• Goldman Sachs Shifts to Work From Home, Holidays Empty Offices, Apple's Value Sets Record

    Goldman Sachs Shifts to Work From Home

    Investment banking firm Goldman Sachs, which had been among companies to mandate that employees return to the office full-time last year, reportedly has asked its staff to work from home amid a record rise in coronavirus cases.

    A memo went out to employees asking them to work from home until Jan. 18, the New York Post reported.

    Goldman Sachs joins Citi and JPMorgan in sending employees home to work for the first part of the new year.

    Concerns about rising cases with the highly contagious omicron variant of the coronavirus had prompted health officials to urge caution during holiday gatherings. New confirmed cases are at a daily average of more than 405,000, a record for the pandemic that started in mid-March 2020, according to data compiled by the New York Times.

    New cases have risen sharply since the middle of December while hospitalizations haven’t followed the rapid increase in new cases.

    New York City, Atlanta, Chicago, Miami, Newark and Washington, D.C., are among the large cities seeing the highest increases in cases.

    Holidays Empty Offices

    Office use dropped significantly during the holidays, typical for the time of year. But with office use already far below pre-pandemic levels, the numbers looked like the early days of the pandemic.

    All of the major metropolitan areas tracked by Falls Church, Virginia-based security firm Kastle Systems saw office use decrease over the past two weeks.

    Kastle gathers anonymous employee data from workplaces where it provides access-control technology. While it is only a sampling of buildings by one security company, the data gives a peek into how employees and employers are responding to office use during the pandemic.

    Last week, Phoenix had the lowest office usage at Kastle's clients with 8.5%, the only area in single digits. Silicon Valley, which already had comparatively low office use, dropped to 13.3% while Washington, D.C., dropped to 14.9%.

    Recovery over the next few weeks may prove challenging, with some companies shifting back to employees working from home as new coronavirus cases set records for numbers of infections.

    Apple's Stock Market Value Sets Record

    Apple, which has a massive new campus in Austin, Texas, and is building another new hub in Raleigh, North Carolina, became the first public company to hit the $3 trillion value mark during trading on Monday.

    The Cupertino, California-based computer and electronics maker just missed holding the valuation by the end of trading, finishing the day at a stock market value of $2.986 trillion, at $182.01 per share.

    Investors are banking on the company reporting strong earnings following its first quarter of the fiscal year that started Sept. 26 and runs through Christmas.

    The company’s AirPods, for example, apparently sold well during the holidays, particularly its newest version, CNBC reported, citing a research note from Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of TFI Asset Management.

    Source: www.CoStar.com