U.S. Private Sector Job Growth Exceeds Estimates In September

Covid App Aims to Restart Flights With Proof of Disease-Free Status

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A mobile-phone app that shows travelers to be Covid-free will begin trials this month, a potential step toward speeding the resumption of long-haul flights.

The CommonPass application will be tested onUnited Airlines services between Newark and London andCathay Pacific Airways Ltd. trips from Hong Kong to Singapore, the World Economic Forum, which backs the plan, said Wednesday.

Volunteers must take a coronavirus test at a certified lab and upload results onto their phones, with the app generating a barcode to show that they’re disease-free. Authorities including U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will observe the process.

International travel has barely revived from a total lockdown as national restrictions and quarantines continue to limit services and put people off flying. The CommonPass app could help form the basis of a standardized system to overcome those curbs, according to the WEF, after slow progress with airport testing and so-called travel corridors aimed at restarting flights.

The WEF said it developed the app alongside the Commons Project Foundation, a non-profit public trust.

Broadcom’s EU Antitrust Probe Ends With Chip Contracts Pledge

Broadcom Inc. convinced theEuropean Union to shut down an antitrust investigation after pledging to change contracts that regulators said could compel set-top box makers to use its chips.

The chipmaker will no longer require or induce original equipment manufacturers, or OEMs, to source a minimum amount of so-called systems-on-a-chip for TV set-top boxes, xDSL modems, fiber modems or cable modems from the company, theEuropean Commission said in an emailed statement on Wednesday. The pledge covers the world outside China and will last seven years.

“Producers of set-top-boxes and internet modems, telecom and cable operators and ultimately consumers will benefit from competition between chipmakers in terms of lower prices and more innovative products,” EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in the statement.

The EU can drop cases without fines if companies make binding pledges that solve its concerns. Firms that breach those commitments can be fined.

Lamb Weston Holdings, Inc. Q1 Earnings Decline

Lamb Weston Holdings, Inc. (LW) released earnings for first quarter that decreased from the same period last year.

The company’s earnings came in at $89.3 million, or $0.61 per share. This compares with $115.7 million, or $0.79 per share, in last year’s first quarter.

Analysts had expected the company to earn $0.30 per share, according to figures compiled by Thomson Reuters. Analysts’ estimates typically exclude special items.

The company’s revenue for the quarter fell 11.9% to $871.5 million from $989.0 million last year.

Lamb Weston Holdings, Inc. earnings at a glance:

-Earnings (Q1): $89.3 Mln. vs. $115.7 Mln. last year.
-EPS (Q1): $0.61 vs. $0.79 last year.
-Analysts Estimate: $0.30
-Revenue (Q1): $871.5 Mln vs. $989.0 Mln last year.

Facebook Brings Cross-app Messaging, Calling Features On Instagram

Facebook (FB) has revealed new messaging features for Instagram, which will make it easier for users to stay in touch with others across Facebook’s family of apps. The main change is that people using the Messenger app can now reach Instagram users, and vice versa. The users can control where they receive messages and calls, such as in chats, in message requests or not at all.

The update for Instagram comes with vanish mode, where a user can set messages to automatically disappear after they’re seen. The Watch Together feature allows users to watch videos on Facebook Watch, IGTV, Reels, TV shows, movies, and more with friends and family during a video call. Forwarding of content is allowed with up to five friends or groups. The update also brings features including: selfie stickers, chat colors, custom emoji reactions, and animated message effects.

Facebook is rolling out these new features on Instagram and Messenger in a few countries around the world, and will expand globally soon.

U.S. Private Sector Job Growth Exceeds Estimates In September

Private sector employment in the U.S. surged up by more than expected in the month of September, according to a report released by payroll processor ADP on Wednesday.

ADP said private sector employment spiked by 749,000 jobs in September after jumping by an upwardly revised 481,000 jobs in August.

Economists had expected employment to increase by 650,000 jobs compared to the addition of 428,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.

“In September, the majority of sectors and company sizes experienced gains with trade, transportation and utilities; and manufacturing leading the way,” said Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and co-head of the
ADP Research Institute. “However, small businesses continued to demonstrate slower growth.”

The report said employment in the service-providing sector spiked by 552,000 jobs, while the goods-producing sector added 196,000 jobs.

Employment at small businesses rose by 192,000 and employment at medium and large businesses jumped by 259,000 jobs and 297,000 jobs, respectively.

On Friday, the Labor Department is scheduled to release its monthly employment report, which includes both public and private sector jobs.

Economists expect employment to surge up by 850,000 jobs in September after spiking by 1.371 million jobs in August. The unemployment rate is expected to dip to 8.2 percent from 8.4 percent.