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Tesla Announces 5-for-1 Stock Split: Live Updates

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Credit…An Rong Xu for The New York Times

Tesla said Tuesday that its board had approved a five-for-one split in its soaring stock.

The company’s share price has risen more than 500 percent over the last year, making Tesla one of the most highly valued car companies in the world, even though it sells far fewer vehicles than its industry peers. Tesla’s shares closed at $1,374.39 on Tuesday and jumped more than 6 percent in extended trading.

Investors will receive a dividend of four additional shares for each share they own on Aug. 21. Those shares will be distributed after trading closes on Aug. 28 and the stock will begin trading on a “split-adjusted basis” on Aug. 31, the company said in a brief statement.

Tesla surprised analysts last month when it reported a profit of $104 million in the second quarter despite having closed its main factory in Fremont, Calif., for nearly two months because of the coronavirus pandemic. That profit positioned the company for inclusion in the S&P 500 index, which could prompt a surge in demand from mutual funds and other large institutional investors.

A late reversal dragged Wall Street lower on Tuesday, delaying the S&P 500’s return to a record by at least another day as shares of large technology companies weighed down the broader market.

The S&P 500, which came close to hitting its Feb. 19 high of 3386.15 earlier in the day, was down nearly 1 percent. The Nasdaq composite fell by more than 1.5 percent.

The pullback was striking because stocks had been higher for most of the day, after climbing for seven consecutive sessions. It came after the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, said on Fox News that talks over a new spending plan to bolster the economy had reached a stalemate. After federal unemployment benefits and a moratorium on evictions expired last month, lawmakers have proved unable to reach an agreement on the further spending that many economists say is vital to protecting the economy from an even sharper downturn.

Shares of some of the biggest technology companies — like Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft continued to weigh on the market on Tuesday. Those firms, with gigantic market values, have soared this year, as investors bet heavily that their business model put them in position to dominate the stay-at-home economy.

And because their enormous market capitalization — Apple is flirting with the never-before-seen level of $2 trillion — gives them outsize influence in market-cap weighted indexes such as the S&P 500, their declines this week have ensured that the overall gains for the index have been muted.

Still, Tuesday’s pullback was small and comes after the S&P 500 had climbed about 50 percent from its lowest point in late March. That rally has been fueled by a handful of factors: the Federal Reserve’s pledge to do whatever it takes to back the economy, high levels of spending by Washington and a rally in the shares of large technology companies.

But the broad gains have also discounted a number of threats to the rosy outlook suggested by the record. Policymakers have warned that some of the damage caused by the pandemic, in particular the closure of small businesses and job losses, will not be undone so quickly.

Big retail chains are closing their doors and filing for bankruptcy on a regular basis, and the pace of hiring has slowed: Employers added 1.8 million jobs last month, well below the 4.8 million jump in payrolls in June.

Credit…Erik Voake/Getty Images

The corporate restructuring at WarnerMedia continued with layoffs in its DC Entertainment division, home of DC Comics and the DC Universe streaming platform, part of an overhaul that will reduce head count by 600.

The move comes after the ouster of three top executives on Friday in a shake-up by WarnerMedia’s new chief executive, Jason Kilar, who is realigning the company to put a greater focus on HBO Max, its new streaming service. WarnerMedia, a division of AT&T, began a significant round of layoffs on Monday.

“Disciplined companies have to make tough decisions,” Mr. Kilar said in an interview on Friday.

Nearly 50 people at DC Comics were laid off, said two people with knowledge of the decision who spoke on condition of anonymity because it had not been announced publicly. DC Direct, the company’s division devoted to collectibles, will be shuttered in November, these people said.

Departing executives in the publishing division reportedly include Bob Harras, the editor in chief of DC Comics; Bobbie Chase, the vice president of global publish initiatives; and Brian Cunningham, Mark Doyle and Andy Khouri, all editors.

The DC Universe service was introduced in 2018, but much of its original content has migrated to HBO Max, which signed up 4.1 million subscribers in its first month.

The news was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter.

Credit…Alexander Zemlianichenko Jr/Associated Press

The Russian economy plunged into a deep contraction in the second quarter, shrinking 8.5 percent compared with the same period a year earlier, as the country coped with restrictive coronavirus lockdowns, the state statistics agency reported Tuesday.

But it was not the steepest quarterly drop on record for Russia, in contrast with the second-quarter plunge in other major economies, including the United States. In the post-Soviet period, Russia’s output fell faster twice before, during economic crises in 1998 and 2009. The drop in the second quarter of 2009, for comparison, was 11.2 percent.

The country is no stranger to boom and bust cycles, as its economy depends heavily on the volatile global prices for oil, a major export commodity. Oil prices plunged in the second quarter, partly because of a steep fall in demand because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Russian statistics agency said the slowdown hit all sectors of the economy other than agriculture. Oil and mining, a backbone of Russia’s economy, suffered in particular, the agency said.

The slump has reverberated in Russian politics. President Vladimir V. Putin’s popularity has slumped, and a post-lockdown protest movement gained traction in the Siberian city of Khabarovsk. Output picked up and oil prices have recovered over the summer. The Russian ministry of economy has estimated that the economy will decline 4.8 percent for the full year.

Credit…September Dawn Bottoms/The New York Times

David M. Solomon has been trying to burnish his leadership style since he became chief executive of Goldman Sachs in October 2018.

If stockholders were scratching their heads at the direction of the bank under Mr. Solomon, employees weren’t much clearer on what kind of leader he was. Then the pandemic hit, presenting Mr. Solomon with the biggest leadership challenge — and opportunity — of his short time atop the bank.

The crisis has shown Mr. Solomon to be a deft navigator who quickly adapted to changes that caught some of his bank’s bigger competitors flat-footed.

When New York went into lockdown in March, Mr. Solomon sent most of the bank’s 40,000 employees home immediately and blessed the firm’s procurement of thousands of monitors and landline phone systems for use in home offices. He also got on hundreds of Zoom calls with clients to reassure them that Goldman would help see them through their mounting obstacles — and not necessarily for a fee.

Goldman’s early embrace of working from home helped traders capitalize on surging market activity in the first and second quarters. Their efforts pushed the firm’s stock and bond-trading revenues to recent records, while minimizing disruptions and encouraging worker loyalty.

With nearly half the bank’s employees under the age of 30, his messaging appears attuned to the mores of a changing finance industry. Already, Mr. Solomon — a yogi and music lover — had brought a different vibe to the job, ripping up the firm’s stodgy dress code and talking about bringing one’s “whole self” to work. In managing Goldman’s response to the virus, he is also becoming an unlikely poster boy for a softer era on Wall Street, where personal well-being can take precedence over profits and displaying anxieties isn’t a matter of embarrassment.

Credit…Elijah Nouvelage/Reuters

Airline stocks jumped for a second day on Tuesday, after government data showed that travel has picked up in recent days.

Southwest Airlines was one of the best performing stocks in the S&P 500 with a gain about 3 percent. Delta Air Lines and American Airlines were also climbing, adding to Monday’s gains of more than 7 percent.

The gains come after Transportation Security Administration data showed that the agency screened more than 830,000 people at its airport checkpoints on Sunday, about 31 percent of the number screened on the same day last year. By that relative measure, it was the third best travel day of the pandemic, behind only the days leading up to the July 4 holiday.

While a relative high point, the number of passengers screened on Sunday is a figure that highlights the severity of the slump in travel that airlines still face.

But, in part because it shows that the most recent surge in coronavirus cases nationwide hasn’t deterred some travelers, the data was taken as good news. Passenger screenings on Monday continued the trend.

The screening data and stock increases are positive developments for an industry undergoing one of the worst financial crises in its history. Airline share prices are still about half of what they were in February and the number of people flying is unlikely to come even close to 2019 levels for another few years. Last month, United Airlines said it didn’t expect demand to recover any more than 50 percent until a vaccine is widely distributed.

Airlines are also preparing for a day of reckoning on Oct. 1, when a federal moratorium on mass layoffs that was part of a stimulus package is lifted. Tens of thousands of workers are expected to be laid off, though a union-led effort to extend the funding that protected their jobs has won bipartisan support in Congress and the White House.

Credit…Andrew Testa for The New York Times

Even with a vast and costly government furlough program, the British labor market recorded its largest drop in employment since 2009 last quarter. Between April and June, when the country was under tight restrictions to control the spread of the coronavirus, the number of people with a job fell by 220,000 from the preceding quarter, official statistics showed on Tuesday.

The job losses hit those under 25 and over 65 disproportionately, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Though the unemployment rate held at 3.9 percent, that disguises the widespread impact of the pandemic. The jobless rate counts only people who are actively looking for another job, so it does not include those who are furloughed or don’t think they can find a job.

The statistics agency also said there was a record low number of hours worked in the quarter. The number of people who work with no minimum hours per week, on so-called zero-hour contracts, increased 17 percent compared with a year ago, to over a million. And pay fell, the first decline in pay not adjusted for inflation since records began in 2001.

The Office for National Statistics estimated that in June, 7.5 million people were temporarily not working, including furloughed employees.

There was a small increase in job vacancies among small businesses in July, but this positive sign could be dwarfed by a surge in layoffs as the furlough program is wound down. One-third of British businesses said they expected to cut jobs by the end of September, according to a survey by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and the Adecco Group. Debenhams, a chain of more than 100 department stores, said on Tuesday that it was cutting 2,500 jobs.

Credit…Anna Moneymaker for The New York Times

State officials on Monday said they didn’t know how President Trump’s plan to provide a $400 supplement to unemployment payments would work. Mr. Trump’s action called for most recipients to get an extra $300 a week from federal disaster funds, leaving the states to supply $100.

Funds to cover the state’s portion “simply does not exist,” said Gov. Gavin Newsom of California, a Democrat.

Gov. Tate Reeves of Mississippi, a Republican, said he had not decided whether to take part in the program because of concerns over the cost. “This is not as easy of an answer as some might think,” he said.

Companies had a similar reaction to the idea of deferring payroll taxes until the end of the year. Many companies and employees might be hesitant to opt into what the president called a tax holiday because it is not clear whether Congress will eventually forgive the deferred taxes, or if the full sum will be due at a later date.

“We’re awaiting guidance from the U.S. Treasury Department on the payroll tax deferral, and we’ll make decisions on implementation once that’s been provided,” said Randy Hargrove, a spokesman for Walmart, the country’s largest private employer, with 1.5 million workers.

One option some employers might consider is to continue withholding the tax and repay workers later if it is eventually forgiven. That option would, of course, defeat the purpose of stimulating the economy now when it could use the help.

Credit…Sam Hodgson for The New York Times

With the historic economic turmoil caused by the coronavirus comes the potential for even worse inequality. Major companies have created a new effort, accelerated by the pandemic, to work with universities, the city and other groups to create new curriculums and apprenticeships over the next decade, reports David Gelles:

A coalition of 28 major companies including Mastercard, Marriott and Verizon has pledged to hire 100,000 low-income and Black, Latino and Asian workers in New York City over the next 10 years, part of a broader push by corporate America to expand economic opportunities to marginalized communities.

The companies are funding the creation of a nonprofit organization, the New York Jobs C.E.O. Council, which they say will work with universities, the city government and other nonprofit groups to prepare a new generation of New Yorkers for high-paying jobs at some of the country’s biggest companies.

Details are scant, but the initiative has attracted the support of many of the most powerful chief executives in the country, including Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Laurence D. Fink of BlackRock, Satya Nadella of Microsoft and Sundar Pichai of Google.

Those involved with the new group say it will work to develop programs intended to prepare low-income and minority students for jobs at the companies.

“It might be that they help us create curriculum,” said Félix V. Matos Rodríguez, chancellor of the City University of New York. “It might be that they help us create apprenticeships.”

  • SoftBank on Tuesday announced that it had swung back into the black, posting a $12 billion net profit for the three-month period that ended in June. Just four months ago, the company had announced one of the largest annual losses of any firm in the history of corporate Japan. But asset sales and a hot stock market helped fuel a rebound for the beleaguered Japanese conglomerate, which runs the world’s largest tech fund.

  • Hertz Global Holdings reported on Monday that its global revenue plummeted 67 percent in the second quarter from the year before, a decline that contributed to an $847 million loss and the car rental company’s decision in May to file for bankruptcy. The company said business improved ahead of the Fourth of July holiday, but a rise in coronavirus cases across the South and West has since slowed demand again.

  • WarnerMedia began a significant round of layoffs on Monday that will see its ranks decline by 600 people, according to two people with knowledge of the layoffs who were not authorized to speak publicly. The majority of the job losses were at Warner Bros. Entertainment. More layoffs are expected, the people said. The company has a global work force of 7,000. WarnerMedia’s new chief executive, Jason Kilar, is realigning WarnerMedia to put more emphasis on its new streaming service, HBO Max, which pulled in 4.1 million subscribers in its first month.

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Eshkawkogan featured in Top 100 Magazine of country’s business professionals

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Kevin Eshkawkogan, the president and CEO of Indigenous Tourism Ontario, is featured in an issue of The Top 100 Magazine for Canadian business professionals. – Photo supplied

By Sam Laskaris

LITTLE CURRENT – Kevin Eshkawkogan had a simple request when he was approached to be featured in a prestigious magazine.

Eshkawkogan, the president and CEO of Indigenous Tourism Ontario (ITO), was asked to be in an issue of The Top 100 Magazine. The issue focusses on the Top 100 Canadian business professionals.

“They reached out to me,” said Eshkawkogan, a member of M’Chigeeng First Nation who lives in Little Current on Manitoulin Island. “They saw my name coming up in multiple places.”

Though flattered by the interest, Eshkawkogan stressed he was not interested in an article strictly about him. He wanted the focus to be on the ITO.

“They wanted to do the story on me, just as an individual,” he said. “But the work I do is not for my well-being, it’s for the community good. I didn’t think it should just be a celebration of the work I do. It’s a celebration of the Indigenous tourism work we do.”

Besides being a member of M’Chigeeng First Nation, Eshkawkogan also has plenty of connections with a pair of other First Nations on Manitoulin Island.

His mother is from the Aundeck Omni Kaning First Nation, which is also where his current business office is located. And his father is from Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory, while his stepfather is a M’Chigeeng First Nation member.

As of this year, the ITO had more than 550 Indigenous tourism business members. The association also has about 300 members that represent non-Indigenous tourism businesses.

Eshkawkogan admits the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has been a tremendous blow to many ITO members this year.

Restrictions forced many of those businesses to close their doors for months. And even many of those that have been able to recently open up again are facing significant losses and financial difficulties.

“Businesses are still closing, basically daily,” Eshkawkogan said. “We’re crossing our fingers some of these will be temporary.”

Indigenous tourism businesses in Ontario cover many sectors, including restaurants and businesses offering cultural experiences, camping, hotels, lodges and tours.

Eshkawkogan believes there is and will continue to be a great need for Indigenous tourism businesses in the province. And he’s confident that one day, the industry will once again be a booming one.

“Indigenous people are very resilient people,” he said. “And Indigenous tourism businesses are resilient. We’ve got a great recipe to come back even stronger.”

As an example, Eshkawkogan mentioned Anishinaabe/Algonquin chef Johl Whiteduck Ringuette, who closed his popular NishDish restaurant in Toronto recently.

“He’s very much a forward-thinker,” Eshkawkogan said. “I know they’re going to come back.”

Eshkawkogan realizes, however, it is going to take some time for the Indigenous tourism industry to recover in the province.

ITO has created a five-year strategic and COVID-19 recovery plan.

“We will be back, stronger than ever,” he said.

Eshkawkogan added the ITO officials have realized since March how much of an impact the pandemic will have on the Indigenous tourism industry in the province.

The ITO released information on the potential economic impacts the pandemic would have in both March and April. And ITO released its recovery plan in June.

“We’re proud of the work we do with Indigenous tourism businesses in Ontario,” he said.

Eshkawkogan is also heavily involved in hockey. He is currently the District 7 council director for the Northern Ontario Hockey Association.



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Bruce Power recertified at highest level by Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business

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Bruce Power has been awarded a Gold level certification for the third time by Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) for excellence in Indigenous relations.

This is the highest level of recognition offered by the CCAB. Bruce Power was awarded gold in 2014 and 2017, and the company is one of only 18 in Canada to have received the designation.

“We’re honoured to have received this recognition for a third time, and we are grateful to Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business for its recognition of our efforts,” said David Abbott, Bruce Power’s Director, Indigenous Relations and Business Partnerships. “We’ve spent many years forging a strong relationship with the Indigenous communities which host our site upon their traditional territories. We have listened to and learned from each other, and have collaborated on many projects that will have lasting benefits for Indigenous communities.”

The Progressive Aboriginal Relations (PAR) Program is a comprehensive initiative offered by CCAB that supports improvement and best practices in Indigenous relations. A gold-certified company means the PAR criteria is ingrained at all levels of the business, driven through policy, strategy, mature processes and innovative enhancements over a number of years. A gold organization has a high level of appreciation of the significance of positive Indigenous relations. They are a role model for Indigenous relations with a continuous-improvement philosophy, with positive results and good support from Indigenous communities.

“We are thrilled that yet again, Bruce Power has demonstrated its commitment to Indigenous prosperity and economic reconciliation supported by our PAR program,” said Tabatha Bull, president and CEO, Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business. “This gold certification demonstrates the company’s dedication to Indigenous relations through all aspects of their business.

“Congratulations on your hard work, Bruce Power.”

Bruce Power submitted its PAR application in June, the details of which were then verified by an independent third party in August. Bruce Power’s outcomes and initiatives in four performance areas – employment, business development, community investment and community engagement – were reviewed by a jury of Indigenous business people before the gold designation was granted.

“I want to congratulate Bruce Power for its third recertification by CCAB for their exceptional relationships with Indigenous communities across the province,” said Greg Rickford, Ontario’s Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, and Minister of Indigenous Affairs. “Bruce Power continues to develop meaningful partnerships with Indigenous businesses and communities across the province, helping to build a robust nuclear industry and supply chain here in Ontario.”

To learn more about the CCAB visit www.ccab.com. To learn more about Bruce Power’s Indigenous Relations program, visit www.brucepower.com/in-the-community/community-programs/indigenous-relations/.

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Fed up with city council, business owner withdraws offer to donate amber lights for Winnipeg school zones

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Chuck Lewis says he’s had enough with bureaucracy and politics at Winnipeg’s city hall, and is pulling an offer to install amber flashing lights in Winnipeg school zones.

“It’s been going on long and the cost goes up every year … so at some point, you have to just take a step back,” Lewis said Thursday.

The owner of Expert Electric initially made an offer more than five years ago to donate two solar-powered flashing lights in each city school zone.

The city launched a process to examine the proposal and accepted the gift in 2019, but there were many details to sort out in a formal agreement.

A draft agreement would have seen Lewis install 480 units, at a minimum rate of two units per month.

The city eventually determined some school zones needed more than two units, and said it would need to install 391 additional lights, at an estimated cost of nearly $1.4 million. There was no approved budget for the additional lights.

Lewis installed some flashing lights last winter on Bedson Street, to pilot his offer of installing two lights per school zone across the city. (Jeff Stapleton/CBC)

Lewis says he signed an agreement with the city this spring on the donation, but was later told the employee with whom he’d signed the document had left their job, and it needed to be redone. 

He finally threw in the towel on Thursday, when he heard decisions on the donation had been referred to another committee.

“I thought this fall we were rolling this out,” he said.

The matter was the subject of much back-and-forth between councillors on the city’s property, planning and development committee and members of the city’s public service at the committee’s Thursday meeting.

Among other issues, concerns were raised about which zones might be equipped first, whether priority would be given to those that had higher instances of speeding tickets, how the city would budget for its costs, and whether the property and planning committee was even the appropriate place to discuss traffic and public works issues.

“I would hate to see us lose a willing partner in this,” said chair Cindy Gilroy (Daniel McIntyre) before the councillors voted.

That’s what happened in the end — after the committee voted three to one in favour of sending the matter to the city’s executive policy committee, Lewis withdrew his offer.

Waverely West Coun. Janice Lukes was the lone dissenter in the vote. 

“It’s been here for two years and I think we really need to make a decision on this,” she said.

Lewis, for his part, was fed up with the process.

“This whole thing is about children’s safety and not money. And why wouldn’t you start rolling out the lights? The only reason they’re not, it’s about the money,” Lewis told CBC News.

The electrical contractor rejected the idea he should stick out the process at city hall, saying his own personal costs had risen beyond what he’d expected. After several years of trying, he says he saw no end to the delays in getting the project completed. 

“You’re constantly fighting or trying to wrap your mind around what you can do next to try to get it passed.”

Politicians express regret at loss of donation 

Coun. Kevin Klein (Charleswood-Tuxedo-Westwood), who had championed Lewis’s cause, expressed dismay the donation had been rescinded.

“I’m going to work with Mr. Lewis and others to bring it back in a different fashion and try to find another way,” Klein said. “It is really disappointing to see this become political.”

In a statement, Gilroy said the loss of the offer was “unfortunate.”

Mayor Brian Bowman also expressed regret through a spokesperson.

“The mayor has been supportive of accepting the donation and will discuss this matter with his council colleagues, and have more to say after Monday’s [executive policy committee] meeting,” the statement said.

Lewis says he may consider starting the process again, but not until there is a change of government at city hall.

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