Twitter, Kodak, General Motors: Stocks That Defined the Week
By Francesca Fontana
TikTok has another U.S. fan: Twitter. The San Francisco
social-media giant is competing with Microsoft Corp. to buy the
American operations of the popular video-sharing app, The Wall
Street Journal reported Aug. 8. President Trump has said TikTok's
Beijing-based parent company must find a buyer by Sept. 15 or face
a ban. A deal could help jumpstart Twitter, which has struggled to
find its footing despite widespread use of its main platform.
Twitter shares added 0.8% Monday.
Eastman Kodak Co.
The picture surrounding Kodak's deal with the U.S. is getting
blurry. The U.S. International Development Finance Corp. said Aug.
7 that the agency wouldn't proceed with plans to lend $765 million
to the onetime photography giant to produce drug ingredients until
"recent allegations of wrongdoing" were cleared. The Securities and
Exchange Commission is investigating how Kodak controlled
disclosure of the loan, after shares soared 25% on the day that
word of the loan emerged. Meanwhile, several Democrat-led
congressional committees have raised concerns about Kodak's "lack
of pharmaceutical experience" and stock-option grants made to
executives and board members before the announcement. Kodak shares
lost more than a quarter of their value Monday, plummeting 28%.
General Motors Co.
The finance chief at General Motors is speeding off to a
payments company. Dhivya Suryadevara's resignation and departure to
Stripe Inc., confirmed by both companies Tuesday, is a surprising
departure for one of the company's fastest-rising stars, coming as
GM tries to regain its footing following the pandemic-related
shutdown of its factories this spring. GM wasn't the only company
this week to announce CFO exits. Cisco Systems Inc. on Wednesday
said finance chief Kelly Kramer plans to retire, and Avis Budget
Group Inc. on Thursday said finance chief John F. North III would
exit the company to pursue other interests. General Motors shares
gained 1.9% Tuesday.
Simon Property Group Inc.
Amazon, a perennial threat to department stores, now wants to
use their empty spaces as distribution hubs. The Wall Street
Journal reported on Aug. 9 that Simon Property Group and Amazon.com
Inc. have been exploring the possibility of turning some of the
mall owner's anchor department stores into Amazon fulfillment
centers. The talks have focused on converting stores formerly or
currently occupied by J.C. Penney Co. and Sears Holdings Corp.,
which have been closing dozens of stores across the country as part
of their bankruptcy plans. Amazon typically uses these warehouses
to store everything from books and sweaters to kitchenware and
electronics until delivery to local customers. Simon Property Group
shares rose 5.3% Monday.
A front-runner in the race to a coronavirus vaccine has new
backing from Uncle Sam. Moderna said late Tuesday that it agreed to
provide the U.S. government 100 million doses of its experimental
coronavirus vaccine in exchange for more than $1.5 billion. The
government will provide Moderna's vaccine to people in the U.S.
free of charge and have the option to purchase up to an additional
400 million doses, according to the company. Moderna's vaccine is
among the most advanced in development, and is being evaluated in a
30,000-person late-stage study. Public-health officials have said
they may learn in November or December whether the Moderna vaccine
works. Moderna shares added 0.8% Wednesday.
Investors aren't betting on DraftKings. The sports gambling
company on Friday posted a steeper-than-expected loss for the
recent quarter as the pandemic continues to upend the sports world.
DraftKings said it had to issue refunds related to sporting events
that were canceled as governments prohibited large gatherings and
live events. Chief Executive Jason Robins said that DraftKing users
have continued to use the platform with the recent return of the
National Hockey League, National Basketball Association and Major
League Baseball games without fans in the stands. But the fate of
live sports in the fall is still unclear, as the Big Ten and Pac-12
Conferences voted on Tuesday to postpone college football and other
fall sports. DraftKings shares fell 5.9% Friday.
Google and Apple are giving "Fortnite" the boot, triggering a
battle royale within the tech world. Apple Inc. and Alphabet Inc.'s
Google removed the popular videogame from their app stores Thursday
in an escalating battle over the fees they charge developers,
preventing people from downloading or updating the "Fortnite" app.
The decisions came after the game's creator, closely held Epic
Games Inc., rolled out a new way of making in-game purchases that
circumvents the 30% cut tech giants take from digital transactions
within apps. "Fortnite" is free to download, but generates revenue
through in-game purchases. In response, Epic sued Apple and Google,
accusing them of monopolistic behavior. Alphabet shares lost 0.8%
Write to Francesca Fontana at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
August 14, 2020 21:19 ET (01:19 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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