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Amazon to open more Whole Foods stores; Eddie Lampert bids to save Sears

Editor's note: The Daily Dose will not be published Jan. 1, 2019, because of the New Year holiday. This feature will return Jan. 2, 2019.

TOP NEWS

* Amazon.com Inc. plans to open Whole Foods Market Inc. stores in suburbs and small cities across the U.S., The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the plans. Whole Foods representatives have scouted potential locations in parts of Idaho, southern Utah and Wyoming, the report added. Amazon and Whole Foods declined to comment on the matter.

* Sears Holdings Corp. Chairman Eddie Lampert submitted a last-minute bid to save the company from liquidation. According to Bloomberg News, Lampert is seeking more time to round up financing for his offer. The executive is expecting to get financing from lenders including Bank of America Corp.

E-COMMERCE

* Amazon.com Inc.'s Indian unit is upgrading its online platform with the addition of local language features and videos to attract more customers from the country's rural areas, The Wall Street Journal reported. The retailer also plans to expand its presence in the countryside by opening new stores. Amazon has improved its app so that it can work with inexpensive smartphones and is extending its logistics network by utilizing thousands of local distributors to deliver packages.

CASINOS AND GAMING

* Genting Malaysia Bhd. appointed Alwi bin Jantan as deputy chairman of the board and Keong Hui Lim as deputy CEO, effective Jan. 1, 2019. Jantan replaces Tun Mohammed Hanif bin Omar, who is retiring Dec. 31, 2018.

INDUSTRY NEWS

* South Korea will ban supermarkets and major retailers from using disposable plastic bags in a move to reduce waste, Yonhap News Agency reported, citing government officials. The ban, which will impact 2,000 outlets of major discount chains and 11,000 supermarkets, will be effective from Jan. 1, 2019. Breaches could be punished with fines of up to 3 million won.

* South Korea's online retail sales in November increased 12.7% year over year, Yonhap News Agency reported, citing data from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. Sales at convenience stores surged 6.5% and chain supermarkets were up 1.4%. Offline sales, overall, declined 0.5% in the month of November.

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The day ahead

Early morning futures indicators pointed to a higher opening for the U.S. market.

Most Asian markets were closed ahead of the New Year holiday.

In Europe as of midday, the FTSE 100 was down 0.14% to 6,724.79 and the Euronext 100 was ahead 0.18% to 914.56.

On the macro front

No notable reports are due out today.

The Daily Dose is updated as of 8 a.m. ET. Some external links may require a subscription. Links are current as of publication time, and we are not responsible if those links are unavailable later.

Editor's note: The Daily Dose will not be published Jan. 1, 2019, because of the New Year holiday. This feature will return Jan. 2, 2019.