The daily business briefing: January 22, 2018
Amazon opens its automated grocery store, stock futures edge down as the government shutdown continues, and more
Amazon launches first automated grocery store
Amazon plans to open its first automated grocery store, Amazon Go, on Monday, after nearly a year's delay. Amazon says the store will have "no lines, no checkouts, no registers." It instead relies on automated "Just Walk Out" checkout technology, scanning a code on the shopper's Amazon Go app, then tracking them using scanning and Artificial Intelligence technology, and charging them for whatever they take out of the store. Some of the technology has been used in the development of driverless cars. The first 1,800-square-foot mini-market is located in Seattle. It has gone through testing in beta mode, open only to employees, after its original early 2017 launch date was postponed.
Stock futures edge down as government shutdown enters third day
U.S. stock futures fell slightly as the partial government shutdown entered its third day on Monday. S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 futures were down by just 0.1 percent, while Dow futures fell by 0.2 percent and the dollar edged lower. "People know this is just a political show," said Brown Brothers Harriman senior currency strategist Masashi Murata. The Senate adjourned Sunday without a deal, leaving hundreds of thousands of federal workers to be furloughed on Monday. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) postponed a procedural vote until noon Monday, a sign of progress, although he did not immediately win over Democrats by promising a February vote on extending protections for hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children.
Macron pitches France to business leaders heading to Davos
French President Emmanuel Macron will host global business leaders at the Palace of Versailles on Monday, trying to sell them on his new pro-business policies as they head to this week's global economic forum in Davos, Switzerland. Many investors complain about France's high labor costs and tough regulations, and Macron, a former investment banker, is pushing through business-friendly reforms. President Trump has been planning to go to Davos, but his plans are in flux due to ongoing negotiations to end the government shutdown.
Sanofi to by Bioverativ, maker of hemophilia drug
French health-care group Sanofi has agreed to buy hemophilia-drug maker Bioverativ for about $11.6 billion. The deal values Bioverativ, a spinoff from biotech giant Biogen Inc., at $105 per share, a 64 percent premium over its Friday closing price. Sanofi shares fell by about 3 percent in Paris trading early Monday after the news was released. The acquisition is Sanofi's largest in seven years. It gives the French company new treatments for rare blood disorders as it tries to offset revenue lost to cheaper competitors to its best-selling insulin Lantus.
Jumanji leads the box office for 3rd straight weekend
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle led the weekend box office for the third straight week. Its haul of $20 million easily beat out new releases 12 Strong and Den of Thieves. 12 Strong, an Afghan war drama, came in second with $16.5 million, with Den of Thieves close behind at $15.3 million. Fox's The Post was fourth at $12 million. Sony's Jumanji has shown unusually strong staying power. It came in second its first two weeks, behind Star Wars: The Last Jedi, before it surged into the lead. Over the most recent weekend it only declined by 28 percent. It has now made $317 million in North America over 33 days, the 61st best overall take in history.