By Francesca Fontana
Twitter is sparring with one of its most prominent users, President Trump. It flagged a Friday tweet from Mr. Trump for breaking what the company said are its rules about glorifying violence, after applying a fact-checking notice earlier in the week to other tweets from the president about voter fraud. Mr. Trump on Thursday signed an executive order taking aim at what he said was censorship by social-media companies. Twitter shares fell 2% Friday.
"Time is the most important thing here." That sense of urgency, as expressed by Novavax Chief Executive Stanley Erck, explains why the company started to scale up manufacturing of its experimental coronavirus vaccine before starting the first human study of its experimental coronavirus vaccine on Monday. Normally, Mr. Erck said, the company would have waited six to nine months to start the buildup. Because of the manufacturing buildup, Novavax said it could produce up to 100 million doses this year, and potentially more than one billion in 2021. It expects initial results in July showing whether the vaccine is safe and triggers immune responses in participants. Novavax shares gained 4.5% Tuesday.
General Electric Co.
Lights out for GE's last link to consumers. The conglomerate is selling its lighting business, a unit that defined the company for nearly a century, to Savant Systems Inc., a seller of home-automation technology. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed, but the transaction valued the unit at around $250 million, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday. GE has exited those consumer businesses as part of a yearslong restructuring, shifting its focus to making heavy equipment, like power turbines, aircraft engines and hospital machines. GE shares added 7.2% Wednesday.
Walt Disney Co.
The Magic Kingdom will look different when parkgoers return this summer. Disney's theme park will begin reopening at reduced capacity in mid-July, and the company's plans to protect against coronavirus include limited attendance, plexiglass barriers and a "social-distancing squad." Jim MacPhee, senior vice president of operations at the park, said customers and staff will be required to wear masks and complete temperature checks before entering the park. Parades, fireworks presentations and character meet-and-greets have been temporarily suspended. Disney's theme parks have now sat empty for longer than at any time in the company's history, throwing the surrounding local economy into an unpredictable future and presenting a significant economic drain on Disney's finances. Disney shares gained 0.5% Wednesday.
HBO Max is here, but Amazon has been left out of the launch. Amazon.com Inc. and AT&T are at odds over the streaming service, which offers WarnerMedia movies and TV shows, including all eight "Harry Potter" movies, "The Wizard of Oz" and "Friends." Amazon has about five million customers who bought access to HBO through its Prime Video Channels platform but aren't able to access HBO Max, which on Wednesday became available to most other existing HBO subscribers at no extra charge. Disputes between streaming services are getting increasingly frequent and complicated, akin to the fights that traditional cable networks often have with cable and satellite operators. AT&T shares rose 3.3% Wednesday.
American Airlines Group Inc.
American Airlines is preparing to shrink. The airline will cut its management and administrative staff by 30%, as demand has been decimated by the coronavirus pandemic. The reduction amounts to more than 5,000 of American's roughly 17,000 management and support workers. The magnitude of coming job losses in the industry is just beginning to take shape. United Airlines Holdings Inc. announced plans to cut management ranks by 30% this month. Boeing Co. said Wednesday that it is shedding over 13,000 jobs, including forced cuts of 6,770 U.S. employees. Thousands of airline employees -- including 39,000 at American -- have taken unpaid leave or retired early to help cut costs in recent months. American Airlines shares fell 8.4% Thursday.
Salesforce is expecting slower sales growth for the year due to the pandemic, despite the boost from work-from-home mandates. Many customers of cloud software providers have increased usage during the crisis, but many providers have said that signing new contracts has slowed, as negotiations drag on with customers grappling with how to adjust to the economic downturn. The business-software maker said late Thursday that it has provided payment relief to some customers affected by the pandemic, and has also made new investments in the face of the crisis. Salesforce announced this month a new suite of services for companies and governments seeking resources to help manage the return of their employees as economies exit quarantining measures. Salesforce shares fell 3.5% Friday.
Write to Francesca Fontana at email@example.com