By Derek Hall 

Alphabet Inc.

The Justice Department filed its long-anticipated antitrust lawsuit against Google Tuesday, targeting the tech giant's flagship search engine and related advertising business. A partnership with Apple is at the heart of the case, potentially threatening a lucrative revenue stream for both companies. Microsoft, the target of the last major tech antitrust campaign in 1998, now stands to benefit the most from the DOJ's newest lawsuit. Alphabet shares rose 1.4% Tuesday.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

Goldman Sachs is paying billions to wipe the stain from its dealings with the Malaysian investment fund known as 1MDB. A Goldman subsidiary on Thursday pleaded guilty to conspiring to violate U.S. antibribery laws, and the bank agreed to pay nearly $3 billion to officials in four countries. Goldman's deal with authorities brings an end to a long-running investigation of its role in the global bribery ring and allows the bank itself to avoid prosecution. All in, its 1MDB penalties to date amount to more than $5 billion, including an additional $2.5 billion to the government of Malaysia and a $350 million fine from Hong Kong regulators. Goldman shares rose 1.2% Thursday.

Netflix Inc.

The king of streaming is fending off fresh rivals to the throne. Netflix on Tuesday said subscriber growth slowed in the third quarter, an underwhelming result after its breakneck pace of growth in the first half of the year as people around the globe turned to streaming services for entertainment during the pandemic-imposed quarantine. The company reported 2.2 million new subscribers in the quarter, falling short of its forecast in July of 2.5 million and highlighting the sharp decline from the 26 million net subscribers it added in the first two quarters of 2020. With Walt Disney Co. focusing on streaming initiatives and AT&T Inc. reporting solid growth in its Netflix-like streaming service HBO Max, Netflix is looking for ways to stay on top in an increasingly crowded streaming market. Netflix shares fell 6.9% Wednesday.

Tesla Inc.

Tesla has recharged its batteries after the pandemic disrupted operations earlier in the year. The electric-car maker extended its profitability streak in the third quarter, marking the company's fifth consecutive quarter in the black. Tesla on Wednesday reported a net profit of $331 million for the three-month period ended Sept. 30 and posted a record $8.77 billion in revenue. Chief Executive Elon Musk called it Tesla's "best quarter in history," and the company revived its pre-pandemic target to build at least 500,000 vehicles this year. The Silicon Valley car maker was buoyed in part by lower battery and purchasing costs at its production facility in China, as well as growing demand in that country for electric cars. Tesla shares rose 0.7% Thursday.

Procter & Gamble Co.

Makers of cleaning products are mopping up on the pandemic-driven demand for better hygiene. P&G on Tuesday reported its biggest global sales increase in 15 years, logging the strongest growth in the unit that sells Swiffer mops and Dawn dish soaps. The maker of Tide detergent and Gillette razors said sales gains early in the pandemic were boosted by consumers stocking up for lockdowns and to avoid shortages. But demand in recent months appears driven by a sustained focus on home cleaning and personal hygiene, the company said. Earlier Tuesday, Lysol maker Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC reported its sharpest quarterly sales growth on record, driven by its hygiene unit, something Reckitt Chief Executive Laxman Narasimhan thinks will outlast the pandemic. P&G shares rose 0.4% Tuesday.

Walmart Inc.

The world's largest retailer is suing Uncle Sam. Walmart said its lawsuit against the federal government is an attempt to strike a pre-emptive blow against an impending opioid-related civil lawsuit from the Justice Department, an aggressive and unusual tactic. In its complaint, Walmart said the DOJ and Drug Enforcement Administration want to scapegoat the company for the federal government's own regulatory and enforcement shortcomings. Walmart's move came after Purdue Pharma LP pleaded guilty to three felonies related to its marketing and distribution of OxyContin, as part of an $8.34 billion settlement agreement with the Justice Department. Walmart shares rose 0.2% Friday.

Southwest Airlines Co.

U.S. airlines remain in a holding pattern. Summer was a bust and losses are mounting as airlines anxiously watch a fragile uptick in demand to see if it will hold as coronavirus cases continue to climb. The pandemic eviscerated travel demand during what is typically the most lucrative season, and revenue plunged, with the four largest U.S. carriers reporting losses of more than $25 billion this year so far. On Thursday, Southwest said it lost nearly $1.2 billion during the third quarter -- its biggest quarterly loss ever, and American Airlines Group Inc. reported a loss of $2.4 billion. Alaska Air Group Inc. on Thursday reported losing $431 million. Southwest shares rose 5.2% Thursday.

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 23, 2020 21:09 ET (01:09 GMT)

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