Afternoon Coffee: Walmart Considering Purchase of PillPack, Amazon Exploring Acquisition of Flipkart

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Walmart is looking into buying PillPack, an online pharmacy, for under $1 billion, CNBC reports. The news comes amid a growing trend among retailers to bolster their healthcare offerings. But Walmart is a special case, as our analyst Tom Finn explained in a related article, as it has effectively positioned itself as a true primary care provider, capable even of treating patients with chronic diseases.

Flipkart Deal 

While Walmart may be advancing in healthcare, it’s still fighting off its nemesis Amazon on the retail front. As Livemint reports, Amazon is considering a rival bid to buy Flipkart, India’s largest e-commerce firm, even as the company has entered advanced talks to sell a majority stake to Walmart. While closing the deal with Walmart is still more likely, the entry of Amazon into the process has raised eyebrows.

Trade Deficit

Adding more fuel to the fire at an already tense time in global trade, the U.S. trade deficit increased to a near 9½-year high in February, CNBC reports. Both exports and imports rose to record highs. The shortfall with China, however, narrowed sharply. Imports from the country declined 14.7% in February, while exports remained unchanged.

Aluminum Prices

And finally, a commodities update. U.S. aluminum prices have fallen 6% from a peak in February, the Wall Street Journal reports. Manufacturers are now are paying 3% less for aluminum than they were before the Trump administration announced news tariffs on the metal in March.

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