By Francesca Fontana
American Airlines Group Inc.
Worries about a mysterious pneumonia-like virus are circulating through the airline industry as more people in China choose not to travel. Typically hundreds of millions visit family or take a vacation during the Lunar New Year holiday. This year many are staying closer to home due to the coronavirus, part of a class of pathogens that cause a range of respiratory illness. The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus tripled Monday and accelerated through the week. Shares of American Airlines fell 4.2% Tuesday.
First Starbucks tossed its plastic straws. Now it wants to cut its water use and the amount of trash it sends to landfills over the next decade, the latest big company to set fresh targets for limiting its environmental impact. Starbucks said Tuesday it will aim to serve more coffee in reusable cups, curb food and packaging waste and set a more environmentally friendly menu. New stores will make more efficient use of energy and water, and the company plans to improve environmental practices among its coffee growers and other suppliers. Shares fell 1.2% Tuesday.
Uber Technologies Inc.
Uber might give drivers the green light to set their fares. Drivers who ferry passengers from airports in Santa Barbara, Palm Springs and Sacramento can charge up to five times the fare Uber sets on a ride, a test that began Tuesday. The experiment is part of Uber's effort to strengthen its case that its drivers operate with some degree of independence. Earlier this month, Uber capped its commissions on rides across California. Last month, it allowed drivers in the state to see where riders were going, letting them choose the trips they wanted to take. Shares gained 7% Tuesday.
Foreign features are now in vogue at Netflix, where an overseas expansion is providing more new streaming subscribers as the U.S. slows. Netflix said Tuesday that it added 423,000 domestic subscribers in quarter, lower than its forecast of 600,000. It beat its expectations for subscriber growth overseas. The streaming giant faces heightened competition from a gaggle of domestic rivals including Walt Disney Co.'s Disney+ streaming platform and Apple Inc.'s Apple TV+. This spring, Comcast Corp.'s NBCUniversal and AT&T Inc.'s WarnerMedia plan to introduce their direct-to-consumer streaming services: Peacock and HBO Max, respectively. Shares fell 3.6% Wednesday.
The fashion retailer said it would close about 100 stores by 2022, including nine stores that closed last year and 31 that will close by the end of the month. The store closures are part of a broader overhaul, as the company anticipates $80 million in cost cuts over the next three years, including $55 million primarily related to job cuts it disclosed last week. It is cutting 10% of the positions at its Columbus, Ohio, headquarters and its design studio in New York City. Express also said it is planning to relaunch its loyalty and private-label credit card this fall as part of the effort. Shares gained 21% Tuesday.
Match Group Inc.
Online dating now has an alarm. Tinder plans to start offering users an option to hit a panic button, receive check-ins and summon authorities to their location. To offer the service, Tinder parent company Match Group is taking a stake and board seat in an app called Noonlight that tracks users' locations and notifies authorities if safety concerns arise. Tinder plans to debut the feature free for U.S. users at the end of January. Match Group didn't disclose the size of the investment. Shares fell 1.2% Thursday.
Intel Corp.'s customers are clearly hungry for more chips. The company posted strong fourth-quarter earnings that benefited from an upswing in personal-computer shipments and robust demand for server farms that need chips to store large amounts of data. The results are the latest sign technology companies expect healthy demand at the start of this year despite wider expectations for only a modest economic rebound this year. Still, Intel is facing challenges, including chip supply shortages, loss of market share and turmoil from the U.S.-China trade tussle. Intel shares rose 8.1% Friday.
Write to Francesca Fontana at firstname.lastname@example.org