Business briefing

The daily business briefing: July 22, 2022

A U.N.-backed deal aims to restore Ukraine grain exports, Snap shares dive after a disappointing quarterly report, and more

1

U.N.-backed deal seeks to restore Ukraine grain exports

Ukraine, Russia, Turkey, and United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres have agreed to sign a deal Friday to resume Ukrainian grain exports, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's office said Thursday. Russia and Ukraine are major wheat exporters, but the war between the two nations has disrupted shipments from Ukraine's Black Sea ports, leaving 20 million tons of grain stuck at the port of Odesa. The stalemate has pushed food prices higher and triggered a global food crisis. The agreement was finalized in negotiations in Istanbul last week, although the details were not immediately released. Guterres said the U.N. and Turkey have been pushing for a "package deal" that would let Ukrainian exports resume and facilitate shipments of Russian grain and fertilizer.

2

Snap shares plunge after disappointing quarterly report

Snap on Thursday reported revenue for the popular photo-sharing social-media app Snapchat at $1.11 billion in the second quarter, falling just short of Wall Street's already reduced expectations. Snap posted its weakest quarterly sales growth as a public company. It also had a net loss of $422 million for the quarter, and said it would "substantially" reduce hiring, joining Microsoft, Facebook parent Meta, and other tech companies that have cut spending as economic troubles rattle the digital advertising market. Snap shares gained more than 5 percent in regular trading Thursday but plunged more than 26 percent in after-hours trading following the earnings report.

3

Amazon steps up health care push with $3.9 billion One Medical acquisition 

Amazon has agreed to buy health-care company 1LifeHealthcare, which operates primary-care practice One Medical, in a deal worth $3.9 billion, including debt, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. The acquisition is the company's first under CEO Andy Jassy, who is making Amazon's expansion into healthcare a focus for the online retail giant. One Medical currently has more than 180 medical offices in 25 U.S. markets, and provides health benefits to employees at more than 8,000 companies. "We think health care is high on the list of experiences that need reinvention," said Neil Lindsay, senior vice president of Amazon Health Services. Amazon started its push into health care with the 2018 purchase of online pharmacy start-up PillPack.

4

Stock futures struggle after Snap's disappointing results

U.S. stock futures struggled early Friday as Snap's disappointing quarterly report weighed on tech stocks. Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average were essentially flat at 6:30 a.m. ET, but the S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq were down 0.3 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively. Strong earlier reports by Tesla and other tech companies helped the Nasdaq surge 1.4 percent on Thursday, its third straight day of gains. The Dow and the S&P 500 gained 0.5 percent and 1.0 percent as the European Central Bank raised interest rates a half-point in its first increase in 11 years, and initial jobless claims hit their highest level since November 2021.

5

Germany agrees to bail out energy giant Uniper  

Uniper said Friday that Germany had agreed to a $15.2 billion bailout to help the energy giant survive soaring energy costs as Russia reduces natural gas supply amid tensions over its invasion of Ukraine. Under the rescue plan, Germany will take a 30-percent stake in the German company, and Uniper's Finnish parent Fortum will hold onto 56 percent, down from its current 80-percent stake. "We are living through an unprecedented energy crisis that requires robust measures," Fortum CEO Markus Rauramo said. "We were driven by urgency and the need to protect Europe's security of supply in a time of war." Uniper is Germany's biggest gas importer. 

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