Health and Science

US coronavirus cases top 1 million, lawmakers urge airlines to make face masks mandatory

In this article

Business leaders and government officials are making plans to reopen segments of the economy. Meanwhile stay-at-home practices are sending sales of consumer goods up and threatening industries and jobs. The virus has infected more than 3 million people globally since the outbreak began, with more 1 million of those cases in the U.S as of mid-afternoon on Tuesday. 

The coverage on this live blog has ended — but for up-to-the-minute coverage on the coronavirus, visit the live blog from CNBC's Asia-Pacific team.

  • Global cases: More than 3.1 million
  • Global deaths: At least 216,808
  • US cases: More than 1 million
  • US deaths: At least 58,365

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

8:45 pm: City of Los Angeles signs agreement with Honeywell to produce 24 million N95 masks

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that the city would partner with Honeywell, maker of smart home systems, to buy 24 million of the company's N95 respirator masks. These masks have been running in short supply since the start of the crisis, and many hospitals are running low. Garcetti confirmed that the first delivery 100,000 masks would come in May. —Christina Farr

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8:30 pm: Surge in snack sales is not just 'pantry loading,' Mondelez CEO says after earnings beat

Mondelez CEO Dirk Van de Put said that the company is seeing continued growth in snack sales after consumers stocked up at the beginning of the pandemic. 

"Originally, you would have said this was pantry loading, but this has now been going on for more than six weeks. And unless consumers are building a warehouse for Oreos at home, I think they are eating it," Van de Put said on CNBC's "Closing Bell." 

The snack company, which counts Oreo and Ritz among its marquee brands, reported organic growth of 6.4% for the first quarter. Mondelez also reported 69 cents in adjusted earnings per share and $6.71 billion in revenue. Wall Street analysts expected 66 cents in earnings per share and $6.61 billion in revenue, according to Refinitiv. The stock slipped 0.9% in extended trading. —Jesse Pound

Mondelez beat earnings per share $0.69 adj vs. $0.66 estimated
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Mondelez beat earnings per share $0.69 adj vs. $0.66 estimated

8:20 pm: LA mayor says construction workers without symptoms will be eligible for free tests

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that construction workers who were not experiencing symptoms of the Covid-19 virus would be eligible for free tests at any of the testing sites in LA County. Los Angeles County has confirmed that more than 1,000 people have died from the coronavirus and that more than 20,000 have been confirmed to have the virus. —Christina Farr

7:30 pm: UK start-ups have raised $825 million during virus lockdown, but less deals are being made

New research suggests British start-ups have raised £663 million ($825 million) since the coronavirus lockdown began in the country, shrugging off the economic downturn in the process.

The study — carried out by workspace provider Plexal and start-up database Beauhurst — focused on funding rounds between March 23 and April 27, analyzing nearly 30,000 businesses.

It found that British start-ups raised 34% more this year than they did during the same period last year. The rise is thought to be a result of investors allocating additional funding to ensure the survival of start-ups in their portfolio.

A handful of start-ups have raised substantial rounds in the last few weeks, with digital ID verification service Onfido announcing it had raised $100 million from investors on April 15. —Sam Shead

7:07 pm: Trump says US will be able to run 5 million coronavirus tests per day 'very soon,' despite shortages across states

Trump: U.S. coronavirus testing will go up 'exponentially'
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Trump: U.S. coronavirus testing will go up 'exponentially'

President Donald Trump said the U.S. will "very soon" run 5 million coronavirus tests per day, even as the lack of testing remains an obstacle for many states anxious to reopen for business.

"We'll increase it, and it'll increase it by much more than that in the very near future," Trump said when a reporter asked if he's confident the U.S. will reach 5 million tests per day, as some health experts say would be required to "reopen" the country.

The U.S. is currently nowhere near conducting 5 million tests a day. In fact, the most tests the nation has run on a single day was 314,182 on April 22, according to data compiled by the Covid Tracking Project. The U.S. has run just 5.7 million total Covid-19 tests since the beginning of the pandemic, according to the volunteer project designed to track testing data launched last month by The Atlantic. 

That puts the nation woefully behind where its testing capacity needs to be. At the average rate of around 157,000 tests run a day in April, according to the project, it would take almost 6 years to test everyone in the U.S. — just once. Health-care workers and other first responders need to be tested often. New York state is requiring private companies that want to bring their employees back to work to test them frequently. —Will Feuer, Christina Wilkie, Kevin Breuninger

6:56 pm: Only about half of Americans are confident they can pay full rent in May, survey shows

As job losses and unemployment continue to increase as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, more than half of Americans who rent their residence say they lack confidence they will be able to pay May rent in full.

That's according to a new survey that finds 12% of renters do not expect to pay rent at all during May; 15% expect to pay partial rent in May. Another 21% said they don't know yet.

The percentage saying they are confident they will have the funds for full rent (52%) was lower than the 69% who said they could pay April's rent.

Income losses related to Covid-19 have hit 63% of renters across the nation, with 48% describing the losses as "devastating."

Four in 10 renters said they plan to move in the next six months, according to the survey, which was conducted April 10–16 among 20,000 Americans by Apartments.com and Grace Hill, a property management technology and education provider. —Adedayo Akala

6:37 pm: The Academy changes rules for 2021 Oscars

The 92nd Oscars® broadcasts live on Sunday, Feb. 9,2020 at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood and will be televised live on The ABC Television Network at 8:00 p.m. EST/5:00 p.m. PST.
Eric McCandless

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has altered its Oscar eligibility rules in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The board of governors approved a temporary change that would allow streamed films to be eligible for its coveted annual award ceremony. 

"The Academy firmly believes there is no greater way to experience the magic of movies than to see them in a theater," David Rubin, Academy president, and Dawn Hudson, CEO of the Academy, said in a joint statement. "Our commitment to that is unchanged and unwavering."

"Nonetheless, the historically tragic Covid-19 pandemic necessitates this temporary exception to our awards eligibility rules," they said. —Sarah Whitten

6:22 pm: Dow futures fall slightly ahead of Fed decision

Stock futures fell slightly in overnight trading as investors eyed guidance from the Federal Reserve on the future path of interest rates with a gradual reopening of the economy in sight.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped about 30 points, while the S&P 500 futures were marginally positive. The Nasdaq futures rose slightly after big tech shares underperfomed in the previous session. —Yun Li

6:15 pm: The US coronavirus death toll surpasses American casualties from the Vietnam War

U.S. officials and public health specialists have repeatedly compared the country's coronavirus mitigation efforts to that of a war, and now Covid-19 has taken more U.S. lives than the Vietnam War

The U.S. National Archives says that 58,220 American soldiers died in the Vietnam conflict, which began in 1955 and ended in 1975. Covid-19 has now claimed more lives in the U.S. since it officially arrived in the country in January, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

 Covid-19 has killed 58,365 people so far in the U.S., according to Johns Hopkins. —Will Feuer

6:07 pm: Starbucks says it lost $915 million in quarterly sales due to coronavirus

A worker uses a thermometer to check the temperature of a customer as she enters a Starbucks shop as the country is hit by an outbreak of the new coronavirus, in Beijing, China January 30, 2020.
A worker uses a thermometer to check the temperature of a customer as she enters a Starbucks shop as the country is hit by an outbreak of the new coronavirus, in Beijing, China January 30, 2020.

Starbucks estimates it lost $915 million in revenue during its fiscal second quarter due to store closures, reduced operating hours and lower customer traffic resulting from the pandemic.

The coffee chain's net sales fell 5% to $6 billion in the quarter ended March 29, with global same-store sales shrinking 10%.

The company warned that its fiscal third-quarter results will take an even bigger hit from the pandemic, even as sales in China begin to recover. —Amelia Lucas

5:45 pm: Best Buy will start to reopen to customers with appointments for in-store consultations

A view of a Best Buy retail store on August 29, 2019 in San Bruno, California.
Justin Sullivan | Getty Images

Best Buy said it will gradually reopen its doors to customers with in-store consultations by appointment.

Starting in May, the company said about 200 of its U.S. stores will allow shoppers to schedule a time to meet with a dedicated sales associate to talk about technology needs, discuss a potential purchase of a kitchen appliance or more. The appointments will help keep customers and employees safe by making sure there's space for social distancing, the company said in a news release. 

The move indicates the big-box retailer is trying to get its stores open and more of its workers back to business. During the coronavirus pandemic, Best Buy has temporarily shut stores to customers and shifted to a curbside pickup model. It suspended all in-home delivery, installation and repairs. Earlier this month, it furloughed about 51,000 employees — nearly all of its part-time workers and some of its full-time ones. —Melissa Repko

5:20 pm: Bipartisan lawmakers urge airlines to make face masks mandatory for passengers and crew

Several House lawmakers urged airlines to make face masks or other coverings a requirement for both passengers and crew during the entire trip.  "It is critical that your member airlines have in place strong and consistent policies that limit the spread of COVID-19 and protect the safety and health of frontline airline workers and passengers," wrote Rep. Peter DeFazio, an Oregon Democrat and chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Rep. Sam Graves, Republican of Missouri, ranking member of the committee, Rep. Rick Larsen, a Washington state Democrat and chair of the aviation subcommittee and Rep. Garret Graves, Louisiana Republican and ranking member of the subcommittee, in a letter to Airlines for America, a U.S. airline trade group.

JetBlue Airways became the first U.S. carrier to mandate masks for passengers, a policy that starts May 4 and others may follow suit. JetBlue and other airlines, including Delta and American have made them a requirement for flight attendants and are planning to make them available for travelers at the airport. Air travel in the U.S. is down 95% from a year ago and airline executives are exploring ways to make passengers feel safer once demand returns including blocking off middle seats or underselling seats on the plane. --Leslie Josephs

5 pm: Federal Reserve seeks banks' advice as it gets into direct lending with coronavirus relief

The Federal Reserve has reached out to investment and retail banks for feedback on its Main Street lending program ahead of its formal launch, according to people familiar with the matter.

The U.S. central bank earlier this month laid out in broad strokes its plans for the program, which is aimed at creating up to $600 billion in loans for companies with up to 10,000 employees or up to $2.5 billion in 2019 sales.

Since then, the Fed has solicited a wide range of feedback as it formulates more details around the program. In addition to speaking to investment and retail banks, it has also spoken to its reserve banks and received over 2,200 pieces of feedback online. —Lauren Hirsch

4:30 pm: Waffle House CEO says dine-in service will be limited for 'some time' as states reopen

Waffle House anticipates operating with limited dine-in service for "some time" as some U.S. states lift restrictions on businesses, CEO Walt Ehmer told CNBC on Tuesday. 

"I think we'll gradually start welcoming more and more customers back," Ehmer said on "The Exchange."

Waffle House on Monday began to offer limited dine-in capacity at 330 of its restaurants in Georgia and around 70 in Tennessee, following the relaxation of some coronavirus-related restrictions in those states. 

The locations that now have partial dine-in service had remained open for carryout during the Covid-19 crisis, Ehmer said. He said those that were temporarily shuttered due to a lack of sales will, for the time being, remain closed. —Kevin Stankiewicz

Waffle House CEO: Roughly 50% of locations need to be open to make a profit
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Waffle House CEO: Roughly 50% of locations need to be open to make a profit

4 pm: Stocks fall, Dow snaps 4-day winning streak as big tech shares slide

Stocks fell on Tuesday after a volatile session as a decline in big tech shares took the wind out of a market rally that was sparked by optimism over a potential reopening of the U.S. economy. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 32.23 points lower, or 0.1%, at 24,101.55  to snap a four-session winning streak. The S&P 500 slid 0.5% to 2,863.39 while the Nasdaq Composite dropped 1.4% to 8,607.73. All three of the major indexes were up more than 1% earlier in the day. 

Alphabet fell 3% ahead of its latest earnings release, which was scheduled for after the close. Facebook dropped 2.5% while Amazon slid 2.6%. Netflix shares fell 4.2% while Apple lost 1.6%.

"I think people are selling into the tech earnings," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities. "If those results disappoint, then those stocks can lead the market lower."

"But in general, the market has been resilient lately," Cardillo said. —Fred Imbert, Maggie Fitzgerald

Strategist explains different approaches investors are taking during the crisis
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Strategist explains different approaches investors are taking during the crisis

3:50 pm: California to 'gradually' reopen once testing, tracing improves

Surfers arrive after a closed beach opened during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Encinitas, California, April 27, 2020.
Mike Blake | Reuters

Some California workplaces, schools and childcare facilities can gradually reopen once the state improves coronavirus testing and contact tracing, the state's health officer said on Tuesday.

This second phase of the state's response to Covid-19 would allow retail curbside pickup, some manufacturing and office work that cannot be done from home, Sonia Angell, the state's public health director, said in a televised address.

"Phase two is in weeks, not months," California Governor Gavin Newsom said in the address. —Reuters

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3:45 pm: How a handful of Apple and Google employees came together to help health officials trace coronavirus

One of the most ambitious projects in Apple history launched in less than a month, and was driven by just a handful of employees. 

In mid-March, with Covid-19 spreading to almost every country in the world, a small team at Apple started brainstorming how they could help. They knew that smartphones would be key to the global coronavirus response, particularly as countries started relaxing their shelter-in-place orders. To prepare for that, governments and private companies were building so-called "contact tracing" apps to monitor citizens' movements and determine whether they might have come into contact with someone infected with the virus.

Within a few weeks, the Apple project -- code-named "Bubble" -- had dozens of employees working on it with executive-level support from two sponsors: Craig Federighi, a senior vice president of software engineering, and Jeff Williams, the company's chief operating officer and de-facto head of healthcare. By the end of the month, Google had officially come on board, and about a week later, the companies' two CEOs Tim Cook and Sundar Pichai met virtually to give their final vote of approval to the project. —Christina Farr

3:30 pm: California governor says schools could open as early as July

A drawing of a banana wearing a face mask advises customers they must wear a covering over their mouth and nose before entering a Trader Joe's in Davis, Calif., Monday, April 27, 2020.
Rich Pedroncelli | AP

California schoolchildren could return to their classrooms as early as July though there likely will be modifications, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Tuesday.

No formal decisions have been made, but he acknowledged there have been "learning losses" as parents have sought to teach their kids from home. Most schools and classrooms have been closed since March, when Newsom issued a statewide stay-at-home order to try to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Districts and families have struggled to adapt to at-home learning. Starting the new school year earlier would make up for some of that lost time, Newsom said.

But schools may look radically different than before. Newsom previously said schools may launch with staggered start times to limit the number of students in the school at one time and make changes to recess, lunch and other normal school gatherings that draw large groups of students together. —Associated Press

3:12 pm: VP Pence tours Mayo Clinic without mask

In this pool image, Vice President Mike Pence Visits the Mayo Clinic Rochester Facilities, April 28, 2020.
Press Pool Video

Vice President Mike Pence toured the Mayo Clinic without wearing a mask despite that renowned medical facility telling him that masks are required for visitors there.

Video from a journalist pool camera at the Mayo Clinic at one point shows that 10 people in the area around Pence, including a patient, were wearing masks and personal protective equipment. Pence leads President Donald Trump's coronavirus task force.

The Mayo Clinic, which is located in Rochester, Minn., is requiring all patients, visitors and staff to wear a face covering or mask to slow the spread of Covid-19. It said in a Twitter post that it had informed Pence of its policy mandating mask before he toured the facility. —Dan Mangan, Christina Wilkie

3:05 pm: Coronavirus has 'exposed every fracture' in US workplace safety

The coronavirus pandemic has "exposed every fracture" in U.S. workplace safety requirements as essential workers are infected and die of Covid-19, several of the country's largest unions and a former worker safety official under President Barack Obama said.

Even as most states have rolled out social distancing restrictions to curb the spread of Covid-19, the country's essential workers, from health care providers and grocery workers to meat packers and steelworkers, have continued to punch into work. Now some of the country's largest unions are calling for emergency regulation to ensure worker safety. 

"You would not think that our professionals would be the ones who are screaming from the rafters about the failure of OSHA to do its job," Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, said of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The union also represents health workers. "But I am mad." —Will Feuer 

2:57 pm: Connecticut governor says he wants state's colleges 'to open in the fall'

Gov. Ned Lamont told CNBC he wants colleges and universities in Connecticut "to open in the fall," provided it is safe to do so.

"It's a big part of our state," Lamont, a Democrat, said on "Squawk on the Street." "We have the best and the brightest coming to Connecticut to get educated, and it'd be a shame that they didn't come ... because it wasn't safe," he added. 

The state is home to Yale University, the University of Connecticut and Quinnipiac University, among others. —Kevin Stankiewicz

2:44 pm: Over $52 billion in relief loans approved by midday

PPP application system hit by 'unprecedented demand'
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PPP application system hit by 'unprecedented demand'

The U.S. Small Business Administration reported it had approved over $52 billion in small business relief loans in roughly a day and a half since the program restarted.

The SBA said that as of 1 p.m. ET, it had approved 475,000 small business loans for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), spread across 5,100 lenders. Community banks with less than $10 billion in assets had already seen 331,119 loans approved totaling nearly $30 billion.

The SBA has been processing applications for the loans since 10:30 a.m. Monday, after Congress authorized an additional $310 billion for the relief program. —Reuters

2:20 pm: Google CEO tells employees return to office won't happen until at least June 1

Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai began discussing the company's plans to allow workers back into the office, according to an email sent to employees Monday that was viewed by CNBC.

In the email, Pichai said that workers can expect a "staggered" and "incremental" return to the office, but nothing will happen until at least June 1. Alphabet, the parent company of Google, is scheduled to report its first quarter earnings after the bell.

The company will have workers return "gradually" to ease anxiety around leaving home, Pichai added. "Not everyone at a site will go back at once," he said. "There will be no one-size-fits-all approach, and the specific guidance will vary from location to location." —Jennifer Elias

2:07 pm: US coronavirus cases top 1 million

Medical workers carry a patient from an ambulance to George Washington University Hospital in Washington D.C., the United States, on April 27, 2020.
Ting Shen | Xinhua News Agency | Getty Images

The coronavirus has now infected more than 1 million people in the United States as the nation grapples with roughly a third of all global cases — making it the worst outbreak in the world, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

A large portion of U.S. Covid-19 cases remain in New York state, where Gov. Andrew Cuomo is currently testing about 20,000 people a day for the virus and is working with President Donald Trump to double that number.

The virus has touched every state in the U.S., disrupting daily life for millions of Americans as state and local leaders have shuttered nonessential businesses to try to curb the pandemic, putting record numbers of people out of work. —Berkeley Lovelace Jr. 

1:46 pm: British Airways warns as many as 12,000 jobs to go

British Airways plans to cut as many as 12,000 jobs in response to the coronavirus crisis that means passenger numbers will take years to recover, its owner International Consolidated Airlines Group said.

IAG, which also owns Iberia, Aer Lingus and Vueling, reported first-quarter operating losses before exceptional items of 535 million euros ($580 million), compared with a profit of 135 million a year ago. Revenue dropped 13% to 4.6 billion euros. IAG warned it expects results to get worse in a statement also setting out plans for a sweeping restructuring at BA. —Reuters

1:31 pm: Cuomo outlines criteria to reopen New York

Gov. Andrew Cuomo lays out what's necessary for New York to reopen
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Gov. Andrew Cuomo lays out what's necessary for New York to reopen

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo outlined a 12-step plan to reopen parts of the state while trying to keep the coronavirus pandemic from flaring up again.

"It's a very fact-based, data-driven reopening plan for regions that would keep them safe and allow the economy to reopen in phases," Cuomo said at a press conference in Syracuse. The state is following guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that require local and state officials to show a continual decline in Covid-19 cases over two weeks, he said. 

If new infections continue to fall, Cuomo said some parts of the state will have met the CDC guidelines by May 15, but "not New York City, not downstate, unless a miracle happens."

The plan to reopen New York, the epicenter of the Covid-19 crisis in the U.S., would require erecting regional isolation facilities to monitor the outbreak and hiring a dedicated pool of so-called contact tracers to track the spread of the virus. —Kevin Breuninger, Jasmine Kim, Noah Higgins-Dunn

1:19 pm: Pope urges virus lockdown obedience amid church-state debate

Pope Francis leads the Easter vigil Mass in St. Peter's Basilica with no public participation due to the outbreak of coronavirus at the Vatican
Remo Casilli I Reuters

Pope Francis waded into the church-state debate about virus-imposed lockdowns of religious services, calling Tuesday for "prudence and obedience" to government protocols to prevent infections from surging again.

Francis' appeal came just two days after Italian bishops bitterly complained that the Italian government offered no provisions for Masses to resume in its plan to reopen Italian business, social and sporting life starting May 4.

While it wasn't clear if Francis intended to send a different message than the bishops, his appeal for obedience and prudence was in line with his previous calls to protect the most vulnerable, and for economic interests to take a back seat to shows of solidarity.

At the same time, Francis has certainly chafed at the lockdown, saying early on that he felt like he was in a "cage" and lamenting more recently that the church isn't really "Church" without a community of faithful present and the administration of sacraments. —Associated Press

1:10 pm: Trump says he will sign order on virus-related liability problems

U.S. President Donald Trump said he will sign an executive order that addresses employer liability issues that have arisen from the coronavirus outbreak.

Trump, taking questions from reporters in the Oval Office as he met with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, said the order would have to do with the meat supply and that his administration was working with poultry producer Tyson Foods.

Administration officials and some Republicans on Capitol Hill have said businesses that are reopening need liability protection from lawsuits employees might file if they become sick.

They cast it is a necessary prerequisite for businesses to have the confidence they need to reopen. —Reuters

12:59 pm: The biggest US mall owner prepares to reopen 49 properties

Haywood Mall, Greenville, South Carolina.
Mike Kalasnik | WikipediaCC

The biggest mall owner in the U.S. is preparing to open a number of its properties across the country, as states such as South Carolina and Georgia start to reopen during the coronavirus pandemic, according to an internal memo that was obtained by CNBC. 

Simon Property Group is reopening 49 of its malls and outlet centers Friday through Monday, the memo said, including Haywood Mall in Greenville, South Carolina, and Lenox Square in Atlanta.

Business hours at the malls and outlet centers will be limited to 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, to allow for cleaning overnight, according to the memo. Simon said it will regularly sanitize high-touch areas such as food court tables, escalators, door knobs and electronic directories. And it is encouraging retailers to do the same in their stores. 

Meantime, Simon said it will encourage shoppers to take their temperatures before going to the mall. At the mall, it will make free temperature testing available to customers, using infrared thermometers, it said. 

Free CDC-approved masks and hand sanitizing packets will also be available to the shoppers who ask for them. Simon said it will encourage shoppers to wear masks or some sort of facial coverings while they shop. Simon is mandating its employees wear masks while they are working and take "frequent breaks for handwashing." —Lauren Thomas

12:48 pm: Stay-at-home orders are reviving orange juice sales

Coca-Cola Co.'s Minute Maid and Simply Orange brand orange juices sit on display in a supermarket in Princeton, Illinois.
Daniel Acker | Bloomberg | Getty Images

After years of declining orange juice consumption, the shelter-in-place orders that have forced Americans to stay home are leading them to drink more of the breakfast staple.

In the eight weeks ended April 18, retail sales of orange juice rose 33.5% compared to a year ago, according to Nielsen data.

Orange juice consumption hit its peak in 1998, topping out at 6.1 gallons per capita, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service. By 2017, consumers were drinking 60% less orange juice, following years of backlash about its true health benefits and a wider variety of options of juices and smoothies. —Amelia Lucas

12:34 pm: Stocks fall for the first time in 5 days, led by Amazon and tech shares

Stocks reversed early gains to trade lower as a decline in tech shares offset some of the enthusiasm around the prospect of states reopening the U.S. economy.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down just 20 points, or 0.1%, after rallying 378 points to start the session. The 30-stock average was briefly down 100 points. The S&P 500 slipped 0.3% while the Nasdaq Composite slid 1.1%. —Fred Imbert, Maggie Fitzgerald

12:27 pm: Top ad firm outlines business sectors hit the most by the pandemic

Major U.S.-based advertising holding company Omnicom Group said that some sectors including travel and entertainment and energy are cutting costs, including postponing or reducing marketing spend, due to the impacts of the pandemic. But other sectors are doing better — for now. 

Omnicom company said in its Q1 2020 earnings report sectors that have been affected "more immediately and more significantly than others" from the pandemic include:

  • Travel
  • Lodging
  • Entertainment
  • Energy and oil and gas
  • Non-essential retail
  • Automotive

The advertising industry is dealing with the immediate pullback of some advertisers and bracing for the wider impact of any economic fallout on client spending, since marketing is often one of the first items that businesses cut during a financial downturn. —Megan Graham

12:13 pm: Coronavirus could kill more than 3 million people in vulnerable countries

A girl stands near a woman on the rubble of a damaged building in the rebel-held town of Nairab, in northwest Syria's Idlib region, Syria April 17, 2020.
Khalil Ashawi | Reuters

The coronavirus could infect up to one billion people and kill 3.2 million people in 34 "crisis-affected countries" as the pandemic exacerbates humanitarian crises, the International Rescue Committee said in a new report.

The analysis includes countries in war zones such as Afghanistan and Syria, as well as countries suffering from persistent poverty before the pandemic, including Greece and Venezuela. 

"These numbers should serve as a wake-up call: the full, devastating and disproportionate weight of this pandemic has yet to be felt in the world's most fragile and war-torn countries," CEO of the committee, David Miliband, said in a statement.

The IRC's new report "One Size Does Not Fit All: Mitigating COVID-19 in Humanitarian Setting" says its estimates are conservative. The organization did not account for limited access to health care in many of the countries it analyzed. The report says South Sudan, for example, has just four ventilators and 24 intensive care units. —Will Feuer

12:02 pm: Georgia gives retail a glimpse of what reopening the economy will look like

Retailers keeping an eye on Georgia
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Retailers keeping an eye on Georgia

Retailers are closely watching the consumer reaction in Georgia, as it is among the first states to begin a phased reopening of its economy.

Salons, gyms and tattoo parlors were given permission to reopen Friday, with movie theaters and restaurants permitted to open Monday. While health officials and governments are closely monitoring developments in areas that are reopening, so are retailers.

The country's nonessential store retail sector has been closed a month or more for the first time in history. It is impossible to know how consumers will react to a new normal, if they come back to shop, and how habits might have changed.

Nonessential retail locations have not yet been given the go-ahead to reopen in the Peach state, and when authorities lift closures, it remains to be seen which retailers will choose to immediately reopen. —Courtney Reagan

11:53 am: TripAdvisor expected to slash staff as the pandemic stalls travel

TripAdvisor is reportedly laying off more staff as the coronavirus pandemic continues to take a toll on the travel industry

It's the latest indication of how the crisis is changing habits and impacting the workforce. It's unclear what the scope of the layoffs will be, but travel trade publication Skift reported that they would affect 25% of TripAdvisor's global workforce, including 600 U.S. employees. The total layoffs could be around 1,000, Skift reported, citing sources. The company has about 4,200 employees according to corporate filings. —Lauren Feiner

11:35 am: 'Reasonable confidence' heartburn drug famotidine could help, CEO says

Northwell Health's Michael Dowling on testing heartburn remedy against COVID-19
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Northwell Health's Michael Dowling on testing heartburn remedy against COVID-19

Northwell Health CEO Michael Dowling said that scientists working on a drug trial for famotidine, a common heartburn medication, have "a reasonable confidence" that the drug may make a difference in the treatment of Covid-19 patients. 

"It's one of many trials we're doing, but we believe in the next two weeks or so we'll have some potential results to be able to tell whether it's working or not," Dowling told CNBC. 

Dowling said there are approximately 200 patients currently enrolled in the trial, which uses nine times the amount of famotidine that someone would usually take to treat heartburn, as first reported by Science Magazine. Famotidine is a common ingredient found in Pepcid, a heartburn medication. —Noah Higgins-Dunn

11:13 am: Dr. Anthony Fauci wa