Delivery service Uber Eats is nearing the end of its fourth quarter, the company said in a press release. The credit… Mark Abramson for The New York Times.
While Uber’s meal deliveries remain slow due to pandemic-related travel restrictions, the company said Wednesday that its meal deliveries are booming.
Mr. Uber said total revenue in the fourth quarter of last year was $3.2 billion, down 16% from the previous year. Losses for the quarter improved 12% to $968 million.
The number of hailstorms decreased sharply in the first days of the pandemic. Despite some recovery, Uber is not yet back to its early 2019 levels.
But food delivery was positive. Delivery orders were up 128%, while transportation orders were down 47% from the fourth quarter of 2019, the company said. Uber Eats, the company’s delivery division, generated $1.35 billion in revenue in the fourth quarter, almost more than the $1.47 billion in revenue from its trucking business.
The question for Wall Street is whether Uber Eats will grow faster than rivals like Grubhub and DoorDash, which will announce their results later this month. “The focus is on growth,” said Tom White, senior analyst at D.A. Davidson. “Who is gaining market share?”
Last year, Uber sold several of its loss-making businesses, including a stand-alone vehicle development group and a motorcycle and scooter rental company. The company doubled its delivery business with the acquisition of Postmates, a competing food delivery service, and Drizly, a liquor delivery service.
“While the year 2020 has certainly tested our resilience, it has also significantly accelerated our local business opportunities, with our delivery business more than doubling in a year,” said Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Uber.
Bruce Springsteen in 2017, his Super Bowl commercial for Jeep was his first appearance in a Sarah Krulwich/New York Times commercial …..
After courting Bruce Springsteen for years to feature in its first commercial, Jeep withdrew the ad Wednesday after it was announced that the rock legend had been charged with drunk driving in November.
The two-minute spot, featuring Springsteen in the campaign calling for unity in a white Jeep, was filmed and aired during Sunday’s Super Bowl last month. The broadcast, the biggest television event of the year, cost most advertisers $5.5 million for 30 seconds.
The charges against Springsteen, including reckless driving and driving under the influence in New Jersey on November 14, were announced Wednesday. His first virtual trial is scheduled for late February.
Jeep has removed the Super Bowl ad, created by a team of creatives selected by Mr. Springsteen, from its Twitter and YouTube pages. The ad became the second most viewed game video on YouTube on Sunday night, behind Amazon’s ads and ahead of those of Cadillac and Uber Eats, according to the platform.
In a statement, Jeep said, “It would be inappropriate to comment on the details of a case that we have only read about and cannot substantiate. However, it is also true that we are suspending our advertising of the Big Game until the true facts are established.”
“Their message of unity and community is more relevant than ever,” the company said. “As is the message that drinking and driving can never be justified.”
Jim Farley, Ford’s CEO, with the F-150 pickup. Ford hopes to sell an all-electric version of the truck by mid-2022. credit…Rebecca Cook/Reuters
A Korean company can go ahead with plans to produce batteries for electric cars for Ford Motor and Volkswagen, the U.S. Trade Council said Wednesday. But the decision places additional restrictions on SK Innovation, which is embroiled in an intellectual property dispute with another Korean battery maker.
The U.S. International Trade Commission issued its ruling in response to a complaint by LG Energy Solution, which accused SK Innovation of stealing trade secrets. The dispute has become significant for the automotive industry, as SK has signed contracts to supply batteries to Volkswagen for cars to be produced next year in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and to Ford for an electric version of its best-selling F-150.
Ford welcomed the decision, saying it “supports our plans to bring the all-electric Ford F-150 to market in mid-2022.
LG claims that SK used stolen trade secrets to develop lithium-ion battery cells and kits for cars. It has asked the Commission to prohibit SK from introducing this technology.
The Commission concluded that SK was misusing intellectual property and decided to prohibit the company from importing batteries, cells or battery packs using the disputed technology for ten years. But an exception was made for batteries that SK plans to produce at a plant in Georgia for Volkswagen for two years and for Ford for four years.
“SKI’s total disregard for our warnings and intellectual property rights leaves us no choice but to file this lawsuit, and we are grateful to the International Trade Commission for protecting our innovation and significant economic investment in the United States,” said Jong Hyun Kim, CEO of LG Energy Solution, in a statement.
SK plans to invest $2.6 billion to build a factory in Commerce, The Hague, and eventually employ up to 2,600 workers. The first phase of the plant is nearing completion.
The Trade Commission’s decision is not final. President Biden may decide to reverse the trend – a measure former President Barack Obama used in the dispute between Apple and Samsung over smartphones.
SK said in a statement that it is “deeply concerned about the commercial and operational consequences of this decision” for the future of the plant under construction in Georgia.
The company said it would consult with Ford and Volkswagen and try to discuss the decision with the Biden administration.
“We also believe that the I.T.C.’s decision could have a major negative impact on President Biden’s policy of combating climate change and expanding the electrification of the U.S. vehicle fleet in the coming years,” SK said.
The station describes the “Greg Gutfeld Show” as “an hour of comedy with news parodies and reference monologues.” The credit… Robert Stolarik for The New York Times.
Fox News is moving its 11 p.m. time slot to a new format for the network: late night.
The “Greg Gutfeld Show,” which the station describes as “an hour of comedy with news parodies and iconic monologues,” will air on weeknights starting at the end of the year, in addition to its current weekly Saturday night slot. Gutfeld, a libertarian presenter, will also continue in his current role as co-host of “The Five,” the network announced Wednesday.
In recent weeks, Fox News has changed the format of some of its most watched hours to the right, replacing earlier programs that focused on news coverage. Mr. Gutfeld’s show will be featured until midnight on the daily news program “Fox News @ Night,” hosted by Shannon Bream.
Last month, the station changed its 7 p.m. news program, previously presented by presenter Martha McCallum, to an opinion program under the name “Fox News Primetime.” The new 7 p.m. program was presented by a rotating group of pro-Trump presenters, including Maria Bartiromo and Brian Kilmeade. Ms. McCallum now airs her news at 3 p.m.
Mr. Gutfeld began his career in magazines and was editor-in-chief of Men’s Health, Stuff and Maxim UK. From 2007 to 2015, he hosted the Fox News talk show Red Eye, which attracted many guests, including writer Christopher Hitchens and some stars of the New York gossip blogging scene.
The federal budget deficit rose to $163 billion in January as the government pumped more money into the economy to combat the pandemic, the Treasury Department said Wednesday.
The growing red ink reflects the toll the pandemic took on the U.S. economy last year and has led to growing political concern as lawmakers rush to approve a new aid package that could cost nearly $2 trillion.
The deficit was a record for the month of January. The United States ran a record deficit of $736 billion for the current fiscal year as spending continues to rise faster than government revenues.
The deficit is significantly larger than a year earlier, when the government posted a $33 billion deficit in January and a $389 billion deficit in the first four months of the fiscal year. A Treasury Department official said payments for the stimulus bill and unemployment insurance contributed to the deficit.
On Thursday, the Congressional Budget Office will release its 10-year economic outlook and its budget outlook. These figures should reveal the difficult financial situation the United States is in.
Republicans have expressed growing concern about the debt and deficit since President Biden took office, ignoring the significant spending under his Republican predecessor, President Donald J. Trump.
Leftist economists are debating how much stimulus is needed and how it should be targeted to prevent the economy from overheating.
The Biden administration and Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen have urged lawmakers to approve a strong package, arguing that the cost of too little help for struggling workers outweighs the risk of inflation that can be contained.
Fed chief calls for investment in jobs
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome H. Powell said Wednesday in a speech to the Economic Club of New York that maximizing employment after a pandemic would require “a commitment from the entire society.”
In the immediate future, measures to end the pandemic as soon as possible are of paramount importance. In addition, domestic workers struggling to find their place in the post-pandemic economy will likely need continued support. The same is true for many small businesses, which are expected to return to prosperity once the pandemic is over. Given the number of people who have lost their jobs and the likelihood that some of them will have difficulty finding work in the post-pandemic period, obtaining and retaining as many jobs as possible will require more than monetary support. This will require activism on the part of government and the private sector. The potential benefits of investing in our country’s workforce are enormous. A steady job is more than just a regular wage. It also gives meaning to life, improves mental health, increases life expectancy, and benefits workers and their families. I am confident that with the combined efforts of the government and the private sector, our country will make steady progress toward our national goal of maximum employment.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome H. Powell said Wednesday in his address to the Economic Club of New York that “public engagement” is needed to maximize employment after the pandemic.CreditCredit…Al Drago for the New York Times
While some leading economists fear the government is overreacting to the pandemic and driving up prices, the country’s leading inflation fighter has a message: policymakers should focus on restoring full employment.
“Given the number of people who have lost their jobs and the likelihood that some will struggle to find work in a post-pandemic economy, getting and keeping as many jobs as possible will require more than monetary policy support,” Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome H. Powell said Wednesday in a speech to the Economic Club of New York. “It will take a commitment from the entire community.
Mr. Powell called measures to end the coronavirus pandemic as soon as possible “a priority” and said that both workers and businesses deprived of their livelihoods by the crisis “will likely need continued support.”
The Fed chairman noted that unemployment remains very high at about 10%, adjusted for misclassification and the recent exodus of workers, compared to 3.5% last February. And he noted that the impact was uneven. For high earners, he said, employment fell by only 4%, while the decline for the lowest quartile was “as much as 17%.”
Separately, he noted that “inflation has been much lower and more stable in the past three decades than in previous periods,” adding that he does not expect inflation to increase in the long run as a result of the pandemic.
“Nothing in the economy is really permanent,” he said of the dynamics of inflation. “But it’s hard to explain why they develop so suddenly.”
Economists often see high employment and low inflation as conflicting goals. Policies to stimulate demand and get workers back to work can also lead to higher wages, as firms compete for talent, prompting them to raise prices both because they have to pass on the higher costs and because impatient consumers will accept these increases.
However, the arithmetic has changed in recent decades as inflation has remained below the Fed’s 2% target even during long periods of very low unemployment.
Nira Tanden, President Biden’s nominee to head the Office of Management and Budget, faces a difficult hearing on the second day. The credit … Anne Moneymaker for The New York Times.
The divisions that remain within the Democratic Party spilled over into the public eye on Tuesday, when the senator was elected. Bernie Sanders, chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, pressured Nira Tanden, Biden’s nominee for chair of the Office of Management and Budget, to donate about $1 million in corporate donations to the Center for American Progress under his leadership.
The intense questioning was a difficult moment for one of Biden’s cabinet members and highlighted the ongoing tensions between the progressive and moderate wings of the Democratic Party. Tanden, president of the liberal think tank Center for American Progress, worked in both the Clinton and Obama administrations and was one of Hillary Clinton’s top advisors during the 2016 presidential campaign.
“Ms. Tanden, at a time when the wealthy and large corporations have an extraordinary influence on the economic and political life of this country, I must tell you that I am concerned about the corporate donations that the Center for American Progress has received under your leadership,” Sanders said in his opening remarks. “Before I vote to confirm your nomination, it is important for this committee to know that these donations will not affect your decision at the W.M.B.”
Sanders cited a report that the center has received at least $38 million from Corporate America since 2014.
Mr. Sanders also asked Ms. Tanden about her criticism of him and his allies.
“There have been vicious attacks against progressives, people I’ve worked with, against me personally,” Sanders said.
Ms. Tanden and Mr. Sanders clashed after the 2016 election, when Mr. Sanders accused Ms. Tanden in 2019 of “insulting my staff and supporters and denigrating progressive ideas” after the independent editorial board of Ms. Tanden’s ThinkProgress criticized Mr. Sanders for the level of his writing fees.
During the first confirmation hearing of the Senate Homeland Security Committee on Tuesday, Tanden came under similar criticism – only from Republicans, who responded to her Twitter posts in the first hour, asking why she had deleted more than 1,000 posts shortly after the November election.
Senator Rob Portman of Ohio read messages in which she called Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the minority leader, “the Mitch of Moscow” and said, “Vampires have more heart than Ted Cruz,” the Republican senator from Texas.
apologized to the committee and said she had deleted some of her tweets because she regretted her tone.
During Wednesday’s hearing, Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, the committee’s lead Republican, said he was not overly concerned about the donations Tanden oversees, but emphasized his criticism of Republicans and Democrats.
“Their contempt was not limited to Republicans,” Graham said. “It was not the unifying choice I was looking for in this job.”
Graham also built on the tension between Ms. Tanden and Mr. Sanders by refuting her previous criticism of the Vermont socialist, including comments suggesting that Russia was trying to help Sanders’ 2016 campaign.
Seriously, this is ridiculous. I’m not one to go after primaries, but what we know now is that Russia has done far more to help Bernie than the random internal DNC emails have helped Hillary. Try looking at the facts. This whole attack is a joke.
– Neera Teeth (@neeratanden) February 18, 2018
In her opening statement on Wednesday, Ms. Tanden stressed that she would work in a bipartisan manner if confirmed. She noted that some of her harsh comments in the past were related to her role as a political activist, and apologized for offending people with her comments on social media.
“I apologize to people on the left and right who were hurt by what I said,” Tanden said.
Michelle Obama will be in front of the camera in the Netflix show “Waffles + Mochi” ….
Michelle Obama will star in a cooking show for children.
Netflix announced this week that Mrs. Obama will be joined by a pair of dolls in a series called “Waffles + Mochi.” The 10-part series begins on March 16.
The series is the latest project from Obama and Barack Obama’s production company, Higher Ground Productions. The Obamas, who signed a deal with Netflix in 2018, have produced three documentaries for the streaming service so far. Mrs. Obama was the focus of “Becoming,” a 2020 documentary that followed her on a book tour after the publication of her eponymous memoir.
Last week, the Obamas announced that they have several screenplay projects in development for Netflix, including an adaptation of Exit West, the acclaimed 2017 refugee novel, and an animated series based on the book by Michael Lewis.
In the cooking show, Mrs. Obama will play a supermarket owner who helps two doll friends, Waffles and Mochi, achieve their dream of becoming chefs. Mrs. Obama has long been an advocate for health and nutrition, and when they signed with Netflix, Obama said they would do a children’s show.
“Waffles + Mochi” has been in development for almost two years. For 2019, Netflix has announced an earlier version of the series, “Listen to Your Vegetables and Eat Your Parents.” The production team for “Waffles + Mochi” includes Erika Tormalen, writer and actress, and Jeremy Conner, producer of Comedy Central’s “A Drinking Story.”
Copper sheathes in submarine cables in 2018. The metal is considered a good indicator of the direction of the global economy. Credit…Chang W. Lee/The New York Times
- The S&P 500 remained unchanged Wednesday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose slightly to reach a new record.
- General Motors has announced a profit of $6.4 billion for 2020. The company reported a $6 billion profit for 2020 as strong sales of pickup trucks and sports cars in the fall offset the disruption caused by the pandemic in the spring. However, inventories were down more than 2%.
- Twitter shares jumped 13% after the company said Tuesday that fourth-quarter revenue rose 28% from a year earlier.
- Lyft jumped 5% after the company’s fourth quarter revenue, although significantly lower than the previous year, was higher than in the previous period.
- Commodity prices hit multi-year highs as traders expect greater demand to support the economic recovery. U.S. benchmark contracts for West Texas Intermediate crude oil rose 0.65 percent to $58.74 a barrel, the highest level since April 2019, before easing. Brent crude oil reached $61.50 per barrel, the highest level since July 2019.
- Copper prices, which have been rising for 10 consecutive months, approached their highest level in eight years in London. Copper is considered a good indicator of the direction of the global economy because it is mainly used for electrical wires that transmit energy.
“New technologies that decarbonize air travel are part of how United will combat global warming,” Scott Kirby, Chief Executive Officer of United Airlines, said in the following speech: …. Chris Helgren/Reuters.
United Airlines plans to invest in and buy up to 200 aircraft from electric cab company Archer Aviation, which announced Wednesday its intention to go public under a deal that Archer says values it at about $3.8 billion.
“Part of the fight against global warming will be led by United through new technologies that decarbonize air transportation,” United CEO Scott Kirby said in a statement on Wednesday. “By partnering with Archer, United is showing the airline industry that it’s time for cleaner, more efficient transportation.
United will invest about $20 million in Archer, and another $5 million from Mesa Airlines, which operates regional flights for United and other carriers. The airline’s preliminary order is estimated at $1 billion, Mr. Archer said in a news release. United said it would not buy the planes until they are available and meet its operational and commercial needs.
The planes, which can reach speeds of 150 mph over a distance of 60 miles, will be used over the next five years to enable United customers to travel in densely populated urban areas or reach corporate hubs quickly, United said. The aircraft, based in Archer, California, will debut later this year, Archer said.
The news follows United’s announcement late last year that it plans to become carbon neutral by 2050, in part by investing in a “direct air capture” facility in Texas that takes carbon dioxide from the air and pumps it underground.
Archer stated that he planned to announce the sale of the company, which is also known as a specialized acquisition firm. The vehicle, Atlas Crest Investment, is affiliated with the investment bank Moelis & Company. The bank’s founder, Ken Moelis, is investing in the deal along with other senior bankers and former Walmart e-commerce manager Marc Lore, providing $600 million in “private equity.” Other investors include new car manufacturer Stellantis.
Mr. Moelis said in an interview that Moelis relies on his bankers, clients and outside advisors to do the due diligence necessary to invest in new aviation technology and CASS.
“We had 35, 40 people – and we tackled it like a growth company like any other,” Moelis said. “And we did it fast.”
United Airlines is a Moelis customer, and the bank expects Archer to be as well.
The company is expected to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ACHR.
- Aunt Jemima officially renamed itself “Pearl Milling Company” on Tuesday, taking another step toward finally abandoning any semblance of a breakfast line that critics say has perpetuated a racial stereotype for more than a century. The new name comes from a factory in St. Joseph, Mo. that pioneered the self-made pancake mix that became known as “Aunt Jemima.”
- Heineken, a major brewer headquartered in Amsterdam, said Wednesday that it would lay off 8,000 employees, or nearly 10 percent of its workforce, as it faces a sharp drop in beer sales in restaurants and bars closed due to the pandemic. The company reported an 18 percent drop in net sales and a 79 percent drop in operating profit by 2020. CEO Dolph van den Brink called it “a year of unprecedented change and transition.”
- Lyft said Tuesday that revenue in the fourth quarter of 2020 was $570 million, down 44 percent from the same period last year, but in line with Wall Street expectations. Losses rose 22 percent to $458.2 million. Revenue for 2020 fell 35 percent to $2.4 billion.
- Twitter on Tuesday reported revenue of $1.29 billion for the fourth quarter of last year, up 28 percent from a year ago and slightly above Wall Street expectations. Profit for the quarter was $222 million, helped by a recovery in revenue after a sharp drop in advertising spending in early 2020. The company lost $1.14 billion for the year.
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