Stocks turn higher
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks turned higher in afternoon trading as traders weigh another big set of company earnings reports. Investors also closely monitoring the latest developments with COVID-19 and its potential impact on a still recovering economy amid the spread of the more contagious delta variant.
The S&P 500 index rose 0.5%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.5% and the Nasdaq composite index rose 0.2%. Technology stocks led gains.
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Activision Blizzard fell 5.4% after the head of Blizzard Entertainment said he would resign, effective immediately, following accusation of a hostile work environment. Clorox fell 11.5% after the company’s results missed analysts’ forecasts.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-VACCINE MANDATES
Food giant Tyson to require vaccination for all US workers
NEW YORK (AP) — Meat processer Tyson Foods will require all of its U.S. employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19, becoming one of the first major employer of frontline workers to so amid a resurgence of the virus.
Tyson, one of the world’s largest food companies, announced today that members of leadership team must be vaccinated by Sept. 24 and the rest of its office workers by Oct. 1. Its frontline workers must be vaccinated by Nov. 1.
Microsoft also announced that it will require proof of vaccination for all employees, vendors and visitors to its U.S. offices starting in September, following similar actions recently taken by Google and Facebook.
Unionized auto workers at three companies — General Motors, Ford and Stellantis — will have to go back to wearing masks regardless of their vaccination status, according to an agreement announced Tuesday by the union and the companies.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-NEW YORK
NYC will require vaccination proof for indoor dining, gyms
NEW YORK (AP) — New York City will soon require proof of COVID-19 vaccinations for anyone who wants to dine indoors at a restaurant, see a performance or go to the gym. The announcement comes from Mayor Bill de Blasio.
It is the first big city in the U.S. to impose such restrictions. The new requirement will be phased in over several weeks in August and September. It’s the most aggressive step the city has taken yet to curb a surge in cases caused by the delta variant.
Data shows that about 66% of adults in New York City are fully vaccinated.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-PUERTO RICO
Puerto Rico has first cruise ship since before pandemic
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — The Carnival Mardi Gras has docked in Puerto Rico — the first cruise ship to visit the U.S. territory since the pandemic began.
The ship arrives as Puerto Rico is reporting an increase in COVID-19 cases blamed on the Delta variant, but also as it seeks to restart its tourism sector, which depended on record numbers of cruise ship passengers visiting in recent years.
The executive director of Puerto Rico’s Tourism Company tells The Associated Press that the government has taken precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including allowing only the fully vaccinated to disembark.
BEN & JERRY’S-FLORIDA
Florida may drop Ben & Jerry’s parent over Israel boycott
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Florida has taken a a step to halt investment of state resources in the parent company of Ben & Jerry’s over its decision to stop selling ice cream in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and contested east Jerusalem.
Gov. Ron DeSantis said Tuesday that the State Board of Administration has added London-based Unilever to its list of companies that boycott Israel. This means that if Ben & Jerry’s position on Israel is not reversed in 90 days, Florida will not invest in or contract with Unilever or its subsidiaries.
Company founders Bennett Cohen and Jerry Greenfield said in a recent opinion piece that they no longer control the company but the Israeli action reflects their progressive values.
Hit with #MeToo revolt, Blizzard Entertainment chief is out
UNDATED (AP) — The president of Activision’s Blizzard Entertainment is leaving the company as it continues to deal with fallout from a discrimination and sexual harassment lawsuit.
The state of California sued Activision Blizzard Inc. last month, claiming the company was a “breeding ground for harassment and discrimination against women.” On Tuesday Activision Blizzard President and COO Daniel Alegre sent a letter to employees to tell them that J. Allen Brack was leaving the company to pursue new opportunities.
JetBlue not departing New York for Florida, expanding at JFK
NEW YORK (AP) — JetBlue is staying in the Big Apple. The airline said Tuesday that it will keep its headquarters in New York and expand its flagship terminal at JFK Airport.
The airline had considered moving its headquarters to Florida. The company has been based in New York since it was founded in 1998.
New York politicians are crowing about JetBlue’s decision to stay put. CEO Robin Hayes says the city is still a great place to live, work and visit.
PepsiCo to sell Tropicana, other juices, in $3.3B deal
UNDATED (AP) — PepsiCo will sell Tropicana and other juices to a private equity firm in a $3.3 billion deal. The New York drink and snack company will keep a 39% non-controlling stake in a newly formed joint venture in the deal with PAI Partners.
Juice sales began to decline significantly in the early 2000s when low-carb diets grew in popularity, and that trend has continued with more families choosing instead to buy waters, sports drinks or other no- or low-calorie drinks.
In its annual report, Pepsi said falling juice sales offset gains for other products in North America, including water, sports drinks like Gatorade and energy drinks like Propel.
Reese Witherspoon sells Hello Sunshine, joins new company
UNDATED (AP) — It’s a perfect day for Reese Witherspoon as the actress and producer is selling the media company she founded to a newly formed company backed by private equity firm Blackstone Group.
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed but The Wall Street Journal reported that the deal was worth about $900 million.
Witherspoon, known for her roles in films such as “Legally Blonde” and “Walk the Line,” created Hello Sunshine in 2016. She will continue to oversee its day-to-day operations along with members of Hello Sunshine’s existing senior management team, including CEO Sarah Harden.
BILL AND MELINDA GATES-DIVORCE
Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates finalize their divorce
SEATTLE (AP) — The divorce of Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates has been finalized. The Microsoft co-founder and his wife announced in May they were ending their 27-year marriage and on Monday a King County Superior Court judge signed the dissolution decree. The New York Times reports the court documents didn’t detail how they would divide their assets.
Bill Gates was formerly the world’s richest person and his fortune is estimated at about $150 billion. The two met after she began working at Microsoft as a product manager in 1987. They were married in 1994 in Hawaii.
The Seattle-based Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is the most influential private foundation in the world, with an endowment worth about $50 billion.
China sticks to goal of having carbon emissions peak by 2030
BEIJING (AP) — China’s climate change envoy says it will stick to its goal of having its carbon emissions peak by 2030. U.S. and British officials have urged it to do more to limit global warming.
The climate envoy (Xie Zhenhua) says China is still developing and its goal of going from peak carbon emissions in 2030 to carbon neutrality in 2060 is much faster than those of developed nations. He says China will elaborate on its carbon reduction plans during a U.N. climate change conference in Scotland later this year.
China is the world’s largest carbon emitter.
BMW reaps $5.7 billion in profit, warns on parts shortages
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Germany’s BMW is reporting $5.7 billion in profit for the second quarter. The earnings report rounds out a strong earnings season for Germany’s three big automakers as global auto markets continue to recover from the pandemic — particularly when it comes to luxury cars.
The company warned however that shortages of electronic parts could make production and sales for the rest of the year “volatile.”
The quarterly profit follows strong results for Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz and for Volkswagen’s upmarket brands Audi and Porsche.
Carmaker Stellantis reports record 1H margins, $7b profits
MILAN (AP) — Automaker Stellantis says it achieved faster-than-expected progress on synergies and record margins in its first six months as a combined company, despite suffering 700,000 units in lower production due to interruptions in the semiconductor supply chain.
Chief financial Richard Palmer said Stellantis is pleased “with the speed with which the new team has begun to execute as one company, as Stellantis.
The company — formed from French carmaker Peugeot PSA’s takeover of the Italian-American company Fiat Chrysler — reported net profit of $7 billion in the first half of 2021. That compares with a loss of $964 million during the same period in 2020, which was impacted by coronavirus restrictions around the globe.
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