The coronavirus has wide-reaching effects on retailers, meetings of financial leaders, on-demand grocery services and tech conferences. Here are the latest updates on its impacts around the world.
Target has abandoned plans for an in-person investor and analyst meeting because of worries over the coronavirus, CNBC reported. A meeting had been scheduled in Midtown Manhattan for Tuesday morning. Target CEO Brian Cornell, Chief Financial Officer Michael Fiddelke and Chief Operating Officer John Mulligan had all reportedly planned on being there to provide presentations. A spokesperson for the retailer said analysts will talk about fourth quarter results and address the questions of analysts through webcast.
Meanwhile, the top finance ministers globally will head up a teleconference on Tuesday to talk about their response to the economic hazards the coronavirus poses, Bloomberg reported, citing unnamed sources. The central bank governors will join their ministers, and the call will occur at 1 p.m. Paris time per the agenda of the French finance minister.
In other news, the grocery delivery service of Amazon saw delayed service as stores noted they were out of water, hand sanitizer and masks, according to a Patch shared from New York City. One tweet, as cited by the outlet, read, “All the Amazon Prime Now delivery slots are booked for the next 24-hours.” The outlet’s tries to order groceries on Monday and Sunday in Brooklyn brought about 24-hour waits, while Bronx and Manhattan orders made Monday afternoon led to waits of 20 hours.
On another note, Nvidia, the chip supplier, cancelled the in-person section of its annual user conference, as it noted safety and health concerns with the spread of coronavirus in the U.S., Reuters reported. The company said in a blog post that attendees who paid for a conference pass would get a complete refund. Nvidia provides chips for video gaming graphics and artificial intelligence applications. However, it will have the conference through the web.
Meanwhile, experts and industry groups say supermarkets can plan ahead and aim to stay stocked to contend with “panic buying” as a new coronavirus outbreak impels some American consumers to fill up their carts, CNBC reported. Nielsen data indicated that sales of fruit snacks were higher by almost 13 percent, pretzels were higher by 9 percent and dried beans were higher by 10 percent in the week that concluded Feb. 22. Grocers, with the inclusion of Costco, have experienced rises in sales of household products such as bottled water cases.
In other news, as the market as a whole started to bounce back from its drop last week on worries related to the coronavirus, Twitter’s shares jumped 7.9 percent on Monday following a report Friday that an activist investor is seeking to have CEO Jack Dorsey replaced, CNBC reported. Paul Singer, billionaire investor and Elliott Management founder, is aiming to have Dorsey removed from the job as his attention is split from running Square as well as Twitter in addition to his intentions to move to Africa from three months to half of a year.
On another note, consumers came into auto dealerships from coast to coast over the weekend, shaking off fears that the coronavirus might hamper sales, Reuters reported. Car demand has dropped precipitously in Asian countries as shoppers stayed at home and dealerships were shuttered. However, the report noted that analysts and dealers said there wasn’t a noticeable impact on U.S. car sales in February. Even so, analysts warned that the rising number of infections could dissuade Americans this month.
And, Alibaba, the Chinese tech firm, created an artificial intelligence system for detecting the coronavirus, TheNextWeb reported. Alibaba reportedly contends its system can find the coronavirus in CT scans of the chests of people with 96 percent accuracy against instances of viral pneumonia. The system has reportedly been piloted in Chinese hospitals, and it is said to take 20 seconds for the technology to come to a diagnosis.