New U.S. coronavirus cases increasingly look to have peaked, but Covid-19 hospitalizations and deaths continue to rise as they lag behind the surge in confirmed cases. Eight states, including California, Florida and Texas, all hit record-high average daily deaths on Wednesday, according to data from John Hopkins University. Wall Street received more pandemic-era economic data Thursday morning, with reports on gross domestic product and weekly jobless claims.
Here are some of today's biggest developments:
The following data was compiled by Johns Hopkins University:
- Global cases: More than 17.3 million
- Global deaths: At least 673,527
- Top five countries: United States (over 4.4 million), Brazil (more than 2.6 million), India (over 1.6 million), Russia (at least 838,461), South Africa (at least 482,169)
Pfizer and BioNTech to supply 120 million doses of virus vaccine to Japan
Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and German biotech company BioNTech have agreed to supply Japan with 120 million doses of their vaccine candidate against the coronavirus in the first half of next year.
The companies said in a joint statement that the mRNA-based vaccine candidate would be subject to clinical success and regulatory approval, adding they remain on track to seek regulatory review as early as October.
Pfizer and BioNTech did not disclose the financial details of the agreement. — Sam Meredith
U.S. surpasses 4.5 million coronavirus cases
More than 4.5 million people in the U.S. have now tested positive for the coronavirus, according to data compiled by NBC News, with 153,250 related deaths.
It comes just eight days after the country, which has recorded by far the highest number of Covid-19 cases worldwide, reported over 4 million cases of the virus.
U.S. health officials confirmed the first human-to-human transmission of the coronavirus back in January. — Sam Meredith
Analysts cut Hong Kong forecasts as resurgence dims economic outlook
Several economists have downgraded their economic forecasts for Hong Kong as the Asian financial hub experiences a surge in coronavirus cases. The rise in new infections forced authorities to impose stricter social-distancing measures this week.
Hong Kong said Wednesday that advance estimates showed its economy contracted by 9% in the second quarter compared to a year ago. It was the fourth consecutive quarter of on-year contraction, according to official data.
The government said a renewed outbreak locally "clouded the near-term outlook for domestic economic activity."
Economists concurred that the stricter social-distancing measures imposed after a recent uptick in cases will dampen any economic momentum. Some don't agree with the government that recovery may come as soon as this year. —Yen Nee Lee
Vietnam reports record rise in cases as infections jump in Danang
Vietnam reported 45 new cases in the city of Danang — making it the largest single-day increase in the country, Reuters reported Friday citing the health ministry. That brings the total number of cases in Vietnam to 509. There have been no deaths.
The new cases were patients aged between 27 to 87 and are linked to three hospitals and two clinics in Danang, a central coastal city.
The Southeast Asian country — which shares a border with China, where the virus first emerged — had not recorded any locally transmitted cases for more than three months before a resident of Danang was tested positive on Saturday, said the Vietnamese government.
Vietnam has started mass testing in the capital of Hanoi and is scrambling to contain the spread of the virus. The current wave of infections is traced to Danang, a tourist hot spot that has been welcoming many domestic travelers. —Huileng Tan
Trump says keeping schools closed will cause 'probably more death'
President Donald Trump on Thursday continued his campaign to pressure officials into reopening schools regardless of the state of the local outbreak, adding that school closures are also causing deaths as well as economic harm.
Trump also called on Democrats to work with Republicans to pass the latest coronavirus relief bill, which currently includes $105 billion to help schools reopen for in-person learning in the fall.
"The lower they are in age, the lower the risk," Trump said. "We have to remember that there's another side to this. Keeping them out of school and keeping work closed is causing death also. Economic harm, but it's causing death for different reasons, but death. Probably more death."
The president also indicated that if some state or local officials decide not to reopen schools, he thinks the school funding should be reallocated to parents, " so they can send their children to the school of their choice." —Will Feuer
Gilead sales fall 10% during second quarter
Gilead Sciences' drug remdesivir is being used on patients in the U.S. hospitalized with Covid-19, but overall sales for the company fell 10% from a year ago in the second quarter.
Second-quarter sales fell 10% from a year ago to $5.14 billion while analysts polled by Refinitiv expected $5.31 billion, CNBC's Berkeley Lovelace Jr. reports. Gilead posted earnings of $1.11 per share excluding some items, which missed analyst expectations of $1.45 per share.
Shares of Gilead fell more than 3% during extended trading. —Chris Eudaily
Moderna board member resigns to avoid conflict of interest
Dr. Elizabeth "Betsy" Nabel is resigning from Moderna's board of directors effective immediately to avoid any "potential or even apparent conflict of interest" during the company's phase three trial for its coronavirus vaccine candidate, Moderna said in a statement. Nabel is president of Brigham and Women's Hospital, which is one of 89 clinical trial sites participating in the phase three trial of Moderna's potential Covid-19 vaccine.
"In the context of the start of the 30,000 participant Phase 3 trial for Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine candidate, and Brigham and Women's Hospital's final preparation as a site for enrolling up to 300-500 trial participants, we have accepted Betsy's resignation out of an abundance of caution to avoid any potential or even apparent conflict of interest on her part or Moderna's part," the company said in a statement.
Moderna began its late-stage human trials on Monday in collaboration with the the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. On Thursday, senior administration officials at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said on a conference call that Moderna and competitor drugmaker Pfizer, which began a phase three trial for its leading vaccine candidate on Monday, have already vaccinated "several hundred people" within the first few days. — Noah Higgins-Dunn
Stimulus checks are likely coming, but how much remains unclear
Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are negotiating the terms of the next economic relief package, and that could include a second round of stimulus checks.
But the terms of exactly how much those one-time payments could be is still up in the air.
Earlier this week, Senate Republicans unveiled the HEALS Act, which included another set of $1,200 payments similar to the first round of checks.
But in a recent interview, President Donald Trump said he hopes the maximum individual amount for the one-time checks will be bigger than $1,200.
Meanwhile, one group of Senate Republicans proposed a new bill on Thursday that would lower the payments per individual to $1,000. But because dependents would also be eligible for the $1,000 sums, the total families receive could be more generous than the first round of checks.
Experts question whether stimulus checks are the right aid to focus on now.
How much the economy is boosted by those payments is questionable, they said. Meanwhile, many Americans are in need of other relief, particularly when it comes to expanded unemployment benefits.—Lorie Konish
U.S. official sees progress in Sun Belt outbreaks
The Department of Health and Human Services is seeing "signs of progress" in southern states fighting the coronavirus pandemic, though the number of deaths remains high.
"No one's declaring victory," Adm. Brett Giroir, an assistant secretary at HHS, told reporters on a conference call. "Very consistent with what we've said over the last few weeks, we continue to see signs of progress across the Sun Belt and diffusely throughout the country."
Giroir said the number of coronavirus tests that come back positive is beginning to level off in some parts of the U.S. and "starting to drop in some places precipitously because of the actions that we're taking.
On Wednesday, daily new cases of the coronavirus in the U.S. topped 70,000 again for the first time in almost a week, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Still, new cases have dropped in recent days, driving the seven-day average of new cases down more than 3% compared with a week ago, according to a CNBC analysis of the data from Hopkins. —Berkeley Lovelace Jr.
Chubb CEO says pandemic is 'unlike any other catastrophe'
Chubb Chairman and CEO Evan Greenberg told CNBC that the measures the insurance industry can help businesses navigate pandemic interruption, suggesting that companies partner with the government to set up a program to help small, medium, and large businesses.
"The government takes the tail risk, and limits the amount of liability insurance the company would take. Insurers could play a broader role in assuming coverage in the future, should we have future pandemics," Greenberg said.
Property and casualty insurers don't typically assume risk for pandemic-related claims, but Covid-19 could change that. According to the American Property Casualty Insurance Association, business losses due to pandemic interruption are estimated to be $1 trillion. Chubb is developing a program where the insurance industry would assume 5-6% of the risk associated with interruption, up to $15 million, while the government would assume the rest.
"Putting business interruptions aside, the industry is likely to pay out, in the pandemic, somewhere in the range of $100 billion globally," he told "Squawk Box. "What were trying to do as a company is help the debate, help spark ideas." --Anjali Sundaram
Correction: This item was revised to correct that Chubb's payroll plan proposes that the insurance industry assume 5-6% of the risk, up to $15 billion.
Dunkin’ Brands CEO says restaurant industry is in ‘fight mode’
When restaurants were hit by the effects of the coronavirus, they had to adapt, including major companies like Dunkin' Brands. Dunkin' Brands CEO Dave Hoffmann said fast thinking and breaking through bureaucracy allowed Dunkin' Brands to expand curbside pickup and delivery in thousands of stores, CNBC's Kate Rogers reports.
"We think the industry is in a fight mode right now, and we are gearing up for that fight," Hoffmann said. "We are a long way away from waving a big-time victory flag, but we like our offering going into the fall and winter seasons."
Today, 96% of Dunkin' and Baskin-Robbins locations are open in the United States, but the company may close around 800 of its underperforming stores.
Dunkin' Brands reported second-quarter earnings Thursday. While same-store sales fell 18.7% in the U.S., sales were raised by higher average tickets. Shares lost nearly 4% Thursday and have been down more than 9% since the start of the year. –Suzanne Blake
Relief deal looks elusive in Congress as U.S. economy craters
Congress did not make large strides in nearing a conclusion over a coronavirus relief deal as the U.S. economy continues to suffer from the impact of coronavirus, CNBC's Jacob Pramuk reports.
Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., attempted to a pass a unanimous extension of federal unemployment insurance that would diminish benefits from $600 to $200 per week. Ultimately, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. denied it on Thursday.
The Trump administration, Republicans and Democrats in Congress left the meeting without a resolution on their differing ideas for a coronavirus aid package. Democrats want to extend the $600 per week jobless benefit and are also looking at direct aid for state and local governments and funds for rent, mortgage and food assistance, far beyond what Republicans have proposed in cutting the benefits to $200 a week through September and then setting a 70% wage replacement.
Initial jobless claims increased to 1.43 million last week while U.S. GDP fell by a record 32.9% in the second quarter. The policy providing $600 per week in federal unemployment benefits expires after Friday. –Suzanne Blake
FDA says it would clear a vaccine that's 50% effective
The Food and Drug Administration would authorize a coronavirus vaccine that is at least 50% effective so long as it proves safe, Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn said Thursday.
"We all want a vaccine tomorrow. That's unrealistic. And we all want a vaccine that's 100% effective. Again, unrealistic," Hahn said in an interview with Dr. Howard Bauchner of the The Journal of the American Medical Association. "But we said 50%, and the reason was because we felt that that was a reasonable floor given the pandemic."
Ideally, the vaccines that get authorized will prove to be more than 50% effective, Hahn said, but the U.S. might authorize a vaccine that, on average, reduces a person's risk of a Covid-19 infection by just 50%. —Will Feuer
Young people appear to be causing cases to surge, WHO says
Young people "letting down their guard" appear to be causing coronavirus cases to surge in some countries, and while their risk of death is generally low, they may suffer from long-term symptoms even after they recover, World Health Organization officials said during a press conference.
Convincing younger people across the globe that the virus could pose a serious risk for their health remains a challenge for WHO, Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. "We have said it before and we will say it again, young people are not invincible," he added.
Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, head of the WHO's emerging diseases and zoonosis unit, said the majority of younger people tend to have milder forms of Covid-19, but that's not always the case. Some younger people have gotten seriously sick and died. Global health experts are also beginning to discover other side effects the virus could cause in young people, including extreme fatigue, shortness of breath or difficulty resuming normal activities like going back to work or the gym, even after they recover, Kerkhove said. —Noah Higgins-Dunn
Delta leaves furloughs on the table, while United warns it could cut more pilots
Airlines, barred under the terms of $25 billion in federal aid to lay workers off until Oct. 1, are urging employees to take voluntary programs like buyouts, early retirements and extended leaves of absence.
United has extended the deadlines to apply for such programs until early August for many work groups. More than 200 lawmakers and airline labor unions are urging Congress to extend the payroll support in the next aid bill.
With additional aid uncertain, however, and travel demand still weak in the pandemic executives are preparing workers for the worst. United told its more than 12,000 pilots that it could have to furlough more than expected through 2021. —Leslie Josephs
Dr. Anthony Fauci baseball card listed on eBay for as much as $9,995
A limited-edition baseball card featuring White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci sold out in 24 hours on July 24, setting a new sales record for memorabilia company Topps. The card includes a photo of Fauci throwing the ceremonial first pitch at the Washington Nationals Major League Baseball game on July 23.
"That is a combination of humbling and really embarrassing," Fauci said about the Topps record during ABC's "Good Morning America" on Wednesday.
The card is now listed on eBay for as much as $9,995 as of Thursday, with several resellers offering $150 to $550 for a single card. Kenny Goldin, founder and CEO of Goldin Auctions, tells CNBC Make It that a single card is likely worth $125 to $145. Topps printed a total of 51,512 Fauci cards, for $9.99 each. — Cory Stieg
Lowe's awards another round of bonuses amid the pandemic
Lowe's hourly employees will get another round of bonuses as the pandemic shows no signs of slowing.
The home improvement retailer said full-time employees will receive $300, and part-time and seasonal employees will receive $150, on Aug. 21. It gave similar bonuses in March, May and July. The company also raised pay by $2 an hour for the month of April.
In total, the company has spent about $500 million on the additional pay.
Lowe's CEO Marvin Ellison said in a statement that he hopes employees can use the bonuses to cover childcare costs or other expenses, especially during back-to-school season.
Other essential retailers have also increased employee pay and benefits. Walmart has spent $1.1 billion on bonuses, including one that will be paid next month. Home Depot said earlier this month that it's spent $1 billion so far on expanded benefits, including weekly bonuses for hourly employees, backup care for employees' family members and expanded paid time off. —Melissa Repko
Walmart to cut corporate jobs as e-commerce gains importance
As more Americans shop online during the pandemic, Walmart said it's cutting corporate roles to blend together its e-commerce and brick-and-mortar businesses.
The company confirmed that it will eliminate roles, but would not say how many. A report by Bloomberg said it's laying off hundreds of workers and cited people familiar with the matter.
Walmart has been trying to turn e-commerce into a profitable business. That's become even more crucial during the pandemic. The company's e-commerce sales in the U.S. shot up by 74% in the first quarter, which ended April 30. —Melissa Repko
Herman Cain, one-time GOP presidential candidate, dies after battle with coronavirus
Former Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain has died after being hospitalized with the coronavirus, CNBC's Kevin Breuninger reports.
The 74-year-old survivor of stage 4 colon cancer had been a business executive and the board chairman of a branch of Kansas City's Federal Reserve Bank before moving into GOP politics and eventually becoming a presidential candidate.
Last year, President Donald Trump briefly considered picking Cain as his nominee to join the Federal Reserve Board. Cain was a vocal supporter of Trump's and he attended the president's controversial reelection rally in Oklahoma in June, shortly before being diagnosed with Covid-19. —Terri Cullen
Yum Brands same-store sales fall 15%
Yum Brands' global same-store sales fell 15% in the fiscal second quarter, led by a plunge in sales across the KFC brand. But the company said sales have begun to stabilize in its open locations as consumers adjust to life amid the pandemic.
Store closures peaked in early April, CEO David Gibbs said on a conference call with analysts to discuss earnings, adding that the company has gradually reopened stores for curbside for off-premise sales.
More than 95% of the company's worldwide stores were open in some capacity by the end of the quarter, Gibbs said. However, the company has about 24,000 dining rooms still closed across its portfolio, he said. He added that "in the U.S., we really just have a fraction of our dining rooms open."
"It's really quite impressive that we were able to get sales now globally back to approaching flat without those dining rooms in the majority of our stores," he said. —Will Feuer
Dunkin' revenue falls 20%, but spending per visit is up
The company said net income fell to $36.5 million from $59.6 million a year ago for the quarter, which ended June 27. This marks a decline from 71 cents per share to 44 cents.
Dunkin' had net closures of 229 Dunkin' and Baskin-Robbins stores in the second quarter. U.S. Dunkin' same-store sales dropped 18.7% and Baskin-Robbins U.S. same-store sales fell 6.0%.
Despite overall revenue decreasing, spending per visit increased in the second quarter. —Alex Harring
CORRECTION: Dunkin' had net closures of 229 Dunkin' and Baskin-Robbins stores in the second quarter. A previous version of this story said the company expected to close that many stores. The company plans to close 800 Dunkin' locations in 2020 on a net basis.
Dow drops 300 points amid record GDP decline
U.S stocks fell sharply at the open as investors digested a record drop in gross domestic product. Big technology shares also declined ahead of their earnings reports after the bell.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded 311 points lower, or 1.2%. The S&P 500 slid 1%. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.7%. —Melodie Warner, Fred Imbert
McDonald's partners with Mayo Clinic for advice on Covid-19
The medical center will offer McDonald's advice on best practices to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 and review the company's environmental health and safety precautions and some of its global standards.
The company and some of its franchisees face lawsuits from employees related to its response to the pandemic. Over time, it has implemented dozens of new safety measures, including adding plexiglass partitions inside restaurants and requiring customers and employees to wear masks. —Amelia Lucas
Lawmakers say airline contractors took bailout, but laid off more than 9,000
Three House Democrats are investigating airline contractors that accepted more than $700 million in federal coronavirus relief despite laying off thousands of workers. They also asked Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to stop aid to those firms or ask for some of the funds back.
Congress set aside $32 billion in payroll support for the ailing airline industry in the $2.2 trillion CARES Act in March. Of that sum, $3 billion was set aside for contractors like caterers.
The lawmakers said airline caterer Gate Gourmet is getting $171 million and has laid off more than 3,500 workers in California, Georgia, Illinois and New York.
"To ensure the long-term sustainability of our business in the U.S., layoffs and furloughs were necessary during these unprecedented times," said a spokeswoman for Gate Gourmet's Zurich-based parent, gategroup. "While never an easy decision, this has been done in accordance with our collective bargaining agreements."
The investigation comes as more than 200 lawmakers and airline labor unions are urging Congress to provide another $32 billion in payroll support to the industry to protect jobs through the end of March 2021. —Leslie Josephs
Delayed back-to-school and virtual classes could hurt apparel retailers
Apparel retailers are trying to woo customers back to their recently reopened stores. Now, they face headwinds as delays of in-person school and plans for virtual learning disrupt the back-to-school shopping season.
Stores with a heavy emphasis on kids' and teens' clothing, including Gap, American Eagle Outfitters, Abercrombie & Fitch, Urban Outfitters and The Children's Place, will likely see weaker-than-usual sales in late July through early September, according to a Bank of America research note. The retail analysts said they expect families to spend less this year on clothing, as they postpone purchases or buy lower-priced casual apparel like T-shirts and leggings instead of outfits intended to impress.
Analysts are unsure, however, if families will slash their overall spending or shift to different kinds of purchases. For example, they may stock up on art supplies, laptops or other items to help kids learn at home. And a second round of stimulus checks, which has gained support of Republicans and Democrats, could also fuel spending on back-to-school purchases. —Melissa Repko
U.S. weekly jobless claims rise for a second straight week
Labor Department data showed 1.434 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, a number roughly in line with expectations as the coronavirus pandemic continues to ravage the U.S. economy, reports CNBC's Fred Imbert.
Economists polled by Dow Jones expected claims to rise to 1.45 million.
This also marks the second consecutive week in which initial claims rose after declining for 15 straight weeks. —Melodie Warner
U.S. second-quarter GDP plunged by a record 32.9%
The U.S. economy suffered its worst period ever in the second quarter, though it wasn't quite as bad as feared.
Second-quarter gross domestic product fell 32.9% for the biggest decline on record as the pandemic hit markets. The GDP number was, however, lower than the 34.7% decline expected by economists surveyed by Dow Jones. —Jeff Cox, Pippa Stevens
UPS profit exceeds expectations as pandemic drives demand
UPS beat Wall Street estimates for quarterly profit as the pandemic drives home deliveries.
Staying at home to help curb the spread of the coronavirus has boosted shipments for the delivery company, with the average daily volumes in the U.S. increasing 22.8%. Consumer shipments similarly jumped 65.2%.
Net income rose 4.7% to $1.77 billion in the quarter ended on June 30, according to UPS, with revenue coming in at $20.46 billion, up 13.4% and beating estimates that placed revenue around $17.5 billion, according to Reuters.
Shares were up more than 10% in premarket trading Thursday. —Alex Harring
AstraZeneca CEO says 'unpredictable' virus may require annual vaccinations
AstraZeneca is just one company working on a potential Covid-19 vaccine. Earlier this month, its vaccine, which is being developed by Oxford University, produced a "promising" immune response in large, early-stage human trials.
"What we know is that most companies are targeting two injections for the initial vaccination and then our own assumption based on what we know from the technology we use with SARS 1 is that the immunity could last 12 months maybe 18 months," Soriot told CNBC's "Squawk Box Europe."
"But the truth is that we don't know, this virus is very unpredictable," he added. —Silvia Amaro
J&J vaccine protected monkeys with single dose, new study finds
Johnson & Johnson on Thursday released new details of a study that showed its best-performing vaccine candidate provided monkeys with strong protection from the virus with just one dose, Reuters reported. Many other vaccines in development currently require two doses.
The positive results prompted the U.S.-based pharmaceutical company to start human trials for the drug on Thursday, according to Reuters.
"This gives us confidence that we can test a single-shot vaccine in this epidemic and learn whether it has a protective effect in humans," Dr. Paul Stoffels, J&J's chief scientific officer, told Reuters.
While J&J is far behind the front-runners in the race for a vaccine, providing one that requires just one dose could prove to be significant in the long term, as it would put less strain on the supply chain and likely cause fewer logistical issues. The U.S. government has backed the company's vaccine development efforts with $456 million in funding.
Shares of J&J rose more than 3% in premarket trading on the news. —Will Feuer
Daily U.S. cases top 70,000 again
Daily new cases of the coronavirus in the U.S. topped 70,000 again for the first time in almost a week, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
The U.S. reported 70,776 new cases of the virus on Wednesday, according to Hopkins data, compared with 73,715 reported on Friday. New cases have dropped in recent days, driving the seven-day average of new cases down more than 3% compared with a week ago, according to a CNBC analysis of the data from Hopkins.
Roughly half of all new cases are still coming from three states: Florida, Texas and California, which accounted for nearly 34,100 new cases on Wednesday, according to data from Hopkins. —Will Feuer