The number of confirmed coronavirus cases globally has risen above 4.9 million, data compiled by Johns Hopkins University showed, with Russia cementing its position as the second worst-hit country in the world, after the U.S., and Brazil seeing its largest spike in new cases and deaths.
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- Global cases: Around 4.9 million
- Global deaths: More than 323,000
- Top 5 countries: United States (More than 1.5 million), Russia (299,941), Brazil (271,885), United Kingdom (250,138), Spain (232,037)
The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University as at 12:32 p.m. Beijing time.
Scientists propose a 50 days on, 30 days off coronavirus lockdown strategy
A rolling cycle of 50 days of lockdown followed by 30 days where measures are relaxed could be the best way to keep deaths from Covid-19 down while ensuring some economic protection, scientists have argued.
In a paper published on Wednesday, researchers modeled various lockdown scenarios across 16 countries.
Implementing no social distancing or hygiene measures at all would result in 7.8 million deaths in those countries, the study found, while the ’50 days on, 30 days off’ approach could reduce deaths during the pandemic to 130,000 across the 16 countries in the analysis. — Chloe Taylor
Indian taxi app Ola lays off 1,400 employees
Poland’s employment rate fell at fastest pace since 2009 amid virus peak
11:00 a.m. (London time): Poland’s employment rate fell much more than expected in April at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, data showed Wednesday.
Corporate employment fell by 2.1% year-on-year to 6,259 million people last month, the statistics office data showed. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected a decline of 0.5%, the news agency noted that the decline is the steepest fall since November 2009. — Holly Ellyatt
Coronavirus takes its toll on renewable energy sector
10:44 a.m. (London time): The coronavirus has posed a number of challenges to the renewable energy sector, disrupting supply chains and forcing some factories to close their doors.
On Wednesday, the International Energy Agency said that the pandemic would hit renewable installations in 2020, with its Renewable Market Update report projecting that 167 gigawatts of renewable capacity will be added this year, a 13% fall compared to 2019.
Earlier this week, the Solar Energy Industries Association said the solar industry in the U.S. had cut 65,000 jobs since the end of February, noting that these losses were a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic. — Anmar Frangoul
While coronavirus dominates Europe, Brexit negotiations are going badly
10:20 a.m. (London time): Brexit negotiators have complained about the lack of progress after their third round of trade talks, which are taking place just as Europe tries to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.
David Frost, the U.K.’s negotiator, said Friday there had been “very little progress towards (an) agreement on the most significant outstanding issues between us.”
In Brussels, the EU’s negotiator, said Friday it was a “disappointing” round. There are differences over level playing field, fisheries and the implementation of previous agreements.
This raises uncertainty about whether they will reach an agreement before the end of the year. Failure to get a trade deal with bring further economic challenges for both sides, at time when they are grappling with the most severe crisis since the 1930s. — Silvia Amaro
Greece’s economy is expected to shrink by up to 13% due to coronavirus
9:30 a.m. (London time): Greece’s economy could shrink by 10-13% in 2020 following the country’s coronavirus lockdown, the country’s finance minister said on Wednesday, according to Reuters.
The government will take steps to limit the impact of the recession and support businesses, Finance Minister Christos Staikouras told Greek radio Real FM.
“We aim for the economy to gradually return to the dynamic it had before the health crisis, in February,” Staikouras said. — Holly Ellyatt
Russia’s cases top 300,000 but death toll remains very low
8:40 a.m. (London time): Russia’s coronavirus cases surpassed 300,000 on Wednesday, cementing its position as the second worst-hit country from the virus after the U.S.
The total number of confirmed cases hit 308,705 after it reported a further 8,764 cases, its coronavirus crisis center said. The death toll rose by 135 to total 2,972 fatalities, a figure that appears markedly low when compared to Russia’s regional peers.
Experts like political analyst Anton Barbashin have questioned the accuracy of the Russian data, telling CNBC that “there are many questions” relating to the number of people reported dead because of Covid-19 in Russia. — Holly Ellyatt
Singapore delivers death sentence to man via Zoom video call
1:30 pm (Singapore time) — A man was sentenced to death in Singapore via a Zoom video call last week, reported Reuters, citing court documents.
The man, a 37-year-old Malaysian national named Punithan Genasan, received the sentence for his role in a heroin transaction in 2011, according to the report. Singapore has a zero-tolerance stance toward illegal drugs and has one of the world’s toughest drug laws.
The remote delivery of a capital punishment came as the city state remains under partial lockdown, which came into effect in early April and is scheduled to be gradually lifted next month. Singapore has reported a total of 28,794 coronavirus cases as of Tuesday — one of the highest in Asia. —Yen Nee Lee
Brazil records largest single-day spike in cases, deaths
1:00 pm (Singapore time) — Brazil recorded its largest single-day jump in coronavirus cases and deaths on Tuesday, reported Reuters, citing the latest data by the health ministry.
The country reported an increase of 17,408 cases to bring its tally to 271,628, the report said. Brazil now has the third-highest number of cumulative cases globally behind the U.S. and Russia, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
The country’s death toll rose by a record 1,179 to 17,971, reported Reuters. —Yen Nee Lee
A graffiti of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro wearing a face mask is seen on a wall while a delivery man rides a bike in downtown Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on March 24, 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Mauro Pimentel | AFP | Getty Images
China stockpiles food as pandemic stokes fear about supply shortages
12:15 pm (Singapore time) — China, which has limited arable land, has been stocking up on food as the coronavirus pandemic compounded worries about a supply shortage.
In the first four months of the year, Chinese imports of meat — including pork, beef and poultry — surged 82% compared to the same period a year ago. The country also stepped up purchase of rice for its national reserves, reported state news agency Xinhua.
Read this report by CNBC’s Huileng Tan for more on what China is stockpiling. —Yen Nee Lee
CVS says it will return $43.3 million in coronavirus stimulus funds
9:15 am (Singapore time) — CVS Health said it will return the $43.3 million it received from the federal government as part of the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund.
In a letter addressed to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, CVS CEO Larry Merlo said: “We have made the decision to return the funds and forgo participation in subsequent disbursements. In doing so, we hope to help HHS provide additional support to other providers who are facing significant financial challenges as a result of the pandemic.”
Merlo said in his letter that CVS did not seek out the funds but received them from the Department of Health and Human Services as part of an automatic distribution. “We understand we’re qualified to receive financial support, but this funding should be focused on other providers who are facing financial hardship due to the pandemic,” a CVS spokesperson said. — Riya Bhattacharjee
Gavin Newsom not worried about Elon Musk moving Tesla from California
Tesla Inc. vehicles are parked at the company’s assembly plant in Fremont, California, U.S., on Monday, May 11, 2020.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images
7:30 pm ET — California Gov. Gavin Newsom told CNBC that he is not worried about Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s recent threats to move the company out of the state “anytime soon.”
“I’ve had a lot of conversations with him, and we’re committed to the success and the innovation and the low-carbon, green growth economy that he’s been promoting for decades and the state of California is accelerating in,” Newsom said in an interview that aired on “Fast Money.” —Kevin Stankiewicz
Apple makes its biggest-ever movie acquisition for AppleTV+
Tom Hanks, winner of the Cecil B. Demille Award, poses in the press room during the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 05, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California.
Kevin Winter/Getty Images
7:10 pm ET — The Tom Hanks World War II battleship drama “Greyhound,” which is produced by Sony, is heading straight to streaming on AppleTV+ due to coronavirus shutdowns.
Apple paid about $70 million for 15 years of streaming rights to the film, people close to the matter told CNBC’s Julia Boorstin. Sony retains distribution rights in China, where it could eventually get to theaters.
This is the first time that Hanks, who had to approve the move, has skipped theaters and gone to streaming. —Chris Eudaily
Parking lots reopen at some California state parks
A family set up at a beach looking out towards the San Diego skyline Tuesday, May 19, 2020, in Coronado, Calif. With encouraging results in their fight against the coronavirus, San Diego County supervisors voted Tuesday to ask the state to allow California’s second-largest county to be a test case for whether more rapid reopening can safely occur.
Gregory Bull | AP
Special relief funds are available for women and minority business owners
California Gov. Gavin Newsom talks about federal aid for economic recovery of states
6:20 pm ET — California Gov. Gavin Newsom appeared on CNBC’s Fast Money to discuss the reopening of his state as well as federal aid.
Warren urges Senate to pass relief to support mail-in voting
Senator Elizabeth Warren speaks at a campaign rally at the Seattle Center Armory in Seattle, Washington, February 22, 2020.
Jason Redmond | Reuters
5:50 pm ET — Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Ma., pressured the Senate to include in the next coronavirus stimulus package a total of $4 billion for the expansion of mail-in voting for the general election.
“The House has already taken action to include vote by mail, she said in a press call with reporters, “and now the Senate must step up and make sure that voting is safe, fair and accessible for everyone.” Last Friday, House Democrats passed a $3 trillion relief package that enables states greater access for mail-in voting. But the GOP-run Senate has indicated the bill is unlikely to pass in the upper chamber. The pandemic has upended 2020 elections, forcing multiple states and U.S. territories to either delay or adjust their presidential primaries. More than a dozen states are anticipating that more voters will choose mail-in ballots over in-person voting in the upcoming general election. —Yelena Dzhanova
Tilman Fertitta says Cuomo’s plan for restrictions on virus relief ‘makes no sense whatsoever’
5:20 pm ET — Landry’s CEO Tilman Fertitta criticized New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan to force companies receiving government aid during the crisis to have the same amount of employees as they had before the pandemic.
Fertitta, who also owns the NBA’s Houston Rockets, said Cuomo’s plan “makes no sense whatsoever.” He knows nothing about running businesses. You can’t hire everybody back. Our business is not coming back for years,” Fertitta said. Cuomo said during his press briefing on Tuesday that it would be “such a scandal, and a fraud” if companies were allowed to layoff workers permanently after taking money from the government. —Jesse Pound
San Francisco marks positive reopening progress
An employee wearing a protective mask, right, checks a tire on a customer’s bicycle at a Bike shop in San Francisco, California, on Monday, May 18, 2020.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images
4:50 pm ET — San Francisco has made significant steps forward in its coronavirus response due to residents’ compliance with social-distancing orders, according to Mayor London Breed.
“We have seen a decline in the curve and that is something to be proud of, but our goal is to get rid of it entirely and that’s going to take continued work,” Breed said at a press briefing Tuesday. She said that continuing to expand testing availability is critical to the city reopening. Breed will undergo a Covid-19 test in the city’s Bayview neighborhood to help end “stigma” around testing. The city’s public health officials are studying health indicators in two-week phases in order to determine how the city should continue to move forward and more updates on children’s summer activities will be provided later this week. —Hannah Miller
Oregon’s restrictions stay in place, national parks are open in Wyoming
This is a file photo showing people photographing Old Faithful geyser erupting in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.
Jim Urquhart | Reuters
4:30 pm ET — The Oregon Supreme Court kept the state’s coronavirus restrictions in place late Monday after halting a county judge’s order to remove them. Wyoming national parks like Yellowstone saw their first full day of visitors on Tuesday after being allowed to reopen Monday afternoon. Yellowstone had been closed since March 24. For more on states’ reopening progress, click here. —Hannah Miller
Arkansas contact tracers tracked outbreak to church, prompting concern
A pedestrian wearing a protective face mask walks past the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, on Saturday, March 14, 2020.
Elijah Nouvelage | Bloomberg via Getty Images
4 pm ET — Health officials in Arkansas tracked a rural outbreak back to a church, raising concerns about viral spread at religious gatherings as states begin to ease restrictions, the CDC said in a new study.
After a pastor and his wife became the first two confirmed cases in their county, health officials found a total of 61 infections and four deaths connected to the pastor’s church. “This outbreak highlights the potential for widespread transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, both at group gatherings during church events and within the broader community,” CDC researchers wrote. Governors have placed varying degrees of restrictions on faith-based organizations from the start of the outbreak with several providing specific exemptions for religious activity. —Will Feuer
Moderna did not provide critical info on new vaccine, report says
3:30 pm ET — Moderna announced Monday that its potential Covid-19 vaccine appeared to be generating an immune response in human trial subjects.
However, several vaccine experts say the pharmaceutical company did not provide enough information to determine how effective the vaccine is, according to a STAT News report. The experts suggested that the recent announcement from Moderna should be taken “with a big grain of salt.” —Hannah Miller
Trump says WHO must ‘clean up’ its act or else
President Donald Trump speaks about the nation?s food supply chain during a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic response event in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington, May 19, 2020.
Leah Millis | Reuters
3:10 pm ET — President Donald Trump told reporters that the World Health Organization must “clean up” its act or the United States won’t “be involved with them anymore.”
Trump has repeatedly criticized the WHO’s response to the coronavirus, which has hit the U.S. worse than any other country in the world. The president this week threatened to permanently cut off U.S. funding of the WHO.
The WHO has “to do a better job,” Trump told reporters during a White House meeting about American farmers. “They have to be much more fair to other countries, including the United States, or we are not going to be involved with them anymore. We will do it a separate way.” —Berkeley Lovelace Jr.
Ford plant tells Trump to wear a mask for Thursday visit
3:02 pm ET — The Ford Motor Company said President Donald Trump needs to wear a mask when he visits the company’s ventilator production factory in Michigan on Thursday, but won’t say it will stop Trump from entering if he refuses to put on a facial covering.
Ford’s policy at its Rawsonville Components Plant in Ypsilanti is “that everyone wears PPE [personal protective equipment] to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”
And the automaker had told the White House about that and other safety protocols, the company said. But it’s not clear that Trump, who has declined to wear masks during the coronavirus outbreak, will comply with Ford’s policy.
Trump earlier this month refused to wear a mask while touring a Honeywell mask-production plant in Arizona, where workers were all wearing masks per plant policy. Trump’s visit itself will violate an order by Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer that bars manufacturers from hosting “all non-essential in-person visits, including tours.” But Whitmer’s spokesman said she will not try to block Trump from touring the Ford plant. —Dan Mangan
VP Pence not taking hydroxychloroquine like Trump
2:47 pm ET — Vice President Mike Pence said he is not taking hydroxychloroquine as a preventive treatment for the coronavirus.
“My physician hasn’t recommended that, but I wouldn’t hesitate to take the counsel of my doctor. Any American should do likewise,” Pence said when asked by Fox News about whether he was doing so. The interview came a day after President Donald Trump said he has been taking a daily dose of the anti-malaria drug for the past week.
No drug has been proven effective in treating the coronavirus or preventing transmission of the disease.
After a lunch with GOP senators on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, Trump said that deciding whether to take hydroxychloroquine is a personal decision, but that he believes it provides an additional level of safety. —Kevin Breuninger
Outbreak back to where it began in New York, Gov. Cuomo says
A man wears a protective face mask as he walks past closed stores, during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in New York, May 11, 2020.
Mike Segar | Reuters
2:36 pm ET — New York’s coronavirus outbreak has returned to levels not seen since March, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said, adding that 105 people died of Covid-19 in the state on Monday, down from an average of nearly 800 per day at the peak of the outbreak.
“We’re basically back to where we started before this tragedy descended upon us,” he said at a news briefing. “When someone asks, ‘Well why did we go through all this pain for two months, three months?’ Because we saved lives. That’s why.”
More than 352,845 people have been infected by the coronavirus in New York and at least 28,339 have died, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. —Will Feuer
FDA appears to soften stance on malaria drug
2:26 pm ET — The Food and Drug Administration said that taking hydroxychloroquine is “ultimately” a choice between patients and their doctors after President Donald Trump said he has been taking the anti-malaria drug to prevent infection from the coronavirus.
The FDA’s statement appeared to soften its earlier advisory against taking the anti-malaria drug outside of a hospital. The FDA had advised consumers against taking drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine for Covid-19 outside a hospital or formal clinical trial due to the risk of “serious heart rhythm problems.”
If a health-care professional is considering use of hydroxychloroquine for Covid-19, they should check for a suitable clinical trial and consider enrolling the patient, the FDA said last month. —Berkeley Lovelace Jr.
FTC warns about contact tracing text message scams
2:21 pm ET — The FTC warned about contact tracing scams in a blog post. Scammers pretend to be contact tracers working for public health departments to slow the spread of Covid-19, but they’re really trying to steal private information, the FTC said.
The emergence of these scams raises questions about public trust as contact tracing has become a key part of the U.S. strategy to fight Covid-19 and the CDC says that public engagement is critical for contact tracing to work.
Contact tracing is currently growing: One estimate suggests that 11,000 contact tracers are already working, and states have said they will hire tens of thousands more. —Kif Leswing
McDonald’s workers allege in new lawsuit that the chain’s coronavirus response falls short
2:15 pm ET — McDonald’s workers in Chicago allege in a new lawsuit that the fast-food giant is not giving workers enough masks, gloves and hand sanitizer to protect themselves from coronavirus.
Crowded kitchens make it nearly impossible for workers to practice social distancing, according to the lawsuit, and the plaintiffs say that they have not received training on how to protect themselves or customers.
The suit comes as McDonald’s prepares to reopen dining rooms across the country.
“Crew and managers are the heart and soul of the restaurants in which they work, and their safety and well-being is a top priority that guides our decision making,” McDonald’s USA said in a statement. —Amelia Lucas
NBA legend Magic Johnson offers $100 million in loans to minority-owned businesses
2:07 pm ET — Former NBA great Magic Johnson collaborated with MBE Capital Partners to offer $100 million in loans to minority- and women-owned companies hurt by stay-at-home orders due to Covid-19.
The loans, which are offered provided through the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program are targeted for African-American and Latino businesses left out of the new PPP funds.
“We have to remember that these businesses have been in urban communities for a long time,” Johnson told CNBC’s “Squawk Box. “They’ve been doing great things, and they probably didn’t have a relationship with the banks when the stimulus package went out. So now, we’re able to say, ‘Hey, you can have a relationship with us.’
Rafael Martinez, the CEO of MBE, said the funds would look to help 100,000 businesses in urban communities. Applicants are vetted using the SBA guidelines. Martinez added the application process is now simplified, making “it easier to qualify for these loans.” —Jabari Young
NIH study finds Covid-19 particles can stay in air for up to 14 minutes
1:53 pm ET — Coronavirus particles spread by talking can linger in the air for 8 to 14 minutes, according to a recent study from the National Institutes of Health. These findings indicate that the viral droplets generated when asymptomatic carriers speak could be a likely mode of how the disease spreads, CNBC’s Natasha Turak reports. The study also found that loud talkers could present a greater risk for transmitting the disease. —Hannah Miller
Omada Health capitalizing on the growing interest in digital health
1:38 pm ET — Omada Health raised $57 million from Perceptive Investors and spent about $30 million of it to acquire a start-up that provides virtual physical therapy services called Physera.
The deal marks Omada Health’s first acquisition in the space. Omada, which is one of the most highly valued digital health start-ups, specializes in helping people with chronic conditions. Omada and Physera both sell to health plans and employers. —Christina Farr
Mnuchin says Treasury is prepared to take losses on CARES Act bailouts
1:26 pm ET — Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said that the Treasury and the Fed are prepared to take losses in “certain scenarios” on business bailouts distributed from the CARES Act.
He did not elaborate on what these scenarios would be while testifying in a virtual Senate hearing, CNBC’s Christina Wilkie reports.
The government initially appropriated $500 billion for businesses affected by the coronavirus. —Hannah Miller
Barry Sternlicht wants to incentivize people to be part of contact tracing
1:09 pm ET — Global investor Barry Sternlicht suggested that the U.S. government should pay people to enroll in contact tracing programs.
“Once we can track the virus, we can deal with this virus,” the Starwood Capital founder said on “Squawk Box.”
Sternlicht said the payment could be between $500 to $1,000, serving as an incentive to get people to sign up.
“I think this contact tracing is a really big deal,” Sternlicht said, calling the public-health strategy “a game changer” in helping accelerate the U.S. economic recovery. —Kevin Stankiewicz
California business leaders call for $1 trillion more in relief for local governments facing massive budget cuts
An ambulance sits outside the US Capitol in Washington, DC, March 23, 2020, as the Senate continues negotiations on a relief package in response to the outbreak of COVID-19, known as the coronavirus.
Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images
Retail REITs take hard hit on missing rent payments
Walmart CEO says U.S. recovery will be bumpy, different than in China
12:14 pm ET — Walmart has had strong sales in stores and online during the pandemic, but even CEO Doug McMillon isn’t expecting a smooth and simple path forward.
On Tuesday, McMillon told analysts in an earnings call that the retailer expects volatility, even as states loosen lockdowns and shoppers try to return to routines. The company withdrew its financial outlook, citing economic uncertainty during Covid-19.
The big-box retailer has seen a gradual recovery in China, as all of its stores are open and customers shop for more discretionary items. McMillon said the U.S. has taken a different approach, though, and analysts shouldn’t expect the same patterns.
“We may see a bit of a two-step in some places where we make progress; two steps forward, take a step back, and then move forward again,” he said. “Obviously, there are a lot of pieces that have to be put in place from testing to exposure notification.”
He added, “it will be volatile and we’ll just manage it.” —Melissa Repko
Annie Glenn, widow of U.S. Sen. John Glenn, dies from Covid-19 complications
11:54 am ET — Annie Glenn, the widow of astronaut and U.S. Sen. John Glenn, died at the age of 100 from complications related to the coronavirus.
Annie Glenn served as a communication disorders advocate after overcoming a severe stutter, the Associated Press reports. She had been married to her husband for 73 years when he died in 2016. —Hannah Miller
New York City calls on state to provide death benefits to deceased city employees
11:45 am ET — New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called on the state government to approve line-of-duty death benefits for the survivors of municipal employees who died while responding to the Covid-19 outbreak.
He said that more than 270 public servants have lost their lives to Covid-19. Line-of-duty death benefits would provide the families of police, transit and other deceased city workers with a portion of their wages after their death.
The city has already extended health insurance for an additional 45 days to the families of city employees who died from the coronavirus, de Blasio said. —Noah Higgins-Dunn
Worker incentives hit Home Depot’s profit and e-commerce accelerates
People wearing masks wait in line in front of the Home Depot store in Flatiron amid the coronavirus pandemic on May 18, 2020 in New York City.
Alexi Rosenfeld | Getty Images
11:23 am ET — Home Depot said in its first-quarter earnings report that it spent about $640 million on efforts to boost wages and protect workers in a bid to keep employees coming in during spring, its busiest season of the year.
The company said it has increased wages, doubled overtime pay and is providing weekly bonuses. It’s one of the few retailers that appear to have picked up business during the coronavirus pandemic with revenue rising more than 7% as the company saw accelerating growth of its e-commerce platform.
“As shelter-in-place orders rolled out across the country in mid- to late-March, we saw our digital businesses accelerate from approximately 30% growth in early March to triple-digit growth in early April,” executive vice president of merchandising Ted Decker told investors. “During the last three weeks of the quarter, traffic to HomeDepot.com was consistently above Black Friday levels.” —William Feuer
Trump to meet GOP lawmakers on Capitol Hill as coronavirus response enters new phase
President Donald Trump alongside Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., talks to the media about Robert Mueller’s report upon arriving for the Senate Republican Policy luncheon in the Capitol on Tuesday, March 26, 2019.
Tom Williams | CQ-Roll Call Group | Getty Images
11:07 am ET — President Donald Trump plans to come to Capitol Hill around noon to have lunch with Republicans, two GOP sources told NBC News.
Vice President Pence was scheduled to meet with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin earlier Tuesday morning.
The president’s lunch meeting comes as Republicans and Democrats trade barbs over what provisions should be included in additional legislation to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mnuchin and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Tuesday morning began testifying remotely before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee about the CARES Act, which Trump signed into law in late March. —Kevin Breuninger
Google expects to reach 30% office capacity by end of year
10:58 am ET — A bulk of Google employees will return to the office by the end of the year, but the days and times they come in will be on a rotating schedule to continue social distancing.
“I expect by the end of the year, we’ll be at 20% to 30% capacity. Which may still mean we are able to get 60% of our employees in once a week, or something like that,” Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai said on “The Vergecast” podcast.
Google will start off with having 10% to 15% of workers in the office at any time, he said. —Jessica Bursztynsky
McCarthy says liability protections for businesses, doctors are top GOP priority
10:52 am ET — House Minority Leader McCarthy, R-Calif., told CNBC that “liability protections would be the No. 1 thing I would look at” in an additional coronavirus relief bill. “No bill will pass without it,” McCarthy said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”
McCarthy and other Republican leaders including Vice President Mike Pence, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., were scheduled to meet on Capitol Hill Tuesday morning to discuss their priorities for another coronavirus relief bill. —Kevin Breuninger
Southwest hits a turning point with new bookings outpacing cancellations
Ground operations employees load baggage onto a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 aircraft on the tarmac at John Wayne Airport (SNA) in Santa Ana, California.
Patrick T. Fallon | Bloomberg | Getty Images
10:03 am ET — Southwest Airlines says the worst of a drop in bookings appears to be over, but demand is still far off last year’s levels as the coronavirus continues to keep travelers away.
The Dallas-based airline said new bookings are now outpacing cancellations. As a result of the improvement, Southwest expects its May year-over-year operating revenue to be down 85% to 90%, from a previous forecast of a 90% to 95% drop.
It also expects planes to be fuller — up to 30% — from a previous forecast of 5% to 10% full. —Leslie Josephs
Amazon delivers over 100 million items to front line workers and government employees
9:54 am ET — Amazon said it has delivered more than 100 million medical items to front-line workers and government agencies during the coronavirus pandemic.
The company’s business-to-business marketplace in late March debuted a dedicated section of its website where “organizations on the front lines” could order items including N95 masks, ventilators and surgical gloves, among other things. Amazon received an influx of requests from front-line workers at the end of March and early April, as safety gear and ventilators were in extremely short supply.
Since the launch, Amazon said more than 20,000 customers have used the site to secure essential supplies, with personal protective equipment and janitorial sanitation products, like medical grade disinfectant solutions, being the most popular. —Annie Palmer
Customers return as Olive Garden’s parent company reopens dining rooms
9:50 am ET — Olive Garden’s parent company, Darden Restaurants, began reopening dining rooms with limited capacity on April 27, and it looks like the move is lifting sales.
Darden’s same-store sales fell just 49% during the week ended May 17, with nearly half of its dining rooms operating again. For the week ended April 26, same-store sales plunged 60.1% compared with a year earlier.
The company plans to have more than 65% of its dining rooms reopened with limited capacity by the end of the month after closing all of them on March 20.
Darden also said it fully repaid its $750 million credit facility on May 5, citing “increased confidence in our cash flow projections and stabilization in the credit markets.” —Amelia Lucas
Stocks dip ahead of Powell and Mnuchin testimony
Jerome Powell, chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, left, and Steven Mnuchin, U.S. Treasury secretary, arrive for a Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) meeting at the U.S. Treasury in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2018.
Al Drago | Bloomberg | Getty Images
9:38 am ET — Stocks opened lower as investors looked ahead to testimony from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. Their testimony is part of required updates to Congress on the economic response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded 94 points lower, or 0.4%. The S&P 500 slid 0.3% while the Nasdaq Composite hovered around the flatline. Read the latest updates on stock market activity from CNBC’s Fred Imbert and Yun Li. —Melodie Warner
Kohl’s quarterly net sales crater with stores forced shut during pandemic
9:20 am ET — Kohl’s net sales tanked 43.5% during the first quarter ended May 2. The retailer said it has now reopened about 50% of its more than 1,100 locations across the country. But the coronavirus pandemic has put a new layer of pressure on the company, which was already struggling to grow sales. Kohl’s declined to report its same-store sales for the latest quarter.
“We know this experience will have a lasting impact to customer behavior and the retail landscape,” CEO Michelle Gass said in a statement. —Lauren Thomas
Pier 1 to wind down its business after no buyer comes through
9:14 am ET — Struggling home goods retailer Pier 1 Imports said it is seeking court approval to wind down its business. It was not able to find a buyer in bankruptcy proceedings during the coronavirus pandemic. When it filed for bankruptcy protection in February, prior to the Covid-19 crisis slamming the U.S. economy, Pier 1 was planning to shut about half, or 450, of its stores.
“This decision follows months of working to identify a buyer who would continue to operate our business going forward,” CFO Robert Riesbeck said in a statement. “Unfortunately, the challenging retail environment has been significantly compounded by the profound impact of COVID-19, hindering our ability to secure such a buyer and requiring us to wind down.” —Lauren Thomas
U.S. outpaces rest of world in newly reported cases
75% of Singapore’s economy can resume on June 2
8:15 am ET —Singapore’s government said three-quarters of the country’s economy can resume normal operations starting on June 2, with one-third of the workforce resuming on-site operations, according to Reuters.
Laborers returning to work include those working in manufacturing, production, finance, insurance and wholesale trade, Reuters reported. Some schools will also reopen as part of the phased plan.
Health Minister Gan Kim Yong cautioned the partial resumption of operations will likely mean an uptick in daily new Covid-19 cases. The city-state has confirmed nearly 28,800 cases of the virus. —Sara Salinas
Correction: An earlier version gave an incomplete name for Health Minister Gan Kim Yong.
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U.S. will send 200 ventilators to Russia as Russian coronavirus cases near 300,000
A woman wearing a protective mask holds flowers near a makeshift memorial for medics, who reportedly died in Saint Petersburg and Leningrad Region in the times of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in central Saint Petersburg, Russia April 28, 2020.
Anton Vaganov | Reuters
7:26 am ET — The U.S. will start delivering 200 ventilators to Russia this week, the U.S. Embassy in Moscow said, according to Reuters. It comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin reportedly requested assistance from the U.S., and President Donald Trump offered to send 200 U.S.-made ventilators.
Russia now has the second-highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases after the U.S. — 299,941. It has recorded 2,837 deaths, as of Tuesday. The first batch of 50 ventilators should be ready for shipment on Wednesday, while the rest will be ready shortly after, the embassy said in a statement, according to Reuters.
Russia had sent the U.S. ventilators in early April as the coronavirus pandemic took hold in New York, but the U.S. said it would not use the ventilators as the same model was linked to two fires in Russian hospitals. –Holly Ellyatt
Read CNBC’s coverage from CNBC’s Asia-Pacific and Europe teams overnight here: Russia’s cases near 300,000; Trump threatens to withdraw from WHO
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