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United Airlines (O:UAL) and American Airlines (O:AAL): Said on Thursday they will scrap change fees for long-haul international flights, mirroring their move on domestic flights in a bid to revive bookings and air travel demand hit by the pandemic.
The COVID-19 crisis has weakened one of the core elements of the airline playbook: price many fares attractively low, then charge for ticket changes. American Airlines (O:AAL) said it will eliminate change fees for first class, business class, premium economy and main cabin tickets for all long-haul international flying, if the travel originates in North or South America.
United said it will announce an extension of its change fee waiver for basic economy and international tickets later this year “to continue to offer more flexibility to all customers who travel with us.”
Samsung Electronics’: Wearable device sales are up by more than 30% this year, a senior executive at the world’s largest consumer electronics and smartphone company told CNBC.
Taejong Jay Yang, senior vice president at Samsung Electronics, said consumers are buying wearable products that they can use to monitor their health during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Although a majority of consumers plan to spend less this year due to the pandemic, wearable device sales have grown by 30% or more compared to last year,” Yang told Chery Kang, in a CNBC interview as part of the annual East Tech West conference.
Tesla (O:TSLA): Tesla Inc (O:TSLA) extended its rally on Thursday ahead of its December debut in the S&P 500 (SPX), with its market value nearing $500 billion, highlighting the growing domination of mega-cap growth stocks within Wall Street’s main benchmark.
The California company’s stock rose 2.6% and is up over 20% since S&P Dow Jones Indices announced on Monday it would add Tesla to the index as of Dec. 21, a change that will force index funds to buy around $50 billion of its stock.
The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated cloud computing, online shopping and other trends that have helped the largest U.S. companies, including Apple Inc (O:AAPL), Microsoft Corp (O:MSFT), Amazon.com Inc (O:AMZN) and Facebook Inc (O:FB), extend their leads over smaller rivals, driving their shares higher and increasing their already-massive influence within stock indexes.
BuzzFeed: On Thursday bought news website HuffPost from Verizon Communications Inc (N:VZ) in the latest sign of consolidation in the online media world.
The deal brings two once-hot digital properties – viewed as the future of news media but which have suffered from competition for ad dollars from Alphabet’s (O:GOOGL) Google and Facebook (O:FB) – under the control of one of HuffPost’s co-founders.
Verizon, which also owns Yahoo and TechCrunch, said it will invest in the new combined company and take a minority stake.
The companies will syndicate content across each other’s platforms, explore monetization opportunities and leverage ad formats, the companies said in a statement.
Boeing Co (N:BA): A day after Boeing Co (N:BA) received approval for its 737 MAX to fly again following a 20-month grounding, its two largest U.S. and European customers signalled caution on their order books as they monitor demand in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
U.S. based Southwest Airlines (N:LUV), Boeing’s largest customer worldwide, said this week it would just take new MAX jets to replace jets it’s retiring rather than grow its fleet, and on Thursday raised the prospect of scaling back its fleet due to the pandemic.
“If demand is going to be persistently depressed, we can retire and not need to take airplanes as replacements,” Southwest Chief Executive Gary Kelly told journalists.
When the 737 MAX was grounded globally in March 2019 following two fatal crashes, airlines cancelled flights because they lacked enough airplanes to meet strong travel demand.