The total number of COVID19 cases topped 18.5 Million across the world as of Thursday, according to data from global health authorities. The US, Brazil and India have recorded the highest number of cases.
Lebanon’s health authorities announced that aleast 137 people were killed and 5,000 wounded in Tuesday’s explosion in the capital of Beirut. According to CNN, Lebanon’s health minister warned that coronavirus cases may climb because of interactions between the wounded and doctors without personal protection equipment.
US Jobless Claims
The US Department of Labor on Thursday announced that the number of initial jobless claims for the week ending August 1 declined by 249,000 from last week’s revised figure to 1,186,000 million.
Major Corporate News
Bezos Sells Stake worth $3.1 Bn
Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO has sold $3.15 billion in Amazon shares, according to a filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. The sale represents less than 1% of his total Amazon stake and leaves Bezos with 54.5 million shares of the company worth $174.6 billion.
This is the second sale Jeff Bezos has made this year following a $4.1 Billion sale executed earlier in the year. Shares of Amazon are up by more than 70% since the start of 2020 as per the chart below.
According to CNBC, American tech giant Microsoft will pay between $10 Billion to $30 Billion to acquire Chinese short video app TikTok. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella says that they will pursue discussion in a matter of weeks and expect to complete the discussion no later than September 15, 2020.
However, TikTok’s parent firm, ByteDance, has come out strongly denying these reports according to China’s Global Times.
Digital travel company Booking.com on Tuesday announced plans to lay off at least 25% of it staff. The move will affect about 4300 employees as the firm cites disruption caused by the pandemic.
Toyota, BMW, Quarterly Earnings
Toyota has reported its lowest quarterly profit in nine years as a result of the disruption caused by the global pandemic. The automaker’s operating profit for the three months ended June fell 98% to $131.73 million with consolidated global sales falling 50% to 1.16 million units.
German carmaker, BMW has reported a $786 million loss before interest and taxes in the quarter ending June, down from a 2.2 billion euros operating profit in the year-earlier quarter.