Roundup: Amazon fulfillment center / US home sales / Suit against Walmart 

    First in Louisiana: Amazon will open its first Louisiana fulfillment center in the Lafayette Parish city of Carencro. Amazon plans to make a $100 million capital investment and create 500 direct jobs with an annual payroll of more than $16 million, Louisiana Economic Development announced today. LED and its economic development partners began formal discussions with Amazon about a potential fulfillment center in July. To secure the project in Carencro, the state offered Amazon a competitive incentive package that includes the LED FastStart program. Amazon will also be eligible for a performance-based grant of $3 million, payable over two years, to offset facility infrastructure costs.

    Cooling off: The market for existing homes cooled slightly in November, the National Association of Realtors said today, after climbing through the late spring, summer and early fall despite the pandemic. Existing home sales fell 2.5% between October and November on a seasonally adjusted basis to 6.69 million annualized units. That’s the first decline in that figure since May, when housing market activity started recovering from the shutdowns of March and April due to the coronavirus lockdowns. Read the full report. 

    Opioid epidemic: The Justice Department is suing Walmart, alleging the company unlawfully dispensed controlled substances through its pharmacies, helping to fuel the opioid crisis in America. The civil complaint being filed Tuesday points to the role Walmart’s pharmacies may have played in the crisis by filling opioid prescriptions and by unlawfully distributing controlled substances to the pharmacies during the height of the opioid crisis. Walmart operates more than 5,000 pharmacies in its stores around the country. Read the full story.