Humana stock jumps for second day; Amazon Prime Day sales soared, and yuck: Man chases Jack with bottle of Elmer’s glue

A news summary, focused on 10 big employers; updated 4:38 p.m.

Ford 2017 Escape
The 2017 Ford Escape built in Louisville took top honors in Cars.com’s annual compact SUV challenge.

HUMANA‘s stock closed moments ago up 4.3% at $161.30, posting its second consecutive day of gains. The beleaguered stock has been buffeted since last week’s surprising news that top executives met Department of Justice anti-trust officials in a last-ditch effort to keep the insurer’ $37 billion merger with Aetna on track (Google Finance).

The New York state insurance regulator has conditionally approved the deal, one of the last state sign-offs needed, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg News. The approval is significant because New York is one of the nation’s biggest insurance markets. Alongside the Justice Department, state insurance regulators have been conducting their own assessments, which are in some cases required before a transaction can proceed (Bloomberg).

The Louisville insurer is adding 70 telesales jobs to its existing 305 in Middleton, Wisc., to meet anticipated demand for the upcoming Medicare open enrollment period, Oct. 15 to Dec. 7 (Wisconsin State Journal).

KINDRED: Arkansas state lawmakers are giving mixed reviews to the state’s plan to sell its in-home health care services program to Kindred for $39 million, a deal closing Aug 1. Kindred submitted the highest bid of the six bidders and got the highest scores in the state Health Department’s bid evaluation (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette).

UPS fired an employee at its Maumee distribution center yesterday after investigating a photo posted on Facebook purporting to show a noose hanging inside the northeast Ohio facility. It’s unclear whether the employee taking the photo was fired, or the person responsible for the noose itself. Maumee is 18 miles southwest of Toledo (Toledo Blade).

AMAZON said yesterday’s second annual Prime Day customer orders surpassed last year’s by more than 60% worldwide and more than 50% in the U.S. It was also a record day for Amazon devices globally and record Prime Day for each Amazon device category, including Fire TV and Kindle e-readers (press release). That announcement came after initial news reports said sales had been flat in the U.S. (Fortune and Bloomberg). Amazon’s stock closed at $742.63, down less than 1%, on the news after hitting a record high on Monday.

Prime Day is a one-day sale exclusively for members of the Prime subscription shopping service. Amazon’s goal is to create a new shopping holiday like the post-Thanksgiving Black Friday to encourage more spending on its site and drive growth in lucrative Prime memberships. More Prime Day news.

Separately, the retailer is recruiting potential employees for its 3,000-worker Jeffersonville distribution center today from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; jobs pay up to $13 an hour (CraigsList). It also employs another 3,000 workers at a second center in Shephardsville.

FORD‘s 2017 Ford Escape took top honors in Cars.com’s annual compact SUV challenge, beating the 2016 Kia Sportage, 2016 Honda CR-V, 2016 Toyota RAV4 and 2016 Hyundai Tucson. With available SYNC Connect that starts, locks, unlocks and locates the car using Ford’s mobile app, the starting MSRP is $23,600, plus taxes, and other fees (press release). Ford employs 4,700 workers at the Louisville Assembly Plant building Escapes and Lincoln MKCs.

Also, Ford’s highly anticipated Focus RS is now arriving at U.S. dealerships. It was developed by U.S. and European engineers, and is being built at the automaker’s factory in Saarlouis in southwest Germany (press release). The automaker unveiled a redesigned version of the car in February (Detroit News). A state appeals court in San Francisco has revived a lawsuit on behalf thousands of Californians accusing Ford’s Canadian subsidiary of conspiring with other automakers to halt exports of lower-priced new cars and trucks to the United States in the early 2000s, a scheme they say maintained higher U.S. prices (Chronicle).

BROWN-FORMAN: Don’t read this unless you’ve already had breakfast. Only days after Ernest Acosta was filmed hunched over a toilet after chugging two liters of Jack Daniels in 55 seconds, the heavily tattooed man has set his sights on a 7-oz. bottle of Elmers glue. “I’m going to do this like a man,” the American says in a five-minute video on his 3,000-subscriber YouTube channel (Daily Mail).

He also attached this note to the video: “WARNING DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME CAN CAUSE BODILY HARM OR EVEN DEATH.” To which Boulevard says: no duh.

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