American Airlines Group Inc.
Airlines want mandatory masking to end. US carriers on Wednesday pressed President Biden to drop requirements for passengers on planes and in airports. Executives at American Airlines, United Airlines Holdings Inc.
and others wrote in a letter to Mr. Biden that mandatory masking and requiring passengers to test negative for Covid-19 before flying to the US from abroad are no longer necessary as cases and hospitalizations decline. American Airlines shares added 3.2% Thursday.
Demand for Nike’s shoes is outrunning its supply. The sneaker giant’s sales grew in the latest period as the company benefited from gains in its digital business while navigating snarls in its supply chain and working to get its Asian suppliers back to full production. Still, persistent inflation and fallout from the war in Ukraine both pose challenges to the apparel maker’s sales in coming quarters. The company said earlier this month that it would close its stores in Russia, citing greater difficulty managing its business after the country invaded Ukraine. Nike shares gained 2.2% Tuesday.
Walt Disney Co.
Disney is facing backlash for its bungled response to recent Florida legislation. Workers, fans, shareholders and elected officials slammed the entertainment giant for failing to take a public stance on the Republican-led education bill in Florida that prohibits classroom instruction on gender identity or sexual orientation for children in the third grade or younger and limits such instruction for older students. Some US employees gathered Tuesday to protest what they called Disney’s failure to support LGBT employees. At a virtual town-hall meeting Monday, Chief Executive Bob Chapek said Disney would oppose the recent move by Texas’ GOP governor ordering parents who provide gender-transitioning medical care for young children to be investigated for child abuse. Disney shares lost 1.2% Monday before adding 1.1% Tuesday.
A Seattle Starbucks store served up a unionization victory Tuesday. Chain workers at a single location in the city voted 9-0 to be represented by the Starbucks Workers United union. The store, which is a 10-minute drive from Starbucks headquarters, is the first in the coffee chain’s hometown to seek representation, just as Howard Schultz is set to return as chief executive. Pro-union workers at the store said they wanted management to better care for baristas and to allow workers to unionize. Starbucks said during its annual investor meeting last week that it aimed to do more to improve the work environment for baristas and to listen to its employees. Starbucks shares added 1.2% Tuesday.
A Covid-19 vaccine for young kids might be available soon. Moderna’s shot safely induced robust immune responses in children ages 6 months to 5 years in a new study, the company said Wednesday, though the vaccine was less effective against the Omicron variant. The company said it would seek authorization for use in children under 5 years, and if regulators agree, one of the last remaining age groups not eligible for Covid-19 vaccination in the US could finally begin to receive the shots. The vaccine from Pfizer Inc.
and its partner BioNTech SE is authorized for anyone 5 years and older, while Moderna’s has been available only to adults 18 years and older in the US to date. Moderna shares lose 4.3% Wednesday.
Hundreds of businesses could be at risk after Okta’s recent hack. The identity-verification provider said hundreds of its customers might have been caught in a January data breach. The hack, claimed by the Lapsus$ group, originated from the laptop of an engineer employed by a subcontractor, which the hackers had access to between Jan. 16 and Jan. 21, Octa said Tuesday. Okta’s customers rely on its software to manage secure access to their internal computer networks. Okta said the attack had affected as many as 366 customers, or 2.5% of the more than 15,000 businesses and institutions it services world-wide. Okta said it had contacted customers that were potentially affected. Okta shares fell 11% Wednesday.
Uber Technologies Inc.
Uber is joining forces with a former foe. The company has reached an agreement to list all New York City taxis on its app, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. The alliance could ease Uber’s driver shortage and temper high fares while directing more business to cabdrivers, whose livelihoods were affected by the emergence of car-sharing apps and the pandemic. Passengers will pay roughly the same fare for taxi rides as for standard Uber X rides. The ride-hailing company faces a shortage of gig drivers in the US after many took to other jobs like food and grocery delivery during the pandemic. Uber shares rose 5% Thursday.
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