Trump drops hammer on social media companies’ alleged bias by targeting crucial protection

Trump signs executive order targeting social media

President Trump argues social media platforms that fact-check their users is an inappropriate political tactic.

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President Trump signed an executive order Thursday giving the government broader authority to crack down on social media companies while hinting he may be open to shutting down Twitter.

Trump accused social media companies of having “unchecked power,” acting as editors and publishers of the content on their websites. He said the order would remove their “liability shield” if they engage in censorship.

“They’re doing things incorrectly, they have points of view,” Trump said at the White House. “My executive order calls for new regulations under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act to make it that social media companies that engage in censoring or any political conduct will not be able to keep their liability shield. That’s a big deal.”

Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) of 1996 protects companies like YouTube and Twitter from most content posted on their sites by third-party users even though the companies themselves generally oversee that content.

FIORINA: BIG TECH HAS MORE POWER THAN EVER BEFORE

Trump said the order would also, in addition to limiting these protections for companies that acted with bias, prevent taxpayer dollars from being allocated to any company that engages in what Trump referred to as “deceptiveness.”

Further, Trump said if Twitter was not “honorable,” he would shut it down if he could.

A spokesperson for Twitter did not immediately have a comment.

Facebook and Google, which owns YouTube, did not return FOX Business’ request for comment.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
FB FACEBOOK INC. 225.46 -3.68 -1.61%
GOOGL ALPHABET INC. 1,418.24 -2.04 -0.14%
TWTR TWITTER INC. 31.60 -1.47 -4.45%

The order is expected to be met with a legal challenge, which the president acknowledged.

Republicans have alleged that social media companies have violated Section 230 by suppressing conservative views – but Democrats have also raised concerns that it too broadly protects companies from offensive content that is posted, like child pornography.

The announcement comes during the same week that Twitter unveiled fact-checking features alongside two of Trump’s tweets regarding mail-in ballots and fraud. He railed against Twitter on its own platform Thursday, accusing the company of trying to make the case that mail-in ballots are not subject to fraud. He called Twitter’s fact-check feature “political activism.”

Trump mentioned this incident Thursday, accusing the company of editorializing by selectively choosing what it does – and does not—fact-check.

FACEBOOK'S MARK ZUCKERBERG: GOVERNMENT CENSORSHIP OF SOCIAL MEDIA 'NOT THE RIGHT REFLEX'

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said during an interview with Fox News that his company had a “different policy” than Twitter where fact-checking is concerned.

"I just believe strongly that Facebook shouldn't be the arbiter of truth of everything that people say online," Zuckerberg said. "Private companies probably shouldn't be, especially these platform companies, shouldn't be in the position of doing that."

Fox News and FOX Business are owned by the same parent company.

Trump has long been critical of how he perceives he has been treated by certain tech companies, ranging from Google to Twitter.

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The president stopped short of saying he would delete his Twitter profile, however, saying he needs a method to communicate directly with the public as a means to circumvent the “fake news.”

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How to hold on to your wealth-building dreams (even if you've been laid off)

Saving money during coronavirus is a ‘good lesson’: Dave Ramsey

Personal finance expert Dave Ramsey discusses how people are saving money amid the coronavirus crisis.

Our nation observed “Be a Millionaire Day” last week on May 20. I know, it might be a strange thing to bring up at a time like this, when the economy is limping along thanks to the coronavirus shutdown. But I disagree. In fact, it’s more important than ever to stay focused on your wealth-building dreams.

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If you’re one of the tens of millions of Americans who’ve recently been laid off, I’m talking to you, too. Right now, you need to get scrappy, find part-time work, and go into conserve mode.

RECORD JOBLESS CLAIMS MEAN WE MUST HEED THESE LESSONS FROM THE GREAT RECESSION

No, it’s not ideal. But this season won’t last forever. Find ways to keep moving forward, so you can put yourself in a much better position once things get back to normal.

No one gets to mandate how you think, or what actions you take to control your money.

The American Dream is still alive because the American Dream is made up of the people who work hard to make their goals a reality. It’s not an abstract concept. It’s not a handout from the government. The reality is you must decide to take hold of your plans, focus on what you can control, and make progress.

HOW PERSONAL LOANS AFFECT CREDIT SCORES

Here are three steps you can take today to help you stay focused on building wealth during a crisis:

Evaluate where you stand. The good thing about a global shutdown is that it gives us time to slow down and reflect. Call a time-out, huddle up, and take inventory of how you’re doing with money right now. Use my Net Worth Calculator to get a quick snapshot of your wealth-building progress.

HOW RICH ARE YOU? RICHER THAN YOU THINK

Take the next step. Don’t obsess about the stock market. Focus on the money choices you can control today. Keep saving money, keep investing, and stay away from debt. We can’t predict when the economy will be “back to normal,” and it would be absurd to try.

Cast a vision for the future. You can’t control the economy, but you can choose your vision for the future. I want you to keep your high-definition dreams alive during this time. Vision carries you through difficult times, because it gives you hope. If you’re willing to work, good things will come your way. We will move through these challenges, and our economy will regain strength. And as the economy grows, so will your opportunity to grow your wealth.

WHERE AMERICANS ARE SAVING AND SPENDING MONEY IN CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

Times of crisis reveal who we are. And I want you to hear me on this: You can overcome! No one gets to mandate how you think, or what actions you take to control your money. So, how will you respond?

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Chris Hogan is a two-time #1 national best-selling author, financial expert and host of "The Chris Hogan Show." For more than a decade, Hogan has served at Ramsey Solutions, equipping and challenging people to take control of their money and reach their financial goals. His second book, "Everyday Millionaires: How Ordinary People Built Extraordinary Wealth—And How You Can, Too," was published in January 2019. You can follow Chris Hogan on Twitter and Instagram at @ChrisHogan360 and online at chrishogan360.com or facebook.com/chrishogan360.

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US stocks drop on simmering US-China trade tensions

US stock indexes dropped on Friday as Sino-US tensions weighed on markets struggling to gauge the pace of economic recovery from the coronavirus.

President Donald Trump’s statement on China’s plan for a national security law in Hong Kong on Thursday raised concerns over Washington and Beijing possibly reneging on their Phase-1 trade deal.

Fears of a renewed trade war cut short Wall Street’s April rally that was powered by optimism over a potential COVID-19 vaccine and the U.S. economy gradually emerging from the lockdowns.

The three main US stock indexes have kept to a tight range in May, but are still on course for weekly gains between 2.5 percent and 2.8 percent.

“It’s a bit of a push-pull as there’s some positive news from a healthcare perspective at least, but then we also have the rhetoric ramping up with China,” said Paul Nolte, portfolio manager at Kingsview Asset Management in Chicago.

“Investors may be a little bit nervous, may pull in their horns ahead of a three-day weekend.”

At 11:23 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 137.22 points, or 0.6 percent, at 24,336.90, the S&P 500 was down 9.8  points, or 0.3 percent, at 2,938.76 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 18.07 points, or 0.2 percent, at 9,266.81.

Eight of the 11 major S&P 500 sub-indexes were trading lower, led by energy as oil prices sank 5 percent.

Real Estate stocks were up in some defensive plays, while losses were limited in the consumer staples sector.

Mixed retail earnings from Walmart, Best Buy and Home Depot earlier in the week had shown online shopping gaining traction due to the stay-at-home orders, a trend that could damage brick-and-mortar players.

On Friday, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba reported better-than-expected quarterly profit, but its shares slipped 4.4 percent. Smaller rival Pinduoduo’s US-listed shares gained 9.6 percent after posting upbeat earnings report.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise fell 11.5 percent after missing second-quarter revenue and profit estimates, hit by global lockdowns since February.

Data analytics software maker Splunk rose 10.7 percent after saying it expects higher demand for its cloud services as people around the world take to working from home.

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Cannabis stocks soar on hopes pot wards off coronavirus

Cannabis company stocks are skyrocketing as investors are high on new hopes that marijuana might help ward off the deadly coronavirus.

Shares in major pot firms climbed in late trading Thursday after The Post reported on a Canadian study showing that certain strains of cannabis may help prevent COVID-19 from entering host cells.

Canadian pot giant Canopy Growth Corporation saw its stock jump 7.8 percent to close at $18.25 thanks to a spike in the final hour of trading. The shares had climbed another 0.5 percent in premarket trading Friday to $18.34 as of 9:19 a.m.

British Columbia-based Tilray’s shares also surged late to close up nearly 20 percent at $9.65, followed by a roughly 2 percent jump before Friday’s opening bell.

The ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF, an exchange-traded fund that targets the global cannabis industry, ended Thursday up 6 percent at $13.47 and climbed another 1.3 percent in premarket trading Friday.

And shares in Alberta-based Aurora Cannabis got a late boost to close up more than 36 percent Thursday at $17.40 after it announced it was buying American CBD firm Reliva. The stock was recently down 7.4 percent in premarket trading after Jeffries analysts reportedly cast doubt on the company’s short-term strength.

The research inspiring the boost showed that at least 13 cannabis plants could block proteins that create a “gateway” for the new coronavirus to enter host cells. The strains are all high in CBD — the anti-inflammatory found in some consumer products — and low in THC, the psychoactive component of pot, according to the findings.

But the study published in the online journal Preprints has not yet been peer-reviewed. It was carried out by cannabis research firms Pathway Rx and Swysh Inc.

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Hertz may be on verge of liquidation

Carl Icahn’s car-rental company Hertz may be skidding toward liquidation, The Post has learned.

The 102-year-old Hertz — known for tapping O.J. Simpson as its spokesman in the 1970s — could file for bankruptcy in the coming days tied to a tardy collateral payment next due on Friday.

As The Post has previously reported, the company’s executives have been trying to postpone the roughly $500 million payment — tied to the declining value of Hertz’s 500,000 cars — until after the coronavirus crisis passes. But so far they’ve failed to get enough lenders on board.

In the meantime, Wall Street financiers and analysts crunching the numbers say the former category leader might be worth more if it were sold in parts. If its senior lenders holding some $3.4 billion in debt agree, Hertz could be forced into liquidation even if it plans to continue operating with the consent of lenders through a Chapter 11, sources said.

“It may be in the interest of the senior lenders to liquidate,” said one Wall Street researcher. “I think it is a real distinct possibility.”

The researcher thinks Hertz’s creditors could fetch more than $2 billion through piecemeal sales, including two profitable business units — the Donlen division, which manages vehicle fleets for large companies like Anheuser-Busch and PepsiCo, and its European car-rental arm.

Other assets, including real estate, trademarks and its fleet of cars, could score another $750 million — for a total of $2.25 billion, or 66 cents on the dollar for senior lenders, the researcher said.

The researcher asked to remain anonymous because his firm has a stake in Hertz’s bankruptcy, but Jefferies analyst Hamzah Mazari also believes Hertz creditors could get a pretty penny selling off parts of the company.

While Mazari’s total numbers are more conservative — at $1.6 billion — it’s still more than creditors might expect otherwise. “I think liquidation is a possibility,” the analyst told The Post.

Hertz, which boasts Icahn as a 39 percent stakeholder, could also seek a buyer for the whole shebang, but with the industry in the tank during the pandemic, it could be hard to find someone willing to fork over enough to please creditors.

“Right now, I don’t think anyone will write that check,” a Hertz lender told The Post, adding that at least $1.5 billion would be required for creditors to agree to the deal. “Whether someone will invest depends on what happens in the economy.”

Hertz generated roughly $650 million in earnings before taxes, interest, depreciation and amortization in 2019, but it’s expected to make far less in the coming months and even years as its customers, including many corporations, have been severely hampered by the coronavirus outbreak.

European car-rental company Sixt has been looking to expand in the US and could be a logical suitor, sources said. Sixt also could seek to buy the Hertz trademarks out of bankruptcy for far less, sources added.

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Under Armour Misses on Earnings, Stock Sets 9-Year Low

Under Armour, Inc. (UAA) missed earnings per share (EPS) estimates when the company reported results before the open on May 11. The stock gapped lower and continued downward, trading as low as $7.15 on May 14. Under Armour shares closed last week at $7.71, down 64.3% year to date and in bear market territory at 72.2% below the 52-week high of $27.72 set on July 25, 2019. The stock is 7.8% above the May 14 low.

The daily chart shows Under Armour sliding down its 50-day simple moving average as it declined to last week's low. The weekly chart shows the stock below its 200-week simple moving average, which I consider the technical reversion to the mean.

Under Armour stock set its all-time high of $54.70 during the week of Sept. 18, 2015. The stock plunged by a 79% bear market to a multi-year low of $11.40 during the week of Nov. 10, 2017. Under Armour then posted a bull market gain of 138% to its 200-week simple moving average at $27.15 on June 28, 2019. Failure here led to the decline to last week's low.

Sales of sports apparel have been hurt by the spread of COVID-19 and by the closing of the U.S. economy as consumers stay on lockdown.

The daily chart for Under Armour

Daily chart showing the share price performance of Under Armour, Inc. (UAA)

The daily chart for Under Armour shows the formation of a death cross on Sept. 18, 2019. This occurred when the 50-day simple moving average fell below the 200-day simple moving average to indicate that lower prices would follow. When under a death cross, the strategy is to sell strength to the 200-day simple moving average. This was doable at $21.62 during the week of Dec. 26.

The stock had a huge price gap lower on Feb. 11 on a negative reaction to earnings. Under Armour shares then struggled to the lows seen last week.

The weekly chart for Under Armour

Weekly chart showing the share price performance of Under Armour, Inc. (UAA)

The weekly chart for Under Armour is negative but oversold, with the stock below its five-week modified moving average at $10.12. The stock is also below its 200-week simple moving average, or reversion to the mean, at $21.25.

The 12 x 3 x 3 weekly slow stochastic reading slipped to 17.51 last week, down from 17.76 on May 8. The reading thus remains below the oversold threshold of 20.00.

Trading strategy: Buy Under Armour stock on weakness to its semiannual value level at $6.34. Reduce holdings on strength to the monthly risky level at $13.72.

How to use my value levels and risky levels: The closing prices on Dec. 31, 2019, were inputs to my proprietary analytics. Semiannual and annual levels remain on the charts. Each calculation uses the last nine closes in these time horizons.

The second quarter 2020 level was established based upon the March 31 close, and the monthly level for May was established based upon the April 30 close. New weekly levels are calculated after the end of each week, and new quarterly levels occur at the end of each quarter. Semiannual levels are updated at mid-year, while annual levels remain in play all year long.

My theory is that nine years of volatility between closes are enough to assume that all possible bullish or bearish events for the stock are factored in. To capture share price volatility, investors should buy shares on weakness to a value level and reduce holdings on strength to a risky level. A pivot is a value level or risky level that was violated within its time horizon. Pivots act as magnets that have a high probability of being tested again before their time horizon expires.

How to use 12 x 3 x 3 weekly slow stochastic readings: My choice of using 12 x 3 x 3 weekly slow stochastic readings was based upon backtesting many methods of reading share-price momentum with the objective of finding the combination that resulted in the fewest false signals. I did this following the stock market crash of 1987, so I have been happy with the results for more than 30 years.

The stochastic reading covers the last 12 weeks of highs, lows, and closes for the stock. There is a raw calculation of the differences between the highest high and lowest low versus the closes. These levels are modified to a fast reading and a slow reading, and I found that the slow reading worked the best.

The stochastic reading scales between 00.00 and 100.00, with readings above 80.00 considered overbought and readings below 20.00 considered oversold. A reading above 90.00 is considered an "inflating parabolic bubble" formation, which is typically followed by a decline of 10% to 20% over the next three to five months. A reading below 10.00 is considered "too cheap to ignore," which is typically followed by a gain of 10% to 20% over the next three to five months.

What if I told you there IS a way to know exactly when to buy … and when to sell? Click here to learn more about the extraordinary 2-Second Trader system.

Disclosure: The author has no positions in any stocks mentioned and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

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Government warns airlines on refunds, allows 5% of flights to halt

Boeing CEO: Coronavirus set air traffic levels back 3 years

Boeing President and CEO David Calhoun discusses aviation recovery amid coronavirus, its set back with 737 Max complications and supporting suppliers.

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The Department of Transportation warned airlines against "unfair or deceptive" refund policies after receiving a record number of complaints from customers during the coronavirus pandemic.

DOT also announced airlines receiving government aid under the Coronavirus Aid, Recovery and Economic Security (CARES) Act will be allowed to stop up to 5 percent of scheduled flights.

Passengers screened by the Transportation Security Administration has rebounded from April lows, but are still down around 90 percent.

MAJOR AIRLINE MAKES POLICY CHANGE AS MORE PHOTOS EMERGE OF PACKED PLANES

The department said it received 25,000 air travel service complaints and inquiries in March and April, far above the 1,500 complaints and inquiries it gets in a typical month.

Provided by Vince Warburton, passengers get off an American Airlines flight after they landed at Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles. (Vince Warburton via AP)

"The Department has received an unprecedented volume of complaints from passengers and is examining this issue closely to ensure that airlines’ policies and practices conform to DOT’s refund rules," Transportation Department Secretary Elaine Chao said Tuesday. "The Department is asking all airlines to revisit their customer service policies and ensure they are as flexible and considerate as possible to the needs of passengers who face financial hardship during this time."

WHAT HAPPENS TO YOUR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS IF YOU REFUSE TO GO BACK TO WORK?

Airlines and ticket agents must comply with aviation consumer protection requirements and refund customers for canceled flights under the Department's April 7 Enforcement Order 2020-4-2," according to the department.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
DAL DELTA AIR LINES INC. 21.25 -0.76 -3.45%
UAL UNITED AIRLINES HLDG. 22.95 -1.01 -4.23%
AAL AMERICAN AIRLINES GROUP INC. 9.65 -0.45 -4.41%
LUV SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CO. 25.29 -0.80 -3.06%

U.S. airlines are spending more than $10 billion per month during COVID-19, even though most flights are averaging only a dozen customers and 50 percent of the active U.S. fleet has been grounded, industry trade group Airlines for America told Reuters.

The group also said that refunding all passenger tickets, not only for canceled flights but for nonrefundable tickets and flights canceled by passengers instead of airlines, "will result in negative cash balances that will lead to bankruptcy."

TSA agents wear masks as they screen passengers at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport April 15, 2020, in SeaTac, Wash. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

The U.S. Treasury has given airlines $25 billion in cash grants to keep workers employed during the outbreak.

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Since the start of the pandemic, U.S. airlines have been working on ways to ensure their passengers' safety and peace of mind while traveling. Last week, a number of major carriers included Frontier Airlines, JetBlue, Spirit and Southwest rolled out new safety measures such as required masks for passengers and staff for that reason. American, Delta, JetBlue, United and have all previously announced that passengers have to wear face covers on flights.

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Lawmakers crack down on NY contractor with coronavirus complaints

New York lawmakers are cracking down on a state-funded company that has been accused of not protecting its workers from the coronavirus, The Post has learned.

Four state legislators fired off a letter last week urging Maximus to address complaints about insufficient pandemic protections at its New York call centers, which runs customer service call centers for the state’s health insurance marketplace, New York State of Health.

Citing reports in The Post and the Albany Times Union, the lawmakers asked the Virginia-based giant to work with an employee committee to resolve the complaints, which include a lack of Clorox wipes and roadblocks to working from home.

“This is not a candy store owner who isn’t providing masks to its employees,” Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, who chairs the chamber’s Health Committee, told The Post in an interview.

“Unless Maximus is really hearing from its workers and working with them on a basis of respect, it’s hard to see the company doing the right thing,” the Manhattan Democrat added, noting that Maximus has billions of dollars in state contracts.

As The Post previously reported. Maximus staffers have stayed home from work in recent weeks to avoid catching the deadly coronavirus, citing a lack of sanitizing supplies and inconsistent enforcement of social distancing rules.

The company says less than 30 percent of its employees are working in the office as it moves more staff to at-home work. But workers have reported delays in that transition, and those without a car can’t pick up the equipment needed to work remotely from the Albany and Rochester sites, according to the lawmakers’ letter.

There have also been problems with paid leave requests and confusion over whether Maximus will penalize staff who miss work for coronavirus-related reasons, says the letter signed by the heads of the Legislature’s health and labor committees.

“It is paramount that frontline workers performing essential work on behalf of the Department of Health to help New Yorkers access health coverage amidst this health and employment crisis neither be placed at unnecessary risk, nor be treated unfairly,” the letter says.

Maximus is standing by its efforts to protect its staff amid the virus crisis, which include mandated social distancing, increased sanitization and a daily health screening for workers reporting to the office.

The company has also offered “robust” paid leave plans and flexible schedules while moving staff to remote work — a process that’s been slowed by shortages of equipment such as laptops and headsets, Maximus spokeswoman Lisa Miles said.

“We are committed to the safety of our employees while at the same time ensuring that New York State citizens continue to have access to the most essential programs,” Miles said in a statement.

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Pelosi pushes ahead on massive virus bill, but GOP wary

Fox Business Flash top headlines for May 5

Fox Business Flash top headlines are here. Check out what’s clicking on FoxBusiness.com.

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Even in absentia, House Democrats are seeking to drive the debate on the fifth coronavirus response bill, promising to produce a mega-package stuffed with Democratic priorities even as a chorus of GOP leaders voices hesitation about more spending.

Pelosi promises that the Democratic-controlled House will deliver legislation to help state and local governments through the COVID-19 crisis, along with additional money for direct payments to individuals, unemployment insurance and a third installment of aid to small businesses. The amount of funding is to be determined.

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The California Democrat is leading the way as Democrats fashion a sweeping package that is expected to be unveiled soon even as the House stays closed while the Senate is open in the pandemic.

The contours of the next package are taking shape despite Republican resistance to more spending and a deepening debate over how best to confront the pandemic and its economic devastation. Some Republicans such as Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah and a group of GOP governors want to be more generous to states confronting furloughs and cuts to services as revenues plummet and unemployment insurance and other costs spike.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday it's time to push “pause” on more aid legislation — even as he repeated a “red line” demand that any new aid package include liability protections for hospitals, health care providers and businesses operating and reopening.

McConnell and other Republicans, however, ducked the chance to endorse President Donald Trump's demand for a cut to Social Security payroll taxes as a salve for the economy. Many lawmakers think the payroll tax cut is a bad idea because it only boosts paychecks but doesn't help people thrown out of a job.

CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS SUPPORT DEDUCTIONS FOR PPP BORROWERS

“I’ve never thought that really would be very effective,” Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine. She said she’s working with a bipartisan, bicameral group on a state and local aid package.

Trump is encouraging states to reopen and Republicans hope the gradual comeback will kick-start the economy, reducing the pressure for more pricey aid.

Trump took to Twitter on Tuesday with a repackaged set of demands.

“Well run States should not be bailing out poorly run States, using CoronaVirus as the excuse! The elimination of Sanctuary Cities, Payroll Taxes, and perhaps Capital Gains Taxes, must be put on the table," Trump tweeted.

Having reconvened this week, Senate Republicans are trying to set the terms of debate, frustrated by a negotiating dynamic on previous bills that empowered Democrats and sent costs spiraling. But they’re divided among themselves and reluctant to unleash federal funds beyond the nearly $3 trillion Congress has already approved for virus relief.

NYSE YET TO DETERMINE WHEN FLOOR WILL REOPEN, CORONAVIRUS SAFETY MEASURES COULD CONTINUE

“I just don’t think we need to act as quite urgently,” Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, told reporters at the Capitol. But Cornyn, who is up for reelection this year, and other rank-and-file Republicans promise there will be further coronavirus legislation.

“I think all of us are going to get our papers graded in November based on how we responded. This is going to be the dominant issue in every election in the country," Cornyn said.

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A freshman Republican senator, Missouri's Josh Hawley, said: “If we enter a long-term recession or depression, the concerns we have about deficit spending now are going to look like a walk in the park."

One idea gaining traction among Republicans is to allow greater flexibility on $150 billion in aid that's already been delivered to states and larger cities. That money is supposed to be used to pay for COVID-19 response, but governors in some states won't be able to use it all for that purpose and want to use it to make up for revenues lost as the country slides into recession.

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Occidental posts loss on $1.4 billion charges, cuts budget again

Mnuchin: No bailout for oil companies

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says there will be no financial aid package for the oil companies amid the coronavirus and that it will eventually rebound.

Occidental Petroleum Corp on Tuesday reported that it swung to a loss in the first quarter on write-downs, and the troubled oil producer cut its budget for the third time since March in response to the historic crash of oil prices.

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It reported a net loss of $2.23 billion, or $2.49 per share, for the quarter ended March 31, compared with a profit of $631 million, or 84 cents per share, in the year-ago period.

OCCIDENTAL PETROLEUM REACHES TRUCE WITH ACTIVIST INVESTOR CARL ICAHN

Occidental beat Wall Street estimates for adjusted earnings. Analysts expected an adjusted loss of 63 cents, but the company reported a loss of 52 cents, according to Refinitiv.

The company is "taking aggressive action to ensure our long-term financial stability," Chief Executive Officer Vicki Hollub said.

Write downs of $1.4 billion in pipeline assets, losses on interest rate swaps and impairments on oil and gas properties were partially offset by a $1 billion gain on crude oil hedges.

CORONAVIRUS CHOKEHOLD ON US WORSENS OIL INDUSTRY'S PAIN

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
OXY OCCIDENTAL PETROLEUM CORPORATION 15.32 -0.20 -1.29%

Occidental has been struggling with debt taken on in last year's ill-timed acquisition of Anadarko Petroleum, a bet on rising shale oil prices months ahead of the worst price crash in decades.

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The purchase saddled Occidental with $40 billion in debt and the oil-price crash has cut the value of assets that Occidental picked up in the deal, dashing its hopes of selling them to pay down the debt.

The company cut its capital budget for the year to between $2.4 billion and $2.6 billion after earlier downsizing it to between $2.7 billion and $2.9 billion, nearly half the original forecast.

It has identified additional $1.2 billion in operating and overhead cost cuts for 2020, it said on Tuesday.

Shares closed at $15.32 on Tuesday, down 1.3% and are down 64 percent this year.

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