By Francesca Fontana
UnitedHealth Group Inc.
Joe Biden won big on Super Tuesday, and so did health-care stocks. UnitedHealth and other health insurers soared Wednesday after the former vice president's better-than-expected performance in Tuesday's primaries. The recent momentum behind Sen. Bernie Sanders has weighed on the group, as his proposed single-payer health-care plan would entail major changes for the industry. UnitedHealth shares added 11% Wednesday, while Anthem Inc. gained 16% and Humana Inc. rose 14%.
A showdown is looming between Twitter Chief Executive Jack Dorsey and Paul Singer's Elliott Management Corp. Mr. Singer's activist hedge fund has nominated four directors to Twitter's board and taken a roughly $1 billion stake, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday. Elliot wants Twitter to find a full-time CEO, which would likely mean replacing Mr. Dorsey. Last year, Mr. Dorsey tweeted his plans to live in Africa for part of 2020, surprising Twitter executives and angering investors. He seemingly backed off those plans while speaking at a Morgan Stanley event on Thursday. Mr. Dorsey was pushed out in 2008 during his first stint as CEO and was reappointed in 2015. Twitter shares gained 7.9% Monday.
Think Apple slowed down one of your older iPhones? The company could owe you $25. Apple has agreed to pay as much as $500 million to some iPhone owners to settle a class-action lawsuit claiming the company slowed down the performance of its older smartphones to drive customers to buy new ones. The company's payout will total anywhere from $310 million to $500 million under the proposed settlement, but the per-iPhone payout could change from $25, depending on the number of eligible devices. Apple said in 2017 that a software update introduced at the start of that year reduced the performance of older models. Apple shares gained 9.3% Monday.
Campbell Soup Co.
Canned soup demand is rising in response to the coronavirus epidemic. Campbell said Wednesday that its sales are getting a boost from retailers stocking up on the beleaguered food maker's namesake product and other canned foods, including less-popular items such as SpaghettiOs and Swanson canned chicken. Grocers and other retailers have said that some consumers are buying up staple foods and cleaning supplies out of concern the virus's spread will leave them stuck at home. Some stores in densely populated cities have run out of long-lasting foods such as Jif peanut butter and Kraft macaroni and cheese. Campbell shares rose 10% Wednesday.
United Airlines Holdings Inc.
United Airlines is cutting flights and parking planes as the new coronavirus spreads. The carrier said Wednesday it plans to store some wide-body jets and is offering staff unpaid leaves of absence in April. United will cut domestic capacity by 10% in April from its previous plan and international flying by 20%, and these cuts could extend into May. The Chicago-based carrier has the biggest exposure to international markets among U.S. carriers and has already suspended most of its flights to China, South Korea and Italy, as have most of its U.S. peers. United shares fell 13% Thursday.
There is no longer a leadership gap at the Gap. The struggling apparel giant said late Thursday that it promoted Sonia Syngal, the head of its Old Navy brand, to be its chief executive, while board member Bobby Martin will take over as executive chairman. Gap abandoned plans to break off Old Navy into a separate public company earlier this year, saying the split would have been too expensive and complex to pull off. Ms. Syngal, who will take over the role on March 23, boosted Old Navy's store footprint in North America and developed its e-commerce capabilities, the company said. Gap shares fell 1.3% Friday.
JPMorgan Chase & Co.
JPMorgan Chase Chief Executive James Dimon underwent emergency heart surgery Thursday, his second big health scare in recent years. The procedure was successful, and the acute aortic dissection Mr. Dimon suffered was caught early, the bank said in a memo to employees. JPMorgan Co-Presidents Daniel Pinto and Gordon Smith are leading the bank while Mr. Dimon recuperates. His sudden illness is likely to revive speculation about when Mr. Dimon will step down from the bank he has led since 2004. Earlier this year, he said he expected to retire in five years -- the same answer he has given for at least six years. JPMorgan shares fell 5.2% Friday.
Write to Francesca Fontana at email@example.com