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JetBlue to require passengers to wear masks


A handful of biotech and pharmaceutical companies are kicking off earnings season this week, weaving Covid-19 updates into quarterly results tinged by the impact of a global pandemic. The virus continues to spread, with more than 3 million confirmed cases since the outbreak as countries and U.S. states begin to ease lockdown restrictions. 

This is CNBC’s live blog covering all the latest news on the coronavirus outbreak. All times below are in Eastern time. This blog will be updated throughout the day as the news breaks. 

  • Global cases: More than 3 million
  • Global deaths: At least 211,522
  • US cases: More than 988,400
  • US deaths: At least 56,253

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

11:13 am: Dr. Anthony Fauci warns US could ‘be in for a bad fall’ if treatments don’t work

The United States “could be in for a bad fall” if researchers don’t find an effective treatment to fight the coronavirus by then, White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said. The virus will certainly make a come back in the U.S. even as cases begin to stabilize, Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, said during an interview with The Economic Club of Washington, D.C.

Covid-19 is “not going to disappear from the planet,” he said, adding infectious disease experts are learning about how the virus behaves by watching emerging outbreaks in other countries such as Southern Africa that are starting to enter their colder seasons. “In my mind, it’s inevitable that we will have a return of the virus, or maybe even that it never went away,” he said.

Fauci also warned against states reopening businesses prematurely, saying it could cause “a rebound to get us right back in the same boat that we were in a few weeks ago.”  —Berkeley Lovelace, Jr., Kevin Breuninger

10:25 am: Food banks are closing and losing their workforce

A volunteer places ears of corn and a bag of oranges from the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida into the trunk of a car.

Photo | Paul Hennessy | NurPhoto | Getty Images

Food banks are shuttering as they struggle to contend with the coronavirus and provide food relief to millions of people. Volunteer help has dwindled because of social distancing and a fear of contracting and spreading the disease.

To deal with the challenges brought on by the outbreak, food banks have put in place new protocols for handling and delivering food and maintaining a steady supply. But these challenges have shifted much of the burden onto food banks themselves, leading to skyrocketing operating costs and uncertainty about how long they’ll be able to respond.

“There’s never enough money,” said philanthropist Jean Shafiroff, a board member of the New York City Mission Society, which serves children and families living at or below the poverty level. —Yelena Dzhanova

10:15 am: Home prices were gaining serious strength just before shutdown, up 4.2%

Home prices were not only rising in February, the gains were increasing steadily. Nationally, prices were 4.2% higher annually for the month, up from a 3.9% gain in January, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Indices.

The 10-City Composite rose 2.9% annually in February, up from 2.6% in the previous month. The 20-City Composite increased 3.5%, up from 3.1%.

Prices in February were fueled by strong homebuyer demand, very tight supply and near record-low mortgage rates. While rates are still low, and supply is even lower, demand has fallen dramatically due to Covid-19 and the economic shutdown. —Diana Olick

9:55 am: Coronavirus could be causing a new inflammatory condition in children, UK health officials warn

Health officials in the U.K. have warned that Covid-19 could be causing a new and rare inflammatory condition in children.

Britain’s Paediatric Intensive Care Society said Monday the National Health Service alerted it to a small number of critically ill children presenting with “an unusual clinical picture.” 

The society noted that many — but not all — of the children with symptoms of the new inflammatory disease had been diagnosed with Covid-19. The condition was likened to toxic shock syndrome and Kawasaki disease.

Toxic shock syndrome is a rare, life-threatening condition caused by bacteria getting into the body and releasing harmful toxins. Symptoms include a high temperature, a sunburn-like rash, and flu-like symptoms such as a headache and sore throat. Kawasaki disease causes swelling of the heart’s blood vessels and mainly affects children under age 5, according to the NHS. Symptoms include a rash, swollen glands in the neck, dry or cracked lips and red fingers or toes. —Chloe Taylor

9:41 am: JetBlue will require passengers to wear masks, other airlines will provide them for travelers 

JetBlue Airways aircrafts are pictured at departure gates at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.

Fred Prouser | Reuters

Airlines are stepping up policies to ensure that passengers and employees wear face masks on board.

Starting Monday, all JetBlue Airways passengers will be required to wear a face covering, the strictest policy so far in the U.S. and one that follows the New York-based airline’s requirement that flight attendants wear a mask or face covering while on duty. American Airlines and Delta Air Lines earlier Monday said they will require thousands of employees to wear face masks and provide masks for passengers.

Airline labor unions have repeatedly demanded stronger protections against coronavirus. While air travel in the U.S. is down some 95% from a year ago because of the virus and stay-at-home orders around the world, flight crews have raised concerns about catching the virus on the job and have sought federally mandated procedures—Leslie Josephs

9:35 am: Dow rallies more than 300 points, heads for 5-day winning streak 

Stocks rose sharply as investors continued to be optimistic about the prospect of states reopening the U.S. economy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded 365 points higher, or 1.5%, putting it on pace for its first five-day winning streak since January. The S&P 500 climbed 1.4% while the Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.9%.

A partial reopening of the economy — in Alaska, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and others — boosted investor sentiment, with certain U.S. businesses poised to benefit from the first wave of consumers emerging from the coronavirus driven quarantine. —Fred Imbert, Maggie Fitzgerald

9:28 am: Quest Diagnostics rolls out direct-to-consumer antibody tests 

Quest Diagnostics announced that individuals can now skip a doctor’s visit and order a coronavirus antibody test online in a push to broaden Covid-19 screening.

An antibody test shows whether someone has been exposed to or potentially had the coronavirus and developed the antibodies to fight the infection. It doesn’t guarantee immunity, but physicians say a positive antibody test indicates that a patient may have some level of protection against reinfection. The test costs $119, according to Quest’s website.

Quest said it screens patients online to determine whether an antibody test is appropriate and then sends them to have their blood drawn at one of its 2,200 laboratories. The results are available within two days after a blood sample is taken, the company said. —Noah Higgins-Dunn

9:21 am: Small business loans above $2 million will get full audit to make sure they’re valid, Mnuchin says 

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin speaks during the daily briefing on the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, in the Brady Briefing Room at the White House on April 2, 2020, in Washington, DC.

Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC the government will audit any company taking out more than $2 million from the small business loan program. 

The government will do a “full review” of the loans before offering businesses forgiveness for the funds, Mnuchin said on “Squawk Box.” The program, intended for small businesses with less than 500, allows companies to have their loans forgiven, provided they spend the funds on payroll, benefits, rent and utilities.

The program faced backlash after several public companies disclosed they had taken out the loans to help weather the coronavirus crisis. The government later issued clarifying guidelines to narrow the companies able to apply for the loans. —Lauren Hirsch 

9:15 am: Ford expects to reopen European plants Monday 

Ford Motor expects to begin to reopen its European plants on Monday. The plants have been shuttered since March 19 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Ford operates 19 manufacturing facilities in Europe, including joint ventures. The plants, which employ about 59,000 people, will resume operations gradually, with new global standards on social distancing, employee health, and safety actions, according to the company.

Ford also said it will provide employees in Europe with a personal “care kit” that includes disposable face masks, a reusable thermometer, and other hygiene items.

Employees at nonproduction locations in Europe will start to return in a phased approach starting Monday, Ford said. —Michael Wayland, Melodie Warner 

8:52 am: Treasury Secretary Mnuchin says it was ‘outrageous’ for the LA Lakers to take a small business loan 

The official game ball rests on an empty court.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Tuesday he was surprised that the Los Angeles Lakers — one of the best-known and most-successful basketball franchises — took a loan designed to help small businesses weather the coronavirus pandemic.

“I’m not a big fan of the fact that they took a $4.6 million,” Mnuchin told CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “I think that’s outrageous.”

Mnuchin added he “would have never expected in a million years that the Los Angeles Lakers” would take such a loan. He also said he was glad the team returned the money, “or they would have had liability.”

The Lakers were the second wealthiest team in the National Basketball Association entering 2020, with a valuation of $4.4 billion, according to Forbes—Fred Imbert 

8:18 am: Doctors urge Americans to get a living will

Doctors around the U.S. are joining lawyers and financial advisors in urging Americans to create essential documents that can help medical providers better coordinate their care. One form is an advanced directive, or living will, which states your wishes for medical care. Another legal document, a health-care proxy or power of attorney, names someone to carry out your wishes and make medical decisions if you become incapacitated.  

“Covid-19 can affect anyone. No one is spared or immune,” said Dr. Sarah Norris, who heads palliative care at the Children’s Hospital of Montefiore in the Bronx. —Sharon Epperson

8:12 am: Turkey aims to reopen economy starting late May

People wear face masks as they walk down the Istiklal avenue on April 14, 2020 in Istanbul a day after Turkish President ordered a fresh lockdown next weekend, warning the move would be imposed as long as necessary to stop the spread of the COVID-19 disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Ozan KOSE | AFP | Getty Images

Turkey’s government aims to begin reopening the economy in late May and will aim to avoid a second wave of coronavirus infections, a senior official said. —Reuters

7:50 am: Quarterly earnings reports show consumers stocking up, companies pulling guidance

A slew of companies reported quarterly earnings results before the market open. With coronavirus spreading globally and forcing strict lockdowns during the last quarter, the reports show consumers stocking up on household goods and companies wavering on forward-looking guidance as the pandemic hangs uncertainty over future financials. 

Here’s some of what companies reported Tuesday morning:

3M —  3M reported first-quarter earnings and revenues that topped Wall Street’s expectations as demand for safety equipment and cleaning products spiked. The company said it saw a mix of results across its segments, but especially “strong” numbers in its personal safety unit given its role in the production of key N95 respirator masks.

PepsiCo —PepsiCo reported its first-quarter adjusted earnings rose 10% as consumers stocked up on its drinks and snacks to prepare to spend more time at home. However, the company pulled its fiscal 2020 outlook, citing “the uncertainties associated with the magnitude and duration of the Covid-19 pandemic on our business.” 

Drugmaker Merck, Southwest Airlines and industrial giant Caterpillar also reported results Tuesday morning. —Sara Salinas, Thomas Franck, Amelia Lucas

7:48 am: Oil drops 13% on storage capacity fears and weak demand

7:21 am: German employment survey plummets to historic low

A lady walks past a sign in Berlin, Germany advising people to stay at home amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Odd Andersen | AFP | Getty Images

Germany is experiencing an “unprecedented” drop in employment levels, the German economic institute Ifo said, as the coronavirus pandemic hits Europe’s growth engine. 

The Ifo’s employment barometer dropped to 86.3 points in April, having reached 93.4 points in March. The latest reading represents a “historic low,” where all four sectors (manufacturing, construction, services and trade) faced sharply lower employment.

“There has never been such a marked decline in the barometer itself, which will correspond to a rise in unemployment in Germany,” the Ifo institute said Tuesday. —Silvia Amaro

7:15 am: Argentina bans commercial flights until Sept. 1 

Aerial view of Buenos Aires’s International airport Jorge Newbery with grounded planes on April 14, 2020 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Getty Images | Getty Images

Argentina has proposed to ban all internal and international flights through to Sept.1 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

President Alberto Fernandez’s administration said Monday it plans to suspend the sale of tickets for all commercial flights to and from Argentina over the next four months, warning those ignoring the rules will be fined.

Only flights carrying cargo and those involved in the repatriation of citizens will be allowed to operate, the government said. —Sam Meredith

7:13 am: Pfizer’s quarterly sales fall 8% as it races to develop coronavirus vaccine

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) speaks during a forum regarding the future of health care and drug pricing in America, hosted by Pfizer and Axios, on June 5, 2019 in Washington, DC.

Mark Wilson | Getty Images

Pfizer reported first-quarter earnings that beat Wall Street estimates and reaffirmed its full-year revenue guidance as the drugmaker works to develop a vaccine to prevent the coronavirus.

The drugmaker reported adjusted earnings of 80 cents per share, 7 cents higher than Wall Street analysts polled by Refinitiv expected. The company reported revenue of $12 billion, higher than the $11.8 billion expected.

Shares of the company were up nearly 2% in premarketing trading.

Pfizer estimates it can potentially produce millions of coronavirus vaccine doses by the end of this year. —Berkeley Lovelace 

6:56 am: Greece spent 10 years thinking that things couldn’t get any worse, then the virus hit

Two police officers are talking front of the Greek Parliament during the new type of Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Athens, Greece on April 24, 2020.

NurPhoto

Optimism had just returned to Greece after 10 years of severe financial difficulty, some civil unrest and gloomy economic prospects. But the global pandemic is now making Greeks even more concerned about their futures

Greece requested financial help 10 years ago, on April 2010. That was just the beginning of a long and painful crisis. Greece had to endure in total three bailout programs with stringent austerity measures attached, which only ended in August of 2018.

However, the economy has since shown signs of recovery. Gross domestic product hit 1.9% last year and the unemployment rate stood at 17.3% — well below the 27.5% seen in 2013; according to data from Europe’s statistics office.

The ongoing coronavirus outbreak is about to reverse that modest recovery. The International Monetary Fund forecast a 10% contraction in GDP and an unemployment rate of 22.3% for Greece in 2020. —Silvia Amaro

5:36 am: Germany’s infection rate edges higher after lockdown measures eased

BERLIN, GERMANY – APRIL 23: German Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) sits at the Bundestag on April 23, 2020 in Berlin, Germany. Germany is still at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic and will have to live with it for a long time, the Chancellor said.

Maja Hitij

Germany’s coronavirus infection rate has edged up, prompting the head of the country’s infectious diseases institute to urge people to stay at home as much as possible amid a relaxation of lockdown measures.

Germany’s virus reproduction rate, called the “R” rate or value, is now at 1.0 in Germany, according to Lothar Wieler, president of the Robert Koch Institute, having risen from 0.7 earlier this month.

The “R” rate means that, on average, every one person with the virus infects one other individual. Keeping this rate below 1.0 is an aim during the coronavirus pandemic. —Holly Ellyatt

5 am: Indonesia reports 415 new cases and 8 deaths

Indonesia reported 415 new infections, Reuters reported, taking the total number of cases in the country to 9,511.

Health ministry official Achmad Yurianto also reported eight new deaths, bringing the total number of fatalities to 773. —Holly Ellyatt

4:40 am: Spain’s daily death toll falls

RT: Mortuary workers wearing protective gear are seen at the San Juan de la Cruz funeral home, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Segovia, Spain, April 23, 2020.

Susana Vera | REUTERS

Spain reported 301 deaths from the coronavirus over the past 24 hours, down from the 331 fatalities reported Monday, the health ministry said. That brings the overall death toll to 23,822. The total number of cases has risen to 210,773, up from 209,465 the previous day. That’s a rise of 1,308.

Separate data from the National Statistics Institute showed Spain’s unemployment rate rose to 14.4% in the first quarter of the year, up from 13.8% in the previous quarter as a result of the lockdown imposed in Spain in mid-March. —Holly Ellyatt

4:20 am: Swedish central bank holds rates steady but says it’s ready to cut if necessary

People walk at Strandvagen in Stockholm on March 28, 2020, during the the new coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. – Sweden, which has stayed open for business with a softer approach to curbing the COVID-19 spread than most of Europe, on March 27, 2020 limited gatherings to 50 people, down from 500.

JONATHAN NACKSTRAND

Sweden’s central bank, the Riksbank, has decided to hold its benchmark interest rate at 0% and also maintained coronavirus-related aid measures without adding more assistance, but it said it was ready to do more if needed.

“It was not deemed justified at this point in time to try to increase demand by lowering the repo rate when the downturn in the economy is due to imposed restrictions and people’s concerns about the spread of infection,” the Riksbank said in a statement Tuesday.

“However, this does not rule out the possibility of the interest rate being cut at a later date if this is deemed an effective measure to stimulate demand and support the development of inflation in the recovery phase.”

Sweden bucked the trend set in many of its European countries by not imposing a strict lockdown. Instead, it has advises the public to stay at, and work from, home if possible. Its chief epidemiologist told CNBC last week that the capital Stockholm could be heading for herd immunity in weeks. — Holly Ellyatt

Read CNBC’s coverage from CNBC’s Asia-Pacific and Europe teams overnight here: Spain’s daily death toll falls; Germany’s virus reproduction rate rises.



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