1.APPLE– Apple Inc on Monday became the first company to hit a $3 trillion stock market value, before ending the day a hair below that milestone, as investors bet the iPhone maker will keep launching best-selling products as it explores new markets such as automated cars and virtual reality.
On the first day of trading in 2022, the Silicon Valley company’s shares hit an intraday record high of $182.88, putting Apple’s market value just above $3 trillion. The stock ended the session up 2.5% at $182.01, with Apple’s market capitalization at $2.99 trillion.
The world’s most valuable company reached the milestone as investors bet that consumers will continue to shell out top dollar for iPhones, MacBooks and services such as Apple TV and Apple Music.
“It’s a fantastic accomplishment and certainly worthy to be celebrated,” said Jake Dollarhide, chief executive officer of Longbow Asset Management in Tulsa, Oklahoma. “It just shows you how far Apple has come, and how dominant it is seen as in the majority of investors’ eyes.”
2.TESLA: Tesla ‘s announcement that it has opened a showroom in Xinjiang has attracted criticism from U.S. rights and trade groups, making it the latest foreign firm caught up in tensions related to the far-western Chinese region.
Xinjiang has become a significant point of conflict between Western governments and China in recent years, as U.N. experts and rights groups estimate more than a million people, mainly Uyghurs and members of other Muslim minorities, have been detained in camps there.
China has rejected accusations of forced labour or any other abuses there, saying that the camps provide vocational training and that companies should respect its policies there.
The U.S. electric car maker announced the showroom’s opening in Xinjiang’s regional capital, Urumqi, on its official Weibo account last Friday. “On the last day of 2021 we meet in Xinjiang,” it said in the post.
On Tuesday, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the largest U.S. Muslim advocacy organization, criticised the move, saying that Tesla was “supporting genocide”.
The United States has labelled China’s treatment of ethnic Uyghurs and other Muslims in Xinjiang as genocide. The United States and a few other countries plan a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics in February over the issue.
“Elon Musk must close Tesla’s Xinjiang showroom,” Council on American-Islamic Relations said on its official Twitter account, referring to Tesla’s founder.
3.EVERGRANDE:- Investors in financial products issued by China Evergrande Group protested outside the cash-strapped company’s offices in Guangzhou on Tuesday, with many worried that their returns would be sacrificed to keep real estate projects afloat.
Members of the crowd of roughly 100 people shouted “Evergrande, return our money!”, reprising a chant used by disgruntled investors and suppliers last autumn as the deterioration in its financial position became apparent.
On Friday, Evergrande announced a dial-back of plans to repay investors in its wealth management products, announcing that each could expect 8,000 yuan ($1,256) per month in principal payment for three months starting in January, irrespective of when their investment matures. [L4N2TG17J]
Once China’s top selling developer but now reeling under more than $300 billion in liabilities, Evergrande had previously agreed to repay 10% by the end of the month when the product matured, without specifying an amount.
The change sparked investor fear that they won’t get their money back.
“I think it’s hopeless, and I’m scared, but if we don’t fight for our rights, that’s worse,” said a retired woman surnamed Du who was among those outside Evergrande’s offices in the southern Chinese metropolis and said she had invested one million yuan in Evergrande wealth management products.
4.WALMART:Walmart temporarily shut almost 60 U.S. stores in COVID-19 hotspots in December to sanitize them against the virus, in a sign the new Omicron variant is disrupting the retail industry.
The Walmart stores – in locations including Texas and New Jersey – were closed for two days for cleaning “to present a safe and clean in-store environment for our associates and customers,” a company spokesperson told Reuters in a statement. Walmart has more than 4,700 U.S. locations in total.
The company made no comment on the potential impact of the closures.
It adopted a policy two years ago at the start of the coronavirus pandemic of closing stores for fewer than two days to “get ahead” of potential outbreaks.
“We’ve been closely monitoring our stores across the country, making the decision to temporarily close locations on a store-by-store basis through a collection of market-related data,” the Walmart spokesperson said, declining to confirm that there were staff COVID-19 cases at the closed locations.
The world’s biggest retailer also did not comment on whether it was seeing an increase in workers testing positive for COVID-19.
The United States has seen a spike in cases of the Omicron variant, leading retailers and restaurant chains to temporarily shutter stores and limit access to customers.
One Laurel, Maryland, Walmart facility was closed last week because that community was experiencing coronavirus cases, according to a memo shown to Reuters by two Walmart workers. They said several people at the store had contracted COVID-19, which Walmart declined to confirm. If COVID-related store closures disrupt Walmart’s operations into late January, they could begin to worry some investors, said John Augustine, chief investment officer at Huntington Private Bank, which invests in Walmart, Target (NYSE:TGT) and several other retailers. Walmart rival Target told Reuters it had not closed any Target stores for sanitization or other COVID-related reasons since the start of December. CVS said it had temporarily closed “fewer than 10 locations” for “enhanced cleaning” in that period.
5.STARBUCKS:- Starbucks Corp will require its U.S. workers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo weekly testing in order to comply with new federal mandates, the company said in an update sent to employees on Monday.
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has set a new date of Feb. 9 for large employers to require either full vaccination or weekly testing as the Omicron variant of the coronavirus spreads quickly throughout the United States.
The explosion of new cases has sidelined workers across the country, delaying the start of some schools, closing some restaurants and causing major disruptions at airlines.