1. Dow set to drop on concerns about US-China trade
The government said Friday that April retail sales plunged a record 16.4% as coronavirus lockdowns closed stores around the world. Economists had expected a 12.3% drop after an 8.3% dive in March. Reflecting the tough retail landscape in a Covid-19 world, struggling J.C. Penney plans as early as Friday to file for bankruptcy, following J.Crew and Neiman Marcus earlier this month.
The New York Stock Exchange is set to reopen its trading floor to some brokers May 26, the day after Memorial Day. The NYSE went fully electronic two months ago after two people tested positive at entryway coronavirus screenings.
2. Trump appears ready to support more direct stimulus checks to Americans
US President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with the Governors of Colorado and North Dakota on May 13, 2020, in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, DC.
Brendan Smialowski | AFP | Getty Images
The White House would likely support another round of stimulus checks, two senior administrative officials told CNBC. Direct payments to Americans, and a host of other measures to blunt the economic impact of the coronavirus, are included in the House Democrats’ $3 trillion relief bill that’s set for a vote Friday. Republicans on Capitol Hill have said the legislation in its current form would be dead on arrival in the Senate. The first round of stimulus checks was part of the $2.2 trillion economic rescue package approved on a bipartisan basis in March. Those payments were up to $1,200 for individuals or $2,400 for married couples who file jointly, plus $500 for qualifying dependents.
3. Sixth confirmed Amazon worker dies from coronavirus
A worker assembles a box for delivery at the Amazon fulfillment center in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S., April 30, 2019.
Clodagh Kilcoyne | Reuters
An Amazon warehouse employee on New York’s Long Island has died from the coronavirus, marking the sixth known fatality of a company worker from Covid-19. The April death of George Leigh, 59, at Amazon’s Bethpage distribution center, known as DNY4, comes as Amazon faces growing pressure to disclose the number of workers who have tested positive or died from the virus.
Stay-at-home orders or coronavirus business restrictions in a dozen states are set to expire by Monday, according to Politico. Five regions in New York state will be allowed to begin a phased reopening of their economies starting Friday. New York City is not among them. Total U.S. coronavirus cases topped 1.4 million with over 85,000 deaths. Global cases exceeded 4.4 million with over 300,000 deaths.
4. FDA issues alert about Abbott’s rapid Covid-19 test
A box containing a 5-minute test for COVID-19 from Abbott Laboratories is pictured during the daily briefing on the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC, on March 30, 2020.
Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images
The Food and Drug Administration is warning that early data suggests Abbott Laboratories‘ rapid Covid-19 diagnostic test may be delivering inaccurate results. Specifically, the Abbott ID NOW test, used by the White House to screen staffers and visitors, may return false negative results.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an alert to physicians about an emerging rare but deadly condition linked to Covid-19 in children. The illness, which the CDC calls multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, has been reported in at least 19 states and Washington, D.C., according to NBC News.
5. ‘Frozen’ becomes first Broadway musical to close due to coronavirus
NEW YORK, NY – MARCH 22: Olaf and Greg Hildreth during the Broadway Musical Opening Night Curtain Call for ‘Frozen’ at the St. James Theatre on March 22, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Walter McBride/Getty Images)