Lowe’s gives workers another bonus

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New cases of the coronavirus continued to surge over the weekend across several U.S. states, mostly in the American South and West. Amid the rise in new cases, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar warned Sunday that the “window is closing” to curb the spread of the virus and get the outbreak under control.

This is CNBC’s live blog covering all the latest news on the coronavirus outbreak. This blog will be updated throughout the day as the news breaks. 

  • Global cases: More than 10.15 million
  • Global deaths: At least 502,048
  • U.S. cases: More than 2.54 million
  • U.S. deaths: At least 125,803

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

New York malls can’t open without air conditioning systems that filter the coronavirus

2:20 p.m. ET — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that large malls in the state won’t be allowed to reopen until they’ve installed high-quality air systems that can filter out the coronavirus.

High-efficiency particle air filters, or HEPA filters, have been shown to help reduce the presence of Covid-19 in the air, according to a presentation from Cuomo.

The CDC says the coronavirus is thought to spread primarily through person-to-person contact, when an infected person produces respiratory droplets by coughing, sneezing or talking near others.

HEPA filters are designed to filter particles that are .01 micron and above and recent studies have found the coronavirus’ particle has a diameter of about .125 micron, he said.

So far, New York has not allowed malls to reopen in the state but has allowed indoor retail to resume at reduced capacity. Other businesses have not been required to install high-end filtration systems, although the governor said that the state is encouraging all businesses and offices to “explore the potential for their air conditioning air filtration system.” —Noah Higgins-Dunn

WHO warns ‘the worst is yet to come’

A patient is wheeled into Houston Methodist Hospital as storm clouds gather over the Texas Medical Center, amid the global outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Houston, Texas, U.S., June 22, 2020.

Callaghan O’Hare | Reuters

1:50 p.m. ET — The coronavirus pandemic is still accelerating and without more collaborative global intervention, “the worst is yet to come,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the World Health Organization said.

“Although many countries have made some progress, globally, the pandemic is actually speeding up,” he said during a virtual news conference from the agency’s Geneva headquarters. “We all want this to be over. We all want to get on with our lives, but the hard reality is that this is not even close to being over.”

Most new cases are coming from countries in the Americas, especially the U.S. and Brazil, according to data collected by the WHO. Tedros emphasized that some countries have experienced a resurgence after reopening parts of their economy and society.

The best way to combat the spread of the virus is with proven strategies, including widespread testing, contact tracing and isolation of infected people, Tedros said. Improved clinician care for patients will also help to reduce the death rate, he said. —Will Feuer

Lowe’s gives another round of bonuses to workers

A customer pays for his purchases inside a Lowe’s store in Cary, North Carolina.

Jim R. Bounds | Bloomberg | Getty Images

1:29 p.m. ET — Hourly employees at Lowe’s will get another bonus to thank them for serving customers during the coronavirus pandemic as Covid-19 cases rise in many states.

The home improvement retailer said it will pay full-time hourly employees $300 and part-time and seasonal employees $150 in mid-July. It gave employees the same amount in bonuses in March and in May, and for the month of April, it raised employees’ hourly pay by $2. Its pandemic-related special bonuses have totaled about $245 million.

Lowe’s sales have risen during the pandemic, as customers do DIY projects and repairs while they spend more time at home. Its same-store sales grew by more than 11% in the first quarter, but CEO Marvin Ellison said that will likely level off in the months ahead. –Melissa Repko

Transmission rate website shows concerning results for 34 states

1:12 p.m. ET — Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom, who built a website that tracks the rate of coronavirus infections in the U.S., told CNBC it is showing worrisome signs. 

Systrom said on “Squawk Box” that 34 states in the U.S. have an estimated rate of coronavirus transmission above 1.0, defined on his website as an indication the virus will spread quickly. A value less 1.0 suggests the spread will stop.

Two months ago, Systrom noted, there were five states who had an estimated rate of coronavirus transmission above 1. 

“So you have an incredible rebound,” said Systrom. “People like to say we’re not in a second wave. I don’t know what a second wave [is] if that’s not a second wave.” —Kevin Stankiewicz

New York City’s Broadway will remain closed for the rest of 2020

Shoppers getting back to splurging on themselves, NPD Group says

Shoppers walk inside the Westfield Santa Anita mall during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Arcadia, California, June 25, 2020.

Mario Anzuoni | Reuters

10:21 a.m. ET — New data from the consumer tracking firm NPD Group point to shoppers in the U.S. getting back to shopping for items for themselves, not solely necessities, in search of enjoyment during the coronavirus pandemic.

The categories for kids apparel, underwear, sleepwear and shorts were all up year-over-year in May, according to the firm, and swimwear was growing week-over-week into early June.

“Right now, retail is reflecting the consumer’s need for normalcy in a sea of change,” NPD’s chief advisor Marshal Cohen said. “Purchases are becoming less about making our extended time at home more pleasant, and more about finding ways to enjoy ‘getting out’ and once again expressing yourself as an individual in public.”

More than two-thirds of consumers said they would be comfortable with shopping in a store once stay-at-home restrictions eased, according to a poll taken in May by NPD. Malls in New Jersey are reopening Monday. In-store retail in New York is also finally back open. —Lauren Thomas

FDA grants emergency clearance to Danaher’s antibodies test

9:54 a.m. ET — Danaher received emergency clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its antibody test, Reuters reported. The decision follows the tightening of FDA guidelines for antibodies tests, as high demand has led to the creation of fraudulent testing kits.

Beckman Coulter, a unit of Danaher, has shipped the test to 400 U.S. hospitals and will make more than 30 million tests a month, Reuters reported. Danaher also said it has begun distributing tests in other countries that accept the FDA’s clearance.

The test has a specificity rate of 99.6% and 100% sensitivity, meaning the chance of a false negative is low. There is no chance of getting a false positive based on the specificity rate. —Alex Harring

Amazon gives front-line workers a $500 coronavirus bonus

A worker loads customer orders into a waiting tractor-trailer inside the million-square foot Amazon distribution warehouse that opened last fall in Fall River, MA on Mar. 23, 2017.

John Tlumacki | Boston Globe | Getty Images

9:38 a.m. ET — Amazon is providing full- and part-time workers with a one-time “Thank You” bonus for working during the coronavirus pandemic, the company announced.

Full-time warehouse, delivery and Whole Foods workers will receive a $500 bonus, while part-time workers will get a $250 bonus. Flex drivers who deliver packages for Amazon will receive $150 if they worked more than 10 hours in June. Whole Foods store managers will get a $1,000 bonus, and owners of Amazon’s third-party delivery services will get a $3,000 bonus.

Dave Clark, Amazon’s senior vice president of retail operations, announced the bonuses in a memo sent to employees, saying he’s “never been more proud of our teams.” —Annie Palmer

Stocks open higher, shaking off rising coronavirus cases

9:35 a.m. ET — U.S. stocks opened higher even as U.S. coronavirus cases continued to surge, reports CNBC’s Fred Imbert and Thomas Franck. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 200 points at the opening bell, a gain of about 0.8%. The S&P 500 added 0.3% while the Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.1%. —Melodie Warner

Amazon workers in Germany strike after warehouse outbreaks of Covid-19

8:44 a.m. ET — Amazon warehouse workers have gone on strike in Germany after staff at several logistics centers tested positive for the coronavirus. The strikes are taking place at six of the e-commerce giant’s warehouses across the country on Monday and Tuesday.

A recent warehouse outbreak infected 40 to 50 workers, according to labor union Verdi.

“Amazon has so far shown no insight and is endangering the health of employees in favor of corporate profit,” said Orhan Akman, who is responsible for the retail and mail order sectors at Verdi, in a statement. —Sam Shead

Burger King’s U.S. same-stores are trending flat as fast-food industry recovers

8:32 a.m. ET — Restaurant Brands International said that U.S. same-store sales of Burger King are trending flat, the latest sign that the fast-food industry is recovering from the pandemic.

Even with many of its North American dining rooms closed or offering only reduced seating, Burger King is seeing customers come back and order through its drive-thru lanes. The burger chain also recently launched nationwide a meatless breakfast sandwich made with Impossible Foods’ sausage to jolt its breakfast sales.

Burger King’s sister chain Tim Hortons saw same-store declines in the negative high teens as of last week, marking a sequential improvement from May. Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen saw its U.S. same-store sales rise by the “very high 20s.” —Amelia Lucas

Gilead to price remdesivir at $3,120 for U.S. patients with private insurance

Vials of investigational coronavirus disease (COVID-19) treatment drug remdesivir are capped at a Gilead Sciences facility in La Verne, California, U.S. March 18, 2020. Picture taken March 18, 2020.

Gilead Sciences Inc | Reuters

7:40 a.m. ET — Gilead Sciences announced pricing for its coronavirus treatment, remdesivir. It will sell the drug at $390 per vial to governments of developed countries and at $520 per vial for U.S. private insurance companies, adding that the pricing is “well below” the drug’s value.

The company will begin charging for the drug in July. It had previously been donating doses to the U.S. government for distribution since it received an emergency use authorization in May to treat Covid-19 patients. 

The majority of patients treated with remdesivir will receive a five-day treatment course using six vials of remdesivir, the company said. That would bring the government cost to $2,340 for patients on the five-day treatment and $3,120 for commercially insured patients.

“At the level we have priced remdesivir and with government programs in place, along with additional Gilead assistance as needed, we believe all patients will have access,” Gilead CEO Daniel O’Day said in an open letter. —Will Feuer

U.K.’s Boris Johnson says a ‘Rooseveltian’ approach is needed to restart economy

Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during a daily briefing to update on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, at 10 Downing Street in London, Britain June 3, 2020.

Andrew Parsons | 10 Downing St | via Reuters

7:30 a.m. ET — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Monday that the U.K. needs to take a “Rooseveltian” approach to rebuilding its economy following the coronavirus epidemic.

Speaking to Times Radio, Johnson admitted that the virus had been an “absolute nightmare for the country” but added that “in those moments you have the opportunity to change and to do things better … to invest in infrastructure, transport, broadband, you name it.”

“I think this is the moment for a Rooseveltian approach to the U.K.,” he added, referencing former U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt who was elected to the U.S. presidency during the height of the Great Depression. He is renowned for implementing the “New Deal” programs that funded the mass building of U.S. public infrastructure in the 1930s. —Holly Ellyatt




2020-06-29 14:21:37

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