Business briefing

The daily business briefing: November 8, 2021

U.S. lifts restrictions for vaccinated foreign travelers, 'The Eternals' debuts at No. 1, and more

1

The U.S. lifts travel ban for vaccinated foreign visitors

The United States on Monday lifted 20-month-old coronavirus travel restrictions on foreign visitors, allowing vaccinated non-U.S. citizens from 33 countries to enter the U.S. The U.S. is eliminating a ban imposed by the Trump administration, and accepting fully vaccinated travelers from previously restricted countries — including China, India, and much of Europe — at airports and land borders. The policy was enforced to curb coronavirus infections, but it dealt a major blow to tourism and kept people from visiting family. Airlines and the Biden administration said they expected bottlenecks at first as travel demand surged and airlines checked vaccination documentation.

2

'The Eternals' leads the weekend box office

Walt Disney Co.'s latest Marvel superhero movie, The Eternals, led the weekend box office despite mixed reviews. The film brought in $71 million in the U.S. and Canada in its debut, short of the $75 million to $80 million projected. The film brought in another $90.7 million internationally. The Eternals was the second Marvel movie in two months to get crowds into theaters as the film industry struggles to lure back moviegoers used to streaming films during the coronavirus pandemic. The Eternals had the fourth-largest debut haul since the pandemic hit the U.S. a year and a half ago, behind Marvel films Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings ($95 million) and Black Widow ($80 million), and Venom: Let There Be Carnage ($90 million).

3

Dow, S&P inch up after Congress approves infrastructure package

Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 edged higher early Monday following Congress' approval of the more than $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package. Futures for the Dow were up by 0.2 percent several hours before the opening bell. S&P 500 futures were up by less than 0.1 percent. Futures for the tech-heavy Nasdaq were flat. The three main U.S. indexes closed at record highs on Friday following a better-than-expected jobs report. The Dow gained 0.6 percent after a six-day winning streak. The S&P 500 rose by 0.4 percent in its seventh straight day of gains. The Nasdaq gained 0.2 percent in its 10th consecutive positive day.

4

Tesla shares fall after Musk signals share sale

Tesla shares fell by 7 percent in premarket trading after CEO Elon Musk suggested he would sell 10 percent of his shares in the electric-car company. "Much is made lately of unrealized gains being a means of tax avoidance, so I propose selling 10 percent of my Tesla stock," he tweeted. Musk asked Twitter users to decide whether he should go through with the sale, saying he would "abide by the results of this poll, whichever way it goes." Fifty-eight percent of respondents said he should. Musk faces a tax bill of more than $15 billion on stock options in coming months. He was awarded 22.8 million shares at $6.24 per share in 2012. With Tesla shares closing at $1,222.09 on Friday, his gain totals just under $28 billion.

5

Retailers hike wages, benefits to recruit holiday workers

Retailers are offering higher wages and benefits in a scramble to recruit the workers they will need as a promising holiday shopping season hits in a tight labor market, The New York Times reported Monday. Macy's is offering employees who recruit friends and relatives referral bonuses of up to $500 per hire. Walmart is paying starting wages as high as $17 an hour.  Some Amazon warehouse jobs come with up to $3,000 in signing bonuses. "Folks looking to work in retail have typically had very little choice," said Mark A. Cohen, the director of retail studies at Columbia University's business school. "Now they can pick and choose who's got the highest, best benefits, bonuses, and hourly rates."

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