May 1, 2020 - Economy & Business

Amazon's big coronavirus spending gets a cold market response

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Amazon announced Thursday as part of its Q1 2020 earnings that it’s planning to spend the $4 billion it would expect in profit next quarter on worker safety and resources because of the coronavirus pandemic — then its stock dropped 5% in after-hours trading.

Why it matters: If you’ve been wondering for the last six to eight weeks why some publicly traded companies seem to be resisting strong measures to curb the virus spread, this a big reason.

  • Not to mention that added pay and safety resources could create an expectation long-term from employees that they’ll provide these as a baseline.
  • Of note: Despite its statements yesterday, Amazon continues to face criticism that it’s not doing enough to protect workers in warehouses and its Whole Foods stores.

The market isn’t a huge fan of companies investing in workers’ well-being when it means smaller margins or profits, delays, or really anything that’s not immediately up and to the right.

Case in point: Last summer, Nintendo delayed the release of the newest installment in its blockbuster game Animal Crossing, and its stock price took a hit.

  • Later that day, Nintendo of America president Doug Bowser explained that it was to avoid employee burnout, which often occurs in video game development as teams near game release deadlines.

Yes, but: Risking employee’s safety and health — in a potentially deadly manner — is not worth trying to protect that stock price.

  • And luckily for Amazon, the company still beat analyst expectations on revenue for the quarter, and its advertising and cloud services divisions also kept growing along with demand on its e-commerce side.

Go deeper: Amazon workers plan sickout over working conditions

Go deeper

Jun 1, 2020 - Health

Lessons from the lockdown — and what comes next

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

We are nowhere near finished with the coronavirus, but the next phases of our response will — if we do it right — be more targeted and risk-based than the sweeping national lockdown we’re now emerging from.

Why it matters: Our experience battling this new virus has taught us a lot about what does and doesn’t work. We’ll have to apply those lessons rigorously, and keep adapting, if we have any hope of containing the virus and limiting the number of deaths from here on out.

Trump backs off push to federalize forces against riots

Photo: Brendan Smialowski /AFP via Getty Images

A day after threatening to federalize forces to snuff out riots across the country, the president appears to be backing off the idea of invoking the Insurrection Act, sources familiar with his plans tell Axios.

What we're hearing: Aides say he hasn’t ruled out its use at some point, but that he's “pleased” with the way protests were handled last night (apart from in New York City, as he indicated on Twitter today) — and that for now he's satisfied with leaving the crackdown to states through local law enforcement and the National Guard.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Updates: George Floyd protests continue for 8th day

Police officers wearing riot gear push back demonstrators outside of the White House on Monday. Photo: Jose Luis Magana/AFP via Getty Images

Protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people continued Tuesday across the U.S. for the eighth consecutive day, prompting a federal response from the National Guard, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection.

The latest: The National Park Service said in a statement Tuesday that while it "is committed to the peaceful expression of First Amendment rights," it "cannot tolerate violence to citizens or officers or damage to our nation’s resources that we are entrusted to protect."