading. Demand for Peloton’s equipment has surged during the pandemic and this deal is seen as the company’s bid to speed up production and meet delivery time.
European stocks fell sharply Monday as focus shifted to a fast-spreading new variant of the coronavirus that has shut down much of the UK. While all sectors and major bourses slid into negative territory, travel and leisure stocks lead the losses. The pan-European Stoxx600 traded down over 2%. The British Pound has taken a beating falling to $1.3349, compared with levels around $1.36 last week.
The medical regulator of the European Union has approved the Pfizer vaccine for use across the bloc. This has paved the way for the vaccine to be rolled out across the continent with countries like Germany, Australia and Italy planning to start their vaccination programs from the 27th of December. The UK and US have already approved the vaccine with it being rolled out nationwide.
UK retailers denied any fear of food shortages after France shut its borders to UK hauliers for 48 hours due to the UK’s new COVID variant, but warned of ’serious disruption’ if the blockade is prolonged. The Channel, a vital trade route between the 2 countries, is shut because of the latest situation. France, meanwhile, said it is working on a plan to ’ensure that movement from the UK can resume’
In order to prevent the spread of a more infectious variant of the coronavirus, a number of European nations have banned or are planning on imposing a ban on travel from the United Kingdom. The Netherlands and Belgium announced that they had halted flights, and Italy is likely to follow suit. Trains to Belgium have also been suspended in light of the emergence of the new variant.
An additional £62 billion of housing sales have been agreed this year off the back of a post-lockdown mini-boom. Overall sales in 2020 increased from about £238billion to £300billion in value. This comes as families have been spending more time indoors during the lockdowns, and are now seeking bigger properties with gardens, parking and space to allow them to work from home.
Senators late Saturday night reached a compromise over a GOP proposal to rein in the Federal Reserve’s lending powers, pushing Congress past the final obstacle to completing a last-minute stimulus bill. A vote on the package could happen as early as today (Sunday).
On Wednesday, Burger King took to Twitter calling out to all its customers, asking them to support local businesses during the pandemic. ’The point is that there are many dishes from thousands of restaurants that deserve to be as famous as Whopper,’ the Tweet read. The company added that if any small business would want to share their star dishes, they could using the #PrideLocal label.
Tesla is set to join the US benchmark S&P 500 stock index on Monday. On Friday, the shares popped almost 6% to a new record, as funds tracking S&P bought up stock worth an estimated $80B ahead of the firm’s inclusion. With a market cap of more than $600B, Tesla now ranks as the most valuable car maker in the world and the sixth most valuable company on Wall Street.
According to a poll by CNBC and Survey Monkey which was published on Friday, more than 57% of Americans have demanded that employees be required to get vaccinated for COVID-19 by their employers before returning to work. The poll results were made public when medical experts have claimed that widespread inoculation is required due to the rise in cases.
Parts of Peabody Award winning podcast, the Caliphate podcast, have been retracted by the New York Times. The newspaper has claimed that the podcast did not meet standards of accuracy of the paper after it was discovered that the sources for the gruesome tales of the ISIS inner circle revealed in the podcast were unreliable. It has been claimed that the tales could have possibly been fabricated.
Prominent crypto exchange Coinbase said on Thursday it had confidentially applied with the US SEC to go public. This would be the first major US cryptocurrency exchange to list on the stock market. Coinbase’s announcement comes as Bitcoin hit a record high on Thursday, zooming past the $23,000 level. Founded in 2012, Coinbase has more than 35M users in more than 100 countries.
Kathe Sackler and David Sackler appeared before the House Oversight Committee on Thursday. The two are members of the family that owns Purdue Pharma. This is the first time that any member of the wealthy family has taken questions in public from an official body, in years. The two, however, did not apologize for OxyContin’s role in the national opioid crisis.
American workers filed 885,000 applications for unemployment benefits last week from 862,000 the previous week, the Labor Department said Thursday. This is the highest weekly total since September and comes amid a serious resurge in the number of coronavirus cases and deaths. The pandemic is now threatening the US economy from recovering from the spring-early summer collapse.
The Mexican government announced the country’s daily minimum wage will rise by 15% in January to the equivalent of about $7 per day, well above the country’s 3.3% inflation rate, and above the 10% hike business sector had proposed. Mexican Employers’ Federation said that the rise in minimum wages, on the back of economic downturn, risks the closure of 700,000 business within the next three months.