The St Louis suburb of Ferguson is now in its 10th day of violence following the police shooting of unarmed black teen Michael Brown, with the US government deploying the national guard and imposing a curfew on residents.
Tuesday 19 August 2014 7:16 am
Ferguson riots: Is it business as usual for local companies?
Last night President Obama dispatched attorney general Eric Holder to monitor events and establish whether national guard troops are “helping or hindering the situation”. Tear-gas and stun grenades have been used against protesters, according to reports, and TV images have shown a city in flames.
Ferguson is a suburb of St Louis, slightly further from the city centre than Croydon is from the City of London. If you think back three years ago, you will probably remember how close it felt when the family furniture store House of Reeves was in flames during the riots sparked by the police shooting of Mark Duggan.
St Louis is the headquarters of a number of Fortune 1000 companies and supports a strong manufacturing hub. With the national guard out in force just down the road, how are the riots affecting these businesses?
Brewer Anheuser-Busch – producer of beers such as Stella Artois, Beck's and Budweiser – is looking healthy, beating both the Dow and the S&P 500 over the past week.
Emerson Electric is actually just a mile from the QuikTrip gas station that was burned and looted in the first five days of protests. The global manufacturing and technology company is also up – although it has underperformed both indices.
According to Fortune.com, Emerson is operating normally. A spokesman told the publication management were being kept up to speed by local authorities and staff were being updated on safety issues.
General Motors, which is among several businesses to have a manufacturing plant in St Louis, has seen some dips but looks like it's catching up with the indices now.