Stocks mixed…Amazon raising minimum wage…Kroger and Walgreens partner on sales pilot
NEW YORK (AP) – Stock indexes are mixed in morning trading on Wall Street as losses for consumer-focused companies offset gains elsewhere in the market. Amazon.com shares are little changed after the company said it is boosting its minimum wage for U.S. workers. Amazon has been among the best performers in the S&P 500 this year, with a gain of about 70 percent, compared with a gain of 9 percent for the S&P.
SEATTLE (AP) – Amazon is boosting its minimum wage for all U.S. workers to $15 per hour starting next month. The company says the wage hike will benefit more than 350,000 workers in full-time, part-time, temporary and seasonal positions. Pay for workers at Amazon can vary by location. Its starting pay is $10 an hour at a warehouse in Austin, Texas, and $13.50 an hour in Robbinsville, New Jersey. The median pay for an Amazon employee last year was $28,446, according to government filings, which includes full-time, part-time and temporary workers.
UNDATED (AP) – The nation’s biggest grocery and drugstore chains are testing a plan to work together, trying to keep pace with Americans who increasingly shop with the click of a button or a swipe on an iPad. Walgreens will begin selling Kroger products in 13 stores near Cincinnati, where Kroger is based, and allow customers to use its locations to pick up Kroger groceries ordered online. Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc., based in Deerfield, Illinois, has about 9,800 U.S. drugstores. Kroger Co. runs 2,800 locations.
GENEVA (AP) – The World Health Organization says smoking not only kills about 7 million people every year, but has a devastating impact on the environment – contributing to deforestation, water and soil damage and acidification. In a report released today, experts warned that the environmental footprint left by tobacco production is comparable to that of entire countries. It said producing the 6 trillion cigarettes made every year hurts the planet more than the mass production of food crops.
UNDATED (AP) – A new poll finds that about half of young Americans expect to be financially better off than their parents, a sign the dream of upward mobility is alive but somewhat tempered. The poll by The Associated Press – N-O-R-C Center for Public Affairs Research and MTV found half of 15- to 26-year-olds think they will eventually be better off than their parents in terms of household finances. About 29 percent expect to do as well as their parents, and 20 percent expect to be worse off. Parents are slightly more optimistic: 60 percent think their children will do better than they did.