Amazon to Offer Telehealth Service to Other Companies
Topic of the day
Amazon.com Inc. said it is offering its telehealth service to other companies in Washington state, with a nationwide expansion planned for this summer as the e-commerce giant takes its latest step to gain a foothold in healthcare. Launched in 2019, the company's Amazon Care offering has been available to Amazon employees and their families in Washington state. The company said it is extending the virtual-care service to all of its employees in the U.S. this summer. Amazon employed a total of about 1.3 million full- and part-time employees as of the end of 2020, according to the company's annual securities filing. The service operates on an app that facilitates video or chat appointments with medical professionals, as well as prescription delivery. Amazon also said it intends to expand an in-person-care component to Washington, D.C.; Baltimore; and other cities in the coming months.
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The SMI slid 0.2 percent to 10,922 points Tuesday amid investor caution before Wednesday’s US Federal Reserve meeting after markets closed. While market participants did not expect the Fed to hike interest rates, they noted that rising market rates could put the Fed under pressure to adjust their interest rate outlook in light of growing inflation expectations. Rising bond yields saw UBS gain 1.6 percent and Credit Suisse (CS) 0.9 percent – despite an analyst downgrade for CS. Tech stocks suffered because rising interest rates affect their high gearing. Second-tier AMS sank 2.6 percent and Logitech 2.4 percent. Nestle climbed 0.2 percent on a positive analyst comment with a stock price target increase. Swatch slid 0.3 percent despite upbeat comments from CEO Nick Hayek that business in China and the US is booming again already. Second-tier V-Zug surged 5 percent on a marked on-year increase in net profit and operating profit. Orell Füssli sank 6.3 percent after lowering its dividend.
European stocks mostly fall ahead of the US Federal Reserve's interest-rate announcement as bond yields rise amid jitters about higher inflation and rates. The Stoxx Europe 600 drops 0.4%, the FTSE 100 retreats 0.6% and the CAC-40 is broadly flat, though the DAX advances 0.3%. Among stocks to watch, shares of BT Group surged 6,5% after U.K. media regulator Ofcom said the country's top four mobile networks have paid GBP1.36 billion ($1.89 billion) in an auction to secure more 5G airwaves. Vodafone was also among those that bid for airwaves, securing a total of 200 megahertz of spectrum. BT's EE unit paid GBP452 million ($628 million) for the largest tranches of that spectrum, while Vodafone (VOD.LN) paid GBP176.4 million for its slice. Engineer Rolls-Royce was another big gainer, with shares up 4% after JPMorgan lifted shares to neutral from underweight and lifted its price target to 105 pence from 45 pence. BMW AG said Wednesday it expects positive business development this year, targeting an increase in pretax profit and a higher auto margin. The German luxury car maker said profit before taxes for the group should be significantly higher than in 2020, and it projected earnings before interest and taxes margin for the automotive segment at between 6% and 8%. The car maker's auto EBIT margin fell to 2.7% in 2020 from 4.9% in 2019.
U.S. stocks rose after the Federal Reserve vowed to keep its easy-money policies in place until the U.S. economy is further recovered from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. The S&P 500 added 0.3%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.6%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.4%, reversing losses earlier in the session. All three indexes turned higher at the release of the central bank's 2 p.m. ET statement. Investors are focused on any sign the monetary stimulus that has supported markets during the pandemic could begin to subside. The Federal Reserve kept its easy-money policies in place and vowed to maintain them until the U.S. economy recovers further from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, while also highlighting the brightening outlook for growth. The United Auto Workers union is taking aim at Ford Motor Co. over plans for a factory in Ohio, criticizing the car company for moving vehicle production intended for the facility to Mexico. UAW Vice President Gerald Kariem in a letter to members Friday said the company told the union it was relocating manufacturing of a next-generation vehicle to Mexico without a clear explanation. Mr. Kariem said in making this move, Ford is failing to live up to a commitment it made to the factory during the last round of contract talks. A copy of the letter was provided to The Wall Street Journal Wednesday. During labor negotiations in 2019, Ford pledged to spend $900 million on the factory, in part to retool for a new model that it would start building in 2023. Lumentum Holdings Inc. on Wednesday said it made a revised $6.9 billion offer for Coherent Inc. that values its rival laser maker at $275 a share. Lumentum said its new offer, which is backed by private-equity firm Silver Lake, includes $220 in cash and 0.61 shares, worth $55 based on Tuesday's closing price of $90.17, for each Coherent share.
Once again under the spell of Wall Street, the stock markets in East Asia are on Thursday. After the "dovish" comments by US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, investors there had shown encouragement and bought stocks, while the dollar came under pressure. In Japan, the Nikkei-225 rose 0.9 per cent to 30,176 points, though much higher gains in the overall market melted away during the day.
Treasury yields rose in Asia with the yield on the benchmark 10-year note heading towards 1.67%. The yield finished Wednesday's session at 1.641%, having climbed past 1.68% before the Fed said it would continue to hold interest rates low and buy billions of dollars of bonds.
UBS rises Henkel to Neutral (Sell) – Target 88 (81) EUR
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