5 Most Important Things in Business Today

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CVS Health Corp. (NYSE: CVS) will give its workers raises and more benefits. According to The Wall Street Journal:

CVS Health Corp. said it will use some of the extra cash from the U.S. tax overhaul to raise its starting hourly pay to $11 for U.S. workers, the latest company to announce employee perks in the wake of the legislation.

The company, with 240,000 U.S. workers, currently pays a starting wage of $9 an hour, though many employees make more. It said that in addition to raising the minimum, it will increase pay for lower-wage retail workers at its nearly 10,000 U.S. stores. CVS didn’t provide an average increase.

Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) is trying out a new negative comment project. According to Bloomberg:

Facebook Inc. is testing a button that would let users “downvote” other people’s comments on public posts.

The button, which simply says “Downvote,” appears to the right of “Like” and “Reply” options below a comment. The button is intended to notify Facebook about uncivil or misleading comments. The world’s largest social network is testing it in the short-term for a small percentage of U.S. users, and it currently doesn’t affect how prominently a post is featured in a list of comments, a company representative said.

People are pulling money out of U.S. stock funds. According to CNBC:

U.S. stock funds saw a record $23.9 billion withdrawn by investors in the last week, according to new data, as the turmoil in global stock markets saw traders shun equities in favor of perceived safe havens.

Exchange-traded fund (ETF) outflows alone constituted the bulk of withdrawals, at $21 billion, while mutual fund outflows made up $3 billion of withdrawals, according to data from Thomson Reuters’ Lipper unit. It also showed that tech stock funds suffered $1.1 billion in outflows in its worst losses since 2016.

The new MoviePass ticket system for theaters is growing quickly. According to CNNMoney:

The $10 a month unlimited movie service just crossed two million subscribers less than one month after passing 1.5 million users, the company announced on Thursday.

“We’re giving people a reason to go back to the movie theaters and they’re going in droves,” CEO Mitch Lowe said in statement. “With awards season here, we hope we can make Hollywood and exhibitors very happy by filling seats with eager audiences.”

The New York Times Co. (NYSE: NYT) had a banner quarter, due primarily to subscription growth. According to the New York Post:

 The New York Times Co. pleased investors with market-beating profit and revenue as digital subscriptions surged, underscoring the turnaround in its fortunes that had wavered as fewer people bought newspapers.

And:

The company added 157,000 digital subscribers in the quarter ended Dec. 31, taking its total subscriber count to above 2.5 million. Revenue from its digital-only subscription products, including news as well as crossword and NYT Cooking Recipes, increased 51.2 percent, to $96.3 million.