Coronavirus update: case and death numbers continue to rise, but rising job shocks in the U.S. suggest the worst could be over, for now

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As the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths continues to increase, a surprise increase in jobs in the United States and lower unemployment in May suggest that the worst of the pandemic is over as businesses recover. forced closings to fight the disease.

Wall Street’s benchmark stock indexes all rose to levels seen on Friday before the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 pandemic on March 11 and the areas hardest hit by on-site shelter measures have had large gatherings.

The total number of cases exceeded 6.75 million worldwide on Friday, and the death toll reached more than 395,500, while around 2.9 million people have recovered, according to data aggregated by the University Johns Hopkins.
But in a surprise announcement from the US Department of Labor, the US economy added 2.5 million jobs last month and the unemployment rate fell to 13.3% from 14.7%, while economists polled by MarketWatch expected the loss of 7.25 million jobs and unemployment at 19.0%. “Today the number of jobs has been shocking – and for the first time this year it was a positive shock – it is very encouraging to see workers recalled by their employers and the unemployment rate fell in May “Said Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer. agent of the Independent Advisor Alliance. “At 13.3%, we are still at a higher rate than the one we reached during the financial crisis of 2007-2009, but as long as it continues to decrease, it will show that the reopening of the economy is proceeding without clashes. “
Also on Friday, President Donald Trump passed a bill to ease the conditions for small businesses benefiting from the government’s paycheck protection program.
The Nasdaq composite index
COMP,
+ 2.06%

was up 2.1% on Friday afternoon and exceeded its record close on February 19 in intraday trade while the S&P 500 index
SPX,
+ 2.62%

climbed 2.6% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average
DJIA,
+ 3.15%

climbed 803 points, or 3.1%, with both indices on track for their highest close since February 24. WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic on March 11. See Market overview.
Do not miss: “We don’t necessarily have a second wave,” said Anthony Fauci, the country’s first infectious disease doctor.

The airline industry recently witnessed optimism from Wall Street. Global Jets US Exchange Traded Fund
JETS,
+ 4.79%

climbed almost 40% this week, a record for the industry tracker. The title of American Airlines Group Inc. led the group.
AAL,
+ 11.18%,
which rose 10% on Friday, after a record one-day rally of 41% on Thursday. The airline said this week that it expected flights in July to be more than half of what they were in the same month a year ago, compared to a previous announcement from a 70% reduction in capacity in June and an 80% reduction in April and May. Learn more about the record gain for American Airlines share in record volume.
The cruise lines’ actions also reflected hopes for a faster recovery, with Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Inc.
NCLH,
+ 14.49%

rallying more than 40% this week, Carnival Corp.
CCL,
+ 16.39%

climb over 35% and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.
RCL,
+ 20.36%

rallying almost 35%.
This optimism has been tempered by those who have expressed concern over a potential spike in cases in the coming weeks, as nationwide protests against the murder of George Floyd by police leave crowds of people ignoring the calls. social distancing and that states continue to reopen businesses.
Do not miss: Protesters have a “civic duty” to get tested for the coronavirus, says Cuomo.
Faced with these concerns, the mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, announced Thursday that a second phase of its reopening process, which includes outdoor dining, could begin in early July, about a month after the first phase of reopening, which is set to start on Monday.

Elon Musk targets Amazon

Tesla Inc.
TSLA,
+ 2.46%

CEO Elon Musk, who fought with state officials over the foreclosure measures, launched an angry tweet suggesting that regulators should disband Amazon.com Inc.
AMZN,
+ 0.91%

, because the monopolies “are wrong! “
The tweet was in response to Amazon’s refusal of a book that questioned the risk of a COVID-19 pandemic. Amazon said the book was deleted in error and was quickly restored.

Coronavirus update: studies on retracted antimalarial drugs, Musk slams Amazon

Latest counts

The United States continues to dominate the world to a large extent, both in COVID-19, which rose to 1.89 million on Friday, and in deaths, which reached 108,708. About 485,000 people are restored, according to Johns Hopkins data.
In the United States, tolls per case still tend to increase in almost half of the states, with states like Arizona, Arkansas, Texas and Tennessee recording new peaks per day.
Outside the United States, Brazil remained the new hot spot, with cases reaching nearly 615,000 cases and deaths reaching more than 34,000.
Russia has 449,256 cases and 5,520 deaths.
The UK has 284,730 cases and 40,344 deaths, the highest number of deaths in Europe and the second highest in the world after the United States.
Spain, the first hot spot, was fifth in the world with 240,978 deaths, with 27,134 deaths, while Italy has 234,531 cases and 33,774 deaths.
India overtook Italy with 236,060 cases and 6,649 deaths. France has 190,180 cases and 29,114 deaths, while Germany has 184,924 cases and 8,658 deaths.
Peru, Turkey, Iran, Chile, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Canada and Pakistan are next, all ahead of China, where the disease was first reported at the end of the year. ‘last year. China has 84,174 cases and 4,638 deaths.

Latest medical news

Novavax Inc.
NVAX,
+ 3.67%

On Friday, the US Department of Defense won a contract that could provide up to $ 60 million in funding for the production of several components of its potential COVID-19 vaccine candidate, NVX-CoV2373.
As part of the contract, the biotechnology company has agreed to deliver 10 million doses of NVX-CoV2373 this year to DoD, which could be used in phase 2/3 clinical trials or under emergency use authorization if they are approved by the Food and Drug Administration. .
The company announced in late May that it has enrolled its first participants in a phase 1/2 trial of NVX-CoV2373, with preliminary safety results from phase 1 of the trial expected in July.
See related: Hope diminishes for hydroxychloroquine even as a medical study detailing the drug’s failure has been withdrawn.
AstraZeneca PLC
AZN,
-0.03%

said it had started producing the University of Oxford’s potential COVID-19 vaccine, and had doubled its capacity to two billion doses, even before seeing the results of the trials.
The UK drug maker said it had reached a $ 750 million deal with two healthcare organizations supported by the co-founder of Microsoft Corp. Bill Gates and his wife Melinda to supply and distribute 300 million doses fairly around the world.
Read also: The vaccine summit calls for the coronavirus vaccine to be free and accessible to all.

What the American economy says

In the US employment report for May, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said that 2.7 million people who had temporarily lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 crisis returned to work because each state began to reopen their savings to some extent during the month. This added to recent data showing that the economy was starting to rebound. See MarketWatch’s Coronavirus Economic Recovery Tracker.
Data showed bars and restaurants recalled 1.4 million workers in May, employment rebounded from 368,000 in retail trade, 464,000 in construction and 312,000 in health care industry . See the economic report.

What companies say

• Gap Inc.
GPS,
+ 1.40%

said it reopened 1,500 stores in North America, these sites generating about 70% of last year’s sales performance. Old Navy shows “special strength,” according to Gap’s chief financial officer Katrina O’Connell during the retailer’s conference call Thursday evening.
The clothing retailer announced last Thursday financial results below its expectations, sales suffered from store closings related to the coronavirus pandemic.
• Tribune Publishing Co.
TPCO,
+ 2.52%

reported a 10-fold loss in the first quarter on Friday, as the COVID-19 pandemic forced newspaper publishers, including the Chicago Tribune, New York Daily News and the Baltimore Sun, to accelerate measures to reduce costs and to increase its digital-only subscriber base given the continuing decline in revenues. Net loss for the quarter was $ 45.3 million, or $ 1.26 per share, compared to $ 4.7 million, or 13 cents per share, for the same period last year. Revenues decreased 11.5% to $ 216.5 million, as advertising revenues decreased 20.6% and broadcast revenues decreased 3.1%. “We recognize that at the end of the pandemic, the company must accelerate its digital footprint and position itself as a smaller and more agile company in order to maintain itself in the long term,” said CEO Terry Jimenez .
• DocuSign Inc.
DOCU,
-0.30%

, which makes technology available to businesses to obtain electronic signatures, announced profits and revenues that exceeded expectations on Thursday as the results showed that companies were looking for digital solutions for executive agreements, the COVID crisis- 19 making face-to-face meetings more difficult. CEO Dan Springer said in the company earnings call that DocuSign had recruited new customers during the pandemic and seen greater adoption of its services among existing customers. “Even when the COVID-19 situation is behind us, we do not expect customers to return to paper or manual processes,” he told investors during the call.
• Slack Technologies Inc.
JOB,
-14.18%

announced quarterly revenues that surpassed $ 200 million for the first time on Thursday evening as corporate communications software company reaped the benefits of national work at home work during the COVID pandemic – 19. Slack reported a loss of $ 74.4 million, or 13 cents per share, on revenue of $ 201.7 million, up 50% from $ 134.8 million a year ago. After adjusting stock-based compensation and other factors, Slack reported a loss of 2 cents per share, compared to a loss of 23 cents per share a year ago. Analysts polled by FactSet expected adjusted losses of 6 cents per share on sales of $ 186.2 million. “There is a generation change in the way people work,” Butterfield told MarketWatch in a telephone interview Thursday evening.
Read also: Opinion: Slack was judged by Zoom standards, and it didn’t end well.
• GameStop Corp.
GME,
-7.38%

said Thursday evening that it expects quarterly sales to drop by a third and that a majority of its stores were closed in March. The video game retailer said it expects global sales to drop “33% to 35%, from $ 1.5 billion in the prior year quarter”, which would drive revenue from $ 1.01 billion to $ 1.04 billion. Analysts polled by FactSet forecast revenue of $ 1.13 billion. GameStop also forecasts comparable store sales for the quarter to drop from about 30% to 31%, while analysts expected a drop of 26.4%. The company said about 76% of its international stores were temporarily closed in March and that all of its locations in the United States were closed in March, with 65% of those offering curbside pickup.
• La-Z-Boy Inc.
LZB,
+ 4.20%

announced Thursday evening that it would lay off about 10 percent of its workforce, or 850 employees, across the company, including a upholstery plant in Mississippi. Production will be transferred to available capacity at the company’s factories in Tennessee, Missouri and Arkansas, said La-Z-Boy. The Mississippi plant, built in 1960, employs approximately 300 people and accounts for approximately 10% of the company’s production of upholstery and the manufacture of the company’s recliners and other furniture. The coronavirus pandemic “has had a huge impact,” said CEO Kurt L. Darrow in a statement.
• Domo Inc.
DOMO,
+ 10.77%

announced Thursday evening a smaller than expected loss in its second fiscal quarter and sales were above Wall Street expectations. The software company said it lost $ 24.9 million, or 88 cents a share, in the quarter from a loss of $ 35.5 million, or $ 1.32 a share, ago. a year. Revenues increased 19 percent to $ 48.6 million, said Domo. Analysts polled by FactSet expected a net loss of 91 cents a share on sales of $ 46 million. “We are pleased to be able to help the governors of three states access the actionable data they need to manage the current health crisis,” said founder and CEO Josh James in a statement, without naming the states.

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