Business News

Coronavirus dwell updates: Pfizer’s early-stage vaccine sees optimistic outcomes; hundreds attend Prague road celebration

White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci warned Tuesday the U.S. coronavirus outbreak is “going to be very disturbing” if it continues on its current trajectory. States with surging outbreaks continue to pause and rollback efforts to reopen the economy while others that have found some success in fighting virus, particularly in the Northeast, roll out more domestic travel restrictions to protect their progress. In Europe, nations continue to open borders and lift restrictions as infection rates there trend downward. 

This is CNBC’s live blog covering all the latest news on the coronavirus outbreak. This blog will be updated throughout the day as the news breaks. 

Global cases: More than 10.49 millionGlobal deaths: At least 511,851U.S. cases: More than 2.63 millionU.S. deaths: At least 127,425

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Macy’s says sales are falling again in states like Texas where cases are on the rise

10:30 a.m. ET — Macy’s told analysts that sales are falling again in states where Covid-19 cases are on the rise, and the department store operator expects this pattern could play out as the crisis continues.

In Texas, for example, Macy’s had said sales were ticking up as the local economy was reopening. About two weeks ago, however, as Covid-19 cases surged the company saw a 15-point sales drop in the state, according to CEO Jeff Gennette. Macy’s said overall sales at its stores are currently down about 35% from year-ago levels. That is the trend the retailer expects for the remainder of the year.

“We are taking the conservative view and pulling that trend through the back half of the year. If trends improve, we will react aggressively to meet customer demands,” Gennette said. —Lauren Thomas

Accuracy of coronavirus tests questioned after PGA golfer tests positive, and then negative

10:20 a.m. ET — Cameron Champ, a professional U.S. golfer, immediately withdrew from the PGA Tour’s Travelers Championship last Tuesday and announced plans to self-isolate after testing positive for the coronavirus. But five days later, he said he tested negative three times, raising questions about the accuracy of the tests that are being used by professional sports to screen players before big games.

Five PGA Tour golfers have tested positive for the coronavirus since the outdoor, non-contact sport resumed its games in June and eight withdrew from the Travelers tournament. Despite safety precautions, several caddies have also tested positive.

However, a spokeswoman from the PGA Tour explained that Champ’s test wasn’t a false positive. “An initial positive is a positive test, and there is a medical explanation of what happens from there,” Neal said in a statement, citing data from PGA’s official coronavirus testing partner Sanford Health.

Molecular tests such as the nasopharyngeal PCR test used by the PGA Tour have the lowest false positive rates out of the three main types of diagnostic Covid-19 tests: molecular, antigen and serology, physicians say. —Jasmine Kim

Pfizer reports positive results from early-stage vaccine trial

9:58 a.m. ET — Pfizer released positive results from an early-stage human trial testing its coronavirus vaccine candidate, CNBC’s Berkeley Lovelace Jr. reports. The trial included 45 participants who received 10, 30 or 100 microgram doses of the vaccine or a placebo.

The vaccine produced neutralizing antibodies in those who received two of the 10 or 30 microgram doses after 28 days, according to the preliminary data in a paper published on MedRXiv. Neutralizing antibodies are important for acquiring protection against the virus and their levels were 1.8 to 2.8 times higher in trial participants than in recovered coronavirus patients, according to researchers.

Pfizer, which has been working alongside German drugmaker BioNTech, said the vaccine was well-tolerated, though it caused fever in some patients and pain at the injection site for most trial participants. —Hannah Miller

Michael Kors owner Capri forecasts 70% drop in first-quarter sales

Michael Kors shop in Covent Garden.

Dave Rushen | SOPA Images | Getty Images

9:53 a.m. ET — Capri Holdings, the owner of Michael Kors, expects a 70% decrease in first-quarter sales as demand for its luxury handbags and dresses is hampered by the coronavirus pandemic, Reuters reported.

The company said business has started to resume in certain areas where lockdowns have been pulled back, but it does not expect a quick rebound quickly as the global economy enters a deep recession.

Capri said sales have been stronger than expected at reopened stores, but shipments to department stores remained low. —Alex Harring

Stocks open higher on positive coronavirus vaccine news

Companies added nearly 2.4 million jobs in June, ADP says

9:19 a.m. ET — Private payrolls rose by 2.369 million in June, slightly lower than the 2.5 million estimate, but still indicative of workers heading back to their jobs.

ADP reported that the biggest gain came from the hard-hit hospitality sector, which saw an increase of 961,000. Services jobs overall rose by 1.9 million.

The total monthly gain came after an increase of nearly 3.1 million in May, a number revised sharply higher from the initially reported loss of 2.76 million.

Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, said the revision was merely an adjustment to the Labor Department’s official count of a 2.5 million gain for May, which was far above the estimate for an 8 million-job loss. —Jeff Cox

Thousands gather for a ‘farewell’ pandemic party in Prague

Residents sit to dine on a 500 meter long table set on the Charles Bridge, after restrictions were eased following the coronavirus pandemic on June 30, 2020 in Prague, Czech Republic.

Gabriel Kuchta | Getty Images

9:13 a.m. ET — Thousands of people gathered for a street party in the Czech Republic’s capital city to celebrate a “symbolic farewell” to the coronavirus pandemic.

Guests were invited to sit at a 500-meter-long table on Prague’s Charles Bridge, a 14th-century landmark that crosses the Vltava River, to share food and drinks with their neighbors.

The event was held in the absence of any social-distancing measures, despite an uptick in the number of coronavirus cases reported in the Czech Republic last week.

To date, the EU state of approximately 10 million people has recorded 11,960 coronavirus cases, with 349 deaths nationwide, according to Johns Hopkins University. —Sam Meredith

Macy’s reports first-quarter loss but expects ‘gradual sales recovery’

9:04 a.m. ET — Macy’s swung to a first-quarter loss as the coronavirus pandemic nearly sliced sales in half, reports CNBC’s Lauren Thomas.

Chief Executive Jeff Gennette said that nearly all of the company’s stores have since reopened and are performing ahead of expectations this month. He also said the department store chain continues to expect a “gradual sales recovery,” without providing specifics.

“We do not anticipate another full shutdown, but we are staying flexible and are prepared to address increases in cases on a regional level,” he said. —Melodie Warner

TSA numbers at U.S. airports surged in June — to 80% below 2019

Airport security is a trifecta of post-pandemic problems: crowding, passenger touch points and (occasionally) security agents touching your belongings.

Robert Alexander

8:31 a.m. ET — An average of 482,727 people a day people passed through U.S. airport security checks points in June, more than double the number the Transportation Security Administration logged in May. But June’s numbers were less than a fifth of what TSA registered during June 2019.

The recent recovery is a challenge for airlines who want to capitalize on renewed demand from cooped up customers but also need to keep costs low.

United, for example, said it plans to add 25,000 flights in August, but that its domestic schedule will still be half of what it flew in 2019 and its international schedule just a quarter of August last year. —Leslie Josephs

Google keeps offices closed until Sept. 7

8:18 a.m. ET — Google announced Tuesday its U.S. offices will remain closed until Sept. 7 due to rising coronavirus cases in some states, Reuters reported.

The company was originally planning to reopen some buildings at roughly 10% capacity in July with the possibility to increase capacity to 30% in September. But a Google spokesperson confirmed an internal memo obtained by Bloomberg stating no offices would reopen before Sept. 7.

Google’s decision comes after coronavirus cases have at least doubled in 14 states in June, according to Reuters’ tally. Chris Rackow, Google’s vice president of global security, noted in the memo that “Covid-19 is still very much alive.” —Alex Harring

Economic rebound could be threatened by surging virus outbreak

8:16 a.m. ET — With 40,000 new cases daily, the growth in the spread of Covid-19 is threatening the economic rebound.

Several economists told CNBC they are not yet ready to change their forecasts for a snapback in the third quarter, but they are monitoring the situation as states shutdown activities or hold off reopenings in response. In the second quarter, the economic shutdown was expected to have caused a more than 30% contraction in gross domestic product.

By the third quarter, economists surveyed by CNBC/Moody’s Analytics expect a median gain of 13.5% for the third quarter. —Patti Domm

Germany’s economy showing more signs of recovery

Citizens walk at the pedestrian zone in Guetersloh, western Germany on June 23, 2020.

Ina Fassbender | AFP | Getty Images

7:23 a.m. ET — Germany has posted several pieces of positive data with retail sales in May, and unemployment data for June, both surprising to the upside.

Retail sales in May rose 13.9% from the previous month, Germany’s federal statistics office said, while the latest unemployment data released by its Labor Office Wednesday showed that the number of people out of work rose by 69,000 in June. That was a far lower number than the 120,000 forecast by analysts polled by Reuters.

Germany’s respected Ifo institute said that it expected the economy to have contracted 11.9% in the second quarter but it forecast growth of 6.9% in the third quarter, and 3.8% in the fourth quarter. —Holly Ellyatt

Ryanair sees ‘very strong’ bookings as Europeans travel more

An airport worker wearing a protective face mask, who said she did not mind being photographed, directs tarvellers at Tegel Airport during the novel coronavirus pandemic on June 19, 2020 in Berlin, Germany.

Sean Gallup | Getty Images

Ryanair has seen “very strong” bookings through the first two weeks of July, but the company expects ticket prices to remain lower than ever for about 12 months, CEO Michael O’Leary told Reuters.

Ticket prices are unlikely to return to pre-pandemic levels until 2022 or 2023, he said, according to Reuters. He added that he expects the company to fly 4.5 million passengers in July and between 5.5 million and 6 million in August.

O’Leary’s comments come after much of the European Union has lifted border restrictions that were prompted by the coronavirus pandemic and has begun to open to travelers from outside of the blog. Travelers from a list of 15 countries can now travel to the E.U., though the U.S. is not among them. —Will Feuer

Related Articles