Stocks dropped for the second day in a row after the Nasdaq broke its 6-day winning streak on Tuesday. Investors and health officials appear to be growing increasingly worried about a potential second wave of Covid-19 cases and further economic downturn as states and foreign governments move ahead with lifting restrictions. Early data out of U.S. states that are most aggressively reopening indicate heightened virus spread, according to former FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb.
All times below are in Eastern time.
- Global cases: More than 4.3 million
- Global deaths: At least 293,514
- US cases: More than 1.3 million
- US deaths: At least 82,806
The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
The new world of remote work has forced a growing number of companies to seek ways to track employee efficiency.
Stay-in-place orders have allowed workers ranging from live TV production to hedge fund trading to transition their jobs to the living room -- and they're enjoying it.
According to a survey by staffing firm Robert Half, 60% of office professionals who are now in a remote setup say they have a better work-life balance without a commute, and 74% say they would like to telecommute more often once restrictions lift.
Sam Naficy, CEO of Prodoscore, which monitors employee productivity, says the coronavirus has led to a spike in his company's growth, with interest from prospective customers climbing 600%. On Wednesday, the company said it closed its Series A funding round, which was led by Troy Carter, an early backer of Uber, Lyft and Dropbox. Hubstaff, a provider of time tracking tools for remote workforces, said the number of companies trialing its technology has grown by two to three times since Covid-19 forced offices to empty out.
Abbott Labs on Wednesday refuted claims by a New York University study that its rapid coronavirus diagnostic test could be missing nearly half of positive cases.
The Abbott ID NOW test demonstrated 91% sensitivity and 100% specificity in a separate study conducted in Washington state, the company said in a series of tweets Wednesday evening.
"While no test is perfect, Abbott's ID NOW is delivering reliable results when and where they're needed most," the company said in its response. "The world needs a variety of tests in labs and at point of care, and as many as possible, if we are to help reduce the risk people have every single day of contracting the virus."
The company issued the response after researchers at New York University published a study, which has not been peer-reviewed, that described the Abbott ID NOW test as "unacceptable." Abbott said it has many questions for the authors of the New York University study authors.
"We are reviewing the information in this non-peer reviewed study," a spokesperson for the Food and Drug Administration told NBC News. —Salvador Rodriguez
Ford Motor is releasing a new ad campaign as it prepares to resume auto production.
The campaign includes three new ad spots, which share the "Built for America" message and show the automaker producing medical supplies, including respirators and ventilators. The company is readying for a phased restart to North American vehicle production on Monday after its plants were shuttered in late March due to the coronavirus.Ford worked with agency Wieden + Kennedy on the campaign, which includes the commercials and social media assets.
The campaign, featuring the voice of actor Bryan Cranston, will go live on Ford's social platforms Wednesday afternoon and on TV over the next two days, the company said. —Meg Graham
Tesla furloughed 11,239 employees in the state of California, including 11,083 in Fremont, where the company builds electric cars for customers in North America and Europe, according to employment records provided by the state.
The company also temporarily laid off an additional 156 employees in Lathrop, where Tesla runs a remanufacturing facility to make spare parts, among other things.
The latest numbers come from worker adjustment and retraining notices, filed with the state's Employment Development Department. With the pace of layoffs and furloughs at a historic high, California's unemployment office has begun reporting this data to the public every day, rather than twice a month.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk reopened their Fremont factory on the weekend of May 9th in defiance of local health orders. On Wednesday, Tesla HR boss Valerie Workman told employees in an email that if they did not come back to work when called, they risked losing unemployment income, despite the standoff with the local government over resuming operations at the Fremont plant. —Lora Kolodny
Georgia started to reboot its struggling economy late last month, but it is likely still too early to tell whether opening businesses again has contributed to a rise in Covid-19 cases.
When the state announced plans to roll back public health restrictions starting April 24, key Trump administration officials and the president himself warned it might have acted too soon and risked a coronavirus resurgence. New cases have so far plateaued, increasing by roughly 700 per day since Georgia started reopening.
But given lags in infections and reporting, data may not show the full picture of whether reopening spread Covid-19 in Georgia until the end of the month, according to experts. Even a consistent plateau, rather than a sustained decline in new cases, could be a concern as the state tries to kickstart economic activity.
More than 35,000 people in Georgia had tested positive as of May 11. —Jacob Pramuk
Utah is one of the first states to back a digital contact tracing app. Its app, Healthy Together, has had 45,000 signups since it was released in late April.
Notably, the app doesn't use the Apple-Google technology for digital contact tracing. Instead, it uses GPS data, and deeply integrates with the state's public health department — two things the Apple-Google system rejects.
The app's adoption and efficacy will be closely watched as other states prepare their own contact tracing apps. —Kif Leswing
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced that the state's stay-at-home order will be lifted on Friday at 5:00 pm. The state will then move to a "Safer at Home" public health advisory.
After the order is lifted, retail stores, barbershops and hair salons will be able to reopen with up to 50% capacity under social-distancing guidelines. Manufacturing will be able to resume as well.
"Manufacturing may resume operations in a safe manner which protects the health of their employees with guidelines encouraging multiple shifts to limit the number of people working at the same time," Hogan said at a press briefing.
He encouraged places of worship to hold outdoor services but said they could hold indoor services at 50% capacity as well. —Hannah Miller
The biggest public companies that took a slice of the government's small businesses relief fund nearly all had access to other forms of capital, a CNBC analysis found.
The companies raised millions by selling stock or had idle credit lines that could've been used, factors that likely should've prompted them to return loans from the federal Paycheck Protection Program.
Hours before the May 14 deadline to return PPP loans with amnesty, most public companies made no mention of giving back the funds.
Of the $1.32 billion tapped by public companies across 407 loans, only 61 loans making up a combined $411 million are being returned, according to data analytics firm FactSquared. —Hugh Son
In a series of internal documents viewed by CNBC, the company's management told employees that it wasn't "possible" to equip everyone with a laptop and the hardware shortage caused its ability to onboard new hires to be "significantly reduced." It also cited "major suppliers experiencing manufacturing shortages." —Jennifer Elias
Iconic concert venue Hollywood Bowl announced on Twitter that it has canceled all upcoming concerts for the 2020 season.
"This is to protect our audiences, musicians, employees and community from the spread of COVID-19, consistent with and in response to the latest guidance from public health officials," the outdoor theater said in a statement.
The Hollywood Bowl is located in Los Angeles, which is under a stay-at-home order that extends to July. —Hannah Miller
San Francisco is still set to move forward with partially reopening retailers and manufacturing businesses on Monday as long as the city meets key indicators such as keeping hospitalizations down."
The new policy will allow many retail businesses to begin curbside pickup along with related warehouse and manufacturing businesses in their supply chain," said San Francisco Public Health Director Dr. Grant Colfax in a press briefing Wednesday.
The city plans to release full instructions for businesses on Thursday and a formal health order on Monday, according to Colfax. He said that retail businesses will not be allowed to have more than 10 employees onsite at any time and may be required to have fewer if the store is very small. Manufacturing operations can resume as long as state guidelines are followed and no more than 50 employees are on the premises. —Hannah Miller
President Donald Trump is planning to appoint two co-chairs to lead the coronavirus vaccine project: former GlaxoSmithKline vaccines director Moncef Slaoui, and Gen. Gustave Perna, a four-star Army general, Bloomberg News reported Wednesday, citing U.S. officials.
The project, known as Operation Warp Speed, is a public-private collaboration aimed at developing a vaccine for the coronavirus as fast as possible. The tapping of Slaoui and Perna to lead the project comes less than a week after Trump told a reporter that he himself was in charge of the vaccine program. "I'm really in charge of it," Trump said last Thursday. "I think probably more than anything I'm in charge." —Christina Wilkie
States across the country took important steps forward in their reopening plans. Both Arizona and Florida plan to welcome professional sports teams for games that won't have fans in attendance. New Jersey Gov.
Phil Murphy announced that nonessential construction projects in the state can resume and retailers can offer curbside pickup beginning May 18. Georgia also released guidelines for summer camps that include restrictions such as limiting overnight bunks to 20 people. For more updates on state's reopening progress, click here. —Hannah Miller
Volkswagen plans to resume vehicle production at its Chattanooga plant in Tennessee beginning May 17.
The German automaker said Wednesday that the reopening of the plant will be phased to allow workers to adapt to more than 90 new health and safety measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
New measures, according to the company, include mandatory temperature screenings, face masks and social distancing protocols.
Volkswagen is one of the last automakers to announce a firm date this month to restart its American manufacturing, which shuttered in March. Several previous plans to restart production were delayed. The plant's roughly 3,800 workers currently produce the Volkswagen Passat midsize sedan and Volkswagen Atlas midsize SUV. —Michael Wayland
Abbott Labs' rapid test that yields results in as little as 5 minutes could be missing almost half of positive cases, researchers at NYU found.
The study has not been peer-reviewed nor has it been edited or published by an academic journal. The researchers found that the Abbott test yielded negative readings on samples that tested positive with tests from rivals. The researchers concluded that the test is "unacceptable in our clinical setting."
Abbott disputed the claims made in the study, adding that "it's unclear if the samples were tested correctly" and that the company is still evaluating the results of the study. Abbott added that it has distributed about 1.8 million of the tests and the reported false-negative rate is 0.02%. The test is used widely. The White House uses it to screen visitors and regularly test top officials. Retailers, including CVS and Walgreens, use the test at its drive-thru facilities. —William Feuer.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom said he will include wildfire protection enhancements to the state's budget, which he plans to release on Thursday, and said the state plans to hire an additional 600 personnel to help protect against wildfires. The state has record more than 1,100 wildfires since the beginning of January, a near 60% increase when compared to the same period of time last year, he said.
Newsom's administration announced last week that California will have a budget shortfall of $54.3 billion because of the coronavirus outbreak. Newsom said he will propose $85.7 million to the state's lawmakers for Cal Fire, which would help fund additional personnel. He said the state has also procured additional fire engines and Blackhawk helicopters for this year.
Officials from the governor's Office of Emergency Services said that wildfire evacuations would look different this year, and might happen sooner and possibly more frequently to give local emergency services more time to prepare. —Noah Higgins-Dunn
Ousted federal vaccine scientist Dr. Rick Bright plans to warn Congress tomorrow that without a more coordinated federal response to the coronavirus, millions more could die. Bright is scheduled to testify tomorrow morning before the House health subcommittee.
He was removed last month from his position as director of BARDA, a key agency in the development of treatments and vaccines, because he resisted efforts to promote unproven treatments, he says.
"Without clear planning and implementation of the steps that I and other experts have outlined, 2020 will be darkest winter in modern history," Bright plans to tell members of Congress, according to his prepared remarks obtained by CNBC.
"If we fail to develop a national coordinated response, based in science, I fear the pandemic will get far worse and be prolonged, causing unprecedented illness and fatalities." —Will Feuer
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell painted a bleak picture of the economy, and investors expect the Fed to unveil more steps to help the economy. Market strategists expect the Fed to announce an asset purchase program to replace its current Treasury buying program, which is open ended.
They expect the program could be announced by or at the Fed's June meeting, and it will set a pace or size of the purchases, aimed at specific securities. Powell also reiterated that the Fed is opposed to negative interest rates, which have been speculated about in the futures market. —Patti Domm
McDonald's said it will contribute to franchisees' marketing funds as the company looks to bounce back quickly from the pandemic.
The fast-food giant expects to pay about $100 million to funds pooled by U.S. operators, on top of roughly $100 million for the international markets where the company owns restaurants, like Italy and Spain. The company typically requires that franchisees pay at least 4% of gross sales on advertising.
McDonald's also said it plans to dole out "targeted financial assistance" to the franchisees hardest hit by the coronavirus. —Amelia Lucas
If countries reopen too quickly and end up having to roll out restrictions again, society could be caught in a "vicious cycle" of economic and health disaster, World Health Organization officials said.
Executive director of the WHO's emergencies program Dr. Mike Ryan urged caution in lifting restrictions, saying that countries need to have surveillance infrastructure in place before reopening. He said without widespread testing, officials won't realize another outbreak is coming until they're "counting the bodies in the morgue.
"In the U.S., dozens of states have already begun to reopen even as politicians and public health officials criticize the current testing apparatus as woefully inadequate. Some governors have announced reopening plans even as daily new infections in their states continue to rise. —Will Feuer
More trips to the dollar store, more sales of store's lower-priced private labels and fewer splurges on convenience store snacks. U.S. shoppers' changing behaviors, shown in recent data from market research firm IRI, are starting to reflect an emerging concern during the coronavirus pandemic: Watching the budget.
In the early weeks of the pandemic, customers stocked up on food and cleaning items for long stays at home. In recent weeks, however, unemployment has risen to 14.7%, pay cuts have squeezed family budgets and surveys have reflected people's financial uncertainty.
Krishnakumar Davey, president of strategic analytics for market research firm IRI, said that can "have an effect on the psychology of the consumer" as they shop. "As this drags on, you are going to see a lot more recessionary behavior coming up," he said. "We are just seeing the beginnings of it." —Melissa Repko
Essential workers looking for Congress to approve a raise will likely have to wait at least weeks longer for a financial boost. As lawmakers heap praise on front-line "heroes," they have not yet passed a wage increase for the workers facing a heightened risk of contracting Covid-19.
The latest in a string of hazard pay proposals in Congress came Tuesday, when House Democrats included $200 billion for essential worker wage hikes in their $3 trillion "HEROES Act."
The legislation could pass the House by Friday, but has little chance of getting through the GOP-held Senate and becoming law. Congress has also not taken up separate hazard pay proposals from Senate Democrats and Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah.
The plans would cover people still required to work on site during the pandemic, including health care, food service and transit workers.
"It's time to put your money where your mouth is," said Bob Gibson, vice president of Service Employees International Union Local 1199 in Florida, a state where the union represents 25,000 health-care employees. —Jacob Pramuk
Amazon will provide hourly wage increases and double overtime pay for its workers until May 30, but both policies will come to an end in June. The announcement marks the second time Amazon has extended these policies.
An Amazon spokesperson confirmed to CNBC it will be returning to regular pay and overtime wages at the end of the month, adding that Amazon is "grateful to associates supporting customers during a time of increased demand."
While Amazon has extended hazard pay for workers, it continues to face criticism for its decision to end its unlimited unpaid time-off policy. Warehouse workers previously told CNBC the policy was a valuable resource for them during the pandemic, since it allowed them to stay home without pay and not face any penalties for missing their shift. —Annie Palmer
Melissa DeRosa, secretary to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, said during a press briefing that the state's department of labor has paid $7.4 billion to roughly 1.7 million residents struggling with unemployment in the first seven weeks of the Covid-19 crisis.
DeRosa said that figure is roughly six times the number of claims that were filed during the 2008 financial crisis when 300,000 New Yorkers lost their job. Some residents have said they've struggled to apply and receive unemployment in the state, citing months-long waiting periods since they first applied.
Cuomo said the state is working toward processing as many claims as they can without approving residents who don't meet the federal criteria. "You want to get it done in a day, but you want to get it done right," he said. —Noah Higgins-Dunn
Colby College, a small liberal arts school in Maine, may consider delaying its fall semester to ensure in-person classes can take place, according to trustee Bob Diamond.
"One of the things that we've decided as a leadership of the college, and as of a board of trustees, that even if we had to delay the first semester as late as Decemberor January, we could still run a full year of in-person education," the former Barclays CEO said on CNBC's "Squawk Box.
"Higher education institutions across the country are grappling with the question of how, or whether, students can safely return to campuses in the fall amid the threat of Covid-19. —Kevin Stankiewicz
What is the future of flexible workspaces, and how is the industry responding to the coronavirus pandemic?
We're chatting live with Julie Whelan, the head of Americas Occupier Research at CBRE and CNBC's tech editor, Ari Levy.
Have a question about the future of work? Leave it in the comments on our Facebook post.
Anywhere from 5% to 10% of pre-Covid-19 demand for apparel and shoes could be decimated permanently, as "lost store volume can't entirely be made up online," Wells Fargo retail analyst Ike Boruchow said in a note to clients.
It will likely be a while for shoppers to return to stores, even as they reopen during the pandemic. It could take at least 9 months for sales levels to reach their "new normal," Wells Fargo is predicting.
Meantime, activity online will keep picking up. About 25% of apparel and footwear purchases are made on the internet in the U.S. today, Wells Fargo said. But that could hit 30% because of the pandemic, it said. —Lauren Thomas
Magazine giant Conde Nast is laying off nearly 100 employees in the U.S., according to a memo obtained by CNBC.
The company will furlough roughly 100 more employees and reduce work hours for a small amount, according to the memo. Conde Nast will inform the affected employees Wednesday.
"These decisions are never easy, and not something I ever take lightly," Chief Executive Robert Lynch wrote in the memo to employees. Several publishers have been affected by a sharp decline in advertising revenue brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, causing some to reduce its workforce in an effort to cut costs. —Jessica Bursztynsky
12:49 pm: DOJ's top antitrust official responds to Warren and Ocasio-Cortez push to halt corporate mergers
The country's top antitrust official, Makan Delrahim, told CNBC that placing a moratorium on big corporate mergers would be "misguided," after lawmakers have pushed for deal bans in Congress.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and fellow progressive Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-New York, want a moratorium on deals for companies with more than $100 million in revenue, as well as some private equity funds and hedge funds. But Delrahim told CNBC's Andrew Ross Sorkin he believes deals may, in fact, be necessary to help companies manage their liquidity, and to keep employees in their jobs.
He also walked through how he would determine whether a company proposing a deal fits would qualify for the "failing firm" defense, which would allow the Justice Department to approve a deal it might otherwise block.
To meet those criteria, a company must prove that it is unable to meet its financial obligations or reorganize its debt through bankruptcy and has already made a good faith effort to find a less anti-competitive buyer, Delrahim said. —Lauren Hirsch
It will be a summer "like no other."
That's the frank prediction by the European Union, who unveiled new guidelines on how the tourist industry should reopen amid the coronavirus crisis.
According to the Brussels institution, staff should get training on the symptoms of Covid-19, businesses should decrease the physical presence of employees as much as possible and social-distancing measures should be applied in communal areas.
They also recommended slot bookings for meals and to use swimming pools. —Matt Clinch
Hackers linked to the Chinese government are trying to steal coronavirus-related research on vaccines, treatments, and testing, the FBI and a U.S. cybersecurity agency warned.
The FBI said it is investigating "the targeting and compromise of U.S. organizations conducting COVID-19-related research by [People's Republic of China]-affiliated cyber actors and non-traditional collectors."
"The potential theft of this information jeopardizes the delivery of secure, effective, and efficient treatment options," the agencies said in a joint statement.
U.S. officials have long complained that Chinese intellectual property theft has cost the economy billions of dollars in revenue and thousands of jobs and that it threatens national security. China maintains that it does not engage in intellectual property theft. —Kevin Breuninger
Health officials have identified 30 additional kids with pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome, a potentially fatal illness that doctors suspect is being caused by Covid-19 infections.
Of the New York City cases, 53 tested positive for the coronavirus or have the antibodies against the disease, suggesting they previously had the coronavirus and recovered, Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a press briefing.
Symptoms of PMIS include prolonged fever, a rash, having really red bright lips, swollen hands and feet and abdominal pains and can cause heart and kidney failure in children with Covid-19, health officials said.
The city will begin a digital advertising campaign on Wednesday to warn residents about the disease, de Blasio said. —Noah Higgins-Dunn
Amazon made several recent moves that indicate it's recovering from coronavirus-related delays. The company informed sellers on Saturday that it would no longer restrict new shipments of nonessential goods by quantity.
Before the change, Amazon had capped the number of units that sellers could send per order to its warehouses, as it struggled to balance demand for nonessential and essential goods.
Additionally, earlier this week, Amazon added back the featured deals section and the "Frequently bought together" widget on product listings. These services were restricted for the past few weeks, as Amazon sought to limit additional purchases from shoppers.
One of Amazon's last remaining roadblocks will be to restore one- and two-day delivery options. Next-day delivery is now starting to come back online for select cities in the U.S., but it's not yet restored nationwide, which shows Amazon's warehouses haven't fully recovered. —Annie Palmer
Disney may have been able to reopen its Shanghai theme park, but the company is on track to lose around $1 billion in earnings before interest and taxes each month from the rest of its parks being closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Analysts like Bernstein's Todd Juenger are using the reported $1 billion loss in revenue that Disney reported earlier this month during its second-quarter earnings report as a baseline to forecast future losses in the third quarter and beyond.
Juenger said it's hard to gauge what the impact is of running the park with fewer guests in attendance. Currently, it is allowing less than 30% of its typical capacity into the park.
When Disney reopens its other parks, it is likely they will also welcome fewer guests. Expectations are that Disneyland in California and Walt Disney World in Florida will operate at well under 50% capacity. —Sarah Whitten
Scientists around the world are fast-tracking work to develop a vaccine to prevent the coronavirus as businesses seek to reopen and people head back to work.
"For the world to become some semblance of the place it used to be, we're going to have to have these vaccines," said Dr. Bruce Walker, a professor at Harvard Medical School.
In the meantime, researchers are working to find treatments to fight the disease. On May 1, the FDA granted emergency use authorization for Gilead Sciences' antiviral drug remdesivir. Even if the drug wins final approval from the FDA, however, infectious disease specialists and scientists say researchers will need an arsenal of medications to fight this respiratory virus. Here is a list of vaccines and drugs in development to fight Covid-19. —Berkeley Lovelace Jr.
Despite concerns from both Republican and Democratic politicians as well as state health officials, the U.S. can start to reopen with the current level of testing, according to Adam Schechter, CEO of coronavirus test manufacturer LabCorp.
As governors begin to ease restrictions and reopen nonessential businesses, officials and public health specialists have repeatedly called for greater testing capacity to detect and prevent potential outbreaks. Some have called for the ability to test millions of Americans everyday in order to safely restart the economy.
"I'm not convinced that we need to have 2 to 3 million tests per day," Schechter said on CNBC's "Squawk Box." "I believe that we are ready to start to open up states with the testing that's available today and that's only going to increase over the coming weeks."
The diagnostics manufacturer is in talks with large employers to help them screen employees to safely get workers back in the office, he said, adding that an announcement is coming tomorrow. —William Feuer
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said more help may be needed from Congress to contain the economic damage from the coronavirus.
"While the economic response has been both timely and appropriately large, it may not be the final chapter," the central bank chair said during a webcast with the Peterson Institute. Powell called the current situation "without modern precedent" in terms of its speed and severity. However, he did note that the Fed is not considering the use of negative interest rates. "That is not something that we're looking at," he said. —Jeff Cox
A potential parts shortage from Mexico for automakers reopening U.S. plants is expected to have been diverted.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is expected to lay out a road map for the country to reopen its economy, with a focus on the automotive sector, according to Reuters. Some Mexican auto factories are due to open as soon as Monday, in line with large U.S. assembly plants for the Detroit automakers.
Despite President Donald Trump's "America First" policies and signing of the USMCA trade deal, which goes into effect July 1, the American auto industry relies heavily on Mexico for parts and vehicle production. At $93 billion, vehicles were the top import to the U.S. from Mexico in 2018, according to federal data. The Center for Automotive Research reports $60.8 billion, or 39% of auto parts used in the U.S., were imported from Mexico in 2019. —Michael Wayland
Stocks opened lower as investors digest downbeat remarks from Federal Reserve Fed Chairman Jerome Powell. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 220 points, or 0.95%. The S&P 500 traded 0.8% lower while the Nasdaq Composite slid 0.5%. Powell's remarks came after the Labor Department reported last week that a record 20.5 million jobs were lost in April.
Read updates on market activity from CNBC's Fred Imbert and Maggie Fitzgerald. —Melodie Warner
9:30 am: Economists predict coronavirus will reverse globalization and create regional supply chains
The coronavirus crisis will fundamentally reshape global trade as businesses look to reduce their dependence on Chinese manufacturing, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit.
In a new report, the EIU predicted globalization would be reversed after the pandemic, with regional supply chains becoming the norm. Companies would be inclined to relocate their supply chains closer to home following the supply shock from the Covid-19 outbreak, analysts said.
Because of the difficulties surrounding establishing or moving of supply chains — particularly in the automotive sector — the EIU said it was likely that any major shifts would be permanent. —Chloe Taylor
U.S. producer prices declined 1.3% in April after slipping 0.2% in March, bolstering some economists' predictions for a brief period of deflation as the coronavirus pandemic depresses demand.
The Labor Department said Wednesday its producer price index for final demand declined 1.2% in the 12 months through April. That was the biggest decline since November 2015 and followed a 0.7% increase in March.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the PPI falling 0.5% in April and falling 0.2% on a year-on-year basis. —Melodie Warner, Reuters
Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb told CNBC he believes colleges and universities in the U.S. could welcome students back to campus for the next academic period.
"I think we'll be in a position where we're going to give a try at opening schools, opening residential college campuses in the fall because I'm hopeful that coming off of July and August, we're going to see some declines in cases in the summer," he said on "Squawk Box."
White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci on Tuesday cautioned higher education leaders against believing that a Covid-19 vaccine or effective therapeutic would be available by the fall. —Kevin Stankiewicz
Disclosure: Scott Gottlieb is a CNBC contributor and is a member of the boards of Pfizer and biotech company Illumina.
Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Germans not to jeopardize progress the country has made in beating back the outbreak, warning that the virus will be present for longer, Reuters reported.
Germany and some other European countries have begun to ease restrictions and reopen nonessential businesses.
The coronavirus has infected more than 173,274 people in Germany and killed at least 7,755, according to Johns Hopkins University.
"It would be depressing if we have to return to restrictions that we want to leave behind us because we want too much too soon," Merkel told the Bundestag lower house of parliament, according to Reuters.
Germany has managed to maintain a low mortality rate compared with some other European countries such as Spain and Italy, due in part to Germany's decision to implement widespread testing of people suspected to have the virus. Italy and the U.K., for example, only test symptomatic cases. —Will Feuer
The European Union is eager to reopen borders within the 27-country bloc as soon as possible in order to help the region's lucrative tourism sector recover in time for the summer season.
The bloc is due to present draft proposals on Wednesday that will urge a return to "unrestricted free movement," although it is wary of a second wave of infections in the region, according to Reuters.
Airlines and airports would insist that passengers wear masks, but there is no need to leave the middle seat empty on planes, the draft proposals said. People should be able to stay in hotels, eat in restaurants or go to beaches safely, the draft added.
It is not clear whether non-Europeans would be allowed to visit this summer, with the European Commission reportedly saying: "Domestic and intra-EU tourism will prevail in the short-term." —Holly Ellyatt
Read CNBC's coverage from CNBC's Asia-Pacific and Europe teams overnight here: Spain daily death toll slow to decline; Tui travel firm plans up to 8,000 job cuts