• The Latest: Brazil President Bolsonaro tests positive
    The Canadian Press

    The Latest: Brazil President Bolsonaro tests positive

    RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro says he has tested positive for COVID-19 after months of downplaying the virus’ severity.Bolsonaro confirmed the test results while wearing a mask and speaking to reporters in the capital of Brasilia.“I’m well, normal. I even want to take a walk around here, but I can’t due to medical recommendation,” Bolsonaro said.___HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:— Spain extends social spending through September— Italy suspends incoming flights from Bangladesh— Australia's second-largest city foils nation’s pandemic success— Coronavirus slams Poland’s already-troubled coal industry___Follow all of AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak___HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:JACKSON, Miss. — Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves has tested negative for the coronavirus Tuesday, a day after announcing he was going into isolation after being in contact with a lawmaker who tested positive.“My girls and I tested negative for COVID-19,” Reeves wrote in a tweet. “Limited contact with the people who were diagnosed, but better safe than sorry! If someone you know gets the virus, get a test!”Reeves has not identified the lawmaker who tested positive and with whom he had brief contact last week. During a Facebook Live video Monday, Reeves said a “large number” of legislators have tested positive for the virus. The Mississippi Department of Health has not released more information.The governor was in close contact last week with House Speaker Philip Gunn during the signing of a bill that removed the Confederate emblem from Mississippi’s state flag. Gunn announced Sunday that he had tested positive for the coronavirus.___MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa — Employees at the Iowa Veterans Home have been disciplined more than 20 times for personal protective equipment lapses that potentially exposed residents and staff to coronavirus, its leader confirmed.Commandant Timon Oujiri says the strict approach to requiring masks and other equipment when interacting with residents and colleagues has helped keep coronavirus largely out of the state’s biggest nursing home.He says 25 employees and seven residents have tested positive since the beginning of the pandemic and all have recovered. Oujiri says he considers that a major success, noting that the Marshalltown home has 456 residents and 900 employees.Still, there have been numerous policy violations.He confirmed that five employees have received three-day suspensions for showing a “complete disregard of PPE” that results in “repeated exposure to residents and staff.”He says five others have received one-day suspensions for exposing residents, and nine have received written reprimands for exposing staff. Two employees were terminated during probationary periods.___MADRID — The Spanish government is extending through September social spending to help families weather the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.Utility companies cannot cut gas, electricity or water supply even if citizens fail to foot their bills until Sept. 30. Mortgage payments will remain frozen for those who can’t afford to pay their dues.Home rentals will be extended without changes in their conditions for six additional months, government spokeswoman María Jesús Montero announced Tuesday. Tenants who qualify can apply for discounts on their rents or delays in payments if their landlords own 10 or more properties.A U.N. report published this week says the COVID-19 crisis has exposed “serious weaknesses” in Spain’s efforts to reduce poverty, although it notes that the left-wing coalition government’s response to the virus outbreak is “encouraging.”Transport Minister José Luis Ábalos also announced that more than half of a 1.77-billion-euro ($2 billion) aid fund for the transportation industry will be allocated to the state railway company, Renfe, whose operations nearly halted after the mid-March lockdown. Over 660 million euro will go to shore up private companies.Spain has at least 28,300 confirmed deaths from the coronavirus.___BELGRADE, Serbia — Serbia has announced its highest single-day spike in deaths from the coronavirus, with 13 new deaths.The country’s health ministry says there are 299 new COVID-19 confirmed cases.That makes 16,719 registered cases and 330 confirmed deaths since the start of the pandemic in the Balkan country that went from having one of Europe’s toughest lockdowns to a near-complete reopening in early May.Soccer and tennis matches were played in packed stands and elections were held on June 21 despite warnings from experts that the mass gatherings without social distancing could lead to a new coronavirus wave.___ROME — Italy has ordered a one-week suspension of incoming flights from Bangladesh after a spate of coronavirus cases near Rome were traced to members of the Bangladeshi community who had recently returned to Italy.Health Minister Roberto Speranza saya beyond the dozen or so cases registered in recent days, more positive cases were traced to passengers on the latest flight that arrived in Rome on Monday.The Rome area is home to some 20,000 immigrants from Bangladesh. Like many other migrant communities in Italy, they travel back and forth to their home countries via charter flights. A new COVID-19 cluster broke out near Rome after a worker recently returning from Bangladesh infected the owner and fellow workers at a restaurant outside the city. Based on that cluster, public health authorities urged members of the Bangladeshi community to get tested.Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio is working on new protocols for people arriving in Italy from outside the European Union and Shengen area. Italy, the onetime epicenter of the European outbreak, is maintaining protective quarantines for people even on the EU’s green list of 14 countries that can visit.___VIENNA — An Austrian region is reintroducing rules making masks compulsory in shops after an increase in coronavirus infections.The Austria Press Agency reported the governor of Upper Austria province, Thomas Stelzer, set the requirement for Thursday. Masks already were made compulsory in public administrative building.The province west of Vienna will once again require people to wear masks in shops and when leaving their table in restaurants.Austria has relaxed many coronavirus restrictions in recent weeks. But authorities say Monday’s number of active cases of coronavirus in the country had risen above 1,000 for the first time since mid-May.___BERLIN — Authorities in a western German town have ordered quarantine for a Mennonite community after a family of 12 tested positive for the coronavirus.News agency dpa reported the health office in Euskirchen, near Cologne, said Tuesday all members of the community are expected to be tested this week. Spokesman Wolfgang Andres said it’s not clear exactly how many people, but officials believe it’s about 500.Andres says the children of the affected family went to the town’s Mennonite school before it emerged they had the virus, and the family probably also went to the community’s prayer house, so it can’t be ruled out that the virus spread.___TEHRAN, Iran — Iran has announced its highest single-day spike in deaths from the coronavirus, with 200 new fatalities.The spokesperson for the country’s health ministry, Sima Sadat Lari, said Tuesday that the latest death toll was an increase of 40 from the previous day, when 160 were reported to have died of COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus.She blamed the spike on citizens who do not abide by restrictive measures but gather in large numbers for weddings and other ceremonies, without observing distancing regulations.Iran on Sunday instituted mandatory mask-wearing as fears mount over newly surging deaths even as its public increasingly shrugs off the danger of the virus.___MANILA, Philippines — A major passenger railway system in the Philippine capital has been shut down for five days starting Tuesday after nearly 200 employees, including 15 ticket sellers, tested positive for the coronavirus, officials said.The shutdown of the 13-station MRT Line 3, which runs for nearly 17 kilometres (10.5 miles) from north to south of metropolitan Manila, further complicates a transport shortage caused by quarantine restrictions. The government has allowed the deployment of more shuttle buses to ease the shortage.The Philippines has seen a spike in infections in recent days after easing quarantine restrictions and ramping up tests, reporting nearly 48,000 infections, including 1,309 deaths.___PODGORICA, Montenegro — Montenegro has introduced a compulsory quarantine for all people arriving from Serbia, citing coronaviorus health risks in the neighbouring Balkan country.Until Tuesday when the measure was implemented, Serb citizens had to go through 14-day self-isolation period when entering Montenegro, while Montenegrin and other citizens were free to cross the border.In an apparent tit-for-tat move, Serbian government reportedly plans to introduce a 14-day self-isolation period for Montenegrin citizens travelling to Serbia.A country of 620,000, Montenegro split from much larger Serbia in 2006, but many in Montenegro and Serbia still remain opposed to the separation. Serbs represent about 30% of Montenegro’s population.Montenegro, the first European country to declare itself free of the coronavirus, has recently seen an up pick in new confirmed cases.___LONDON — Care home providers are disappointed and frustrated after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson accused some homes of not properly following procedures during the COVID-19 crisis.Mark Adams, chief executive of the charity Community Integrated Care, took exception with Johnson’s comments, calling them “clumsy and cowardly.’’Johnson said Monday: “We discovered too many care homes didn’t really follow the procedures in the way that they could have, but we’re learning lessons the whole time.’’Adams told the BBC that if this were genuinely Johnson’s view, the country is entering an “alternative reality where the government set the rules, we follow them and they don’t like the results and they then deny setting the rules and blame the people that were trying to do their best.’’The Office of National Statistics says nearly 20,000 deaths of care home residents in England and Wales have involved COVID-19.Many care homes say they lacked protective equipment and clear guidelines, particularly in the early stages of the pandemic.___DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The Dubai Financial Market, the sheikhdom’s stock exchange, has reopened its trading floor after closing due to the coronavirus pandemic.The move by Dubai on Tuesday came as the city-state in the United Arab Emirates also began welcoming tourists again.The market closed in mid-March over the pandemic, but online trading continued throughout the closure.Market official Jamal al-Khadhar said that social distancing will be maintained at the exchange, and that barriers have been installed as well.___JERUSALEM — The Israeli parliament has passed an emergency bill allowing the government to bypass it in making immediate decisions on combating a renewed outbreak of the coronavirus.Parliament voted early Tuesday to sidestep its own committees so that government decisions could go into immediate effect. The argument was quick implementation was essential given the fast-spreading nature of the virus. But some opposition lawmakers decried the sidelining of the legislature, saying it marked another step in undermining the foundations of Israeli democracy.It comes a day after the government reimposed new restrictions on the public to quell spread of the virus. Gatherings have been limited and reception halls, restaurants, bars, theatres, fitness centres and pools were ordered to shut down again.Just weeks ago, Israel appeared to have contained its initial outbreak after imposing strict measures early on during a first wave of infections. But after reporting just a handful of new cases a day in early May, it has experienced a steady uptick in cases following an easing of restrictions. Currently, Israel is reporting upward of 1,000 new cases a day, higher than its peak during the previous wave.___JOHANNESBURG — South Africa’s confirmed coronavirus cases have surpassed 200,000 as the country continues to post some of the highest daily numbers in the world.The health ministry reports 8,971 new cases, bringing the total to 205,721.Nearly one third are in the new hot spot of Gauteng province, which includes Johannesburg and the capital, Pretoria.The African continent overall has more than 477,000 confirmed cases.___MELBOURNE, Australia — Australia’s second-largest city of Melbourne has been ordered into lockdown for a second time as coronavirus cases continue to surge.Victoria state Premier Daniel Andrews told reporters on Tuesday that residents will be prohibited from leaving the metropolitan area for six weeks except to go to work or school, for care or care giving, for daily exercise, and for food and other essentials.He said 191 more positive cases have been detected, the most infections ever recorded in a single day.Australia has been among the world’s most successful countries in containing its coronavirus outbreak, with the exception of Melbourne. The country has recorded more than 8,500 cases and 106 deaths.___NEW DELHI — India’s death toll from the coronavirus has passed 20,000, with case numbers surging past 700,000.The country reported 467 new deaths in the last 24 hours, taking the toll to 20,160. It also recorded 22,252 new infections, increasing the total to 719,665.The rate of new virus infections and deaths in India are now rising at their fastest pace. Health officials fear the number of deaths could rise significantly in the coming weeks.India, with a population of 1.3 billion, is the third worst-affected nation in the world. Only the United States and Brazil have had more cases.___WELLINGTON, New Zealand — New Zealand’s national carrier has put a temporary hold on new bookings for flights into the country while the government tries to find enough quarantined hotel rooms for people returning home.Air New Zealand says the hold will last for three weeks and it is also trying to better align flights with the hotel locations.New Zealand has eliminated community transmission of the coronavirus but is still getting cases at the border. For the most part, only residents and citizens are able to fly into the country and must remain in a quarantined hotel room for 14 days.Housing Minister Megan Woods says the government is currently housing nearly 6,000 people in 28 quarantine facilities and is seeing rapid growth in the number of returning residents as the pandemic worsens globally.___The Associated Press

  • Judge rejects Dakota Access request for emergency order
    The Canadian Press

    Judge rejects Dakota Access request for emergency order

    FARGO, N.D. — A federal judge on Tuesday rejected a request for an emergency order to delay the process of shutting down the Dakota Access pipeline while attorneys appeal a ruling to shutter the pipeline during the course of an environmental review.Pipeline attorneys filed the motion — along with a notice of appeal — late Monday after U.S. District Judge James Boasberg ruled to stop the flow of oil by Aug. 5. In denying the request for an expedited ruling, Boasberg said he will scheduled a status hearing to discuss scheduling when he receives the Dakota Access motion to keep the pipeline running.Boasberg ordered the pipeline shuttered while the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers fulfills his demand to conduct a more extensive environmental review than the one that allowed the pipeline to start moving oil on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation three years ago. Boasberg cited the “potential harm” that the pipeline could cause before the Corps finishes its surveyDakota Access attorney William Scherman said in his motion filed Monday that shutting down the pipeline requires a number of time-consuming and expensive steps that would take ”well more” than 30 days.Jan Hasselman, the EarthJustice attorney representing Standing Rock and other tribes who have signed onto the lawsuit, said in a court filing that the proposed “rushed briefing schedule” wasn't appropriate because it would not have given attorneys a chance to argue the motion in court.The $3.8 billion, 1,172-mile (1,886-kilometre) pipeline crosses beneath the Missouri River, just north of the reservation. The tribe draws its water from the river and fears pollution. Backers of the pipeline say it's state-of-the-art equipment that has function for three years without any issues.The Associated Press

  • Bayer’s Roundup-Cancer Settlement Plan Hits Snag
    Bloomberg

    Bayer’s Roundup-Cancer Settlement Plan Hits Snag

    (Bloomberg) -- Bayer AG’s plan for moving on from its Roundup legal woes hit a snag barely two weeks after it announced a nearly $11 billion settlement of claims the popular weedkiller causes cancer when a judge expressed skepticism about its proposed treatment of future claims.U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria described a plan to create a class action for future litigants as problematic in a court filing Monday and said he was “tentatively inclined” to reject it. He set a July 24 hearing date. Shares of Bayer, which inherited the weedkiller through its purchase of Monsanto, fell as much as 7.1% in Frankfurt intraday trading, the most since March 12.Bayer’s plan for the future class would establish a scientific panel to determine whether Roundup’s active ingredient causes cancer, while still potentially allowing users of the herbicide to press claims. Many lawyers not participating in the settlement say the plan is designed to protect Bayer.The San Francisco-based judge’s misgivings won’t derail the majority of the nearly $11 billion settlement, as any change to the handling of future claims wouldn’t necessarily affect the rest of the deal. The company has already agreed to resolve about 95,000 of 125,000 existing lawsuits and has earmarked money it expects to cover the remaining cases.“We appreciate the judge’s order raising his preliminary concerns with the proposed class settlement, which we take seriously and will address” at the hearing, Chris Loder, a U.S.-based spokesman for the Leverkusen, Germany-based drugmaker, said in an interview.Concerned InvestorsAbout 30,000 claims contending Roundup caused non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma are left unsettled. Some U.S. plaintiffs’ lawyers are vowing to file another wave of new suits that could add tens of thousands to that total.The judge’s filing reinforces concerns from investors that Bayer’s Roundup deal isn’t enough to get it beyond the mountain of litigation, Alistair Campbell, an analyst at Liberum Capital, said in a note. While Bayer’s market valuation is “deeply discounted” right now, that situation probably won’t change until the company can convince the market that it’s finally resolved the Roundup legal headache.Bayer said late Monday the class proposal is still on the table. The company -- whose shares are down about 9% since it announced the settlement on June 25 -- insists that Roundup is safe and has appealed three U.S. jury verdicts against it.Future Cases“Thankfully, Judge Chhabria has seen the ruthless plan as an outrageous attempt to deprive every future victim of Monsanto’s killer Roundup of their right to fair and full compensation and to a jury trial,” Tom Kline and Jason Itkin, plaintiffs attorneys for users of the weedkiller who haven’t settled their suits, said in an emailed statement Tuesday.The future class was the brainchild of Bayers’ lawyers and some plaintiffs’ attorneys , including San Francisco-based Elizabeth Cabraser and Samuel Issacharoff, a New York University law professor, according to court filings. It took a year of “unrelenting” settlement negotiations to come up with the plan, Cabraser said in a court filing. It’s designed to provide funds to Roundup cancer patients in financial need and finance a review of the science underlying the cancer claims.Some of Cabraser’s colleagues, such as New York-based lawyer Hunter Shkolnik, opposed the novel class-action idea from the onset. He described it as “nothing more than a legally infirm, backroom deal to protect Monsanto rather than compensating Roundup cancer victims,” in an emailed statement.William Dodero, Bayer’s global head of litigation, said at a press conference last month he couldn’t predict how many new Roundup cases will emerge and need to be included in the future class. He said the class will feature an independent science panel that will decide whether glyphosate –- Roundup’s active ingredient -- is a carcinogen rather than leave the decision to individual judges and juries.Read More: Bayer Isn’t Out of the Roundup Woods as 30,000 Claims RemainThree California juries ordered Bayer to pay billions of dollars in combined damages based on findings that glyphosate caused the plaintiffs’ non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas, a specific cancer tied to glyphosate. Those awards ultimately were reduced to about $190 million.The science panel is designed to have independent experts make the decision on the chemical’s toxicity, Dodero said. “They will be selected by the parties by mutual agreement, and if there is not mutual agreement each party will select two; the four will select the remaining fifth,” he said last month. “They will be objective and a blue-ribbon panel to fully assess the evidence.”If the panel finds glyphosate is not a carcinogen, then class members would be barred from recovering from their cases, according to court filings. Conversely, if the panel says the chemical can cause cancer, future Roundup users could proceed with their suits.Sticking PointThat’s one of the sticking points with the class-action mechanism, Chhabria said.“It’s questionable whether it would be constitutional (or otherwise lawful) to delegate the function of deciding the general causation question (that is, whether and at what dose Roundup is capable of causing cancer) from judges and juries to a panel of scientists,” he said.He also questioned whether there is an incentive to join the class for future Roundup claimants, who would have five months after the class is approved to opt out of it. “Why would a potential class member want to replace a jury trial and the right to seek punitive damages with the process contemplated by the settlement agreement?” the judge asked.Chhabria also worried that the science on glyphosate’s cancer-causing properties is still evolving and questioned whether it would pass legal muster to have claimants bound by a lack of toxicity finding that is supplanted by a new study.He also said the proposal has procedural drawbacks in making sure all potential future Roundup claimants have proper notice that they must decide within five months whether to become part of the class. If they don’t opt out within that time period, they are automatically covered by the plan.“Given the diffuse, contingent, and indeterminate nature of the proposed class, it seems unlikely that most class members would have an opportunity to consider in a meaningful way (if at all) whether it is in their best interest to join the class,” he said.The consolidated case is In re: Roundup Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2741, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Novavax Gets Funding; Brazil Leader Tests Positive: Virus Update
    Bloomberg

    Novavax Gets Funding; Brazil Leader Tests Positive: Virus Update

    (Bloomberg) -- Novavax Inc. was awarded $1.6 billion in U.S. funding to support large-scale manufacturing of its vaccine candidate, while GlaxoSmithKline Plc and Medicago are collaborating on an experimental shot.In Brazil, a virus hotspot, President Jair Bolsonaro tested positive in an escalation of the health crisis that’s engulfed Latin America’s largest economy. In an interview with CNN Brazil, the 65-year-old leader said he feels “perfectly well” and is being treated with hydroxichloroquine. In the U.S., both New York and Florida reported increases in cases below their previous 7-day averages.European officials expect a deeper economic slump than previously estimated this year. The pace of new infections is raising concerns, with Hong Kong reporting its largest number of local cases in almost three months and the U.S. approaching 3 million. In contrast, Beijing reported no new infections for the first time in nearly a month.Key Developments:Global Tracker: Cases near 11.6 million; deaths exceed 537,000Beijing reported no cases. Here’s how the city turned it aroundTrump insists schools must open, teachers aren’t so sureForged to tackle virus, Israel’s alliance of rivals falls shortI had to take five antibody tests for results I could believeVulnerable workers bear brunt of the pandemicSubscribe to a daily update on the virus from Bloomberg’s Prognosis team here. Click VRUS on the terminal for news and data on the coronavirus.Brazil’s Bolsonaro Tests Positive (11:19 a.m. NY)Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro tested positive for Covid-19 in an escalation of the health crisis that has engulfed Latin America’s largest economy. “I’m perfectly well,” the 65-year-old Bolsonaro told CNN Brasil in a live interview, after announcing the result of his test.Brazil is a global hotspot for the virus, trailing only the U.S. with more than 65,000 confirmed deaths and over 1.62 million total cases. It has implemented an erratic response to the pandemic, with Bolsonaro often clashing with state governors and even his health minister over quarantine measures and possible treatments.Florida Cases Rise Less Than Average (10:50 a.m.)Florida reported 213,794 cases on Tuesday, up 3.6% from a day earlier. That’s lower than the 5% average increase of the previous seven days. Seen on a rolling seven-day basis, Florida’s new cases reached 61,360, the highest ever. The report includes data through Monday.Deaths reached 3,841, an increase of 1.7%. Cumulative hospitalizations rose by 2.4% to 16,425. The daily increase of 380 was the most on record.The rate of people testing positive for the first time climbed to 16.3% for Monday, from 15% on Sunday. That was the highest on record, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, which goes back to early April.NY Adds to Quarantine List (10:30 a.m. NY)New York added Delaware, Kansas and Oklahoma to its quarantine list. The state reported 588 new cases on Tuesday. The 0.1% increase was below the 0.2% average increase in the previous seven days and in line with Monday’s figures.U.K. Should Aim for Zero Cases, Scientists Say (9:52 a.m. NY)A group of scientists said the U.K. government needs to be more ambitious in its efforts to prevent Covid-19 and start aiming for complete eradication. The strategy should include measures that specifically aim to achieve zero cases, such as broad programs to test and trace infections and limiting both local and international travel, the Independent SAGE group said in a report.Russian Doctors Distrust Official Numbers: Poll (9:23 a.m. NY)About half of Russian doctors don’t trust the country’s official Covid-19 statistics, according to a new survey, amid suspicions that the government is under-reporting the scale of the outbreak. The real number of cases is higher than the official one, 49% of doctors said. The death toll looked unreliable to 47% of them.Russia reported 6,368 new confirmed cases in the past day. That raised total infections to 694,230, according to data from the government’s virus response center, which showed 29.9% of new cases were asymptomatic and 198 people died of the disease over the period, bringing total death toll to 10,494.U.K. Retailers Still Struggle as Pubs Reopen (8:53 a.m. NY)British shops aren’t getting much of a boost from newly reopened bars, cafes and restaurants as customers prefer to stay away. Retailers saw only a 15% week-on-week increase in footfall as pubs opened their doors for the first time since March on July 4. From a year earlier, traffic was still down by half, according to the British Retail Consortium.Separately, the number of overall jobs supported by the U.K. government’s pandemic program exceeds 12 million, highlighting the scale of the task facing Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak as he prepares to announce his latest economic strategy on Wednesday. The U.K.’s already dismal productivity performance also worsened in the first quarter.Santander Braces for Potential Hit (8:30 a.m. NY)Banco Santander SA faces a potential hit to its capital levels in the second quarter after it boosted lending to businesses hurt by the Covid-19 outbreak, making it more challenging to meet the top end of the target range.Glaxo, Medicago Work on Vaccine Candidate (8:15 a.m. NY)GlaxoSmithKline is collaborating on an experimental Covid-19 vaccine with Medicago, a company partly owned by Philip Morris International Inc. Human testing is due to start in mid-July, and the companies aim to make the vaccine available in the first half of 2021 if successful.The U.K. pharmaceutical giant is contributing its technology to multiple partnerships rather than developing its own vaccine candidate.U.S. Home Prices Seen Falling (8 a.m. NY)U.S. home prices will fall about 6.6% during the 12 months through May 2021, the first annual annual decline since 2012, as the economic impact of the pandemic deepens, according to a report Tuesday by CoreLogic Inc.U.K.’s Johnson Refuses to Apologize for Care Home Blame (7:32 a.m. NY)Boris Johnson’s spokesman refused to apologize after the prime minister appeared to blame care homes over the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, sparking a furious reaction.“Too many care homes didn’t really follow the procedures in the way that they could have, but we’re learning lessons the whole time,” Johnson said on a visit to Yorkshire on Monday.Regeneron Gets $450 Million for Treatment (7:07 a.m. NY)Regeneron Pharmaceuticals was awarded a $450 million U.S. government contract to manufacture and supply REGN-COV2, an investigational double antibody cocktail for the prevention of coronavirus infections.Hong Kong Local Cases Jump (7:05 a.m. NY)Hong Kong reported its largest number of local infections in almost three months, stumping local health officials and reflecting the difficulty of eradicating the pathogen.The city found nine new local cases, government officials said, the most since at least April 8. Authorities have yet to determine how five of the patients contracted the disease.Romania Has Highest Number of Deaths Since May 13 (6:44 a.m. NY)Romania reported 31 deaths from the coronavirus in the past 24 hours, the highest number in almost two months, according to government data. The daily number of new infections stood at 397, bringing the total to about 30,000, with 1,799 dead.Singapore Doesn’t See Second Wave (6:38 a.m. NY)Singapore says it doesn’t see a second wave of infections at this point in time, even as the number of community and imported cases ticked up after the city-state lifted restrictions.The new cases are a continuation of cryptic infections occurring within the community, Kenneth Mak, the health ministry’s director of medical services, said at a briefing. “We don’t see this as a second wave at this point in time,” Mak said.Italy Works on Measures for Non-EU Arrivals (6:14 a.m. NY)Italy will work on new measures to protect against arrivals from outside the European Union. The country imposed a one-week suspension on flights from Bangladesh after a high number of Covid-19 positive passengers were found in a flight that arrived in Rome on Monday, Italy’s Health Ministry said in a statement.Novavax Gets $1.6 Billion U.S. Vaccine Funding (6:04 a.m. NY)Novavax was awarded $1.6 billion from Operation Warp Speed to support large-scale manufacturing of its experimental Covid-19 vaccine, NVX-CoV2373.The funds will allow the company to conduct advanced human studies and establish manufacturing to deliver 100 million doses as soon as late 2020, Novavax said in a statement. A final-stage study of its vaccine candidate is planned for as early as this fall, with as many as 30,000 subjects. The company’s shares rose 33% in pre market trading.Iran Suffers Deadliest Day (6:00 a.m. NY)Iran suffered its deadliest day of the coronavirus outbreak. Authorities reported that 200 people had died from Covid-19 over the past 24 hours, a sharp spike from the previous high of 163 recorded on July 5. The total death toll reached 11,931 out of 245,688 known cases.“I repeatedly said to our people that it’s extremely dangerous to understate the situation,” Health Minister Saeed Namaki said on state TV just before the latest figures were made public. “Unfortunately, our pleas fell on deaf ears until we were gripped by a new wave” of infections.England and Wales Weekly Deaths Fall (4:40 p.m. HK)Weekly Covid-19 deaths fell to their lowest in 13 weeks in England and Wales and now account for just 6.7% of total deaths in the week ended June 26, the Office for National Statistics said on Tuesday.Fatalities fell in all English regions except the North East and total U.K. coronavirus deaths were registered at now over 55,100.Heathrow Aims to Trial Virus Tests (4:30 p.m. HK)London’s Heathrow airport plans to conduct trials of a coronavirus testing procedure that could allow the scrapping of quarantine rules for people arriving from territories including the U.S.The pilot program would be offered as a private service, with swabs taken by nurses from Collinson Group at a facility run by ground-handling firm Swissport International AG. Passengers would go on to their place of quarantine with the results made available within 24 hours.Hungary Has Biggest Infection Increase in a Month (4:19 p.m. HK)Hungary’s official coronavirus cases rose by 16 in a day, the biggest increase in a month, according to data from the country’s pandemic task force published on Tuesday.Total cases rose to 4,205, with 589 deaths, unchanged for a third day. Hungary has so far managed to avoid a flare up of the virus with active cases, which subtracts recoveries and deaths from total infections, steadily declining to 742 on Tuesday from over 1,100 a month ago.Europe Sees Deeper Economic Slump (4:00 p.m. HK)Europe’s economy will suffer more than previously estimated this year and take longer to recover because of a slow easing of coronavirus restrictions, according to the bloc’s executive arm.The European Commission forecasts a contraction of 8.7% in the euro area this year, a full percentage point deeper than previously predicted. Risks remain “exceptionally high and mainly to the downside,” the commission said on Tuesday.U.S. Bailouts for China’s HNA (2:22 p.m. HK)HNA Group, the troubled conglomerate being taken over by the Chinese state, is among recipients of the billions of dollars in virus-relief loans handed out in the U.S. government’s Paycheck Protection Program.Tokyo Finds 106 New Infections, NHK Says (2:16 p.m. HK)Tokyo found 106 cases of coronavirus on Tuesday, the sixth consecutive day new cases in the capital exceeded 100, NHK reported. Total infections in Tokyo are approaching 7,000.German Industry Faces Long Recovery (2 p.m. HK)Industrial production gained 7.8% in May when Germany lifted most restrictions to stop the spread of the virus, compared with an estimate of 11.1%. The increase follows a record-hit to activity in April, which was caused by factory closures and other disruptions.Manufacturing led the recovery with a jump in investment goods. At the same time, capacity remained significantly underutilized, according to the Economy Ministry.Melbourne Faces Six-Week Lockdown (1:42 p.m. HK)The state of Victoria announced a six-week lockdown across metropolitan Melbourne in a bid to quell the risk of a second wave of infections in Australia. State Premier Daniel Andrews said from midnight Wednesday, people must stay home except for work, essential services, medical treatment or school. He said “significant steps” had to be taken to suppress and contain the virus.Philippines Eases Restrictions (1:30 p.m. HK)The Philippines is further easing restrictions to allow non-essential travel to countries that permit it, as long as departing passengers have round-trip tickets, visas and health insurance. They will have to undergo quarantine upon return. Beauty salons in areas with the lowest quarantine level can also offer services including hair coloring.Trump Dinner Plans (10:25 a.m. HK)A Wednesday night White House event that U.S. President Donald Trump is hosting for his Mexican counterpart will be the closest thing to a state dinner that can be organized during the outbreak. Business executives from both countries will attend the event, which will be held indoors with some social distancing measures in place, according to a person familiar with the matter.In a Twitter post, the President urged the FDA to act on hydroxychloroquine.No New Cases in Beijing (8:43 a.m. HK)There were no new infections in China’s capital for the first time since an outbreak started in the city on June 11, according to the Beijing Municipal Health Commission.China reported eight new cases for Monday, all of which were imported.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Trump Insists Schools That Open, But Teachers Aren’t So Sure
    Bloomberg

    Trump Insists Schools That Open, But Teachers Aren’t So Sure

    (Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump has made his position clear: “SCHOOLS MUST OPEN IN THE FALL!!!” he tweeted Monday. As Covid-19 surges in parts of the U.S., many teachers aren’t convinced.The pandemic’s ever-shifting nature has robbed school districts of the ability to plan with certainty -- not only for instruction, but to provide protective equipment and intensive cleaning. Even if a sustained decline in infections allows them to open their doors, many are preparing a mix of in-person and remote education that is certain to fall short of the president’s expectations.“The reality is that they have to map out several scenarios for the fall with the real possibility that they don’t know what the scenario will be on the first day of school,” said Betheny Gross, associate director of the Center on Reinventing Public Education at the University of Washington at Bothell, which has been tracking districts’ responses to the coronavirus shutdown.In Washington on Tuesday, Trump will host a gathering of health and education leaders -- as well as students and parents -- for an event billed as a “National Dialogue on Safely Reopening America’s Schools.”The event comes as many students approach five months without setting foot in a classroom. Proponents of returning say distance learning is hobbling children’s development and the economy, with parents trying to juggle work and their offspring. Many teachers say they’re well aware of the benefits of face-to-face instruction, but worry about endangering students and peers.Deborah Birx, coordinator of the White House’s coronavirus task force, told Bloomberg Radio on Tuesday that it’s important to keep students, teachers and administrators safe, as well as families that include older people.“I think if we put the child at the center and say, what is best for the American child? What experiences do they need? And when we come to the conclusion that they need to be in school, then we need to really figure out how to make that a safe environment,” Birx said. “We have to bring in testing into the schools.”Economic DragBut Trump’s demand that schools open this fall was a reminder of how politicized the issue has become. “It’s not surprising,” said Douglas Harris, chair of the Department of Economics at Tulane University in New Orleans and a public-education expert. “The economy can’t really open back up again until kids go back to school.”Lily Eskelsen Garcia, president of the National Education Association, the nation’s biggest teachers union, said schools need a massive allocation of federal stimulus funds to purchase protective equipment and hire cleaners. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Monday predicted Congress this month will pass one final rescue package.Teachers agree that remote instruction isn’t optimal, said Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers. The real debate, she said, is around how to return to school safely -- and the need for money to do it right.“Either you have to be a moron about not understanding how government or schools work, or you have to be really callous and craven that you’d wait till the end, till it’s almost too late,” Weingarten said.To maintain social distancing, schools will have to use lunchrooms, gyms, libraries and trailers as classrooms. Some are considering rotating classes in mornings and afternoons or three days a week. Others may keep older pupils online, while using high-school classrooms for younger children who don’t learn well via Zoom, Garcia said.Gross said schools may also need to rotate through different scenarios as the school year goes on and the pandemic changes anew.In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday reiterated that no decision has been made on whether students across the state will be able to return for in-person learning in the fall.“We obviously very much would like to,” Cuomo said, adding that New York City and 700 school districts are in the process of developing reopening plans that must be submitted to the state.In Texas, where Covid-19 cases have surged since the state embarked on one of the country’s most aggressive reopening plans, most teachers surveyed by the Houston Federation of Teachers have said they would prefer to not return to in-person learning until it is “safe,” according to Andy Dewey, the group’s executive vice president.Defining Safe“The definition of safe is where we have disagreement,” he said by phone Monday. “The problem is this: The district hasn’t given us any guidance on it because the district says the state hasn’t given any guidance on it.”The latest survey conducted by the El Paso branch of the AFT showed that just 7% of 790 respondents were in favor of full face-to-face learning at the start of the school year. About 20% said they supported a “hybrid” return, while roughly 72% said they favored remote learning. The city and surrounding area’s two main school districts both plan to start the first few weeks of the year virtually.Teachers for the Houston Independent School District have until the end of this week to decide whether they want to resign to avoid potentially being required to return to classrooms. After that, they risk having their teaching certificates suspended for a year if they defy an in-person start to the school year, with a permanent notation that could make it harder for them to get hired in other districts, Dewey said.Leslie LaFollette, a third-grade teacher at Kiker Elementary in Austin, said she’s prepared to move to Massachusetts, where her wife has family, if educators aren’t allowed to stick to online learning.“It’s drastic, but I’m willing to do that if we lose the option,” said LaFollette, 46. “I miss my kids, I want to be with them. But not to the detriment of their health and my health.”In Seattle, site of the first major U.S. outbreak, officials are pursuing a hybrid reopening. Parents have been asked to fill out a questionnaire with their preferences so the district can plan. In August, families must finalize their pick.“We’re focusing on making that as equitable and safe as possible,” said Julie Popper, spokeswoman for the Seattle Educational Association, which represents some 6,000 members, including teachers and staff.Before opening, the union wants to make sure Seattle is spending enough on staff and protective equipment to meet state health and safety rules, as well as adding custodial workers to disinfect, and having nurses and mental-health professionals in every school daily, Popper said.Peer InteractionIn North Carolina, Angie Mangin is optimistic about getting her two incoming eighth-graders back to school, especially her daughter, after having them home-learning since March.“My son wasn’t too affected by the change, but my daughter needs that interaction with her peers,” said Mangin, 54, who works in the insurance and risk department of Circle K convenience stores.Tulane’s Harris, who studies the economics of education and education policy, said there’s simply no guarantee everyone is going back. “It’s hard to imagine that schools will reopen fully in person on a large scale,” he said.Trump, who avoids wearing a mask in public and has convened rallies without social-distancing requirements, has urged local governments to reopen. Stacy Davis Gates, vice president of the Chicago Teachers Union and executive vice president of the Illinois Federation of Teachers, said she didn’t trust him to lead on education policy.“President Trump has been virtually missing in action with respect to keeping Americans safe countrywide,” Gates said. “It gives me a great amount of anxiety to know that he is going to set the standard for my children and America’s children.”(Updates with comment from Birx in sixth paragraph. A previous version of the story incorrectly spelled Betheny Gross in third paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • S&P/TSX composite up as price of gold tops US$1,800 an ounce, U.S. markets mixed
    The Canadian Press

    S&P/TSX composite up as price of gold tops US$1,800 an ounce, U.S. markets mixed

    TORONTO — Canada's main stock index was up in late-morning trading, helped by gains in the materials sector, which includes the big mining companies, as the price of gold topped US$1,800 an ounce.The S&P/TSX composite index was up 45.67 points at 15,715.34.In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 130.51 points at 26,156.52. The S&P 500 index was up 4.04 points at 3,183.76, while the Nasdaq composite was up 81.96 points at 10,515.61.The Canadian dollar traded for 73.67 cents US compared with 73.84 cents US on Monday.The August crude contract was up four cents at US$40.67 per barrel and the August natural gas contract was up seven cents at US$1.90 per mmBTU.The August gold contract was up US$13.00 at US$1,806.50 an ounce and the September copper contract was up less than a penny at nearly US$2.78 a pound.This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 7, 2020. Companies in this story: (TSX:GSPTSE, TSX:CADUSD=X) The Canadian Press

  • Oil Tests $41 in Wake of Mounting U.S. Gasoline Supplies
    Bloomberg

    Oil Tests $41 in Wake of Mounting U.S. Gasoline Supplies

    (Bloomberg) -- Crude futures in New York are struggling to reach $41 a barrel with an expected gasoline stockpile build threatening to add to inventory levels that are already at the highest seasonally in decades.Supplies are mounting with demand depressed during the usually active summer driving season due to the resurgence in coronavirus cases. The U.S. demand recovery has lagged Europe with American gasoline consumption falling by almost 420,000 barrels a day last week, according to RBC Capital markets.Gasoline supplies expanded by 500,000 barrels last week, according to a Bloomberg survey before industry figures are released later Tuesday. Still, the survey also showed an expected 3-million-barrel decline in crude inventories.“There should never be a storage build in gasoline in summer time, especially during driving season around the 4th of July,” said Bob Yawger, director of the futures division at Mizuho Securities USA. “But that’s what we’re looking at.”Crude futures in New York have not been able to rise significantly beyond $41 a barrel, with volatility hitting its lowest level in four months, a stark contrast from the wild fluctuations seen in prices earlier this year. An uptick in virus cases in the main fuel-consuming states in America’s south has led local officials to reimpose stricter measures such as shutting indoor dining and closing gyms.“With rising coronavirus cases reported from all over the world and with global oil production expected to rise soon one cannot help but think the medium-term peak is not far away,” said PVM Oil Associates analyst Tamas Varga.See also: Venezuela’s Fuel Shortage Returns After Iranian Cargoes Dry UpNationwide gasoline stockpiles are already sitting above 250 million barrels. Meanwhile, supplies of distillates, a category that includes diesel, increased by 473,000 barrels, according to the Bloomberg survey. Official government data is due Wednesday.It “certainly feels as if there is a risk that the demand recovery will be flatter,” said Paul Horsnell, head of commodities research at Standard Chartered Plc. “The accumulated inventory excess is going to hang over things for a while.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Novavax CEO: $1.6B pledge from Trump Admin. will cover 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine
    Yahoo Finance Video

    Novavax CEO: $1.6B pledge from Trump Admin. will cover 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine

    Novavax CEO and President Stanley Erck joins the On the Move panel to discuss the $1.6B pledge his company received from the Trump Administration for its COVID-19 vaccine.

  • Apple signs Bubba Wallace to Beats by Dr. Dre family
    Yahoo Finance Video

    Apple signs Bubba Wallace to Beats by Dr. Dre family

    Apple's Beats by Dr. Dre signed Nascar driver Bubba Wallace in an endorsement deal on Tuesday. Yahoo Finance's Ines Ferre joins The First Trade to discuss the deal.

  • U.S. Stocks Trade Mixed With Tech Outperforming: Markets Wrap
    Bloomberg

    U.S. Stocks Trade Mixed With Tech Outperforming: Markets Wrap

    (Bloomberg) -- U.S. stocks traded mixed, with gains in tech shares blunting weakness in airlines and hotels amid signs that the world economy has a long way to go to get back on track.Two stocks fell on the S&P 500 Index for every one that gained, though the gauge edged higher as heavyweights such as Microsoft Corp., Apple Inc. and Facebook Inc. rose, sending the Nasdaq Composite to a record. Companies dependent on the end to coronavirus lockdowns underperformed and the Dow Jones Industrial Average slumped. European shares fell on concern the economy will take longer to recover.Gold climbed to the highest since 2011. The dollar strengthened and Treasury yields were steady. West Texas oil held near $41 a barrel.Investors are catching their breath after a ferocious rally that fueled the S&P 500’s best winning streak this year. While recent reports show the global economy could be past the worst of the slump, it’s a long road back to pre-crisis levels. Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Raphael Bostic said in an interview with the Financial Times that economic activity in parts of the the U.S. is showing signs of leveling off amid a resurgence in coronavirus cases.“Yesterday was a really strong day, so I’m not surprised to see a bit of profit-taking,” said Bob Phillips, managing principal at Spectrum Management Group. “We’re kind of in a range-bound market.”The European Commission gave its starkest warning yet about the impact of the pandemic. Officials now forecast a contraction of 8.7% in the euro area this year, a full percentage point deeper than previously predicted.German Industry Rebounds From Virus Nadir Facing Long Road AheadElsewhere, most Asian shares dropped, even as Chinese stocks powered ahead for a sixth day, although at a slower pace. The offshore yuan briefly strengthened through the 7 per dollar level for the first time since March.Here are some key events coming up:The EIA crude oil inventory report comes Wednesday.All eyes will be on the U.S. weekly jobless claims report on Thursday.Singapore holds its general election on Friday.These are the main moves in markets:StocksThe S&P 500 Index rose 0.1% as of 11:19 a.m. New York time.The Stoxx Europe 600 Index sank 0.6%.The MSCI Asia Pacific Index declined 0.5%.The MSCI Emerging Market Index decreased 0.5%.CurrenciesThe Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index gained 0.1%.The euro decreased 0.1% to $1.1294.The British pound rose 0.8% to $1.2589.The Japanese yen weakened 0.2% to 107.53 per dollar.BondsThe yield on 10-year Treasuries was little changed at 0.68%.Germany’s 10-year yield increased one basis point to -0.43%.Britain’s 10-year yield sank one basis point to 0.19%.CommoditiesWest Texas Intermediate was little changed at $40.64 a barrel.Gold rose 0.6% to $1,794.64 an ounce.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Stock market news live updates: Stocks mixed as economic, virus fears linger
    Yahoo Finance

    Stock market news live updates: Stocks mixed as economic, virus fears linger

    Stocks fell Tuesday morning, with the S&P 500 poised to snap a five-day winning streak as investors considered prospects of a drawn-out economic recovery alongside an ongoing rise in virus cases.

  • Hiring, job openings surge in May: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report
    Yahoo Finance Video

    Hiring, job openings surge in May: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report

    The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released May's Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. Yahoo Finance's Emily McCormick joins The First Trade to discuss.

  • Stocks worldwide slink back as virus dims recovery hopes
    The Canadian Press

    Stocks worldwide slink back as virus dims recovery hopes

    NEW YORK — Most of Wall Street is slipping in midday trading on Tuesday, giving back a slice of the big gains made the past couple weeks.More than three quarters of the stocks in the S&P 500 were dropping, and the index was down 0.1%, as of 11 a.m. Eastern time. Stocks sank more in France, Germany and elsewhere after the European Union’s executive arm said this year’s recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic will be deeper than forecast. It also said next year’s expected rebound could be weaker than expected.The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 176 points, or 0.7%, at 26,109, and stocks in Asia also fell following the big rally that swept markets worldwide on Monday.Big technology stocks were an outlier, though, with Microsoft, Apple and other titans pushing higher. Even though most stocks in the S&P 500 were lower, the tech titans' huge size gives them more sway over the index's direction, helping it momentarily erase all of its loss of 0.6% from earlier in the morning.They also helped lift the Nasdaq composite by 0.3%, extending its record set a day earlier.The U.S. stock market has been churning over the last month, with big daily moves up and down keeping it roughly in place. It’s been a small-scale version of the market’s movements since the start of the year, when a nearly 34% plunge on worries about the pandemic-caused recession quickly gave way to a tremendous rally that brought the S&P 500 nearly back to its record level.Pulling markets higher on one end are reports showing budding improvements in the economy. The job market, retail sales and other economic indicators are all still well below where they were before the pandemic struck. But they’ve stopped plummeting and have begun to grow again as governments relax restrictions meant to slow the spread of the coronavirus.That’s combined with unprecedented amounts of aid from central banks and governments around the world to prop up markets. It also helped send the S&P 500 up 1.6% on Monday, following up on a 4% rise the prior week, which itself helped cap the best decade for the index since 1998.But pulling markets lower on the other end are worries that the optimism is overdone. The pandemic isn’t going away, with infection levels worsening across wide swaths of the U.S. South and West, among other global hotspots. The concern is that could keep households and businesses nervous and scare them away from spending. In the worst-case scenario, it could force governments to bring back some of the restrictions that sent the economy into its sudden recession.Such worries spilled through markets Tuesday after the European Commission unveiled its more dour economic forecasts for 2020 and 2021.“The road to recovery is still paved with uncertainty,” EU Economy Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni told reporters in Brussels. “This is mostly linked to the epidemiological uncertainty.”The commission said the joint economy of the 27 nations in the European Union will shrink 8.3% this year, before growing 5.8% in 2021. In the previous forecasts released in May, it had forecast the economy would contract about 7.5% this year and bounce back 6% next year.Underscoring the fragility, a separate report showed that industrial production in Germany rebounded by less than economists expected in May, and remains far below levels from before the pandemic caused factories to close.Germany's DAX lost 1.1%, while France's CAC 40 fell 0.9%. The FTSE 100 in London dropped 1.6%.In Asia, Japan's Nikei 225 fell 0.4%, the Kospi in South Korea dropped 1.1% and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong slipped 1.4%.In the U.S. market, airlines and stocks of other companies that most need the economy to get closer to normal had the sharpest losses.United Airlines lost 6.2%, American Airlines slipped 5.8% and mall-owner Simon Property Group dropped 3.7%.Energy stocks fell 1.7% for the largest loss among the 11 sectors that make up the S&P 500. They've swung sharply with expectations for the economy's health and demand for oil. Devon Energy lost 5.1%, and National Oilwell Varo lost 4%.Benchmark U.S. crude slipped 0.1% to $40.60 per barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, rose 0.1% to $43.16 per barrel.On the winning end were the big tech-oriented companies that have been dominating the market for years. Investors have continued to pile into companies they believe are able to grow almost regardless of the economy and whether people are locked in quarantines. Microsoft rose 1.7%, Apple gained 1.1% and Google's parent company Alphabet added 1.1%.The yield on the 10-year Treasury slipped to 0.66% from 0.68% late Monday. It tends to move with investors' expectations for the economy and inflation.___AP Writers Yuri Kageyama and Samuel Petrequin contributed.Stan Choe, The Associated Press

  • White House Wants Stimulus by August Recess With $1 Trillion Cap
    Bloomberg

    White House Wants Stimulus by August Recess With $1 Trillion Cap

    (Bloomberg) -- The White House wants Congress to pass another stimulus package by the first week in August, before lawmakers head home for their annual summer recess, and to keep the cost at $1 trillion or less, according to Vice President Mike Pence’s top aide.“I think we want to make sure that people that are still unemployed or hurting are protected but at the same time, we want to take into consideration the fact the economy is bouncing back and want to try to contain the amount of spending,” Marc Short, Pence’s chief of staff, said Tuesday in an interview with Bloomberg Radio.“There’s obviously been a lot of stimulus put in the system over the last couple bills, and so the price tag for us would be that.”The White House and lawmakers are set to intensify talks on a new package of virus-related stimulus this month, after they return to Washington from their Independence Day holiday break. Trump administration officials have eyed a $1 trillion spending cap since at least early June, Bloomberg News reported last month.The House is scheduled to begin its recess by Aug. 3, with the Senate following a week later. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he wants Congress to complete work on the next phase of stimulus by then.“By that time table, we want to have a bill on the president’s desk,” Short said.President Donald Trump and senior White House officials have said a payroll tax cut, liability reform, tax incentives for businesses to adapt to the pandemic and a potential back-to-work bonus are priorities for the administration.Short said the White House views liability protections as “essential” for companies to bring workers back and fully re-open the economy.The administration wants to be sure it’s “striking the right balance between income replacement on the one hand, and ensuring that we don’t have excessively high implicit tax rates on the return to work, on the other hand,” Tyler Goodspeed, acting chairman of the president’s Council of Economic Advisers, said in a separate interview with Bloomberg Radio.Implicit tax rates can’t exceed 100%, he said, meaning it can’t be more lucrative for workers to stay at home. But any plan will require “not allowing a big blow to household income,” which is core to the economy, Goodspeed added.Ohio Republican Brad Wenstrup, a member of the House’s tax-writing committee, said the package should address the ability of working parents to find childcare and helping schools to reopen.“We have a shortage of day care providers,” he said in another Bloomberg Radio interview. “I am going to look for incentives for those type of programs.”Congress in March passed a $2.2 trillion pandemic relief program, with carve-outs for small businesses and the airline industry as well as multiple lending programs for corporations and Main Street businesses through the Federal Reserve. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin sent out nearly $1 trillion in the first month after that bill became law, through checks directly to American families, forgivable loans to companies and unemployment insurance.Still, much of that money remains unused. The Treasury Department has yet to disburse any loans from a $25 billion pool for airlines, and most of a $17 billion carve-out for firms deemed critical to national security remains untapped.(Updates with additional remarks from administration official, lawmaker beginning in seventh paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • The Canadian Press

    Grains mixed,livestock mixed.

    Grain futures were mixed on Tuesday in early trading on the Chicago Board of Trade. Wheat for July delivery rose 6 cents at $4.95 a bushel; July corn was up .20 cent at $3.4620 a bushel; Sept. oats fell 3.80 cents at $2.8220 a bushel; while July soybeans was off 2.20 cents at 8.9920 a bushel.Beef was mixed and pork was higher on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.Jun. live cattle was up .0001 cent at $1.0008 pound; Aug. feeder cattle was off .30 cent at $1.3548 a pound; June lean hogs rose .05 cent at .4495 a pound.The Associated Press

  • Kansas City Chiefs extend Patrick Mahomes until 2031
    Yahoo Finance Video

    Kansas City Chiefs extend Patrick Mahomes until 2031

    Yahoo Finance's Brian Sozzi, Alexis Christoforous, and Dan Roberts discuss Superbowl MVP Patrick Mahomes' deal with the Kansas City Chiefs, and updates on the world of sports amid COVID-19.

  • Your iPhone is 10-20 times dirtier than a toilet seat: Vioguard CEO
    Yahoo Finance Video

    Your iPhone is 10-20 times dirtier than a toilet seat: Vioguard CEO

    Yahoo Finance’s Brian Sozzi and Alexis Christoforous speak with Vioguard CEO Chris Barrow about how UV-C technology can be implemented in businesses to help disinfect belongings as the country eyes reopening.

  • Wirecard administrator sees strong interest from potential buyers
    Reuters

    Wirecard administrator sees strong interest from potential buyers

    The administrator of collapsed German payments firm Wirecard said on Tuesday that more than 100 investors have expressed interest in buying the company's core business and its holdings. "The aim is to find timely investor solutions in the interest of creditors, employees and customers," Michael Jaffe said in a statement after a meeting of creditors. Jaffe added that the sale of Wirecard North America's assets was most advanced, with investment bank Moelis & Company already mandated to support such a sale.

  • Micron EVP on semiconductor market: 'make sure you have resiliency and transparency in your supply chain'
    Yahoo Finance Video

    Micron EVP on semiconductor market: 'make sure you have resiliency and transparency in your supply chain'

    Manish Bhatia, Micron Technology Executive Vice President of Global Operations, joins Yahoo Finance's The First Trade to discuss the latest happenings at Micron, the overall semiconductor market and future outlook.

  • Review finds many who work during rehab aren't being paid
    The Canadian Press

    Review finds many who work during rehab aren't being paid

    Across the country, drug and alcohol recovery programs claiming to help the poor and the desperate are instead conscripting them into forms of indentured servitude, requiring them to work without pay or for pennies on the dollar, in exchange for their stay.Some work at rehab-run businesses, such as thrift stores or car washes. Others work at outside enterprises, including small businesses, temp agencies and some of the largest, most profitable corporations in the country. Rehab participants have worked at Williams Sonoma, Shell, Walmart and Tyson Foods.They have manufactured supplies used in the coronavirus pandemic, staffed hospitals, maintained oil refineries, made lawnmowers, roasted coffee, detailed cars and sorted clothing donations.Many of the programs claim the work is treatment, often calling it “work therapy.” Labor experts call it illegal.___This article was provided to The Associated Press by the non-profit news outlet Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting.___“I don’t think there’s any real ambiguity about what the law requires,” said D. Michael Hancock, former assistant administrator for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division. “There’s nothing therapeutic about not paying workers.”For the first time, Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting has determined how widespread these programs have become, identifying at least 300 rehab facilities in 44 states that have required participants to work without pay. In recent years, at least 60,000 people a year attended such rehab programs, Reveal found.To identify these rehabs, Reveal contacted several hundred programs with survey questions, interviewed hundreds of current and former employees and participants, and reviewed thousands of pages of tax records, financial documents, and wage and injury reports.The programs provide shared room and board. Some offer basic rehab services, such as drug counselling, classes and recreational activities; others, only church services and Bible study. While participants put in 20 to 80 hours per week of often-backbreaking labour, the payment for their work goes to their rehab operators. A few facilities offer participants a token amount of their pay in return or a small allowance; others offer nothing at all.Yet the U.S. Department of Labor, tasked with enforcing the country’s labour laws, has failed to rein in these labour abuses. Rehab regulation is left to the states, and few states require these programs to obtain a license or report information. Less than 1 out of 5 programs Reveal identified were licensed.In this oversight vacuum, the programs have multiplied, spurred by staggering addiction rates, a growing demand for alternatives to prison and a shortage of treatment facilities.“It’s a really genius idea,” said Caleb Brietzke, who in 2019 attended the HOW Foundation in Texas, where he said he trimmed trees for rehab clients up to 70 hours a week for $20 in “walking around money.” The program did not return calls for comment. “Take people no one will miss, and nowhere to go, and use them as basically free labour.”Tough loveMany rehab operators said work is a way to instil structure in the lives of people whose old routines were destroyed by addiction.“A lot of these guys have never worked or lack any type of work skills,” said Guillermo Hernandez, a director of Crusaders of Texas, a recovery program in Dallas that sends participants to do unpaid construction and cleanup jobs. “By the time they get out of here, they have some type of trade where they can be a productive member of society.”A third of the facilities Reveal identified accept court referrals; these participants typically attend rehab in lieu of serving jail or prison time. A few judges said the programs provided an opportunity for recovery in places where there are few treatment options; others saw work as an effective treatment for addiction.“Sometimes, tough love works better,” the late Judge Larry Gist, who presided over a drug court in Beaumont, Texas, said in a 2018 interview. He said many defendants in his court lacked a work ethic: “They’ve never achieved anything and don’t know how to achieve it.”Some participants said these programs worked for them. Blake Uhran was 18 and struggling with heroin addiction when he entered Cross Training Ministries in Clewiston, Florida, in 2010. He attended morning classes, but was sent to work without pay for much of the day mowing lawns for such business clients as U.S. Sugar. Neither Cross Training nor U.S. Sugar responded to queries.“When it’s 100 degrees outside and picking weeds, it does change a man,” Uhran said.Yet many participants said the unpaid work made them feel exploited and expendable.“I was worn down and exhausted by the whole thing,” said Timothy Klick, who attended a Cenikor Foundation program in Fort Worth, Texas in 2018. There, he was sent to work full time at a factory, making ThermoServ dinnerware. (ThermoServ did not respond to queries.) “I feel like a slave, honestly. I’m being forced to work and not getting anything out of it.”In a statement to Reveal, Cenikor described its program as voluntary and said it helped participants “overcome substance use disorder and build successful work and life habits.”Cenikor claims 67% of graduates remain drug-free three years after entering the program. But those numbers disguise a bleak reality: Less than 8% of Cenikor participants graduate. Other programs that provided graduation rates to Reveal cited rates so low that it was clear few participants made it to the end. Those who leave early can face jail or relapse. Some have overdosed and died.A spate of injuriesAlthough they are typically affordable, these programs have severe costs captured in thousands of pages of workers’ compensation files, court documents and medical records. Program participants are routinely injured on the job, these records show, whether due to unsafe conditions at their assigned worksites or the dangerous nature of the work itself. Three have died. In many cases, rehab-run businesses failed to provide adequate safety training or equipment.At Teen Challenge of New England, one of at least 64 Teen Challenge work-based recovery programs across the country, one participant died in 2011 of chemical burns from working at the rehab’s car wash. The program, which declined to comment, had not provided safety training, according to the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.A HOW Foundation rehab in Tulsa, Oklahoma, runs a landscaping business staffed by its participants. In 2018, one participant fell nearly 20 feet while pruning a tree. He recovered but now is plagued by seizures. The program, which did not respond to requests for comment, had not provided safety equipment, according to court records.When Richard Geiler enrolled in Heartland Recovery Center in La Belle, Missouri, he was assigned to work at Heartland Dairy, a linked for-profit venture, then the largest dairy farm in the state, in exchange for room and board. The cargo van that transported Heartland participants lacked seat belts, and the rear doors did not latch. “A cat could push open that thing,” a sheriff’s deputy would later say.Geiler was riding in the van in September 2015 when the driver sped up to avoid a hay baler. The sudden acceleration caused Geiler to shoot out of his seat and through the unlatched doors. He landed headfirst and died two days later, resulting in a $9.5 million court settlement. Neither the dairy nor the rehab responded to queries.Rehab participants also have faced risks when sent to work for private companies.Nicholas Culpepper, a participant at a Cenikor program in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was sent out in 2018 to repair a ceiling light at a local high school. He electrocuted himself, falling 10 feet off a ladder and breaking his back. Cenikor declined to comment on the incident; a civil suit is pending against the employer.“He went in there a strong, able-bodied young man, and he’s coming out of there much less than that,” said Jeanie Payne, Culpepper’s grandmother. “He’s not able to do any kind of physical labour anymore.”Failed enforcementThe work-based drug treatment model dates back to the late 1950s, when a recovery community called Synanon used confrontation and punishment to rehabilitate drug users. The program was sustained entirely by the unpaid labour of its members. Soon, programs modeled after Synanon spread across the country.As this recovery model gained traction, it also drew the scrutiny of the Department of Labor. In 1977, the department filed a case against the Susan and Tony Alamo Foundation for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The foundation, a ministry based in Arkansas, put its associates, typically people struggling with addiction, to work at for-profit businesses – including a jean jacket factory, a hog farm and a grocery store – without pay.The Labor Department ordered the foundation to pay its associates minimum wage and overtime, but the Alamos refused, claiming the work had a religious purpose and was exempt from federal law. When the department filed suit, Alamo appealed all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ultimately found in 1985 that Alamo associates were employees under federal law and could not waive their rights to compensation. The Alamos could deduct a reasonable cost for room and board, but all remaining wages had to be paid.Yet since that case, the Labor Department has failed to ensure that other work-based rehab programs are abiding by labour laws. Department officials have at times caved to political pressure, dropping cases after finding violations.In 1990, in response to a complaint from a former participant, the department launched an investigation into the nation’s largest chain of work-based rehabs, The Salvation Army, which operates about 100 programs across the country. At The Salvation Army’s rehabs, participants were required to work full time processing donations for the organization’s thrift stores, receiving a stipend of only $5 to $20 a week. The department found The Salvation Army had violated labour laws and ordered the non-profit to pay its participants minimum wage.The Salvation Army refused to comply. It sued, then enlisted members of Congress to defend the venerable charity. Within a month, the department backed off. The agency suspended the investigation, then added new rules to its field operations handbook instructing investigators to obtain prior approval before investigating pay issues at Salvation Army rehabs.The Department of Labor declined repeated interview requests.In the absence of enforcement, one Salvation Army participant in San Francisco turned to the courts. The charity prevailed in that civil case, and in 1996, an appeals court found that the participant was not an employee because he had signed an intake form saying he was a program “beneficiary.”“No Federal court has been asked to rule on the issue since,” David Jolley, a Salvation Army spokesperson, wrote in an email. “Thus, The Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center continues its almost 140 year old work therapy model.”The successful battles waged by these programs have had a chilling effect on enforcement. Since The Salvation Army case, the Labor Department has attempted to enforce the law in only a handful of cases. At the HOW Foundation in Oklahoma, the Lovelady Center in Alabama and Recovery Connections Community in North Carolina, the department found violations. But after those cases concluded, Reveal found, all three programs continued to withhold pay.___This article was provided to The Associated Press by the non-profit news outlet Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting. Will Carless, Amy Julia Harris, Sohyeon Hwang, Quinn Lewis and Heidi Swillinger contributed reporting.Shoshana Walter Of Reveal From The Center For Investigative Reporting, The Associated Press

  • Bloomberg

    Former Snap Executive Bets Social Shopping Will Finally Catch On

    (Bloomberg) -- Verishop Inc., a startup led by former Snap Inc. executive Imran Khan, unveiled a new social shopping app on Tuesday that lets users buy clothes directly from their news feed.The service combines the capabilities of an e-commerce website Verishop launched last year with a mobile app that functions like Pinterest and TikTok, where users view, save and follow images and videos that interest them.There have been several failed social-shopping initiatives in the past decade, including attempts by Facebook Inc. and the spectacular rise and fall of Fab.com. But the approach has gained fresh momentum recently. Poshmark Inc. and Depop Ltd. have made selling used clothing online more social, while Facebook announced another try in May.Khan said previous social-shopping businesses focused too much on the fun aspects initially, rather than building the tricky-but-necessary e-commerce underpinnings. Verishop reversed the approach by creating a retail website first with free two-day shipping and returns.“People said, ‘what are you doing? It sounds like a boring e-commerce company,’” Khan said. “But we wanted to make sure that we get the boring parts right. And then focus on the fun part.”Roughly a year after the e-commerce site rolled out, Verishop is now launching the social app. It will have more than 600 brands, including Oribe hair care products and Madewell and Hill City apparel. The app will also feature influencers from the worlds of fashion, interior design and cooking. It will have no ads. Instead, Verishop will take a cut of sales completed through the service.“What we’re bringing is entertainment and discovery. I don’t expect them to buy every time they come to our platform,” Khan said.The launch comes at a time when the Covid-19 pandemic has shut many shopping malls and brick-and-mortar stores. Users have flocked to social media services and e-commerce sites such as TikTok, Facebook, Amazon.com Inc. and EBay Inc. Verishop hopes to grab some of this increased online business.The startup, which has raised about $30 million, is introducing social aspects to the app slowly. At launch, users will be able to follow brands and curate their feed. In the future, the company plans to let individuals upload their own content featuring products that can be purchased.Khan was chief strategy officer at Snap for more than three years, when the social messaging company was growing quickly and completed an initial public offering. Before that, he was a tech investment banker at Credit Suisse. He and his wife, Cate Khan, a former executive at Amazon, founded Verishop.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Forecasters Raise Atlantic Hurricane Outlook to 20 Named Storms
    Bloomberg

    Forecasters Raise Atlantic Hurricane Outlook to 20 Named Storms

    (Bloomberg) -- After a frenzied start, the Atlantic hurricane season could turn out to be the most active since 2005, when a record 28 storms formed.Colorado State University has raised its annual forecast to call for 20 named storms, up from its outlook issued in June calling for 19. Five tropical storms have already spun out of the western Atlantic this year, with two hitting the U.S. so far. This is the fastest start in the record books dating to 1851 and, while the storms have been weak and short-lived, most forecasters see ominous signs for the rest of the season that ends Nov. 30.“Overall, it’s looking like a very active season in store,” said Phil Klotzbach, a hurricane researcher with Colorado State University. “Conditions in the Atlantic look conducive for an active season with warm sea surface temperatures and relatively low shear.”Klotzbach anticipates a total of 20 named storms this season, with each getting a name when its winds reach tropical-storm strength of 39 miles (63 kilometers) per hour. He forecasts nine hurricanes, four of which will reach winds of 111 mph or more. An average season produces 12 systems of tropical-storm strength or greater in the Atlantic. But warm water, which fuels hurricanes, is building.Last year 18 named storms formed in the Atlantic. Gulf Coast RiskWith no brake on the number of storms, the possibility a major hurricane will hit the U.S. coastline or the oil-rich Gulf of Mexico has also risen. Colorado State’s forecast says there is a 69% chance a major hurricane will hit the U.S. coast, higher than the 20th-century average of 52%. Along the Gulf Coast, the odds of a strike between Brownsville, Texas, and the Florida panhandle are 44%, higher than the 30% 20th-century average.So far this year, Tropical Storms Bertha and Cristobal struck the U.S. While weak, Cristobal’s path through offshore energy production areas temporarily shut 34% of crude oil output and 32% of natural gas production. The Gulf accounts for 16% of U.S. crude production and 2.4% of its natural gas output.A potential for a La Nina in the Pacific could also make the season ripe for storms. While La Nina would be on the other side of the globe, the changes it brings to the earth’s weather will cut wind shear across the Atlantic. Shear, when winds blow at different directions or speeds, can tear a storm’s structure apart, weakening or destroying it.Another ominous sign is that two storms, Dolly and Edouard, formed deep in the North Atlantic, which is atypical.“It is unusual to see so many early season storms go as far to the north, which reflects the fact that ocean temperatures are at near-record warm levels across much of the Atlantic, ” said Jeff Masters, a meteorologist for Yale Climate Connections.Record WarmthThrough May, world ocean and land temperatures are second-warmest on record, lagging only 2016, according to the National Centers for Environmental Information. Oceans in the Northern Hemisphere were record warm in May.“We’re getting into the hottest part of the year and it is going to get hotter,” said Jim Rouiller, lead meteorologist at the Energy Weather Group LLC.In addition to the warm ocean temperatures and low wind shear across the Atlantic, there are a lot of storms causing flooding across Africa, Rouiller said. African storms provide the building blocks for hurricanes as they move west into the Atlantic during the heart of the season, which runs from about Aug. 20 to Oct. 1.The rains will also keep dry air and dust from wandering into the Atlantic, Rouiller said. Last month, two large plumes of dust and dry air spread from Africa to the U.S., which helped stymie storms in the Atlantic for a time.“This is going to be a Roman candle effect for storms shooting off the African continent,” Rouiller said. “A very active season is exactly what it looks like.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Lansdowne to Shut Main Hedge Fund in Retreat From Shorting
    Bloomberg

    Lansdowne to Shut Main Hedge Fund in Retreat From Shorting

    (Bloomberg) -- Lansdowne Partners is shutting its main hedge fund in a shift away from short-selling after being hit by some of its worst-ever losses.The London-based investment firm is closing the $2.8 billion Lansdowne Developed Markets Fund, according to a letter to investors seen by Bloomberg. Clients can withdraw their money or move it into the Lansdowne Developed Markets Long Only Fund or a new LDM Opportunities Fund, which will invest in early-stage companies. The firm will continue to bet against companies in some of its other funds.A spokesman for Lansdowne Partners declined to comment.The move marks a dramatic retreat by one of the world’s most famous equity long/short hedge funds, and comes after poor performance in both rising and falling markets. The firm’s main hedge fund is run by Peter Davies and Jonathon Regis and tumbled 13% in March’s rout, the biggest monthly decline since it started trading almost two decades ago. It was down 23.3% in the first half of the year, according to another letter to investors.Years of poor returns have led to outflows from the firm, with its assets dropping to $9.8 billion in June from a peak of nearly $22 billion in 2015.The firm told investors in the letter that it’s become harder to make money with short bets against companies, and it’s finding more opportunities in long bets and investment in early-stage companies.“We believe that our exclusive focus going forward should be the listed long book and a more proactive approach to the early-stage investments, both private and public,” according to the letter. “These opportunities are ones which we think have distinct attractions, time horizons and risk profiles and therefore warrant separate investment vehicles.”Long-Only FundsLansdowne was already managing more money in its long-only funds than in other strategies. At the start of March, only about 45% of the firm’s assets were in long-short money pools.As part of its restructuring of the developed markets strategy, Lansdowne has offered a share class that will house private and less-liquid assets that it plans to sell in the months ahead. Its Developed Markets Fund had about 8% of its assets invested in private companies at the end of September, according to an investor document.The new LDM Opportunities Fund will make about half a dozen early-stage investments for the next three years as well as retain exposure to the existing private and less liquid public positions in the firm’s main hedge fund, according to the letter.The news of Lansdowne’s fund closure was reported earlier by Institutional Investor.(Updates with detail from investor letter starting in second paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Santander Braces for Potential Capital Hit on Covid Loans
    Bloomberg

    Santander Braces for Potential Capital Hit on Covid Loans

    (Bloomberg) -- Banco Santander SA is facing a potential hit to its capital levels in the second quarter after it boosted lending to businesses hurt by the Covid-19 outbreak, a setback to its stated aim to meet the top end of its target range.The lender’s key CET1 ratio, a key measure of capital strength, could decline even after the lender gets an expected a 20-25 basis-point boost from the easing of capital requirements by European regulators, a person with knowledge of the matter said without being more specific.Spain’s largest bank has long faced criticism from investors for trailing its European peers on financial buffers, though it argues that its model is more resistant to stress. The virus crisis and Santander’s decision to participate heavily in a state-backed loan program to small businesses makes its goal to increase the CET1 ratio to the upper end of its target of 11% to 12% this year more challenging. It stood at 11.58% as of March 31.The bank is expecting another boost of 10-20 basis points to its CET1 ratio by the end of the year through a measure that allows lenders to include software investments as part of their capital, the person said, asking not to be named because the information is private.The relief from regulators should stop capital from falling any further and Santander will probably begin building up its buffers again in the second half, the person said. Chief Financial Officer Jose Garcia Cantera told investors at a Goldman Sachs Group Inc. conference in June that the bank is maintaining its objective of having capital levels near 12% by the end of the year.Santander declined to comment.Santander shares fell on the news and were trading down 2.8% as of 4:33 p.m. in Madrid. The stock has declined 39% this year, compared with a 45% drop by the STOXX Europe Banking Index.The European Central Bank has told lenders to dip into their capital cushions to keep lending flowing during the pandemic. It has also allowed them to use subordinated debt to help meet a key measure of financial strength, which lowers their minimum requirement for common equity. On top of that, the ECB is giving banks more time to address deficiencies such as dealing with their stock of bad loans or improving their risk models.Europe ContributesMeasures adopted by the European Union include deferring higher requirements for banks’ leverage ratios by one year to January 2023. The measure is the ratio between the bank’s capital and its exposures.Santander has been one of the most active banks in Spain’s Covid-19 lending program, in which the government is backing 100 billion euros ($112 billion) of loans. The bank expects to have lent 32 billion euros under the plan by the time the current guarantees are exhausted, the person said. It had 84.5 billion euros of outstanding loans to Spanish SMEs in March.Santander made 1.6 billion euros of provisions in the first quarter specifically for losses linked to the virus, while total provisions jumped to a record 3.9 billion euros, causing net income to plunge 82%, the bank said in April.Spain’s loan program was deployed in tranches, allowing the government to make tweaks as it went along. Spanish companies had received 85.2 billion euros in financing as of July 1. The government has been guaranteeing 80% of loans to SMEs and 70% to large companies with the banks assuming the risk for the remainder.The government last week pledged an additional 40 billion euros in so-called ICO loan guarantees to inject more funds into struggling Spanish companies.Santander has lent above its market share. It was assigned about 27% of the final 28 billion tranche of ICO loans, the person said. That compares to a market share of 25% on SME loans.(Updates with details of comments by CFO in fifth paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Hiring soared in May as mass layoffs eased
    The Canadian Press

    Hiring soared in May as mass layoffs eased

    WASHINGTON — The job market took a big step toward healing in May, though plenty of damage remains, as a record level of hiring followed record layoffs in March and April.The Labor Department reported Tuesday that the number of available jobs rose sharply as well, but remained far below pre-pandemic levels.The figures, from the government's Job Openings and Labor Turnover survey, or JOLTS, illustrate the whiplash the economy has experienced since the pandemic intensified in mid-March. Layoffs soared in March to a stunning 11.5 million, roughly four times the peak during the 2008-2009 recession. They remained extraordinarily high in April, at 7.7 million, but in May they fell back to pre-pandemic levels of 1.8 million.Hiring, meanwhile, plunged in April to 4 million, the lowest level since 2011, but jumped to 6.5 million in May. While that is the most hires on records dating back to 2000, it wasn't nearly enough to offset the roughly 19 million layoffs in March and April.And whatever ground has been recaptured to this point is now being imperiled by a resurgence of COVID-19 cases throughout the South and West. Despite a solid rebound in employment, the job market remains badly damaged, both by mandatory lockdowns and the reluctance of people to again visit restaurants, theatres or to travel freely, at least until a vaccine or an effective treatment for the virus is available.The JOLTS report provides gross totals of hiring and layoffs, while the monthly jobs report, which also includes the unemployment rate, is a net figure of total jobs gained or lost.On Thursday, the jobs report showed that employers added a net total of 4.8 million jobs in June, after a gain of 2.7 million in May. Even those huge net gains recaptured only one-third of job lost in March and April and the unemployment rate is 11.1%, down from its April and May levels but otherwise higher than at any time since the Depression.Employers advertised 5.4 million jobs in May, about 10% higher than in April, but still below pre-pandemic levels of about 7 million.Christopher Rugaber, The Associated Press