Business News Weekly ─ August 10, 2020

Value of each of the big tech companies is like the race. For instance, the numbers as of last week are:

  • Apple $1.9 trillion
  • Amazon $1.6 trillion
  • Microsoft $1.6 trillion

Amazon is stepping into the fresh food ring – it might already be too late for the rest to keep up.

“Amazon reportedly discussing using former J.C. Penney and Sears stores as fulfillment centers” ─ from CNBC. Amazon is in discussions with mall-owner Simon Property Group about using some closed J.C. Penney and Sears stores for Amazon fulfillment centers. “For Amazon, more fulfillment centers near residential areas would speed up the crucial last mile of delivery. “For Simon, turning over what was once prime mall space to fulfillment centers shows it would be willing to relinquish an essential way to bring in more mall traffic to secure a steady tenant.” 

“’Like gold’: Canadian canola prices spike as shippers find back door to China” ─ from Reuters. Canadian canola prices have soared to the highest in nearly two years, despite a diplomatic dispute between Ottawa and Beijing, as exporters find roundabout ways to reach top oilseed buyer China.Chinese authorities have since March 2019 blocked canola shipments by two Canadian exporters, an action they took after Canadian police detained a Huawei Technologies executive in late 2018 on a United States warrant.

The dispute however, has not spoiled China’s appetite for canola, which is mainly processed into vegetable oil. While China is buying less from Canada directly, it has bought canola oil instead from Europe and the United Arab Emirates, with some of that oil made from Canadian canola, traders said.

“Olive Garden, Texas Roadhouse were most popular restaurants during coronavirus pandemic” ─ from Fox Business. Olive Garden and Texas Roadhouse, as well as Applebee’s and Chili’s, have been seeing the most increased traffic, according to marketing agency TopAgency’s casual dining report. On average, “casual dining has seen 58% less traffic since the start of the pandemic,” the results show. However, fast food restaurants have only seen a 30% decrease.

“Pfizer to manufacture Gilead’s antiviral drug remdesivir” ─ from Fox Business. Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer announced Friday that it will manufacture and supply Gilead Sciences’ antiviral drug remdesivir, a possible treatment against the coronavirus. The multi-year agreement marks one of many external manufacturing efforts to “scale up supply of the investigational treatment for COVID-19,” said Pfizer, which will produce the drug at its McPherson, Kansas, facility.

“US Consumer Borrowing up in June After 3 Months of Declines” ─ from USNews. U.S. consumer borrowing rose in June after three months of declines but the key category of credit card debt extended its decline. The Federal Reserve reported Friday that overall consumer borrowing rose by 2.6%, or $8.95 billion, in June after big declines in March, April and May as many parts of the country went into lockdown to combat the coronavirus. In June, the category of borrowing that covers credit cards fell for a fourth month, dropping by $2.3 billion, or 2.8%. That was offset by an increase in the category that covers auto loans and student loans, which increased by $11.3 billion, or 4.3%.