* Food delivery startup DoorDash Inc. aims to raise between $650 million and $750 million that could value it at about $13 billion, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter. The new valuation is reportedly 10x more than what the company commanded in early 2018, with DoorDash being valued at $7.1 billion in February 2019. One source told The Journal that the New York-based hedge fund Darsana Capital Partners could be participating in the funding round. DoorDash did not respond to request for comment to the newswire.
* Luckin Coffee Inc. shares surged in their first day of trade on the Nasdaq exchange, gaining 19.9% on their IPO price to close at $20.38 on May 17. Luckin Coffee priced its IPO at $17 per share, at the top of its $15 to $17 price range. It raised $561 million in its IPO, giving it a valuation of more than $3.9 billion.
FOOD RETAIL & DISTRIBUTION
* Walmart Inc. unveiled its plans for a new high-tech headquarters complex in Bentonville, Ark., which it expects will help lure talent and accelerate digital transformation. Walmart plans to open the new headquarters gradually between 2020 and 2024, the retailer said in a blog post on its website. Walmart said its new headquarters, which it first announced in September 2017, will have a variety of food options, parking spaces, fitness facilities and a child care facility.
* As part of its expansion plans, discounter Lidl Stiftung & Co. KG's U.S. arm said it plans to open 25 new stores and create 1,000 jobs by the spring of 2020 in nine states along the East Coast. The new locations will be in Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Virginia. It will also close two stores in North Carolina this summer and offer the employees to relocate to other locations, while it expects to add 100 new positions at its regional headquarters and distribution center in the state's Alamance County.
* British online grocery retailer Ocado Group PLC expects 400 jobs to be affected by the February fire at its Andover warehouse in England, The Guardian reported. Ocado reportedly said that it would take at least two years to rebuild the distribution center. The retailer had halted deliveries from the affected warehouse after the fire and ended its digital partnership with Wm Morrison Supermarkets PLC to become the sole owner of its new Erith customer fulfillment center for increasing its capacity. Ocado also increased capacity at its warehouses in Hertfordshire and Warwickshire, the report added.
* India's retail chain operator Spencer's Retail Ltd. acquired 100% stake held by Godrej Industries Ltd. in Natures Basket Ltd., its wholly owned subsidiary, and the same was approved by the company's board, according to a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange. The deal is still subject to approval of the shareholders of both the companies. Spencer's said it has offered to acquire the upmarket food retailer for 3 billion Indian rupees in an all-cash transaction.
* Nestlé SA is planning to expand natural and organic products offering in Brazil, Reuters reported, citing a company spokesman. The Swiss food group reportedly looks to bring healthier food products as part of a plan to reduce sugar, sodium and saturated fats in its food across North America and South America. The news agency noted that Nestlé has opened a quality assurance lab and launched its first organic food line in Brazil. The company also plans to launch four flavors of new organic baby food this month.
* The U.S. Department of Energy said General Mills Inc. achieved its goal of improving energy efficiency across its U.S. plants by 20% four years ahead of schedule. Since announcing the plan in fiscal 2012, the consumer foods producer has attained total efficiency improvement of 20.4%, it said. General Mills added that this represents a total of more than 2 million MMBtu of energy saving over the six years. The company also said that under its greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal, absolute energy use decreased by 7% during fiscal 2018 across its production facilities.
* Japanese seafood processor Maruha Nichiro Corp. received approvals to export fully farmed tuna to Europe from its production facility in Oita Prefecture, the Nikkei Asian Review reported. The company reportedly aims to export over 10 tons of tuna to European countries during fiscal 2019, leveraging the Japan-European Union trade agreement inked in February 2019.
TOBACCO & SMOKING PRODUCTS
* Japan Tobacco Inc. launched a new JT Group Environment Plan, focusing on areas, including energy and emissions, natural resources and waste. The Camel cigarettes maker said the new plan supersedes its Environmental Plan 2020, to meet the objectives by 2030. Among its new targets, Japan Tobacco aims to cut waste and water withdrawal associated with its business by 20% and 15%, respectively, as well as double the proportion of renewable electricity that it uses to 25% by 2030 and 100% by 2050.
* Japan Tobacco Inc. introduced two limited edition flavors, muscat and a mixture of lemon and lime, for its vapor product Ploom TECH. Starting June 4, the new flavors will be available across the company's online store and Ploom shops for a limited time during the summer months at ¥490 for each cartridge. The company also plans to roll out another Ploom TECH limited edition seasonal flavor in fall 2019.
* The U.S. FDA said it is issuing a draft guidance pertaining to its enforcement directions for the name 'potassium chloride salt' on food labels as an alternative to 'potassium chloride', in line with its Nutrition Innovation Strategy to reduce chronic diseases in the country. FDA said the guidance will enable customers with information and support promotion of healthful food option, as well as encourage food manufacturers to reduce sodium levels in food items.
* Japan lifted all age restrictions on beef imports from the U.S., Canada and Ireland that had been put in place to combat the bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or more commonly known as the mad cow disease, the Nikkei Asian Review reported. The move, a part of the trade talks between the U.S. and Japan, is expected to increase beef imports by 7% to 10%, amounting to an annual $150 million to $200 million, the report said, citing the U.S. Meat Export Federation.
Now featured on S&P Global Market Intelligence
Dining out in April: Restaurant sales growth beats overall retail sector again
The day ahead
Early morning futures indicators pointed to a lower opening for the U.S. market.
In Asia, the Hang Seng was down 0.57% to 27,787.61. The Nikkei 225 rose 0.24% to 21,301.73.
In Europe as of midday, the FTSE 100 was down 0.74% to 7,293.91, and the Euronext 100 was down 1.13% to 1,047.06.
On the macro front
Chicago Fed National Activity Index is due out today.
Click here to read about today's financial markets, setting out the factors driving stocks, bonds and currencies around the world ahead of the New York open.
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.