By Francesca Fontana 

Twitter Inc.

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 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.

Moderna Inc.

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.

DraftKings Inc.

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.

Alphabet Inc.

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% Friday.

Write to Francesca Fontana at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 14, 2020 21:19 ET (01:19 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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