US stocks end week down after tech gains: live updates


Amazon and Target face protests over worker safety.

Amazon and Target were at the center of new union protests Friday on work-related health risks during a pandemic.

In addition to previous demands to keep workers safe, the protests had a new purpose: to discourage employers from going backwards to resume their activities, as usual, especially since states are lifting stay orders home.

The companies are not unionized and the dispersed demonstrations were organized ad hoc.

Some Amazon workers said they were alarmed that the company was ending a policy of unlimited and unlimited leave, which many workers had taken advantage of to avoid exposure to coronavirus in warehouses.

Jordan Flowers said he refused to return to work at an Amazon warehouse on Staten Island on Friday. “They’re going to have to fire me,” said Flowers, who joined more than a dozen people, not all employees, at a nearby demonstration. “I choose my life rather than that. “

An Amazon spokesperson said the protest had had “no measurable impact on operations” and that the company was extending a $ 2 salary increase and double overtime pay in the United States on May 16 and in Canada. She did not contest the policy on leave without pay changed, but said that Amazon provided a range of other leave policies.

Some workers at Target have expressed concern that the company is once again allowing customers to return goods to stores, a practice that had been suspended to reduce potential exposure to viruses.

“This is a point of frustration,” said Adam Ryan, a Target worker in Christiansburg, Virginia, who helped organize a demonstration there. “When they stopped accepting customer feedback, we thought it was a good call. “

A Target spokesperson confirmed that returns were once again being accepted in stores, citing clean-up, security and social distancing measures now in place. She said the company knew fewer than 10 of its 340,000 frontline workers who participated in the protest, and that it had extended its wage increase by $ 2 until May 30.

US stocks fell on Friday as investors reacted to signs of growing tensions between China and the United States and to earnings reports from Apple and Amazon this has shown the depth of the impact of the coronavirus on large companies.

Whatever the reason, the market had to experience a cool down period.

For more than a month, stocks have rallied despite a constant drumming of negative news about the state of the US economy. Even with retirement on Thursday, Wall Street closed April with a gain of nearly 13%, its best performance since 1987. And despite Friday’s drop, the S&P 500 remains up more than 25% since qu ‘it hit rock bottom March 23.

Most financial capitals in Asia and Europe were closed for Labor Day on Friday, but the few that were open fell significantly. On public holidays, the markets can be sensitive to large fluctuations due to the relatively limited number of transactions carried out.

Investors should also consider Berkshire’s latest quarterly results, which will be released in the morning. Analysts are predicting a potentially huge loss as investments in energy companies and airlines have lost value and the retailers and manufacturers that Berkshire has squarely operate at limited capacity.

Twenty of these workers have died, the report said. And the data certainly understates the magnitude of the problem, as not all states infected with meat factories have reported figures to the C.D.C.

In total, the meat and poultry processing industry employs around half a million people, many of whom work in cramped conditions in slaughterhouses where social distancing is practically impossible. In the past month, dozens of meat packing plants have been forced to close due to outbreaks, which has limited the country’s supply of meat.

The C.D.C. The report also makes recommendations for meat packing plants to ensure worker safety, such as the installation of barriers between workers and the need to cover the face.

You’re hereThe general manager of Elon Musk said on Twitter Friday the company’s share price, which has risen in recent weeks, was “too high” in his opinion. The stock fell sharply after publication and ended the day down 10%.

Still volatile, the company’s stock price has risen steadily since mid-March, in part because investors believe Tesla is about to transition to electric cars. The company’s shares are worth more than the combined value of General Motors, Ford engine and Fiat Chrysler, making millions of cars a year compared to the hundreds of thousands that Tesla produces.

This week, Tesla announced that it had made a small profit in the first quarter – the company’s third consecutive profitable quarter, which has never been profitable for a full year.

During the company’s conference call with analysts to discuss its quarterly results, Musk, who drew devoted fans and critics, went wild against home orders that closed the car plant. Fremont, California, to Tesla, calling them “fascists.” ”

Musk also said on Friday that he “sells almost all of his property” and that he will no longer own a house. He also published lines of the national anthem and wrote, “Now give people back their FREEDOM.”

Exxon Mobil said on Friday it had lost $ 610 million in the first three months of the year, up from $ 2.4 billion the previous year, although combined production of oil and natural gas had increased by 2%. It was the first time since the merger of Exxon and Mobil in 1999 that the company had lost money in a quarter.

The company said it is further cutting capital spending by 30% to $ 23 billion from $ 33 billion previously announced.

“Covid-19 has had a significant impact on short-term demand, resulting in oversupply and unprecedented pressure on commodity prices and margins,” said Darren Woods, chief executive officer of Exxon, in a statement .

Another oil giant, Chevron, reported first quarter profit of $ 3.6 billion, up $ 1 billion from the previous year, but sales fell more than 10% and the company warned that profits would be cut by low oil prices this year.

In a conference call with analysts, Woods expressed optimism that energy demand will resume once the pandemic has subsided. “The fundamentals that underpin our business remain solid,” he said. But he added, “It’s going to be a very difficult summer.”

As the coronavirus spreads around the world, people no longer go to work, do not fly, and do not cruise, stifling demand for oil.

It has been devastating to the industry. Oil field workers who dined on steak and lobster before energy prices went down in March are now lining up at food banks.

For more than a decade, the Permian basin has been the center of the American oil boom. Now, this is the center of his disappearance. In little more than a month, dozens of drilling rigs were dismantled and put away in storage yards. Pump cylinders, piston pumps that lift crude oil from the ground, stopped when operators closed wells.

“We have had our ups and downs even in the past 20 years, but it sounds very different,” said Matthew Hale, president of S.O.C. Industries, a pump truck and a chemical service company that has been operating in the Permian for 19 years. “We are concerned about our industry, our survival and what survival will look like. “

Monty Bennett’s sprawling hotel company is the largest known beneficiary of the government’s small business assistance program. The Texas Conservative is still unwilling to pay back its loans as public anger rises against the big companies that get the funds – a fact that is now drawing the attention of a key legislator.

The hotels and subsidiaries overseen by Mr. Bennet’s firm, Ashford Inc., requested $ 126 million in repayable loans from the paycheck protection program. According to documents filed by the companies, approximately $ 70 million has been funded, the largest amount known to the benefit of a group of closely related companies since the program began in early April. The second largest known recipient, Ruth’s Hospitality Group, asked for about a sixth and has since decided to return the money. The average loan amount in the first round of the program was $ 206,000.

Minority Leader Senator Chuck Schumer sent a letter to the Small Business Administration on Friday demanding a thorough review of Mr. Bennett’s business use of the program, saying he was “deeply concerned about the fact that large publicly traded companies like Ashford may be exploiting it. ”

“It is imperative that taxpayers’ money is limited to help legitimate small businesses,” he said in the letter to Jovita Carranza, the administrator of small businesses.

All predictions point in the same direction: a wave of small business bankruptcies is approaching.

According to a survey by the American Chamber of Commerce, more than 40% of the 30 million small American businesses could close down permanently in the next six months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“This is a crisis that will affect our economy for generations,” said Amanda Ballantyne, executive director of the Main Street Alliance, a small business advocacy group.

Many may simply disappear. For some, however, a bankruptcy law that came into effect in February, the Small Business Restructuring Act, could help them survive the pandemic.


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