Live Stock Market News During the Coronavirus Pandemic


Credit…Ting Shen for The New York Times

The Federal Reserve said that it would extend its emergency lending programs through the end of 2020 as the coronavirus continues to surge across the nation.

Many of the Fed’s nine programs were originally set to expire on or around the end of September. The initiatives are meant to keep credit flowing through the economy by buying corporate bonds, backing up the market for asset-backed securities, and by offering loans to midsize businesses, among other efforts.

“The Board’s lending facilities have provided a critical backstop, stabilizing and substantially improving market functioning and enhancing the flow of credit to households, businesses, and state and local governments,” the Fed said in its statement.

The extension will “provide certainty that the facilities will continue to be available to help the economy recover from the COVID-19 pandemic,” it said.

Many of the Fed’s programs are backed by funding from the Treasury Department to protect against credit losses, including money that Congress supplied in its first coronavirus relief package. Seven of the programs were initially set to sunset at the end of September and have now been extended, while two of them already had later expiration dates.

Some of the newly-extended programs, including the “Main Street” program that loans to midsize businesses, have only recently gotten up and running. One, which helps the market for short-term business funding, or commercial paper, extends into March 2021.

Credit…Saul Loeb/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Twitter on Tuesday put limits on the account of Donald Trump Jr. after he shared a viral video containing false medical claims about the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for the coronavirus, violating the company’s Covid-19 misinformation policies.

Twitter said Mr. Trump, the son of President Trump, was required to delete the tweet with misinformation; the platform said it would also limit his account’s functionality for 12 hours. “The tweet you referenced was in violation of our COVID-19 misinformation policy,” a Twitter spokesman, Ian Plunkett, said. “We are taking action in line with our policy here.”

On Monday evening, President Trump also posted a number of tweets linking to the same video with Covid-19 misinformation, which have since been removed.

The video featured what appeared to be a group of doctors in white coats, standing in front of the Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C. The doctors made a series of misleading claims, including that hydroxychloroquine could be taken to prevent getting the virus.

It was the most recent example of the misinformation that has spread about the coronavirus, at times shared by the president and others in the White House. Facebook and YouTube removed versions of the video on Monday evening. But it racked up more than 16 million views on Facebook and was the second most engaged post before it was taken down by the social network.

Credit…Mike Segar/Reuters

McDonald’s said Tuesday that it continued to suffer the impact of the global coronavirus pandemic, reporting that net income fell 68 percent to $483.8 million in the second quarter compared to a year ago.

McDonald’s said global same-store revenues fell 24 percent in the quarter, an improvement as restrictions eased in parts of the world and restaurants were able to reopen.

Fast-food chains with drive-through operations like McDonald’s have fared generally better than other restaurants during the pandemic. But executives said on Tuesday that the company had spent $200 million since the beginning of the pandemic supporting its franchisees, including on advertising to boost sales.

“Our strong drive-through presence and the investments we’ve made in delivery and digital over the past few years have served us well through these uncertain times,” said Chris Kempczinski, the president and chief executive.

McDonald’s has reopened 2,000 restaurant dining rooms with limited seating capacity in the United States.

Omnicom Group, one of the world’s largest marketing conglomerates, made “very difficult and permanent” changes during the pandemic as companies slashed advertising spending and events were canceled, its chief executive, John Wren, said Tuesday.

Omnicom’s revenue sank nearly 25 percent to $2.8 billion in its second quarter. The decline “is expected to continue for the remainder of the year,” according to the company, which suffered a loss of $24.2 million; a year ago, it recorded $370.7 million in net income in the quarter.

To adapt to the pandemic, Omnicom laid off 6,100 employees, shed more than 1 million square feet of office space and dropped several smaller businesses. It also tapped wage subsidy programs from several governments, froze hiring and salary increases, scaled back its use of freelancers and implemented some pay cuts.

Similar streamlining is happening throughout the advertising industry, as brands and agencies weigh years of wasteful traditions and bloated bureaucracies against uncertain budgets. “Old habits die hard, but people are being forced out of necessity to adapt faster,” said Marcelo Pascoa, the vice president for marketing for the beer brand Coors.

Mr. Wren said on an investor call on Tuesday that Omnicom’s future could be affected by a second wave of coronavirus cases, the timing and content of government stimulus packages, and shifting consumer sentiment. But he was optimistic: “We think the worst is behind us.”

Credit…Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times

U.S. stocks drifted lower on Tuesday as investors awaited a batch of corporate earnings results and the details of a new federal stimulus bill in Congress.

The S&P 500 was down about 0.5 percent. European stocks were mostly lower, after Asian markets closed mostly higher.

The price of gold briefly hit a record of $1,980 an ounce before dropping lower. In Turkey, the lira fell and the country’s central bank appeared to be running out of ammunition to stop its decline toward record lows.

In industry news, a global airline group said global revenues are not expected to recover to last year’s levels until 2024.

The Federal Reserve announced Tuesday that it would extend its emergency lending programs through the end of 2020 as the coronavirus continues to surge across the nation. Many of the Fed’s nine programs, which are meant to keep credit flowing through the financial system during times of stress, were originally set to expire on or around the end of September.

Meanwhile, coronavirus cases continue to surge in parts of the United States. On Monday, Texas became the fourth state (after California, New York and Florida) to report more than 400,000 cases. Investors are watching Washington lawmakers try to negotiate another round of stimulus payments for businesses and individuals, with current enhanced unemployment benefits set to expire on Friday. Democrats and Republicans still need to reconcile their vastly different proposals.

Credit…Murad Sezer/Reuters

Turkey was headed toward a currency crisis Tuesday as the value of the lira fell and the country’s central bank appeared to be running out of ammunition to stop its decline toward record lows.

The lira was trading at more than 8 to the euro for the first time since a crisis in 2018. The lira was faring better against the U.S. dollar, but analysts said that the central bank was probably running out of reserves to buy lira and prop up its value.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has battled the economic effects of the pandemic by encouraging banks to increase lending and by pressuring the central bank to keep its benchmark interest rate below the rate of inflation. Those policies have fueled fears of a credit bubble, prompting investors to sell Turkish assets, driving down the lira’s value against other currencies.

Mr. Erdogan survived currency crises in 2014 and 2018, defying predictions of economic collapse that would threaten his hold on power. But the stresses of the pandemic have made it more difficult for him to strong arm the Turkish economy as he has done in the past.

The economy is “only one shock away from a crisis,” said Maya Senussi, a senior economist at Oxford Economics.

Credit…Samuel Aranda for The New York Times

Nissan said on Tuesday that it expected to make an annual operating loss of $4.5 billion in fiscal year 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic puts pressure on its attempts to reboot its struggling business.

The announcement came as the Japanese automaker reported its results for the three-month period that ended in June. Operating profit during the period, when much of the world’s economies were in lockdown to prevent the spread of the virus, plunged $1.46 billion compared with the same period a year ago, with automobile sales dropping by nearly 48 percent.

The results followed an annual loss of $385 million in fiscal year 2019.

If Nissan’s projections for the fiscal year prove accurate, the 2020 annual loss would be the largest for the company since it was pulled from the edge of bankruptcy by its former chief executive and chairman, Carlos Ghosn, nearly two decades ago.

Nissan has been struggling to reinvent itself since the 2018 arrest of Mr. Ghosn on charges of financial wrongdoing. He has maintained his innocence and fled Japan late last year, saying he would not be able to find justice there.

Mr. Ghosn’s era was marked by an attempt to increase market share at the cost of profits and quality, executives say. Now Nissan has said it plans to retrench and rebuild its business by focusing on its alliance with French automaker Renault, cutting costs, producing fewer cars and focusing on introducing new vehicles to a lineup that has long been criticized as stale.

  • A global airline industry group says it expects the recovery to take longer than expected as a rise in infections around the world slows the reopening of borders. Airline revenues are not expected to recover to last year’s levels until 2024, according to the group, the International Air Transport Association.

  • Selfridges, a British chain of high-end department stores, said Tuesday it would cut about 450 jobs, 14 percent of its work force. The flagship store, which opened in 1909 and includes several restaurants and a cinema, is in central London’s main shopping district, where foot traffic has plummeted because of the pandemic.

  • As coronavirus cases surge across the country, MGM Resorts International said on Monday that it would not restart live entertainment events before Aug. 31. The company also expects to lay off the majority of employees working in the entertainment division on that day, according to July 27 letter sent to employees.

  • Regal Cinemas, the No. 2 movie theater chain in the United States, consisting of 7,128 screens in 42 states, pushed back its planned reopening until Aug. 21. Regal, owned by Cineworld of Britain, had previously said it would start relighting marquees on Friday. But studios have since postponed release plans for new films. The No. 1 theater chain, AMC, said last week that it hoped to reopen in “mid to late August.”

Credit…Jeenah Moon for The New York Times

Goldman Sachs’s chief executive, David M. Solomon, had a lot to celebrate when he took the stage on Saturday in the Hamptons, under his alter ego DJ D-Sol, as the opening act for the duo The Chainsmokers. He may come to regret the gig, as New York’s health authorities investigate the concert for “rampant” violations of social-distancing rules.

Mr. Solomon spun records for an hour at the charity concert before the main event. About a week earlier, Goldman Sachs had reported bumper quarterly earnings.

The event, called Safe & Sound, was meant to be a model of pandemic safety, with thousands of attendees paying up to $25,000 to park their cars in a field facing the stage. Organizers conducted temperature checks and reminded people to wear masks around the venue.

It didn’t entirely work out that way. Videos showed attendees gathering in crowds without masks, including in an apparently unsanctioned V.I.P. area, in seeming disregard for concert rules and New York State health guidelines. The event’s organizers said in a statement that they had followed “all proper and current protocols.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said yesterday that he was “appalled” by the scene. The state’s health commissioner, Howard A. Zucker, took local officials to task in a letter, demanding to know “what town officials were at the concert and why was it allowed to continue when it became clear violations were rampant?”

A Goldman Sachs spokesman said that Mr. Solomon had agreed to take part in the event for charity, and left before the show ended.

“The vast majority of the audience appeared to follow the rules, but he’s troubled that some violated them and put themselves and others at risk,” the spokesman said.

Credit…Bryan Woolston/Reuters

The Remington Arms Company, one of America’s oldest and largest gun manufacturers, filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday after years of litigation and a loss of investors took a heavy toll on its finances.

The Chapter 11 filing in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Decatur, Ala., is the company’s second restructuring in two years. Remington has been in search of potential buyers and had been in talks with Navajo Nation to acquire it out of bankruptcy, but the negotiations collapsed in recent weeks.

The filing by the company comes as demand for firearms is down, despite a recent uptick in sales during the coronavirus pandemic.

But a slump in gun sales is not what drove Remington to file for bankruptcy, said Adam Winkler, a professor at the U.C.L.A. School of Law who specializes in gun policy.

“Remington’s problem is mostly a problem of Remington mismanagement and not a reflection of larger trends in the gun world,” he said. “I don’t think we’re going to see a whole bunch of gun companies going under now.”

In 2012, 20 children and six adults were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., and Remington faced a fierce public backlash after it was reported that the company had manufactured the AR-15-style rifle used by the gunman. Families of the victims sued the company, and Remington took on debt to pay legal fees and to buy out investors who wanted to divest. That debt would follow the company for years.

Credit…Michael Probst/Associated Press

The European Central Bank on Tuesday asked eurozone banks to extend a moratorium on paying dividends and to continue limiting executive bonuses. Lenders need to keep the money on hand in case the economic effects of the pandemic prove to be worse than expected, the bank said.

The recommended ban on payouts was scheduled to expire in October, but the central bank said Tuesday that they should not issue dividends until January at the earliest in order to preserve their capital. Banks should also exercise “extreme moderation” in bonus payments, the central bank said.

The moratorium, which has been met with some grumbling by bankers, is not mandatory. But few lenders are likely to defy the central bank, which has ultimate responsibility for supervising them.

Andrea Enria, the central bank official responsible for bank supervision, said that banks have withstood the pandemic fairly well so far, but that some could run short of capital if the impact of the pandemic fulfills worst-case scenarios.

“We prefer to be prudent today rather than having regrets tomorrow should overall economic conditions deteriorate further,” Mr. Enria said on the central bank’s blog.

Credit…Bryan Woolston/Reuters

Lawmakers are continuing negotiations over a coronavirus relief package. The Republicans’ $1 trillion opening bid will have to be reconciled with Democrats, who were pushing a much larger recovery package that would extend $600 per week in extra unemployment aid through the end of the year. The Republican plan would reduce the benefit to $200.

Here’s the latest:

Senate Republicans and the White House on Monday threw their support behind a substantial cut in jobless aid for tens of millions of Americans laid off amid the pandemic, proposing a weekly reduction of $400 to a benefit that has cushioned the nation’s economy even as coronavirus cases continue to rise across the country.

Economists say that the money, slated to expire this week, has provided a crucial economic buffer for the unemployed, and that lowering the payments could have a cascade of damaging effects across the economy. But Republicans contend that it is too generous, discouraging Americans from returning to work and hampering a recovery.

The Senate Republicans’ decision to embrace the decrease reflects the predicament in which they find themselves during a worsening pandemic and continued economic recession, little more than three months before Election Day.

Credit…Airbnb

Lawmakers are set to grill Tim Cook, the chief executive of Apple, as well as his counterpart at Amazon, Facebook and Google, in a hearing on Wednesday as part of a yearlong antitrust inquiry. They are investigating how Apple wields its control over its App Store and the companies like ClassPass and Airbnb that do business there.

After Airbnb and ClassPass began selling virtual classes because of the pandemic, they say Apple tried to collect its commission on the sales. But Apple said that it was not trying to generate revenue — though that is a side effect — but instead was trying to enforce a rule that has been in place since it first published its app guidelines in 2010.

Jack Nicas and David McCabe explain the importance of the fight:

Apple’s disputes with the smaller companies point to the control the world’s largest tech companies have had over the shift to online life brought on by the pandemic. While much of the rest of the economy is struggling, the pandemic has further entrenched their businesses.

With millions more employees working from home, Amazon and Google are selling more online cloud space, with Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud revenue soaring in the first quarter of the year that included the start of the pandemic. Facebook and YouTube, which is part of Google, some of the internet’s largest gathering places, had traffic surge as people couldn’t socialize in person.

And Apple has brought in more revenue from its online-services business, mostly on the back of its App Store, while its Macs, iPads and iPhones have become even more important tools.

Airbnb and ClassPass are not the only ones. Many companies and app developers complain that Apple forces them to pay its commission to be included in the App Store, which is crucial to reaching the roughly 900 million people with iPhones.





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