Sydney’s Open For Business Again. So Where Is Everybody?

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When Australia announced plans to restart its economy after the coronavirus shutdown, authorities worried Sydney would be flooded with cars as socially distancing commuters returned to work.

But more than a week after schools and many businesses reopened, emergency parking lots created to accommodate an influx of new drivers are nearly empty. Traffic levels are edging back to pre-lockdown levels, according to TomTom, yet there’s little sign of people taking to cars en masse. Nor are they piling back onto buses, with only limited reports of overcrowding.

The muted return of commuters in a country with comparatively few virus cases — there have been just over 100 deaths in Australia, compared to more than 20,000 in New York — may be early evidence of an enduring shift in behavior.

28,633 in BrazilMost new cases today

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“We are seeing something different to a simple snapback,” said Jago Dodson, director of the Centre for Urban Research at RMIT University. “The immediate imperative to rush the workforce back into corporate office towers in the CBDs is perhaps not as strong as you might imagine.”

If the virus changes working patterns to keep even a small proportion of people from commuting to city centers, it could help solve a problem that urban planners have failed to crack for decades. Outside of one-off events like the Olympic Games, policymakers have struggled to spread transport demand away from peak times.

“We’ve been trying since the 1940s to stagger start hours to reduce pressure on the transport network and it’s just never worked,” said Geoffrey Clifton, a transport expert at the University of Sydney. “9 to 5 is still 9 to 5.”

Shifting hours and more work-from-home jobs would mean more efficient use of the transport network, saving billions of dollars in investment, he said.

It’s not like Australians are hunkered down at home. More than eight out of 10 households in the nation own at least one car, one of the highest rates in the world, and suburban beaches and parks are buzzing. Pubs are preparing for a surge in thirsty clients this weekend.

At the same time, Apple Inc. data show that routing requests on June 2 for all travel were down nearly 60% from pre-virus levels.

“People just aren’t ready to return to work,” Clifton said. “I genuinely was surprised. I thought there would have been a lot more people going back.”

One factor is that some of the biggest job losses have been in sectors like retail and hospitality, which are concentrated in central areas, trimming the number of commuters. Another is that many offices are grappling with issues like lift capacity and seating plans and are staggering the return of staff. Some employers, after investing in remote-working technology, found productivity was better than expected and aren’t planning to return to the old ways.

Telecoms giant Optus says it will keep some staff at home permanently and Westpac Banking Corp. is also mulling a long-term shift.

It’s too soon to call the end of the office commute. Surveys suggest two or three days a week in the office is the ‘sweet-spot’ for many workers to balance the benefits of face-to-face interaction with those of working from home, said Libby Sander, an organization behavior expert at Bond University.

“The office is not dead,” said Andrea Roberts, national head of leasing at real estate company Knight Frank Australia. “The return to work has been slower than expected, absolutely. But the office might even become a more important amenity and culture hub. People need something to bring them together.”

It’s been a similar cautious return in other Asian cities. In Hong Kong, the major banks sent back only between a third and half of their staff when restrictions first started to lift. In Singapore, Citigroup Inc. said it plans to keep 88% of its 8,500 employees at home until July.

Limited returns could be vital to enforcing social distancing on trains and buses. In the past, 60% to 80% of those working in Sydney’s city center arrived by public transport, according to the Institute for Sensible Transport. Depending on how strictly social distancing is enforced, between 50% and 85% of the normal 600,000 peak-hour commuters would need to find an alternative, researcher Elliot Fishman estimates.

“There just isn’t enough car parking capacity to absorb the extra, say, 200,000 cars that could potentially be headed for central Sydney at peak hour,” Fishman said. “It could bring traffic congestion beyond anything we’ve ever seen in this country.”

Keeping some of those cars from coming in each day could be one lesson to learn from the pandemic.

“We’ve been fairly slow in transitioning our urban transport systems to a more sustainable mode,” said Dodson at RMIT. “Now is the time when we could really start to accelerate that transition.”

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5G is the future. But it's not really here yet

New York (CNN Business)As 2020 kicked off, rolling out 5G was top of mind for telecom companies.

Then coronavirus hit.
Telecom companies had to figure out how to manage remote workforces, grapple with concerns about tech supply chain disruptions and fortify existing networks that suddenly became essential links to the outside world for people sheltering in place.

    But industry players say coronavirus caused only a minor disruption for the rollout of 5G. In fact, many say the pandemic has highlighted the need for the kind of high-speed, high-bandwidth connections 5G promises.
    5G is expected to enable technologies like automated factories and remote augmented reality training, the utility of which are even more apparent in an age of social distancing and working from home.

    “We’ve seen the demand [for 5G] is higher than ever … I think there’s good support globally around driving greater 5G development and investment,” said Bob Everson, Cisco’s senior director for 5G architecture. Cisco (CSCO) is a major provider of equipment and technology for 5G networks.

    Where do companies stand?

    Most network operators acknowledged that coronavirus created some hurdles for the physical 5G buildout, at least early on.
    Solving complex engineering problems and installing new cell sites, for example, are more challenging when workers must maintain social distancing and city permitting offices are closed.
    “It has no doubt slowed some things down as people are figuring out business processes — operators are adapting to a time when people can’t be together and engineers that were out there doing it have to be in a different environment,” Everson said.
    AT&T continues to “navigate some delays” as a result of coronavirus, a company spokesperson told CNN Business. (CNN’s parent company, WarnerMedia, is owned by AT&T).
    Kyle Malady, Verizon’s Chief Technology Officer, said during a Twitter livestream earlier this week that the company “did lose a couple of weeks” in the deployment of its 5G mobile edge compute sites, a key piece of Verizon’s 5G strategy.
    However, both companies said the delays have been minor.
    5G and Wi-Fi 6 will improve your WFH experience
    “Our 5G deployment continues, and we expect nationwide 5G coverage this summer,” AT&T’s spokesperson said, referring to the company’s low-band network. The company also plans to continue expanding its 5G networks through 2020. AT&T said in November that nationwide 5G would be available to consumers and businesses in the first half of 2020.
    Verizon last month pointed to several moves it says will accelerate its 5G deployment despite coronavirus-related disruptions. It announced the creation of a new virtual lab to experiment with potential 5G applications at a time when visiting a physical lab isn’t possible due to social distancing requirements. It also launched high-band 5G service in San Diego, its 35th high-band network market.
    The San Diego deployment was an opportunity to learn how to manage building out 5G infrastructure in the midst of coronavirus, Verizon’s director of system performance Marta LaCroix said on Twitter last month.
    “Our operations teams and our performance teams are finding new ways to test,” LaCroix said. “Where we previously would have had a couple of people working together, we’re finding creative ways to do that social distancing, to wear PPE, as we … make sure that we’re ready for launch.”
    After T-Mobile announced its nationwide 5G network in December, the company said in its most recent earnings report that it expanded its network to 2,600 additional sites during the first four months of the year. T-Mobile also finalized its merger with Sprint in early April, a move it has long said will help it build out a better 5G network, faster.
    “Our network build is continuing and on track,” T-Mobile said in a statement to CNN Business. “We’re still moving very quickly to combine the T-Mobile and Sprint networks, and continue building out 5G across the country.”
    The 5G rollout was perhaps better positioned to weather the coronavirus disruption than past network updates would have been, thanks to improvements in network technology, Cisco’s Everson said.

      Network operators are increasingly moving toward greater use of “software defined networks.” That means that, in some cases, when the network infrastructure needs to be updated, it can be done remotely through software, rather than requiring replacement of physical parts of the system.
      “We’ve done some work with operators, where you can take a cell site build process that would normally take eight hours to multiple days, and through automation, the operator just goes out, hangs the radio and plugs it in, and it automatically brings itself up,” Everson said. “It makes it a 15-minute process. The more you can do that, the quicker we can roll out.”
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      Chemicals firm BASF biggest beneficiary of UK coronavirus loan scheme

      The German chemicals company BASF has emerged as the biggest beneficiary of the Bank of England’s emergency coronavirus loan scheme, borrowing £1bn in cheap government-backed funding.

      Threadneedle Street revealed for the first time the names of 53 big companies that have borrowed £16.2bn between them, amid rising pressure on the government to place tougher conditions on firms that receive state-backed support.

      The list of businesses benefiting from the cheap funding, which is designed to help businesses weather the economic storm caused by the coronavirus pandemic, included many with a sizeable carbon footprint.

      According to campaigners, about a fifth of the emergency loans were made to firms with heavy carbon emissions in aviation, oil and car manufacturing, prompting criticism for the government.

      Ministers’ have previously made assurances that the government would prioritise a green economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis.

      Alongside BASF the list of major overseas companies receiving support backed by the British state also included the German pharmaceuticals company Bayer, the French luxury brand Chanel and the Japanese carmakers Toyota, Nissan and Mitsubishi.

      BASF employs about 850 people in Britain at eight plants across the country, producing farming pesticides and chemicals for the car industry.

      Chanel, which has received £600m, said it had its global headquarters are in the UK and it had 1,600 people working in the UK. A spokesperson said:”We have chosen not to access government furlough schemes but as a large employer which has seen all of its boutiques shut by the Covid-19 pandemic, we have accessed the Bank of England facility. The loan will be repaid within the next 12 months.”

      First announced in March by the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, among his flagship financial support measures as the coronavirus crisis intensified, the Covid corporate financing facility (CCFF) is run by the Bank of England on behalf of the Treasury. It is open to firms regardless of where they are headquartered.

      Companies – and their finance subsidiaries – that make a “material contribution” to the UK economy are able to participate. However, the Bank and the Treasury have not published precise details over how it approves firms to be part of the scheme.

      As many as 152 businesses have been approved to access the emergency funding, which could expand to nearly £68bn if necessary. The scheme works by Threadneedle Street buying up the bonds of companies with newly created public money, then lending the funds to the firms at interest rates understood to be around 0.5% and possibly less in some cases.

      Against a backdrop of mounting pressure on ministers to attach more conditions to the use of public money and state guarantees, the Bank and the Treasury last month blocked firms from paying out large bonuses to executives and dividends to investors until they have repaid their loans.

      Faced with the grounding of flights around the world, most of the biggest airlines operating in Britain have accessed the facility EasyJet and Ryanair hav borrowed £600m each, while British Airways has taken £300m and Wizz Air has borrowed £300m.

      Although receiving taxpayer support, both Easyjet and BA have announced plans to make thousands of job cuts given the scale of the impact from Covid-19.

      Both have stated that the money will be used simply to boost cash reserves and maintain liquidity during lockdown and hoped-for recovery. Although staff have been furloughed and fleets grounded, the airlines estimated they were still burning through cash at between £30m-60m a week.

      Virgin Atlantic, majority owned by the billionaire Richard Branson, who has faced questions over whether his companies should receive public funds due to his personal tax status, is reported to have been turned down for a £500m loan.

      Campaigners and many MPs have called on the government to ensure its bailout schemes take greater account of the environmental impact of the companies benefiting from them, as well as their tax status and employment practices.

      Also among high-carbon businesses benefiting from the scheme were oilfield companies Baker Hughes, with a £600m loan, and Schlumberger, with £150m.

      Fiona Nicholls, climate campaigner at Greenpeace UK, said the government was letting down the public and going against its claims that the recovery would be green. “Airlines have been given exactly what the chancellor, the prime minister, economists and the public said they should not be given – billions in cheap and easy loans to keep them polluting, without any commitments to reduce their emissions or even keep their workers on the payroll.”

      Several household names from the UK high street are also among firms borrowing from the scheme. The bakery chain Greggs has borrowed £150m, while Marks & Spencers took £260m and fast fashion online retailer Asos has secured £100m. John Lewis and the luxury fashion house Burberry have each borrowed £300m.

      It is understood the loan to Burberry was undertaken as a contingency measure in the case of a protracted period of store closures. Asos said it had borrowed money as a precautionary measure to give it flexibility through an uncertain period. “At the same time, we raised capital from our shareholders to further support the business,” it said in a statement.

      The construction firm JCB, owned by the billionaire Bamford family, who were prominent Tory donors and Vote Leave backers, has secured a £600m loan. The company described the loan support as insurance and “prudent financial management”.

      Others included Premier League football club Tottenham Hotspur and the brewer Youngs. The National Trust charity has also benefited, with £30m in help.

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      Spanish Puig snaps up Charlotte Tilbury makeup empire

      The celebrity makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury has handed a control of her namesake makeup and skincare empire to a Spanish fashion and fragrances business in a deal that could have valued the company at up to £1bn just seven years after she started it.

      Tilbury, 47, personally owned between half and 75% of the company until signing a deal with the Barcelona-based Puig will likely have handed her a cash payout worth tens of millions of pounds. The Spanish firm also owns brands including Paco Rabanne, Jean Paul Gaultier and Nina Ricci.

      Tilbury will continue to own a significant stake and to act as chairman, president and chief creative officer – but will no longer be the biggest shareholder.

      The deal is likely to have generated a big payday for other investors in the brand too, including the photographer Mario Testino, the model Stella Tennant and Wendi Murdoch, the entrepreneur and former wife of Rupert Murdoch .

      However Charlotte Tilbury declined to comment on which shareholders had cashed out and which had stayed in.

      The London-born makeup artist grew up on the Spanish island of Ibiza with her artist parents. She rose to fame working on Vogue shoots with supermodels including Kate Moss before developing products such as Pillow Talk lipstick and Magic Cream moisturiser.

      Charlotte Tilbury eyes £500m payout as makeup firm goes up for sale

      Her celebrity clients are thought to include Amal Clooney and Penelope Cruz and Tilbury’s tips learned from years in the trade have helped her build a big social media presence.

      Puig, a family-controlled firm, is thought to have fought off rival bids from corporate giants including Unilever, the consumer goods company whose brands include Dove and Ben & Jerry’s, and large beauty corporations including France’s L’Oréal and Japan’s Shiseido Corporation.

      The deal rides on a trend for personality-led makeup ranges that have won over the Instagram generation and provided heavy competition for traditional cosmetic brands.

      In November last year, Kylie Jenner sold a 51% stake in her beauty business to the CoverGirl owner Coty, in a deal that valued the reality TV star’s company at about $1.2bn (£965m).

      The luxury conglomerate LVMH, owner of brands including Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton and Moët & Chandon, is the backer of Rihanna’s Fenty beauty empire.

      Tilbury said: “I’ve always dared to dream and create magic through beauty. I’m proud to be joining forces with Puig in a strategic partnership that will help us achieve our limitless ambitions. We’ve reached a pivotal point in our growth since launching seven years ago, and we’re looking forward to unlocking new opportunities with Puig, which is the perfect partner as we build an iconic brand to last.”

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      U.S. Still Underprepared for Pandemic Threats, CDC Head Says

      The U.S. remains underprepared for major pandemic health threats, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told Congress, citing major shortfalls revealed by the coronavirus in state, local and federal authorities’ ability to spot and track disease and develop countermeasures.

      Congress should invest more money in public health, data modernization and contact tracing, CDC Director Robert Redfield told House lawmakers on Thursday.

      “You think we weren’t prepared for this, wait until we have a real global threat for our health security,” Redfield said at a hearing of the House Committee on Appropriations, the panel that leads congressional funding of government agencies.

      The CDC has long been considered one of the world’s preeminent health agencies, and has been a model for other countries setting up similar organizations. But it has come under criticism for reacting slowly to the coronavirus, which has infected more than 1.86 million Americans and killed at least 107,000. While the agency was fast in developing a test, it had significant problems rolling it out around the country and then largely receded from the public face of the Trump administration’s response to the virus.

      In his testimony, Redfield said the agency is having a hard time tracking the impact of the coronavirus on black Americans, making data modernization crucial. Some states are still collecting data “with pen and pencil,” he said.

      “Data is the roadmap. It’s fundamentally the key first step that we need to do to address the health disparities,” Redfield said.

      The U.S. announced Thursday that it will require testing labs to collect zip code data and demographics including race, ethnicity, sex and age, he said.

      The CDC funds as much as 70% of state and local public-health efforts, Redfield said. But significant new preparedness investments are needed, in addition to basic efforts to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

      “That needs to be augmented,” Redfield said. “The cost of nothing isn’t nothing. the time to do it is now and get that investment.”

      He cited local labs as one key area. While New York’s state lab was able to develop its own tests, other states have not done so. Redfield also said that states needed to hire 30,000 to 100,000 contact tracers by September to follow new Covid-19 cases. He said he was hopeful AmeriCorps, a community service program supported by the federal government, would be used to augment the contact-tracing workforce.

      Redfield also said masks and face coverings remain an important tool to stop the spread of Covid-19.

      “We continue to see this as a critical public health tool,” Redfield said. Responding to questions about large public gathers of unmasked people, he said that, “obviously we’re very concerned that our public-health message isn’t resonating.”

      When asked if the CDC has recommended to the White House that tear gas not be used at demonstrations around the country, since coughing can spread the coronavirus, Redfield said, “We have advocated strongly the ability to have face coverings and masks available to protesters.”

      When pushed about tear gas he added, “I’ll pass on this comment at the next task force meeting.”

      Source: Read Full Article

      Simon Property Group sues Gap over $66M in unpaid rent

      How will retailers recover from looting?

      Retailers face damage from riots while struggling to reopen amid coronavirus. FOX Business’ Lauren Simonetti with more.

      One of the country's biggest mall operators, Simon Property Group, is suing Gap Inc. over nearly $66 million in unpaid rent and other charges, The Real Deal first reported.

      Continue Reading Below

      The Gap owes rent for April, May and June, the suit filed in Delaware state court says, according to The Real Deal.


      The Gap blamed the "profound effect" of the coronavirus pandemic for its decision to suspend rent payments in a statement to FOX Business.

      Masked people walk past a boarded up Old Navy clothing store on Wednesday, May 27, 2020, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

      "We remain committed to working directly with our landlords on mutually agreeable solutions and fair rent terms, just as our hundreds of industry and government partners have sat with us in good faith to shape the post COVID business landscape," The Gap's statement reads.


      The Gap began reopening stores in May. Its brands include Old Navy, Banana Republic, Athleta and, of course, Gap.

      Ticker Security Last Change Change %
      GPS GAP 12.07 +0.12 +1.00%

      FOX Business' inquiry to Simon Property Group was not returned at the time of publication.


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      ABIO Jumps On Joining COVID-19 Drug Fray, GMAB Hits Trial Goal, IMRA On Watch

      Today’s Daily Dose brings you news about ARCA biopharma joining the battle against COVID-19; Genmab’s positive results from amyloidosis trial; MacroGenics’ regulatory update related to breast cancer drug candidate Margetuximab and Simulations Plus receiving the FDA grant award.

      Read on…

      1. ARCA Jumps Into COVID-19 Drug Fray; Stock Explodes Over 300%

      ARCA biopharma Inc. (ABIO) has decided to evaluate AB201, a potent, selective inhibitor of tissue factor, as a potential treatment for COVID-19 associated coagulopathy and the related inflammatory response.

      COVID-19 associated coagulopathy or CAC is one of the most serious adverse effects seen in COVID-19 patients.

      The Company anticipates filing an Investigational New Drug (IND) application for AB201 with the FDA in the third quarter and initiating late-stage clinical testing in the second half of this year.

      As of March 31, 2020, the Company had cash and cash equivalents of only $6.7 million.

      ABIO closed Thursday’s trading at $19.21, up 386.33%.

      2. Genmab ANDROMEDA Trial Hits Key Goal

      Shares of Genmab A/S (GMAB) closed at an all-time high of $30.97 on Thursday, thanks to positive topline results from its ANDROMEDA trial.

      ANDROMEDA is a phase III study of subcutaneous Daratumumab in combination with Cyclophosphamide, Bortezomib, and Dexamethasone (CyBorD ) for patients with newly diagnosed light-chain (AL) amyloidosis.

      Janssen Biotech Inc. obtained an exclusive worldwide license to develop, manufacture and commercialize Daratumumab from Genmab in 2012.

      The ANDROMEDA study, conducted by Janssen, met the primary endpoint of the percentage of patients with hematologic complete response. Patients in the study treated with Daratumumab in combination with CyBorD had a 53.3% hematologic complete response compared to 18.1% of patients who were treated with CyBorD alone.

      GMAB closed Thursday’s trading at $30.97, up 4.31%.

      3. Imara Gearing Up For The Big Event

      Shares of Imara Inc. (IMRA) continues to gain momentum as the Company gears up to present interim data from the ongoing phase IIa study of IMR-687 in patients with sickle cell disease at the 25th Annual European Hematology Association (EHA) Congress to be held virtually June 11-21, 2020.

      Enrollment in the IMR-687 phase IIa clinical trial in sickle cell patients was completed in January of this year, with top-line data expected in the fourth quarter of 2020.

      IMRA closed Thursday’s trading at $32.38, up 11.27%.

      4. MacroGenics To Face FDA In December; No Panel Review

      MacroGenics Inc. (MGNX) has been notified that the FDA has no plans to hold an AdComm meeting to review the Company’s Biologics License Application for Margetuximab, proposed for the treatment of patients with pre-treated metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer in combination with chemotherapy.

      The regulatory agency’s final decision date set for Margetuximab review remains unchanged, which is December 18, 2020.

      MGNX closed Thursday’s trading at $23.00, down 0.61%.

      5. Simulations Plus Secures Grant Award

      Shares of Simulations Plus Inc. (SLP), a developer of drug discovery/development software, touched an all-time high on Thursday, following the receipt of a new Grant Award from the FDA.

      The Company has been awarded a new funded cooperative agreement for up to $400,000 over three years to develop physiologically based pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics (PBPK/PD) approaches to support interspecies translation for ocular drug delivery in GastroPlus.

      GastroPlus is a mechanistically based simulation software package that simulates intravenous, oral, oral cavity, ocular, inhalation, and dermal/subcutaneous absorption, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics in humans and animals, according to the Company.

      For its second quarter of fiscal year 2020, the period ended February 29, 2020, net revenues increased 22.2% to $10.3 million from $8.5 million in the year-ago period. Net income for the recent second quarter increased to $2.2 million from $2.1 million in the year-ago quarter while earnings per share remained unchanged at $0.12 per share. The second-quarter results were reported last month.

      SLP closed Thursday’s trading at $48.43, up 22.61%.

      6. Stocks That Moved On No News

      Organogenesis Holdings Inc. (ORGO) closed Thursday’s trading at $4.61, up 33.24%.

      IDEAYA Biosciences Inc. (IDYA) closed Thursday’s trading at $9.40, up 22.64%.

      Flexion Therapeutics Inc. (FLXN) closed Thursday’s trading at $11.65, up 12.83%.

      NantKwest Inc. (NK) closed Thursday’s trading at $6.61, down 12.80%.

      Verrica Pharmaceuticals Inc. (VRCA) closed Thursday’s trading at $12.20, down 11.98%.

      Source: Read Full Article

      U.S. Stocks Close Lower Following Late-Day Pullback

      After seeing strength for much of the session, stocks came under pressure in the final hour of trading on Thursday. The major averages pulled back off their highs of the day and into negative territory.

      The major averages climbed off their lows going into the close but still ended the day in the red. The Dow fell 147.63 points or 0.6 percent to 25,400.64, the Nasdaq slid 43.37 points or 0.5 percent to 9,368.99 and the S&P 500 dipped 6.40 points or 0.2 percent to 3,029.73.

      The late-day pullback on Wall Street was attributed to President Donald Trump announcing plans to hold a news conference about China on Friday.

      China has recently stepped up efforts to curtail Hong Kong’s independence, raising concerns that Trump may announce new measures that ramp up recent tensions with China.

      The strength seen for much of the day came following the release of a report from the Labor Department showing a continued decrease in first-time claims for unemployment benefits in the week ended May 23rd.

      The Labor Department said initial jobless claims dropped to 2.123 million, a decrease of 323,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 2.446 million.

      Economists had expected jobless claims to fall to 2.100 million from the 2.438 million originally reported for the previous week.

      With the decrease, jobless claims pulled back further off the record high of 6.867 million set in the week ended March 28th.

      Meanwhile, the Commerce Department released a separate report showing a substantial decrease in new orders for U.S. manufactured durable goods in the month of April.

      The report said durable goods orders plunged by 17.2 percent in April following a revised 16.6 percent nosedive in March.

      Economists had expected durable goods orders to plummet by 19.0 percent compared to the 14.4 percent slump originally reported for the previous month.

      Housing stocks showed a substantial move to the downside on the day, dragging the Philadelphia Housing Sector Index down by 3.9 percent.

      The weakness in the sector came after the National Association of Realtors released a report showing a steep drop in pending home sales in the month of April.

      Significant weakness was also visible among banking stocks, as reflected by the 3.6 percent nosedive the KBW Bank Index.

      Computer hardware, energy and semiconductor stocks also saw considerable weakness on the day, while strength remained visible among utilities, pharmaceutical and chemical stocks.

      In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Thursday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index spiked by 2.3 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell by 0.7 percent.

      Meanwhile, the major European markets all moved to the upside on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index surged up by 1.8 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index and the German DAX Index jumped by 1.2 percent and 1.1 percent, respectively.

      In the bond market, treasuries showed a modest move to the downside over the course of the session. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, rose by 2.5 basis points to 0.705 percent.

      Source: Read Full Article

      Haven’t received your coronavirus stimulus check? IRS says some Americans need to take action

      New coronavirus stimulus should incentivize going back to work: Financial planner

      Doug Flynn of Flynn Zito Capital Management on a new report from the Congressional Budget Office projecting a 10-year economic recovery from the coronavirus.

      The federal government has delivered cash payments intended to blunt the economic pain of the coronavirus pandemic to 159 million Americans, according to the Internal Revenue Service, but some individuals are still waiting for the money to arrive.

      Continue Reading Below

      The payments totaled nearly $267 billion. The IRS said it sent $120 million to Americans via direct deposit; $35 million by check; and $4 million in the form of a prepaid debit card.

      But millions of low-income people, homeless people and others who aren’t required to file a tax return may not have received the money — and are still eligible to get it. In order to do so, they need to take some steps to provide the agency with the necessary information about where to send the check.


      "Even with these unprecedented steps, there remain people eligible for these payments who need to take action,” IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said in a statement.

      Individuals who normally do not file a tax return can register for the payment and submit their information through the “Non-Filers” tool. If you filed a 2018 tax return, or plan to file a return in 2019, you do not need to use the tool; the IRS has said doing so could slow down the distribution of the money.

      The non-filers tool is intended for couples who earn less than $24,400 and individuals who earn less than $12,200, as well as those who are homeless. The IRS noted that whether or not individuals have earned an income or work, they’re eligible to receive the payments.


      It’s unclear how many individuals are still waiting on the check; more than 15 million Americans on Social Security do not file an annual tax return because their income is so low, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

      The money can be substantial, particularly for low-income individuals who qualify for the maximum one-time payment of $1,200 (or $2,400 for couples). Plus, families receive an extra $500 for every child under the age of 17. The payments are tapered for higher-earners and phase out completely for individuals who earn more than $99,000.


      The cash is intended to blunt the financial pain for Americans caused by the coronavirus pandemic, which brought the economy grinding to a halt in mid-March. In the span of 11 weeks, close to 42 million Americans filed for unemployment, the Labor Department said Thursday. The record-shattering number is a stunning sign of the depth of the economic calamity inflicted by the outbreak of the virus.


      Source: Read Full Article

      Cuomo Fears Covid-19 Spike; Mourners to Gather: Protest Update

      Mourners are set to gather Thursday in Minneapolis for the first in a series of memorials honoring George Floyd, the unarmed black man whose death has sparked rolling nationwide protests against police brutality.

      President Donald Trump, facing a direct challenge to his leadership from his current and former defense secretaries over his response to the demonstrations, has no plans to attend.

      Tensions were high overnight as large crowds gathered in New Orleans and New York, yet the ninth straight night of protests over Floyd’s death remained largely peaceful in most cities.

      Key Developments:

      • More than 10,000 people have been arrested, according to AP tally
      • Kneeling comments spark backlash, protests in New Orleans
      • Read ex-Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’s full statement on Trump here:
      • While Crime Fell in America, the Cost of Policing Tripled
      • From Goldman to Apple, Companies Gauge New Calculus on Race
      • How ‘Black Lives Matter’ Became a U.S. Protest Cry: QuickTake

      Here’s the latest. All times are New York-based:

      28,633 in BrazilMost new cases today

      -8% Change in MSCI World Index of global stocks since Wuhan lockdown, Jan. 23

      -0.​9801 Change in U.S. treasury bond yield since Wuhan lockdown, Jan. 23

      -2.​3% Global GDP Tracker (annualized), May

      N.Y. Sees Worst Civil Unrest in 50 Years, Cuomo Says (8:50 a.m.)

      New York is dealing with civil unrest “that we haven’t seen in 50 years,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said Thursday in a radio interview.

      The governor said he is “hoping and praying” that the protests don’t lead to a spike in Covid-19 cases. Tens of thousands of people are protesting, and many are ignoring social distancing and not wearing masks, he said.

      “These are the most perilous times we have faced,” Cuomo said on LI News radio. “Unless you see locusts appear tomorrow morning, we’ve worked our way through the biblical horrors.”

      Drew Brees Apologizes After Comments on Kneeling (8:20 a.m.)

      New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees apologized after his comments on kneeling during the national anthem sparked backlash. Brees had said he would “never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country.”

      The backlash to anthem-kneeling protests led by former NFL star Colin Kaepernick was cited as fueling demonstrations in New Orleans on Wednesday. Protesters there chanted opposition to Brees’s comments.

      Police dressed in riot gear fired tear gas to disperse a crowd of protesters in the city. Local news outlet said it was the first time law enforcement used tear gas in the protests this week.

      Tim Cook Says Apple Must Do More on Racism (7:29 a.m.)

      Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook wrote an open letter on racism, highlighting that his company must do more. The full text of the letter was posted to the iPhone maker’s website.

      “To create change, we have to reexamine our own views and actions in light of a pain that is deeply felt but too often ignored,” Cook said. “Issues of human dignity will not abide standing on the sidelines. To the Black community -- we see you. You matter and your lives matter.”

      Racial Unrest Is New Blow to U.S.-Africa Relationship (6:12 a.m.)

      Floyd’s death and resulting civil upheaval have set back U.S. efforts to strengthen its tenuous relationship with Africa and counter China’s growing influence.

      Mousse Faki Mahamat, the chairman of the African Union Commission, joined senior officials from Nigeria, South Africa and Ghana in condemning the death of Floyd. They berated the U.S. for failing to deal with racial discrimination -- remarks that contrast sharply with the guarded diplomatic tones typically used in interactions with the world’s biggest economy.

      Meghan Markle Pays Tribute to Floyd (2:36 a.m.)

      Meghan Markle said in a video message to graduating students at her old Los Angeles-area high school that Floyd’s life “mattered,” and told them to be ”part of a movement” of hope changing the world for the better.

      Markle, the biracial American actress who married Britain’s Prince Harry and later moved back to LA with him and their young son Archie, told graduates to have the courage to put others’ needs over their own. “I wasn’t sure what I could say to you. I wanted to say the right thing and I was really nervous that it would get picked apart,” she said in the call, according to U.K. media. “And I realized the only wrong thing to say is to say nothing.”

      L.A. to Cut Police Budget, Invest in Black Community (2:19 a.m.)

      California’s largest city will identify $100 million to $150 million in cuts from its police budget as part of a review of spending priorities in California’s largest city following George Floyd’s death, the Los Angeles Times reported.

      Mayor Eric Garcetti, a Democrat, said Los Angeles would “identify $250 million in cuts so we can invest in jobs, in health, in education and in healing,” especially focused on the city’s black community, communities of color and others seen as left behind. Cuts will come to every department to fund the rebalancing, he said.

      L.A. also announced a string of other plans focused on police procedures, including requiring police officers to intervene when they see inappropriate use of force.

      U.S. Apologizes to India After Gandhi Statue Defaced (1:55 a.m.)

      A statue of Mahatma Gandhi was defaced by Black Lives Matters protesters in Washington D.C., ANI reported.

      The monument, which stands outside the Indian Embassy, was spray painted with graffiti. Local authorities have started a probe into the incident, according to ANI. The U.S. Ambassador to India Kenneth Juster later issued an apology for the incident, saying that the U.S. stands against prejudice and discrimination of any type.

      Seattle Ends Its Curfew Early (12:02 a.m.)

      After a day of meeting with protest leaders, Mayor Jenny Durkan and Police Chief Carmen Best opted to lift a nightly curfew that was intended to continue through Saturday. An hour before the curfew was to begin, Durkan announced on her Twitter account that Best had decided the police can balance public safety and allow peaceful protests.

      N.Y. Public Advocate Decries ‘Aggressive Tactics’ (11:54 p.m.)

      New York Public Advocate Jumaane Williams says he’ll hold a press briefing Thursday “to discuss the police response to demonstrations in New York City after taking part in a nonviolent protest met with aggressive tactics by the NYPD.”

      Williams posted videos of standoffs between police and protesters in New York on his Twitter feed.

      NYT Criticized For Running Cotton Op-Ed (11:43 p.m.)

      The New York Times is getting criticism including from journalists on its own staff for running an op-ed penned by Republican Senator Tom Cotton, who argued military troops should be used if needed to restore order in U.S. cities.

      “I’ll probably get in trouble for this, but to not say something would be immoral. As a black woman, as a journalist, as an American, I am deeply ashamed that we ran this,” said Nikole Hannah-Jones, a Pulitzer prize-winning correspondent who helped lead the Times’s recent 1619 Project on the origins of slavery in the U.S. Dozens of others posted messages online saying running the piece puts black staff at the Times in danger.

      Editorial page editor James Bennet defended the decision to run the piece, saying the opinion page “owes it to our readers to show them counter-arguments, particularly those made by people in a position to set policy.”

      Trump’s Police Vision Echoes in Washington (11:16 p.m.)

      As night fell across America, a place that President Trump will see the sort of militarized security he’s called for in cities across the country is its federal capital, Washington, D.C.

      Trump has boasted of summoning a phalanx of security to the capital. Photos showed officers from a range of departments, reportedly including the military, Department of Homeland Security and Drug Enforcement Agency, among others. U.S. Customs and Border Protection has also said it was dispatching officers. The move drew the ire of the city’s mayor, Muriel Bowser, who said the federal government “continues to militarize our city” because it lacks statehood.

      While some cities and states have activated National Guard units in supporting roles, mayors and governors have broadly rejected sending in additional troops to police their streets. So Washington will look different tonight than its counterparts, a live case study of the president’s preferred tactics.

      Minneapolis Mayor Seeks Federal Aid to Fix Damage (10:54 p.m.)

      City officials in Minneapolis will seek state and federal aid to fix damage from riots in the wake of George Floyd’s death, the Star Tribune reports. Costs are estimated at $55 million so far, though expected to rise.

      Trump Reiterates Call For Tougher NYC Response (10:45 p.m.)

      President Donald Trump reiterated Wednesday in an interview with Sean Spicer, his former press secretary who is now a conservative media personality, that New York should formally request military aid to quell protests in New York City. “If they don’t get it straightened out soon, I’ll take care of it,” he said.

      Floyd Tested Positive for Covid-19, Paper Reports (10:42 p.m.)

      George Floyd, whose death has sparked global protests over the treatment of black people in America, tested positive for COVID-19 in early April, though it wasn’t cited as a factor in his death, the Star Tribune newspaper in Minneapolis reports.

      The report was released with the consent of Floyd’s family.

      — With assistance by Stacie Sherman, Jodi Schneider, Derek Wallbank, Kathleen Hunter, and Nour Al Ali

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