Alphabet, Intel, Exxon Mobil: Stocks That Defined the Week
By Francesca Fontana
Parler has gone dark. Alphabet's Google and Apple Inc. suspended
the social-media platform from its app stores, and Amazon.com Inc.
shut off Parler's access to its cloud services. The app served as a
hub for people who organized, participated in or celebrated the
Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol attack, which is expected to spur congressional
efforts to regulate big tech. Alphabet shares fell 2.2% Monday.
General Motors Co.
General Motors is entering the race to produce electric delivery
vehicles. The Detroit auto maker said Tuesday it would begin making
electric delivery trucks and motorized dollies as part of a
division aiming to capitalize on the now-booming market for
e-commerce and home delivery. The business, called BrightDrop,
plans to roll out later this year an electric truck designed
specifically for commercial purposes. That truck will compete
against Ford Motor Co.'s recently introduced electric delivery van.
GM said FedEx has agreed to purchase 500 of the new electric trucks
for delivery later this year. General Motors shares rose 6.2%
Albertsons is bagging more sales than some rivals as grocery
shoppers stock up during the pandemic. The supermarket operator
reported higher sales growth during the recent quarter than Kroger
Co. and Walmart Inc. In 2020, food sellers booked strong sales to
consumers who spent the bulk of the year cooking at home.
Albertsons Chief Executive told analysts Tuesday that shoppers are
largely buying groceries less frequently, but purchase greater
amounts of food when they do. Albertsons is also expanding its
offering of products such as meal kits and store brands for people
cooking at home. Albertsons shares added 2.1% Tuesday.
Intel looked outside when changing leaders. The semiconductor
giant ousted Chief Executive Bob Swan on Wednesday and tapped
VMware chief Pat Gelsinger as his successor. The surprise move came
after activist hedge fund Third Point LLC called for sweeping
change at the end of last year, during which the company suffered
more product delays and lost its rank as the most valued U.S. chip
maker. Mr. Swan will step down in February, the company said. His
successor, Mr. Gelsinger, was once Intel's technology chief. He has
served as CEO of the business-software provider VMware since 2012.
Intel shares rose 7% Wednesday.
Delta Air Lines Inc.
Delta is hunkering down for a long, dark winter. The airline's
2020 losses amounted to nearly $12.4 billion, the company reported
Thursday, making it Delta's worst year ever and marking its first
annual loss since 2009. The months after the December holidays are
typically the weakest for airlines, which have been battered as the
coronavirus pandemic drags on. Still, the company expects
air-travel demand to turn a corner this year as Covid-19 vaccines
are rolled out. Executives said searches on Delta's website are on
the rise and people are saving up frequent-flier miles to take big
trips in the future. Delta Air Lines rose 2.5% Thursday.
JPMorgan Chase & Co.
The economic recovery has held up better than America's big
banks anticipated. JPMorgan, Citigroup Inc. and Wells Fargo &
Co. all reported better-than-expected earnings, powered by reserve
releases and their Wall Street operations. JPMorgan posted its
highest-ever quarterly profit on Friday, after releasing $2.9
billion in funds it had set aside to cover soured loans during the
pandemic. The banks have weathered the coronavirus economy so well
in part due to their focus on well-off consumers and big businesses
over the past decade. Still, Chief Executive Jamie Dimon said
JPMorgan remains positioned for "significant near-term economic
uncertainty." Bank shares fell broadly, along with the overall
markets, and JPMorgan shares lost 1.8% Friday.
Exxon Mobil Corp.
Exxon is being investigated by U.S. authorities after a
whistleblower said it overvalued one of its most important oil and
gas properties. The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that the
Securities and Exchange Commission launched a probe into the
struggling energy giant after an employee filed a whistleblower
complaint last fall. The complaint alleges that lower-level
employees were pressured to use unrealistic assumptions on drilling
in valuing a key asset in the Permian Basin. Exxon went through one
of its worst financial performances in 2020, posting billions of
dollars in losses after an unprecedented decline in fossil-fuel
demand during the pandemic. Exxon shares slipped 4.8% Friday.
Write to Francesca Fontana at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
January 15, 2021 19:05 ET (00:05 GMT)
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