Business News Weekly Roundup

Business News Weekly Roundup

Open Your Junk Mail

Some Americans may be receiving stimulus payments and throwing them away. Approximately 4 million economic impact payment cards with Cares Act stimulus money pre-loaded on them have been mailed in plain white envelopes that are easily mistaken for junk mail.

Instead of checks, these pre-paid Visa cards are being issued by the Treasury’s financial agent, MetaBank. They are mailed in plain envelopes from Money Network Cardholder Services. Since most people have never heard of either of these companies it would be natural to throw them away unopened, in the same way as other credit card offer junk mail.

The envelope and pre-paid Visa cards do not look official and some people who have received them have thought it was a scam. The return address on the envelopes is from Omaha, Nebraska and there’s no seal from the federal government.

The Better Business Bureau and local authorities across the nation have been receiving calls from Americans about the Visa cards they have received in the mail. Authorities have been reassuring those who received the payments in the Visa card form that the payments are legitimate and can be used immediately upon receipt.

NYSE Trading Floor Reopens

After a two month coronavirus closure, the New York Stock Exchange reopened the trading floor on May 26, one day after Memorial Day. However, it’s not back to business as usual. The NYSE says they are treading lightly and allowing fewer traders, practicing social distancing and everyone is wearing masks.

Anyone entering the building must complete a health screening and a temperature check before being allowed to conduct business.

This week was the first time the stock market trading floor has been opened since March 20. While some traders returned, many will continue to work from home.

Although the stock markets had plummeted and the Dow went far below the all-important 20,000 mark on March 20, it has now rebounded to over 25,000.

Coronavirus Brands Leveling Off

The companies that benefited the most from coronavirus quarantines, Zoom, Moderna, Amazon, and Netflix, are now leveling off or losing the momentum they enjoyed during lockdowns. This is of concern to investors because they believe the ability of the market as a whole to build on recent gains may depend on these companies.

Victoria Secret is Closing 1/4 of Its Stores

Victoria’s Secret will permanently close 25% of its stores in the US and Canada over the next few months. L Brands, the owner of Victoria’s Secret, has said that more stores may close over the next few years. There are approximately 1,100 Victoria’s Secret stores in the United States and Canada.

The company had a half-billion dollar agreement with Sycamore Partners to take the company private, but the private equity firm backed out of the deal in May because of the COVID-19 closures.

L Brands also owns Bath & Body Works and will be closing 50 of those stores, mainly in malls. The company doesn’t believe that foot traffic in malls will return to normal pre-pandemic levels. There are approximately 1,700 Bath & Body Works stores in the United States and Canada.