Some of Britain’s biggest travel and leisure companies retreated sharply this morning as the government confirmed that it was considering a second national lockdown.

The number of new coronavirus cases is doubling every seven to eight days, and Boris Johnson and his team are mulling the reintroduction of tougher restrictions. Matt Hancock, the health secretary, said that the government would do “whatever is necessary to keep people safe”.

Travel and leisure companies bore the brunt of the first lockdown, with many starved of income for months. Investors, wary of a repeat, were quick to ditch airlines, pubs groups and restaurant owners this morning.

IAG, the British Airways owner, dropped 12¾p, or 9.9 per cent, to 116¾p; shares in Restaurant Group, Wagamama’s parent, fell 3½p, or 6.2 per cent, to 52½p; and JD Wetherspoon, the no-frills pub chain, was marked down 39p, or 4.5 per cent, to 822½p.

Banking stocks … Read the rest

eResearch Corp. (www.eresearch.com) published an updated Research Report after EQ Works (TSXV: EQ ; OTC: CYPXF) released its second quarter of 2020 financial statements.

EQ Works (“EQ”) enables businesses to understand, predict, and influence customer behavior. Using unique and third-party data sets, advanced analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, EQ creates actionable insights for businesses to attract, retain, and grow customers.

EQ’s proprietary SaaS platform mines insights from location and geospatial data, enabling businesses to close the loop between digital and real-world consumer actions. EQ is one of the largest providers of location-based data in Canada with over 1 petabyte of data and growing at 7 terabytes daily.

Revenue in the second quarter was C$1.73 million, a decrease of 22%, compared to C$2.21 million in the same quarter in 2019, but in-line with our estimate of C$1.77 million. Advertising revenue in the quarter was negatively impacted by the outbreak of … Read the rest

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Happy Friday, everyone. Can stocks stage a comeback to avert another down week? It’s not looking promising.

Asia is higher, Europe is mixed and Nasdaq futures are off their lows. That’s good news, particularly for tech bulls, as the Nasdaq flirts with a new correction and some FAAMG stocks even threaten to fall into bear territory.

Let’s check in on the action.

Markets update

Asia

  • The major indexes are solidly in the green with Shanghai leading the way, up 2%.
  • President Trump has yet to give the green-light (nor has Beijing, for that matter) to the OracleTikTok tie-up, but there’s already talk of an IPO as early as next year.
  • Coronavirus hit a grim toll in the past day, topping 30
Read the rest

Shares of Dave & Buster’s Entertainment tumbled over 26.1% on Thursday, after the Wall Street Journal reported that the company might have to file for bankruptcy if it fails to strike a deal with a lender.Meanwhile, shares of the dining and entertainment company rose 4.8% in the extended trading session as Truist Financial said that investors are overreacting to the news.According to the Wall Street Journal report, Dave & Buster's (PLAY) is planning to layoff about 1,300 employees across seven US states in a move to cut costs.Truist Financial analyst Jake Bartlett called the share plunge during the regular trading session a "severe overreaction". Bartlett said that the Wall Street Journal referred to the company's disclosure made in its 2Q 10-Q filing that if it is not in compliance with debt covenants, it may file a voluntary petition for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.Bartlett continues to believe that the company's lenders will … Read the rest

Business owners have been the target of a new email phishing scam purporting to be from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

The scam, which was uncovered by accountancy outsourcing specialists Lanop Outsourcing, uses official HMRC branding and graphics to convince victims that their VAT deferral application has been rejected. At least 100 company owners have reported receiving the realistic scam email through Lanop Outsourcing clients.

To aid struggling businesses during Covid-19, HMRC allowed payments of VAT between March 2020 and June 2020 to be deferred until 31st March 2021. Cyber criminals have used the scheme to trick business owners into revealing sensitive information, such as account names, passwords and payment details.

The phishing email begins: “Dear customers, Your request for a deferral of VAT payments due to coronavirus (COVID-19) has been rejected… Summary of reject justification: ‘the claimant is in arrears.”

The email then attempts to convince the recipient of … Read the rest

Uber (NYSE:UBER) wants to become part of the ‘net-zero’ emissions alliance by switching over its fleet to electric vehicles. All of its rides could take place in EVs by 2030 in the US, Canada, and Europe; and the rest of the world by 2040. That will mean quite a lot is being asked of its driver network, who own these vehicles.

Uber’s new pledge is to put $800 million initially into its plan to offer rides exclusively in electric vehicles by 2030 in US, Canadian and European cities, and to be entirely free of emissions by 2040. Drivers will be getting $1.50 more per ride for going electric, and fares will go up for riders choosing an EV.

Uber wants to catch up with its top competitor, Lyft (NASDAQ:LYFT), on bringing EVs to ride-hailing, ride-sharing customers. They’re hoping it will be as big a move as 2011 when Uber first … Read the rest

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden delivered a warning to Boris Johnson, ruling out any U.K.-U.S. trade deal if the prime minister’s plan to renege on parts of the Brexit agreement threatens peace in Northern Ireland.

“We can’t allow the Good Friday Agreement that brought peace to Northern Ireland to become a casualty of Brexit,” Biden said on Twitter. “Any trade deal between the U.S. and U.K. must be contingent upon respect for the Agreement and preventing the return of a hard border. Period.”

Johnson has long touted a free-trade accord with the U.S. as one of the key prizes of Brexit. However, Biden’s intervention underscores how the prime minister is struggling to contain the political fallout from his plan to unilaterally rewrite the divorce treaty he signed with the European Union less than a year ago.

By overriding parts of the accord that deal with Northern Ireland, Johnson is … Read the rest

(Bloomberg) — Las Vegas Sands Corp.’s Singapore casino has hired a law firm to conduct a new investigation into employee transfers of more than $1 billion in gamblers’ money to third parties, according to people familiar with the matter.Davinder Singh Chambers LLC, which specializes in dispute resolution and international arbitration, was appointed after Singapore police began a probe of third-party transfers at Marina Bay Sands Ltd., said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private matters.The review by one of Singapore’s best-known law firms adds to scrutiny of the casino by the U.S. Department of Justice and Singapore authorities after a patron sued the firm last year alleging that S$9.1 million ($6.7 million) of his money was transferred to other gamblers without his knowledge. The lawsuit was settled out of court in June, with the casino agreeing to reimburse the full amount. There was a “non-admission” of liability … Read the rest