Abbott’s $5 Virus Test; Walmart Wants TikTok, Too

Stocks finished mixed but mostly higher on Thursday, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average briefly erased all year-to-date 2020 losses.

One high-level event investors were watching closely was the Federal Reserve’s annual Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium, held, for the first time, online. The central bank codified changes to its policy, doing away with the practice of preemptively raising interest rates to deter higher inflation.

The announcement reaffirms something markets already largely understood: rates will be low for a long, long time.

The Nasdaq cooled off from its streak of record-setting closes, finishing with a 0.3% loss. The Dow added 160 points, or nearly 0.6%, to finish at 28,492.

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White House to buy 150 million tests. Abbot Laboratories (ticker: ABT) finished as one of the best-performing stocks in the S&P 500 on Thursday after reports that the Trump administration has struck a $750 million deal to buy 150 million rapid antigen tests from the company.

The tests can reportedly return results in as little as 15 minutes, and ABT was just given emergency-use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration. If rolled out quickly — Abbott says it will ship tens of millions of tests in September and produce 50 million in October. The test would be a meaningful improvement in the testing arena, where fast, accurate, cheap, widely accessible tests still don’t exist.

ABT stock jumped nearly 7.9% on Thursday.

What? Walmart wants TikTok now. It’s no secret that viral video platform TikTok has been in talks to sell to a number of potential suitors, including Microsoft ( MSFT), Oracle ( ORCL) and Twitter ( TWTR). Well, now Walmart ( WMT) wants to get in the game, and the company affirmed it’s teaming up with Microsoft, which was already considered the front-runner, to buy the U.S., Canadian, Australian and New Zealand operations of the company.

Walmart has been coy about its plans for the service if the deal goes through, but applauded the app’s ability to mix e-commerce and advertising into its app. Walmart is increasingly investing in e-commerce and digital endeavors; its e-commerce sales jumped 97% last quarter, as customers had packages shipped their homes and used curbside pickup.

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