By Francesca Fontana 

Alphabet Inc.

Google pledges no longer to track everything you do online. Its parent company Alphabet said Wednesday that it plans to stop selling ads based on individuals' browsing across multiple websites. The decision, coming from the world's biggest digital-advertising company, could help push the industry away from the use of such individualized tracking, which has come under increasing criticism from privacy advocates and faces scrutiny from regulators. Alphabet shares fell 2.4% Wednesday.

Citigroup Inc.

The first woman to run a major U.S. bank took the helm Monday. The task facing Citigroup Chief Executive Jane Fraser is to reinvigorate the $2.3 trillion megabank as it struggles to keep up with rivals and deal with new questions about the bank's complexity. Ms. Fraser has launched a "refresh" she hopes can simplify the bank inside and out while responding to regulatory issues. The banking industry, long dominated by men, made strides in recent years in elevating women, giving them jobs that place them on the executive track. Citigroup shares rose 5.6% Monday.

Kohl's Corp.

Kohl's is not backing down from a battle with activists who want to take over its board. The retailer's chief executive, Michelle Gass, said Kohl's is "way ahead" of shareholders that want Kohl's to add directors with retail experience, to consider a sale-leaseback of some of its real-estate holdings and to reduce inventories, among other changes. Ms. Gass said on Tuesday that the company was already pursuing several of those initiatives and had concluded that others wouldn't add value. The retailer also said it would start paying a dividend and buying back shares again. Kohl's shares added 0.6% Tuesday.

Target Corp.

Target hit the bull's-eye last quarter. The company said Tuesday that holiday sales rose solidly, with strong demand for online services boosting sales. Over the past fiscal year around 95% of sales came from store fulfillment, which includes products bought in stores as well as online orders fulfilled from stores, and digital comparable sales more than doubled in the most recent quarter. That model, as well as selling high-demand products during the pandemic, helped Target grab market share over the past year. Target estimates it gained around $9 billion in sales from competitors. Target shares lost 6.8% Tuesday.

Rocket Cos.

Reddit's new meme stock has blasted off. Rocket, the parent company of Quicken Loans, became a new target of individual investors on WallStreetBets, the Reddit community that gave birth to GameStop's rise. Users in the community have been encouraging each other to buy the stock in recent days and sharing evidence of their own massive gains as the stock surged. Nearly 377 million shares traded hands on Tuesday alone, more than a 10-fold increase from the previous day, and trading of Rocket shares was halted several times during the week because of its volatility. Rocket shares surged 71% Tuesday.

Square Inc.

Square is getting into the music business. The digital-payments company said Thursday it would pay $297 million in cash and stock for a majority stake in Tidal, Jay-Z's streaming service. Jay-Z, born Shawn Carter, will join the company's board as part of the deal. Square -- best known for its signature white card reader that plugs into phones and tablets -- aims to bring its digital payments and other services to the artists who use Mr. Carter's streaming platform. Tidal's current shareholders will remain co-owners. The platform was an early entrant into high-fidelity audio streaming but faces new competition from rivals like Amazon Music and Spotify on that front. Square shares lost 7.1% Thursday.

Zoom Video Communications Inc.

Zoom promises not to slow down when the pandemic eases. The videoconferencing company said Monday that revenue this year would rise more than 41%, after more than quadrupling to $2.65 billion in the fiscal year ended in January. Zoom has been one of the biggest corporate beneficiaries from the shift to remote work and distance schooling during the pandemic, pitting it against larger rivals like Microsoft Corp. Meanwhile, the company has been adapting its tools to prepare for businesses having some employees returning to the office and others continuing to work remotely. Zoom shares fell 9% Tuesday.

Write to Francesca Fontana at francesca.fontana@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

March 05, 2021 20:34 ET (01:34 GMT)

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