TOP STORIES

 

Kroger Tells Managers to Stay Vigilant on Coronavirus Safety -- Market Talk

12:27 ET - Kroger urges managers to review inventory on masks, hand sanitizer and other cleaning materials in a memo yesterday, adding that the company needs to be vigilant with safety measures to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. The supermarket chain wrote that employees must continue to wear a mask at work if they aren't vaccinated or refuse to show proof of vaccination and that its employees won't police whether customers use face coverings. The company said last week that it would strongly encourage vaccinated employees and customers to wear coverings. (jaewon.kang@wsj.com; @_jaewonkang)

 

Big Apple Takes Bite Out of Food Delivery -- Heard on the Street

The New York City Council has long had a bone to pick with food delivery platform Grubhub. During the pandemic, that animus seems to extend to reach the sector more broadly as market share has leveled. Home to about 10% of the U.S. market, and a possible harbinger of local measures elsewhere, the city's attitude matters a great deal.

The conflict heated up last week. On Thursday, the council said it passed five bills meant to shift some of the balance of power away from food delivery platforms toward "struggling mom and pop shops." The bills include some straightforward legislation like providing a restaurants' direct telephone number to eaters and prohibiting platforms from charging restaurants for phone orders that don't result in transactions.

 

STORIES OF INTEREST

 

China Corn Inspections Surge

Export inspections for U.S. corn destined for China jumped in this week's report from the USDA.

In its latest grain export inspections report, the USDA said that corn inspections totaled 1.38 million metric tons for the week ended July 29. Of that, 839,556 tons of corn were inspected for shipment to China, roughly double from last week.

 

Oil Ends Sharply Lower on Coronavirus Uncertainty -- Market Talk

1441 ET - US benchmark oil prices end 3.6% lower at $71.26 a barrel, the biggest one-day decline in two weeks, as investors worry that governments may reimpose coronavirus lockdowns or other restrictions that could jeopardize what's been a strong and steady summer of oil demand recovery. "We continue to be living in interesting times," say oil analysts at Stratas Advisors. "While the impact of COVID-19 is being mitigated, COVID-19 is still affecting economic activity and mobility." Investor uncertainty over the significance of the Delta variant fueled WTI crude's sell-off, as some Fed officials have expressed confidence it won't present a major shock to the US economy, while others are more cautious. (dan.molinski@wsj.com)

 

FUTURES MARKETS

 

Livestock Futures Finish Higher -- Market Talk

1539 ET - After closing trading down to end last week, livestock futures turn higher at the start of this week--with lean hog futures finishing with a 1.7% gain to 89.5 cents per pound and live cattle edging-up 0.1% to $1.27275 per pound. For hogs, the uptick comes as pork cutout prices including loin, ribs, hams, and bellies all gain on the day. "Prices at retail and foodservice are trending up and processors have become more forceful in their efforts to pass along raw material price increases to their customers," says Steiner Consulting Group. "Protein demand far exceeded expectations in Q2 and so far in Q3 demand has continued to perform well, both in domestic and export channels."(kirk.maltais@wsj.com; @kirkmaltais)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 02, 2021 17:20 ET (21:20 GMT)

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