Top U.S. lawmakers maintained Thursday that a second coronavirus relief bill is coming, even as significant disagreements remain. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi each said they'd be able to strike a deal, but offered few specifics on sticking points. While negotiations continue, jobless claims pile up. More than 1 million Americans filed for initial unemployment benefits last week, as the economy struggles to stage a rebound amid spiking outbreaks in some states.
Here are some of today's big developments:
The following data was compiled by Johns Hopkins University:
- Global cases: More than 19 million
- Global deaths: At least 714,767
- Top five countries: United States (over 4.88 million), Brazil (over 2.9 million), India (over 2 million), Russia (over 870,000) and South Africa (over 538,000)
India now has over 2 million cases and more than 41,000 people have died
India has reported more than 2 million cases of Covid-19 to-date and over 41,000 people have succumbed to the illness, according to the health ministry, the Associated Press reported.
But, the reported recoveries as a percentage of total cases are also going up, the AP said.
While India is the third worst-affected country in the world, behind the United States and Brazil, the fatality rate is about 2%, which is far lower than the other hardest-hit nations, according to the news wire. — Saheli Roy Choudhury
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine tests negative in second coronavirus test
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said he tested negative after having a PCR test conducted. Earlier, DeWine tested positive for Covid-19 after taking an antigen test, in accordance with protocol ahead of meeting with President Donald Trump.
The Republican governor said his state "does not have much experience with antigen tests," which he said are based on "new technology to reduce the cost and improve the turnaround time."
In contrast, DeWine's second result came from a PCR or polymerase chain reaction test, considered the most accurate kind available on the market. PCR tests detect genetic material related to the virus, while antigen tests look for protein fragments found on or within the virus. But demand has often outstripped supply for PCR tests, leading to delays.
"We will be working with the manufacturer to have a better understanding of how the discrepancy between these two tests could have occurred," he said.
DeWine said he and his wife would have another PCR test conducted on Saturday "out of an abundance of caution, and at the direction of medical professionals." — Christine Wang
Jobs report critical test for economy as Congress haggling over stimulus continues
Job growth is expected to have slowed in July, as Congress continues to haggle over spending to help the economy and the unemployed. The economy is expected to have added 1.48 million jobs in July, down from 4.8 million added in June.
Economists also expect the unemployment rate fell to 10.6% from 11.1%, according to Dow Jones.The critical report is expected to show how much the spread of the coronavirus and shutdown of some activities in the south and west impacted the economy. The range of forecasts is wide, from flat to negative to as much as 3 million jobs added. Congressional leaders were to meet Thursday evening, as talks on the stimulus package continue. –Patti Domm
Gilead able to make enough remdesivir to meet global demand in October
Gilead Sciences said it will be able to make enough of its antiviral drug remdesivir to meet global demand due to the coronavirus pandemic in October.
Additionally, Gilead said it plans to produce more than 2 million treatment courses of the drug by the end of the year and anticipates being able to produce "several million more" in 2021, adding it has increased supply of the drug more than "50-fold" since January.
Research has shown it's helped shorten the recovery time of some hospitalized coronavirus patients. In May, the FDA granted remdesivir an emergency use authorization, allowing hospitals and doctors to use the drug on hospitalized Covid-19 patients even though the drug has not been formally approved by the agency.
The Department of Health and Human Services announced June 29 a deal that gives the U.S. more than 500,000 treatment courses of the antiviral drug for U.S. hospitals through September. That represents 100% of Gilead's projected production for July and 90% of production for August and September, according to the agency. —Berkeley Lovelace Jr.
Papa John’s wins new customers during pandemic; will hire more workers
As more consumers stay home and order in during the coronavirus pandemic, Papa John's is winning over new customers, CNBC's Kate Rogers reports.
Papa John's CEO Rob Lynch said the company has added 3 million new customers and has a higher level of repeat business over the last three months.
Same-store sales were up 33.5% in May, the best month in the company's history. Papa John's posted its second-quarter financial results Thursday, reporting system-wide comparable sales of 28% and an International comparable sales increase of 5.3%. July's preliminary same-store sales climbed around 31%.
The growth has propelled Papa John's to hire 20,000 employees during the pandemic. Last month, the company announced it would hire an additional 10,000 workers while so many Americans face unemployment. –Suzanne Blake
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine tests positive for Covid-19
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has tested positive for the coronavirus, his office announced before he was scheduled to greet President Trump in Cleveland.
DeWine, a 73-year-old Republican, has no symptoms of the virus, but plans to quarantine at his home for the next two weeks, according to the statement from his office. He is the second governor to have tested positive for Covid-19.
Trump was scheduled to tour a Whirlpool manufacturing plant and attend a fundraising committee reception during his trip to the Buckeye State.
"Our great governor, governor of Ohio, DeWine, just tested positive, just here. And we want to wish him the best. He'll be fine," Trump told a crowd of supporters outside Air Force One after his arrival in Cleveland. "But he's a great guy, he's done a fantastic job." —Kevin Breuninger
In California, most applicants for unemployment aid lost a job for the second time
Most of the workers applying for unemployment benefits in California are doing so for the second time.
Roughly 57% of the 247,000 people who filed a new claim for benefits during the week of July 25 were people whose jobs or hours had been cut again after having returned to work, according to an analysis published by the California Policy Lab.
It's a drastic rise from earlier in the coronavirus pandemic and hints at the fickle nature of the economic recovery across the country. California is among the states that re-imposed shutdown measures in recent weeks to halt spiking Covid-19 cases. —Greg Iacurci
Mortgage rates hit new record low, but homes are still less affordable
Mortgage rates hit a record low this week for the eighth time this year, CNBC's Diana Olick reports. Still, home affordability is suffering with a housing shortage, increasing home prices and strong demand from buyers.
Only 59.6% of new and existing homes sold in the second quarter were deemed affordable to families with a median income of $72,900, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index. This number is lower than the 61.3% in the year's first quarter and a new low in the past 18 months.
An inventory of existing homes for sale at the end of June from the National Association of Realtors showed supply was down 18.2% annually. New home inventories fell 14.5% annually, the U.S. Census showed.
Lower mortgage rates provide greater spending power for buyers but also encourage higher home prices, potentially causing a slow down in sales, economists say. –Suzanne Blake
World Health Organization asks the U.S. to reconsider withdrawing
World Health Organization Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he hopes the U.S. will reconsider its decision to leave the United Nations' health organization, adding that the coronavirus can't be defeated "in a divided world." Amid the United States' departure, which will take until next year to finalize, officials from the country are still collaborating with the organization in its response to the pandemic, Tedros said.
"The problem is not about the money, it's not the financing that's the issue. It's actually the relationship with the U.S. that's more important and its leadership abroad," Tedros said during an interview with NBC Nightly News Anchor Lester Holt hosted by the Aspen Security Forum.
In early July, the Trump administration notified the U.N. secretary-general of its intent to withdraw from the World Health Organization. Trump has cited what he called the WHO's misuse of funding and its cozy relationship with China as the primary reasons behind his decision.
"If there are issues with the WHO or the U.N. system at large, you know, we're very open for any evaluation or assessment, and the truth can be known," Tedros said. "This can be done from inside without leaving the organization." —Noah Higgins-Dunn
College students face new realities on campus as the pandemic continues
For instance, at Middlebury College in Vermont, undergraduates are required to quarantine for two weeks before school and get tested immediately upon arrival.
After they take a Covid-19 test, they'll go straight to their dorm room and stay there until the test results are back. Meals will be delivered and students are only allowed to leave their room to use the bathroom.
Once they've been cleared, they can move around campus but must remain at school at all times. Hikes through the Champlain Valley, trips to town and visits with parents or friends are all prohibited.
Still, "the pros definitely outweigh the cons," according to one rising sophomore at the school.
The vast majority of U.S. colleges, or 87%, plan to combine in-person and online learning this coming semester, according to an Institute of International Education report. The colleges that will see students return have prioritized increased safety measures, including mandatory mask rules, social distancing and event guidelines and the postponement of study abroad programs. —Jessica Dickler, Suzanne Blake
WHO says late-stage trials don't mean vaccine is almost ready
Potential coronavirus vaccines entering late-stage human trials don't necessarily mean they are almost ready to be deployed widely to the general public, the World Health Organization said.
"Phase three doesn't mean nearly there," Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO's emergencies program, said during a virtual panel discussion hosted by the Aspen Security Forum. "Phase three means this is the first time this vaccine has been put into the general population into otherwise healthy individuals to see if the vaccine will protect them against natural infection."
While there is hope scientists will find a safe and effective vaccine, there is never a guarantee, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.
The comments come after President Donald Trump said the U.S. may have a vaccine to prevent Covid-19 "far in advance" of the end of the year. Earlier in the day, Trump said it's possible the U.S. could have a safe and effective vaccine for the coronavirus before the upcoming U.S.presidential election on Nov. 3. —Berkeley Lovelace Jr.
House Democrats critical of Trump coronavirus response in new report
House Democrats released a scathing report titled "A Failure to Lead: The Trump administration's Disastrous Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic" that says Trump ignored early warning signs that the virus was taking hold in the U.S. and then spent months downplaying the crisis.
Led by Rep. James Clyburn, chairman of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, the report said Trump has "intentionally misled the American public on every aspect of the pandemic," which has led to needless deaths and job losses.
Democrats fault Trump for failing to produce "an adequate" national testing strategy or plan to safely reopen schools. They also said Trump should have led a coordinated response among all 50 states and didn't use the full power he has under the Defense Production Act to get enough personal protective equipment and supplies to health workers, according to the report released by the Democratic chairs of at least a half dozen House committees.
During a press call, Clyburn said the president "seems to be in deep denial" and hasn't listened to experts after he told reporters at a White House press briefing Wednesday that the coronavirus is"going away. It'll go away. Things go away. No question in my mind that it will go away." — Noah Higgins-Dunn
Trump says it’s possible U.S. could have vaccine before election
President Donald Trump, who is seeking reelection, said it's possible the U.S. could have a safe and effective vaccine for the coronavirus before the upcoming U.S. presidential election.
"Oh I think, I think in some cases, it's possible before," Trump told conservative TV personality Geraldo Rivera. "But right around that time. We have great companies, great, these are the greatest companies in the world."
Trump's comment differs from his own public health officials, who have repeatedly said a vaccine could be ready at the end of the year or early 2021. The comment is likely to add concerns from scientists that the White House is pressuring U.S. regulators to approve a vaccine before it's ready. —Berkeley Lovelace Jr.
McConnell and Pelosi believe Congress can reach a relief deal
The two most powerful U.S. lawmakers think Congress will reach a coronavirus relief deal. It's just a matter of when.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., told CNBC they expect Congress to strike an agreement to buoy the American economy and health-care system. Neither gave assurances of when it would happen as Democratic leaders prepare to meet with Trump administration officials again today.
"Exactly when that deal comes together I can't tell you, but I think it will at some point in the near future," McConnell said.
"Will we find a solution? We will," Pelosi said in a separate interview shortly after McConnell. "Will we have an agreement? We will."
The sides need to forge a compromise as they stand trillions of dollars apart on the price tag of the fifth U.S. coronavirus aid package. They have to resolve disputes over extending federal unemployment insurance, offering aid to states and municipalities, safely reopening schools and shielding businesses from lawsuits.
The Trump administration has threatened to take executive action on pandemic aid if Republicans cannot strike a deal with Democrats. Pelosi said she thinks and hopes President Donald Trump can extend a federal moratorium on evictions on his own. —Jacob Pramuk
— Jacob Pramuk
Burger King owner reports revenue plunge of 25% amid lockdown
Burger King's same-store sales declined by 13.4%, while Canadian coffee chain Tim Hortons saw its same-store sales plunge nearly 30% in the second quarter.
Only Popeyes, which has become the gem of Restaurant Brands' portfolio, bucked the trend. The success of its chicken sandwich helped same-store sales surge nearly 25% in the quarter ended June 30.
Restaurant Brands said it can't predict the future impact of the virus on its business or when it will resume normal operations, but it does expect Covid-19 to weigh on its third-quarter results. —Amelia Lucas
Trump to sign order requiring U.S. to buy certain drugs from American companies
President Donald Trump will sign an executive order requiring the federal government to buy "essential" drugs from U.S. companies.
The president is expected to sign the order, called "Buy American," during his trip to Ohio later today, White House trade advisor Peter Navarro told reporters. "If we've learned anything from the China virus pandemic, it is that we are dangerously overdependent on foreign nations for our essential medicines, for medical supplies like masks, gloves, goggles, and medical equipment like ventilators."
Early in the pandemic, the Food and Drug Administration warned consumers of disruptions to the medical supply chain, including shortages of prescription drugs and critical medical products. The U.S. has faced a shortage of certain medicines as some of the pharmaceutical ingredients were made predominantly by China. —Berkeley Lovelace Jr.
New York City signed contracts falling, but suburbs are on the rise
Flight from New York City amid the pandemic has led to signed contracts for Manhattan housing falling by more than half, while those in the suburbs doubled, CNBC's Robert Frank reports.
Signed contracts for Manhattan co-ops and condos fell by 57% in July when compared to a year ago, a report from Miller Samuel and Douglas Elliman shows. Co-ops priced between $4 million and $10 million saw signed contracts down more than 75%, highlighting how the movement away from the city has particularly hurt the higher-end sector of the industry.
This move away from the city prompted more units open across the borough, with new apartment listings up 8% in July compared to a year ago.
On the other hand, as more New Yorkers left the city during the pandemic, July was a strong sales month for the suburbs. Signed contracts more than doubled in the Hamptons and Westchester County. —Alex Harring
Daily new cases in the U.S. remain stubbornly high
Nintendo profits surge 428% thanks to lockdown gaming boom
Operating profit came in at 144.7 billion yen ($1.4 billion) in Nintendo's April-June quarter, smashing analyst expectations and climbing from the 27.4 billion yen it reported a year earlier. Net sales, meanwhile, rose 108% to 358.1 billion from 172.1 billion yen in the year-ago quarter.
The Japanese gaming giant has benefited from the increasing number of consumers turning to video games for escapism in the face of a viral pandemic. Sales of its "Animal Crossing: New Horizons" title almost doubled in the quarter to 22.4 million copies. In a sign of the times, digital sales of software now represent about 56% of Nintendo's overall software sales. —Ryan Browne
Toyota reports smallest operating profit in 9 years
Toyota Motor's first-quarter operating profit dropped 98% — marking the smallest operating profit in nine years — as the coronavirus pandemic halved the company's car sales and nearly wiped out its bottom line, Reuters reported.
Toyota confirmed to Reuters that it expects global sales to drop 13% for the year ending March 2021, below its prior forecast of a 15% decline.
Toyota expects to sell 9.1 million cars this year, beating earlier forecasts, but still down from 10.46 million last year. —Alex Harring
U.S. weekly jobless claims total 1.186 million, vs 1.423 million expected
Weekly jobless claims hit their lowest level of the pandemic area, totaling 1.186 million last week, lower than the estimates of 1.423 million according to a survey by Dow Jones. Stock futures cut losses after the data release. —Jeff Cox, Yun Li
AstraZeneca strikes vaccine deal with Chinese company
British drugmaker AstraZeneca has struck a deal with Shenzhen Kangtai Biological Products to produce the company's experimental coronavirus vaccine in mainland China, according to a Reuters report. Under the agreement Shenzhen Kangtai will ensure it has annual production capacity of at least 100 million doses of the experimental shot AZD1222 by the end of this year, AstraZeneca said.
There are no approved vaccines for Covid-19 at this point, though some candidates are in late-stage human trials. AstraZeneca's vaccine candidate, developed alongside researchers at Oxford University, has already produced a promising immune response in a large, early-stage human trial. —Noah Higgins-Dunn
Fauci says politics won't have a role in vaccine approval
U.S. regulators overseeing the approval of potential coronavirus vaccines have promised scientists that politics won't play a role in their approval process, White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci told Reuters in an interview. President Donald Trump, who faces reelection in November, has said that a vaccine may be made available to the public "far in advance of the end of the year."
"We have assurances, and I've discussed this with the regulatory authorities, that they promise that they are not going to let political considerations interfere with a regulatory decision," Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told Reuters.
Trump lags in public opinion polls behind his Democratic opponent Joe Biden, who has been critical of the president's response to the pandemic.
"I'm certain of what the White House would like to see, but I haven't seen any indication of pressure at this point to do anything different than what we're doing," Fauci said. —Noah Higgins-Dunn