Morning Business Report: Costco to boost its minimum hourly wage to $16

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Morning Business Report
February 26, 2021

  • The one-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine goes before the FDA

  • Costco is boosting its minimum hourly wage to $16 starting next week 

  • Stocks deal with a rate shock Thursday, sending markets plummeting

  • Redditors on Wallstreetbets cheered as GameStop soared


The one-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine goes before the FDA today. 

It is expected to be approved and could begin going into arms as early as next week.

With the J&J shot, the U.S. could finish vaccinating priority groups in March.

Meanwhile, FDA eases ultra-low temperature requirements for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine so that it can be stored in common pharmaceutical freezers for two weeks.

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Costco is boosting its minimum hourly wage to $16 starting next week.

The $1-an-hour wage increase exceeds the pay that competitors Target, Walmart, and other big-box retailers offer their employees.

Half of Costco’s 180,000 employees in the U.S. are paid at the top of the company’s hourly pay scale in excess of $25 an hour and most of these employees, he added, receive regular twice-yearly bonuses of up to $4,000 a pop. 

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Stocks deal with a rate shock Thursday, sending markets plummeting. 

The Dow tumbled 560 points and the NASDAQ lost the most percentage-wise.

Rising interest rates could slow down the economic recovery. 

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One stock bucked the trend though-GameStop, it closed up 18 percent after a volatile day in which the stock was halted several times. 

Redditors on Wallstreetbets cheered as GameStop soared.

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Lots of moves in retail.

Best Buy said Thursday that it laid off 5,000 workers this month and is planning to close more stores this year as more consumers buy electronics online.

Victoria’s Secret is continuing to shrink its store count. Its parent company, iBrands, announced that it plans to permanently close between 30 to 50 stores in the United States and Canada this year.

Sephora is adding more than 60 freestanding stores this year, and 85% of them won’t be in malls.