The daily business briefing: April 25, 2022
Twitter reexamines Musk offer after he lines up financing, Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez call for Amazon to acknowledge union, and more
Twitter takes another look at Musk offer
Twitter is taking another look at Tesla CEO Elon Musk's $43 billion takeover offer following Musk's announcement that he had lined up financing for a deal, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday, citing people familiar with the matter. The two sides were meeting Sunday to discuss Musk's $54.20-per-share offer, two days after Musk met with several shareholders to explain the benefits of his plan to take the company private. Musk recently bought just over 9 percent of Twitter's stock, making him the social-media company's largest shareholder. He told the other shareholders the board needs to make a "yes-or-no" decision on his offer, and he vowed to resolve free-speech issues he said were holding the company back.
Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez headline Amazon-union rally ahead of vote
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) participated in a rally outside Amazon's JFK8 warehouse on Staten Island, New York, on Sunday, criticizing Amazon co-founder and CEO Jeff Bezos and urging the company to formally acknowledge the warehouse's newly formed Amazon Labor Union. Sanders called for Bezos, "who owns a $500 million yacht," to think about his workers when he's sailing. "Working people are sick and tired of falling further and further behind while billionaires like Bezos become much richer," Sanders said. The rally came as employees at Amazon's LDJ5 warehouse, also on Staten Island, prepare to vote Monday on whether to become the second Amazon facility to unionize. Amazon did not immediately comment.
Oil prices fall as China outbreak, rising rates threaten demand
Oil prices fell nearly 5 percent early Monday as China's coronavirus lockdowns and the prospect of rising U.S. interest rates stoked fears of decreased demand. Authorities in Shanghai erected fences outside residential buildings in areas touched by a local outbreak, increasing complaints about lockdowns that have shut down factories in China's most populous city. Prices of international benchmark Brent crude fell 4.6 percent to $101.74 per barrel after going as low as $101.20, the lowest point since April 12. U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate dropped 4.9 percent. "It seems that China is the elephant in the room," said Jeffrey Halley, an analyst at brokerage OANDA. "The tightening COVID-zero restrictions in Shanghai, and fears Omicron has spread in Beijing, torpedoed sentiment today."
Beijing coronavirus cases surge as China's zero-COVID policy tested
Public health officials in Beijing said the Chinese capital confirmed 22 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, the most yet in a single day this year. Shanghai, China's most populous city, said 39 COVID-19 patients died on Saturday, a three-fold increase from the previous day. Although the rates of coronavirus infections and deaths remain low in China compared to many other countries, the rising numbers raised concerns about the ability of Chinese authorities to stamp out the surge with their zero-COVID policy. Under the policy, China effectively contained an outbreak in Jilin province with six weeks of lockdowns, but cases have been rising in Jiangsu and Hebei, the provinces surrounding Shanghai and Beijing.
Stock futures fall after Friday's losses
U.S. stock futures lost ground early Monday as investors continued to show concern about rising interest rates after last week's losses. Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 were down about 0.9 percent at 7 a.m. ET. Nasdaq futures were down 0.8 percent. The Dow and the S&P 500 fell 2.8 percent on Friday. The tech-heavy Nasdaq dropped 2.6 percent. The Dow closed the week down 1.9 percent, capping a four-week losing streak. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq fell 2.8 percent and 3.8 percent, respectively, last week. This week investors will have another wave of corporate earnings reports to review for clues on how companies are handling high inflation and supply disruptions.