Regulators Are Fed Up With Food-Delivery Fees

American consumers have been forced to eat food-delivery costs sometimes nearly as big as the meals themselves. Regulators are fed up. In addition to new laws boosting compensation and benefits for delivery drivers, restaurant protections such as pandemic-related commission caps have been proliferating at the city and state levels. Consumer protections could be next. New laws have been costly for delivery players that have been struggling to generate consistent profits lately. On its third-quarter conference call, Uber , which owns and operates Uber Eats, suggested it wouldn’t absorb all of the added costs related to the passage of Proposition 22 in […]

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New California Law Could Spoil Some Growth for Food-Delivery Platforms

Just how valuable has restaurant selection been to delivery platforms’ growth over the past year? We could soon find out. A California bill is set to require third-party delivery platforms to have stated agreements in place with merchants to deliver food orders starting Jan. 1. The bill will effectively end the growth-strategy platforms including DoorDash and Postmates have historically employed to rapidly augment their delivery footprints. Delivery platforms will have to remove so-called unpartnered food merchants, or those with which they don’t have a stated agreement, from their apps in California. Without an agreement, a delivery platform can list a restaurant’s […]

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Investors Risk Over-Ordering Restaurant Stocks

A dark winter for the dining industry hasn’t scared off stockholders in restaurant chains. But a roaring spring is needed to validate that faith. Darden Restaurants said Friday that sales volumes have slowed significantly as the fall has progressed. Comparable sales fell about 22% from a year earlier at its Olive Garden locations for the week ending Nov. 8; the decline accelerated to about 33% for the week ending Dec. 13. Tougher coronavirus restrictions help explain the falloff: 92% of company restaurants had at least some permitted dining room capacity for the entire week in early November and that figure has […]

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I’ll Take Tesla for $1, Please

Stocks are near record highs, but they’re finally getting cheaper to buy. No longer do investors need to buy a minimum of 100 shares at a time or even one full share, often at prohibitive cost. Fractional-share trading enables you to purchase a sliver of a share with as little as $1, putting a stake in single stocks within anyone’s reach. As with any technology, whether that’s good or bad depends on how you use it. After a decadelong bull market, buying the average stock has never required more capital. Seven companies in the S&P 500 have share prices above $1,000, […]

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FedEx, Tesla, Five9: What to Watch When the Stock Market Opens Today

Here’s what we are watching as markets kick into gear Friday. —U.S. stock futures traded close to the flatline as investors monitored whether Covid-19 infections and worsening economic data would push lawmakers to cement a coronavirus-aid package. Futures tied to the S&P 500 rose 0.1%, suggesting the benchmark stocks gauge will open relatively unchanged after notching another record close Thursday. Futures tied to the technology-focused Nasdaq-100 were flat. Read our full market wrap here. What’s Coming Up Darden Restaurants DRI 1.83% is due to report quarterly earnings before markets open. Nike NKE 1.56% will give its update after the closing bell. […]

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DoorDash, Grubhub, Others Could Face a Pared-Down Menu

Investors bidding up newly public shares of DoorDash DASH -0.53% and its competitors shouldn’t take for granted the historically fragile relationship between food-delivery platforms and the restaurants they serve. While it is unclear just how sticky eaters’ business will be on delivery apps once the coronavirus pandemic ends, their loyalty could in many cases depend upon whether their favorite restaurants stay around. That is hardly a guarantee. Delivery platforms have been essential to the survival of many restaurants this year, bringing them business even while their dining rooms have remained closed down. In addition to offering grants and relaxed delivery fees […]

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America’s Small Stocks Are Leading the Market’s Charge

Shares of small U.S. companies have surged past their larger peers for 2020 after last month’s furious rally carried into December. Fueled by improving expectations for the economy, thanks to promising Covid-19 vaccine trials, the Russell 2000 small-cap index notched its best-ever month in November. Then it kept rising. So far in December it has advanced 5%, well ahead of the 1.2% rise in the S&P 500 large-cap benchmark. Many investors expect small-cap stocks to continue leading the way. Among the stocks lifting the small-cap index: Macy’s Inc., up 8.5% in December; Spirit Airlines Inc., up 16%; Denny’s Corp. , up […]

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Airbnb, Starbucks, SoftBank, Tesla: What to Watch When the Stock Market Opens Today

Here’s what we are watching as markets kick into gear Thursday. —U.S. stock futures rose ahead of jobless claims and inflation data, as well as a highly anticipated European Central Bank policy decision. Futures tied to the S&P 500 ticked 0.1% higher, suggesting the index is on track for muted gains after the opening bell. Nasdaq-100 futures slid less than 0.1%, pointing to subdued trading in tech stocks a day after Facebook was hit by a series of antitrust lawsuits. What’s Coming Up —National Beverage Corp., maker of LaCroix sparkling water, will release quarterly earnings at 9:15 a.m. ET. Dave & Buster’s, Lululemon, LULU -2.02% […]

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Ahead of U.S. Audit Bill, Chinese Companies Are Finding Their Way Home

HONG KONG—New legislation that is likely to force some Chinese companies off U.S. exchanges will accelerate a migration under way since last year. On Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously approved a bill would ban trading in shares of foreign companies whose audit papers aren’t inspected by U.S. regulators for three consecutive years. The measure passed the Senate in May and is expected to be signed into law by President Trump. China’s government and financial regulators have long resisted U.S. demands to see the audit papers of Chinese companies whose shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange or […]

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CrowdStrike, Splunk, Okta: What to Watch When the Stock Market Opens Today

Here’s what we are watching as markets kick into gear Thursday.U.S. stock futures were barely changed Thursday ahead of economic data that will provide insights into the health of the services sector and the labor market. Read our full market wrap here. Investors are also keeping a close eye on renewed talk in Congress for a Covid-19 relief bill and efforts to exile Chinese stocks from U.S. markets. What’s Coming Up   Mastercard , HP and Nvidia are meant to present at the Credit Suisse Technology Conference. Kroger , Lands’ End and Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores are set to report quarterly results before […]

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