The daily business briefing: December 6, 2016
Amazon tests a brick-and-mortar grocery store, oil edges down on fears of lingering glut, and more
Amazon experiments with smart grocery shop
Amazon.com on Monday unveiled its first brick-and-mortar convenience store, an 1,800-square-foot small-format grocery shop in downtown Seattle it calls Amazon Go. The smart retail outlet allows customers to use an Amazon app to grab items and check themselves out without going through a register. It hopes to open more than 2,000 grocery stores if the test goes well. Amazon also is experimenting with a drive-through format, and plans to open two drive-through outlets in Seattle over the coming weeks. The e-commerce giant already has tested brick-and-mortar bookstores.
Oil edges lower on doubts OPEC output cut would end glut
Oil prices edged lower on Tuesday as exporters' output rose and euphoria faded over OPEC's deal to cut production. The rise in production by members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and non-OPEC powerhouses, such as Russia, raised concerns that a global glut that has pushed down prices over the last two years could continue in 2017, even if OPEC manages to trim production and get other major exporters to make their own cuts. After hitting 16-month highs on Monday, the international benchmark Brent crude oil was down 30 cents from Monday's close, at $54.64 a barrel, and the U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate was down 40 cents at $51.39 a barrel.
Dow hits another record as post-election rally continues
The Dow Jones Industrial Average hit another in a series of records on Monday as bank stocks gained. The benchmark U.S. stock index rose by 46 points, or 0.2 percent, to close at 19,216, and hit an intraday record of 19,275 earlier in the day. The other main U.S. indexes also gained, although they remained below record levels. The S&P 500 rose by 0.6 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite gained 1 percent. This is "a continuation of the postelection rally and there is still money that thinks the new administration will be good for the market," said Ian Winer, director of equity trading at Wedbush Securities.
Oil industry urges Trump to approve Dakota Access Pipeline
Oil industry leaders on Monday called on President-elect Donald Trump to push through approval for the Dakota Access Pipeline when he takes office in January, despite a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers decision not to approve permits for the proposed route in North Dakota. The pipeline was to run under Lake Oahe, a reservoir on the Missouri River near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, but protesters objected, saying the project could damage the tribe's water supply and destroy sacred Native American sites. Trump, who owns stock in Energy Transfer Partners, the company building the pipeline, has expressed desire to see the pipeline completed, as has House Speaker Paul Ryan. The Army said alternative routes for the $3.8 billion, 1,172-mile project would have to be explored.
Navajo Nation files $160 million claim over gold mine spill
The Navajo Nation announced Monday that it had filed a $160 million claim under the Federal Tort Claims Act for damages and injuries from the August 2015 Gold King Mine spill. The spill released millions of gallons of toxic waste laden with heavy metals that flowed into the Animas River outside Silverton, Colorado. The incident forced the tribe to monitor the environment and the health of people in communities on the Navajo Reservation, which joins the Animas in Farmington, New Mexico. The tribe filed a lawsuit against the federal Environmental Protection Agency, which has claimed responsibility for the spill, in August.