Global shares mixed…EasyJet posts loss for first time
TOKYO (AP) – Global shares are mixed as optimism that a vaccine may soon control the coronavirus buoyed only some regional indexes. Benchmarks in Europe fell in early trading today. Japan’s benchmark finished at a 29-year high. Shares rose in Australia, slipped in South Korea, and were mixed in China. U.S. shares are set to drift lower with Dow futures slipping 0.2% and S&P 500 futures down 0.3%.
WASHINGTON (AP) – A Senate panel is calling on the CEOs of Facebook and Twitter to defend their handling of disinformation in the contest between President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden. But the senators are deeply divided by party over the integrity and results of the election itself. The Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing today to question Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey on their companies’ actions around the closely contested election. Prominent Republican senators have refused to knock down Trump’s unfounded claims of voting irregularities and fraud, even as misinformation disputing Biden’s victory has flourished online.
NEW YORK (AP) – Now sold on Amazon: insulin and inhalers. The company says it has opened an online pharmacy, giving shoppers the chance to buy their medication on their phones and computers. The move propels Amazon into a new business and could shake up the pharmacy industry. Big chains like CVS and Walgreens rely on their pharmacies to bring them a steady flow of shoppers who stop by frequently to pick up their medications. Amazon says it will offer commonly prescribed medications starting, including creams, pills and medications that need to stay cold, like insulin. Shoppers have to set up a profile on Amazon’s website and have doctors send prescriptions to Amazon.
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – Warren Buffett’s company has trimmed its huge stake in Apple and added new investments in several drugmakers, while tweaking several other holdings in its stock portfolio. Berkshire Hathaway filed an update on its stock portfolio with regulators Monday. Berkshire revealed several new investments in pharmaceutical companies made during the third quarter including Merck, Bristol Myers Squibb, AbbVie and Pfizer. The Merck, Bristol Myers and AbbVie stakes are all worth roughly $2 billion apiece. Many investors follow Berkshire’s holdings closely because of Buffett’s remarkably successful track record over the years. Berkshire also added to its holdings in Bank of America, Kroger and General Motors stocks.
LONDON (AP) – British airline easyJet has posted its first full-year loss in its 25-year history as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. It laid out hope, however, that the rollout of vaccines will help it bounce back strongly next year. The airline reports a pretax loss of 1.27 billion pounds ($1.7 billion) for the year through September compared with a profit of 430 million pounds for the previous year. Passenger numbers halved to 48.1 million in the past year, with the airline flying just 38% of its planned capacity during the summer holiday season.