McDonald’s sales down 22 percent as coronavirus ends in-store dining

Coronavirus-related demand sidelines Amazon’s third-party shipping

Amazon is suspending shipping on non-Amazon packages as it struggles to keep up with customer orders during the coronavirus pandemic.

The test program, known as Amazon Shipping, will be paused in June because the e-commerce juggernaut needs to shift its workers toward fulfilling its own orders, the Wall Street Journal reported.

“We regularly look at a variety of factors across Amazon to make sure we’re set up in the right way to best serve our customers,” Amazon said in a statement.

Amazon Shipping is available in a handful of U.S. cities, including Los Angeles, and handles packages that would otherwise go to UPS and FedEx. Shares of those companies soared Wednesday on the news as it will generate more business for them.

The Seattle company is grappling with a demand surge in the United States, where many residents are under stay-at-home orders to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus that is sweeping around the globe.

Amazon has been unable to get many packages to customers in one or two days, as it had promised prior to the epidemic. The company last month banned sellers from shipping any non-essential items to its warehouses as it shifted its focus to demand for basic staple items such as medical supplies and baby products.

The suspension of the Amazon Shipping program will allow the company to focus on its core delivery operation, said Trevor Outman, founder of consultancy Shipware.

Amazon said in March it would hire 100,000 warehouse and delivery workers in the United States to deal with a surge in online orders.

With Post wires

Thirty-Year Bond Auction Attracts Slightly Above Average Demand

Finishing off this week’s announcements of the results of its long-term securities auctions, the Treasury Department revealed Wednesday that its auction of $17 billion worth of thirty-year bonds attracted slightly above average demand.

The thirty-year bond auction drew a high yield of 1.325 percent and a bid-to-cover ratio of 2.35.

Last month, the Treasury sold $16 billion worth of thirty-year bonds, drawing a high yield of 1.320 percent and a bid-to-cover ratio of 2.36.

The bid-to-cover ratio is a measure of demand that indicates the amount of bids for each dollar worth of securities being sold.

The ten previous thirty-year bond auctions had an average bid-to-cover ratio of 2.32.

The Treasury revealed earlier this week that its auction of $40 billion worth of three-year notes attracted below average demand, while its auction of $25 billion worth of ten-year notes attracted average demand.

Peachfest announces Jess Moskaluke as headliner; festival ‘full speed ahead’

Penticton Peach Festival staff say they’re “full speed ahead” in the planning for the 73rd annual year.

Peachfest is scheduled in Penticton for Aug. 5 to 9 and staff say they are monitoring the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Wells Fargo asset cap eased for coronavirus small business loans

Banks, SBA working to process thousands of loans per hour

Demand is huge for the Payroll Protection Program for small businesses impacted by the coronavirus. FOX Business’ Edward Lawrence with more.

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The Federal Reserve on Wednesday said it would temporarily ease its asset cap on Wells Fargo & Co. to encourage the bank to lend to small businesses harmed by the outbreak of coronavirus.

The central bank said it would "temporarily and narrowly modify the growth restriction on Wells Fargo so that it can provide additional support to small businesses."

BANK OF AMERICA LOOSENS CRITERIA FOR SMALL BUSINESS PANDEMIC LOANS

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
WFCWELLS FARGO & COMPANY29.77+1.00+3.47%

Wells Fargo has faced restrictions on its balance sheet growth for more than two years, the result of widespread compliance failures at the lender.

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UK PM Johnson making "steady progress" in COVID-19 treatment – spokeswoman

LONDON, April 8 (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is making steady progress while being treated in intensive care for COVID-19, his office said on Wednesday.

“The Prime Minister continues to make steady progress. He remains in intensive care,” a Downing Street spokeswoman said.

Johnson was admitted to St Thomas’ hospital in London on Sunday evening with a persistent high temperature and cough and was transferred to intensive care on Monday. (Reporting by Andy Bruce; editing by William James)

McDonald’s sales down 22 percent as coronavirus ends in-store dining

The Covid-19 pandemic is taking a bite out of McDonald’s bottom line.

Comparable sales at the fast-food giant tumbled 22 percent last month as the coronavirus forced it to close dining rooms worldwide, the company said Wednesday. McDonald’s US stores were down 13.4 percent in March compared with an 8.1 percent increase for the first two months of 2020.

But unlike many struggling restaurants across the country that have temporarily closed during the pandemic, 99 percent of McDonald’s eateries are open for business here doing some sort of drive-through, delivery or take-out business, the company said in an update. McDonald’s will report first quarter results on April 30.

“Beginning in mid-March, we experienced a significant decline in our results that varies across markets,” the company’s chief executive, Chris Kempczinski, said in a statement. “The situation remains fluid,” he added “and it is not possible to estimate the full extent of the impact on our business at this time.”

Last month, the company temporarily eliminated all-day breakfast from its menu to simply the number of items employees prepare.

In the meantime, Kempczinski is taking a 50 percent cut in his salary while four other top executives are shaving off 25 percent of their base salaries from April 15 to September 30, the company said.

“These are unprecedented times, and simply put, I felt this was the right thing to do,” Kempczinski said in a statement about his salary cut.