ECONOMY

Morgan Stanley, Walgreens, General Mills: Stocks That Defined the Week

Morgan Stanley

America’s biggest banks are boosting payouts to shareholders now that they have made it through last year’s Covid-19-induced economic troubles. After the Federal Reserve affirmed that they are healthy enough to do so, five of the six largest banks raised their dividends Monday. Morgan Stanley led the way, doubling its quarterly dividend to 70 cents a share and announcing plans to buy back up to $12 billion of its stock in the next 12 months. Morgan Stanley shares rose 3.4% Tuesday.

Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc.

Pharmacy sales are on the mend at Walgreens , thanks to Covid-19 shots. The drugstore chain posted net earnings of $1.2 billion in the latest quarter as vaccinations contributed to improving store traffic and to a recovery in Walgreens’s pharmacy and nonpharmacy sales. The drugstore chain said it has now given more than 25 million vaccinations for Covid-19. Walk-in appointments, employer partnerships and mobile clinics have contributed to those efforts, Walgreens said. The vaccination campaign in the U.S. has cooled in recent weeks, as Americans who were most eager to get the shots have largely been able to do so. Walgreens shares lost 7.4% Thursday.

Southwest Airlines Co.

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