Major indexes open broadly higher; GameStop, AMC crumble
NEW YORK (AP) – Major U.S. indexes are broadly higher in morning trading on Wall Street, while GameStop and other stocks that have been on wild swings recently have turned sharply lower. The S&P 500 added 1.7%, building on its gains from a day earlier. GameStop sank 50% in the early going in its latest bout of extreme volatility, and AMC Entertainment fell 40%. Big Tech companies were among the early winners, as were several energy companies including Exxon Mobil and Marathon Petroleum, both of which reported better results than analysts were expecting. UPS rose after reporting record revenue. Treasury yields rose, as did crude oil prices.
UNDATED (AP) – Drugmaker Pfizer (FY’-zur), the first company to get U.S. emergency use authorization for a COVID-19 vaccine, swing to a small profit in the fourth-quarter as it started shipping vaccine doses. Pfizer said it expects roughly $15 billion this year in revenue from the two-dose vaccine. It won emergency clearance in mid-December from U.S. regulators and continues to stack up approvals in other countries and is in high demand as the global pandemic surges. Pfizer is reporting fourth-quarter net income of $594 million, or 10 cents per share. Adjusted earnings came to 42 cents per share, or 4 cents shy of Wall Street projections.
NEW YORK (AP) – A surge in online shopping helped UPS post record revenue during the last three months of 2020. UPS and other delivery companies have benefited as more people shop online during the pandemic and avoid going to physical stores. Not only was the Atlanta company working to deliver gifts during the holiday season, but it also started shipping COVID-19 vaccines at the same time. UPS says the daily average number of packages it delivered rose nearly 11% during the quarter. Revenue rose 21% to $24.9 billion in the three months ending Dec. 31. It posted adjusted earnings of $2.66 per share, easily beating Wall Street expectations.
SEATTLE (AP) – Boeing Co. will pay out annual performance bonuses next month to most employees despite losing $12 billion over the last year during the coronavirus pandemic. The Seattle Times reports that most employees did not receive annual bonuses last year after the company lost $636 million in 2019 because of the grounding of the 737 MAX by the Federal Aviation Administration. In response, the company changed the structure of its incentive plan, tying its financial goals to the timing of the first delivery of a 737 MAX after its ungrounding. The company’s bonuses were previously based on profits.
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) – Hard Rock International is handing out cash bonuses to its workers in several states to thank them for their efforts during the coronavirus pandemic. The global casino and hospitality company is among numerous U.S. companies that have handed out cash bonuses or increased pay for workers during the pandemic. Hard Rock Chairman and CEO Jim Allen says the company is giving out bonuses in locations besides New Jersey and Florida. He would not say where, or indicate what percentage of the company’s worldwide workforce is getting them. He says they are a thank-you for good customer service, and an acknowledgement of the extra challenge posed by the pandemic.