Stocks – Amazon up in Premarket Amid Hiring Spree

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By Geoffrey Smith — Stocks in focus on Tuesday, March 17th. Please refresh for updates.

  • Amazon (NASDAQ:) stock was up 4.2% after the company said it will hire another 100,000 warehouse and delivery staff – increasing its workforce by some 12% – to deal with additional demand arising from the coronavirus outbreak.
  • It will also raise wages by $2 an hour across the U.S. and Canada.
  • Online retail is burgeoning as public health measures leave an increasing number of brick-and-mortar retailers without regular footfall.
  • Nordstrom (NYSE:) stock was up 1.0% after the company said it will shut all its stores for two weeks due to the coronavirus outbreak. Its online sales channel will remain open.
  • The department store chain also pulled its guidance for the year, citing the extreme uncertainty over the business outlook. Nordstrom stock had already fallen 20% on Monday to its lowest since 2009.
  • McDonald’s (NYSE:) stock was up 1.0% after the company said it may offer rent deferrals to franchisees struggling with collapsing sales as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
  • The company also pulled its guidance for the year, saying it was impossible to gauge the length and scale of the disruption to its business.
  • Chesapeake Energy (NYSE:) stock was down 10.8% after Reuters reported that the shale oil and gas producer has appointed advisers for a potential debt restructuring.
  • The company has around $9 billion in debt, and was struggling even before Saudi Arabia and Russia launched a de facto price war two weeks ago.
  • Exxon Mobil (NYSE:) stock was up 0.6%, stabilizing after Standard & Poor’s cut its debt rating on Monday, citing a much-deteriorated outlook for the company’s cash flow.

  • Exxon responded on Monday by saying it’s taking “all appropriate steps to significantly reduce capital and operating expenses in the near term.” Chairman and CEO Darren Woods said the plans will be announced “they are finalized.”

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