Confirmed coronavirus cases around the world passed 5 million early Thursday as infections continue to accelerate in the Americas. The U.S. alone accounts for 1.5 million cases of the virus and more than 90,000 deaths of the global death toll. The CDC, in its guidelines for states to reopen, listed a “downward trajectory (or near-zero incidence) of documented cases over a 14-day period” as one of the gating criteria for states to move through each of the three phases outlined in its plan. Meanwhile, Japan’s central bank outlined details for a new scheme aimed at boosting lending to small and medium-sized businesses who are struggling with the economic fallout.
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 5.1 million
- Global deaths: At least 332,900
- U.S. cases: More than 1.57 million
- U.S. deaths: At least 94,702
The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
Japan’s central bank outlines details for new scheme to boost SME lending
9:41 a.m. (Singapore time) – Japan’s central bank on Friday said it decided on the details of a new scheme designed to boost lending to small and medium-sized businesses affected by the pandemic.
The measure will make available an estimated 30 trillion yen ($279 billion) in new funding support to eligible financial institutions.
The Bank of Japan said it would provide loans for up to a year at zero percent interest to lenders that participate in government programs to provide interest-free and unsecured loans for smaller firms that desperately need cash to withstand the economic fallout.
BOJ said it has already implemented two other measures that include purchase of corporate bonds. The three measures comprise a special program to support Japan’s economy and is estimated to be about 75 trillion yen in size. – Saheli Roy Choudhury
Marc Lasry says the market will eventually realize the U.S. will be in a recession ‘for a while’
7:45 p.m. ET — Billionaire investor Marc Lasry told CNBC on Thursday that the U.S. is going to be in a recession “for a while,” a reality not currently reflected in the market.
More states now opening indoor dining at restaurants
6:41 pm ET — Both Ohio and West Virginia expanded restaurant services by allowing indoor dining starting Thursday.
West Virginia also reopened indoor shopping malls and state park campgrounds as part of its “West Virginia Strong – The Comeback” plan. For more on states’ reopening progress, click here.—Hannah Miller
How long it could take before a second stimulus check is in your hands
Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images
5:50 p.m. ET — Americans who are hoping for a second round of $1,200 stimulus checks should be prepared to wait.
Though the House of Representatives recently passed a bill that includes that second round of checks, experts say it could take time for Americans to get that money, even if the Senate and President Donald Trump sign off on those payments.
Senate Republicans have indicated they are reluctant to vote yes on the Democrats’ latest $3 trillion coronavirus stimulus package until they see a need for more money. Negotiations on Capitol Hill could take up until they break for July 4, one expert says, unless an economic emergency prompts them to act earlier.
What’s more, like the first round of payments, it would likely take the IRS months to deploy the payments. That could mean some will have to wait until they file their taxes in 2021 to get all of the money due to them. —Lori Konish
Trump says he won’t close the country if a second wave of coronavirus hits
President Donald Trump holds a mask as he speaks during a tour of the Ford Rawsonville Plant in Ypsilanti, Michigan on May 21, 2020.
Brendan Smialowski | AFP | Getty Images
5:15 p.m. ET — President Donald Trump said “we are not closing our country” if the U.S. is hit by a second wave of coronavirus infections. “People say that’s a very distinct possibility, it’s standard,” Trump said when he was asked about a second wave while touring the Ford factory in Michigan.
“We are going to put out the fires. We’re not going to close the country,” Trump said. “We can put out the fires. Whether it is an ember or a flame, we are going to put it out. But we are not closing our country.” —Kevin Breunninger
CDC’s dashboard includes data that could inflate test numbers
A pedestrian wearing a protective face mask walks past the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, on Saturday, March 14, 2020.
Elijah Nouvelage | Bloomberg via Getty Images
5:05 p.m. ET — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest dashboard on the state of coronavirus testing in the U.S. combines statistics on two different kinds of tests that could be altering key data points.
The CDC confirmed that its site combines numbers for diagnostic tests, which identify infected people, and antibody tests, which determine whether someone has been previously infected. Epidemiologists look at the percent of people testing positive with the former to indicate the state of the outbreak, assistant professor of global health and epidemiology at Emory University Robert Bednarczyk said.
“If we’re testing more people and not finding as many cases, that would be a sign that things are getting better,” he told CNBC. “But if that’s happening because we’re artificially inflating the test numbers, then we are not seeing the true picture.” —Will Feuer
Trump doesn’t wear coronavirus mask in public at Ford plant, does wear one for private part of tour
U.S. President Donald Trump holds a protective face mask with a presidential seal on it that he said he had been wearing earlier in his tour at the Ford Rawsonville Components Plant that is manufacturing ventilators, masks and other medical supplies during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Ypsilanti, Michigan, May 21, 2020.
Leah Millis | Reuters
“Not necessary,” Trump said, when a reporter asked why he was not wearing a mask, despite the policy and despite Michigan’s attorney general saying he was obligated by state law to wear one. Trump said, “I had one [a mask] on before,” in an area that was not visible to reporters, but added: “I didn’t want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it.”
Ford later issued a statement saying: ″Bill Ford encouraged President Trump to wear a mask when he arrived. He wore a mask during a private viewing of three Ford GTs from over the years. The President later removed the mask for the remainder of the visit.”
Trump was visiting Ford’s Rawsonville Components Plant in Ypsilanti, which is making ventilators in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. —Dan Mangan
Clarification: This blog entry was updated to to reflect that Trump did wear a mask in private at the Ford plant.
Georgia reopening has been ‘a mixed bag,’ Atlanta Fed President Bostic says
4:45 p.m. ET — Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic called the state’s reopening a “mixed bag” of some who are ready to “get back to where they were pre-crisis” and others who are still afraid to go out.
Going back to the mall is going to look different
4:25 p.m. ET — Mall owner Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, which owns properties such as Garden State Plaza in Paramus, New Jersey, and Westfield Century City in Los Angeles, is preparing to reopen its properties across the country in phases. And shopping at the mall is going to look a lot different than what it did in a pre-Covid-19 world.
Among the changes URW is making, shoppers will be able to book appointments on an app to visit stores at its malls, people will be able to order delivery from vendors in the food court and they can check online to see how many people are in a mall at any given moment in time. Other U.S. mall owners including Simon and Macerich are also beginning to reopen their properties. —Lauren Thomas
Best Buy puts new spin on hands-on shopping during pandemic
A view of a Best Buy retail store on August 29, 2019 in San Bruno, California.
Justin Sullivan | Getty Images
4 p.m. ET — Best Buy is known for its hands-on displays of gadgets that people can touch and see. With the pandemic, though, the retailer has had to come up with new ways to sell items to customers that may worry about getting sick.
It’s offering curbside-pickup outside of its stores. This month, the company also began reopening stores to customers — but by appointment only.
At about 700 of its 1,000 U.S. stores, customers can visit for a one-on-one consultation. A mask-wearing employee escorts the customer around the store, wipes down everything he or she touches and offers advice. Each customer gets a half hour appointment, though they can book more time.
So far, CEO Corie Barry said large appliances and home theater systems have been popular. She said the company will continue to test new ways to serve customers and may tailor them to different regions. And she said it’ll offer customers choices to put them at ease. —Melissa Repko
How new coronavirus cases are trending by state
3:43 p.m. ET — With all 50 U.S. states now reopening their economies in some capacity, coronavirus case data shows outbreak trends vary across the country.
The map below shows how cases are rising or falling, by state, as measured by the change in the seven-day average of daily new cases. The data compares new cases reported between May 14 and May 20 with the same metric from May 7 through May 13. More than a third of the country has seen a rise in new cases during that period.
In the CDC’s guidelines for states to reopen, the agency listed a “downward trajectory (or near-zero incidence) of documented cases over a 14-day period” as one of the gating criteria for states to move through each of the three phases outlined in its plan. —Nate Rattner
Universal Orlando reopening plan would open park to some guests on June 3
Guests wearing face masks visit the Universal Orlando’s CityWalk as sections of the entertainment and retail district opened today for limited hours for the first time since Universal Orlando closed on March 15, 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Paul Hennesy | Barcroft Media | Getty Images
3:38 p.m. ET — The Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force voted to approve Universal Orlando’s park reopening plan, which includes making the park accessible to employees on June 1 and June 2, and will allow some guests to enter on June 3 and June 4.
Guests’ temperatures will be taken at all entrances and employees and visitors will be required to wear masks. Most of the park has been closed since March. Select venues at Universal Orlando Resort’s CityWalk reopened May 12.
Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings is expected to endorse reopening of the park and will send his recommendation Friday morning. Demings expects to have a plan from Disney World next week. —Hannah Miller
Cloud index hits record high
3:36 p.m. ET — Cloud services like Everbridge, Twilio and Zoom have seen demand increase as the coronavirus sent workers and students home. That has benefited one grouping of cloud companies, the BVP Nasdaq Emerging Cloud Index, and an exchange-traded fund based on it, the WisdomTree Cloud Computing Fund. Both hit new highs this week.
WisdomTree has $110 million in assets under management and is up more than 30% for the year, outperforming all three major U.S. indices following its debut in September. —Jordan Novet
The Mall of America hasn’t paid its mortgage in two months
3:28 p.m. ET — Retail real estate owners are reeling from the coronavirus pandemic, as their tenants are struggling to pay rent. The Mall of America has missed two months of payments on its $1.4 billion mortgage.
The mall, operated by private developers Triple Five Group, skipped loan payments in April and May. It is unclear at this point if the loan will be pushed into forbearance.
Mall of America- and American Dream-owner Triple Five Group previously told CNBC that it was concerned about some of its tenants not paying rent, which was going to hinder its ability to make mortgage payments. —Lauren Thomas
Facebook expects 50% of employees will work remotely by 2030
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the F8 Facebook Developers conference on April 30, 2019 in San Jose, California.
Justin Sullivan | Getty Images
2:28 p.m. ET — Facebook will ramp up its hiring of remote workers and allow certain existing employees to continue working remotely moving forward after coronavirus restrictions ease, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said. The company expects 50% of employees to work remotely within the next five to 10 years as a result of this decision, Zuckerberg said.
Moving forward, employees who meet specific criteria and are interested in permanently working remotely will be able to request that approval. Employees who move to permanent remote work and relocate may have their salaries adjusted based on their new locations, Zuckerberg said. —Salvador Rodriguez
Billionaires see their wealth grow during pandemic
Tesla Inc CEO Elon Musk dances onstage during a delivery event for Tesla China-made Model 3 cars in Shanghai, China, January 7, 2020.
Aly Song | Reuters
2:22 p.m. ET — While the pandemic has introduced greater economic uncertainty for many Americans, some of the country’s richest individuals have only added to their wealth.
U.S. billionaires grew their fortunes by $434 billion between mid-March and mid-May, with CEOs like Tesla’s Elon Musk and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg nearly doubling their individual net worth, CNBC’s Robert Frank reports. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos also saw his wealth surge by 31% to $147 billion, illustrating how the pandemic has favored large, tech-focused companies. —Hannah Miller
May unemployment was worse than expected and could signal another bad jobs report
2:12 p.m. ET — Economists were hoping the number of Americans continuing to receive unemployment benefits would flatten out or even dip in the latest government weekly report. But the fact it rose by 2.5 million to 25 million, for the week ending May 9, suggests state reopenings or government aid to small business were not yet resulting in a lot of rehirings.
The continuing unemployment data trails by one week data on new claim filings, which totaled 2.4 million in the week ending May 16, down slightly from 2.7 million the week earlier. Jefferies economists said the claims data suggests that the employment picture in May was worse than expected, and their model shows job losses of 10.3 million for the month. That number is not their official forecast, as they await more data. They expect a hiring rebound in June. —Patti Domm
Will Smith and Kevin Hart bet coronavirus will accelerate shift toward virtual events
Will Smith and Kevin Hart pose backstage at the 2016 MTV Movie Awards at Warner Bros. Studios on April 9, 2016 in Burbank, California.
Jason Kempin | MTV1415 | Getty Images for MTV
1:59 p.m. ET — Run The World, a platform for hosting online events, has bagged $10.8 million from a flock of high-profile investors including Will Smith and Kevin Hart.
Co-founded by former Facebook employee Xiaoyin Qu, the company has seen a hundredfold climb in users in the last three months alone. The firm’s headcount also doubled over the last two months.
The start-up’s Series A round was co-led by Andreessen Horowitz and Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund, while Smith and Hart also participated through their venture funds.
The celebrities “are passionate about the mission of using online events to connect people and build communities,” Qu told CNBC. “We believe their guidance can be very critical for Run The World to create this new category of engaging online events that the world is seeing for the first time.” —Ryan Browne
Tesla HR tells employees they are returning to ‘normal operations’ at car and battery factories this week
1:49 p.m. ET — Tesla HR told employees, in a memo obtained by CNBC, that the company is returning to “normal operations,” and resuming its regular attendance policy this week at its Fremont, California, vehicle assembly plant and battery factory outside of Reno, Nevada.
Elon Musk’s electric vehicle company will be giving employees the option to take unpaid leave until May 31, with HR approval, if they are worried about exposing a household member to Covid-19.
Tesla wound down operations at its U.S. car plant in Fremont as of March 24, under local health orders. But at Musk’s behest, Tesla resumed vehicle manufacturing at the factory the weekend of May 9 in defiance of the health orders. —Lora Kolodny
NY Gov. Cuomo: Schools should plan as if they are reopening in September, but it’s too early to decide
Governor Cuomo makes an announcement and holds briefing on COVID-19 response at Feinstein Institute for Medical Research.
Lev Radin | Pacific Press | Getty Images
1:40 p.m. ET — New York public schools should begin preparing to reopen this fall but it may be too early to know for sure whether that can happen, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.
The state plans on issuing guidelines to schools in early June on what they will need to do in order to reopen.
“The state will approve those plans in July, all in preparation for an opening in September,” Cuomo said at a news briefing.
As the number of cases of a new Covid-19 complication in kids continues to rise, reopening schools remains an uncertainty. The governor said further research into the disease is needed before a decision can be made about summer camps and schools in the fall. —Jasmine Kim
Officials plan for busy Atlantic hurricane season amid the pandemic
1:28 p.m. ET — The National Hurricane Center is predicting an above-normal Atlantic season, with up to 19 named storms, three to six of which could become major hurricanes.
The forecast is further complicating the job for the country’s disaster response officials, who are already dealing with the coronavirus outbreak. Agencies across the country are being forced to adjust how they would typically respond to future catastrophes.
“How do we care for what could be tens of thousands of people in need of a major evacuation in a major hurricane?” said Trevor Riggen, senior vice president for disaster cycle services for the American Red Cross. “We know we’re going to have to open a shelter at some point, and so we’ve been working to adjust our protocol to make sure we can open safe shelters.”
The Red Cross, FEMA and state agencies are stockpiling personal protective equipment and creating new protocols including temperature checks as well as designating isolation areas for any evacuees who are showing symptoms of Covid-19. Jared Moskowitz, Florida’s head of emergency management, told CNBC the state is deploying an app to help track and distribute necessary PPE items, including masks. —Katie Young
Coronavirus leads to ‘inflection point’ for auto sales
A customer looks at a newly purchased Toyota Motor Corp. vehicle at the Brent Brown Toyota dealership in Orem, Utah, on Monday, April 6, 2020.
George Frey | Bloomberg via Getty Images
1:07 p.m. ET — The coronavirus pandemic has upended auto sales, and many don’t think they will ever be the same again.
Dealers and automakers are changing business strategies and investing millions in new digital sales tools as consumers demand more online and personalized services.
That doesn’t mean showrooms won’t be needed going forward. It’ll just be different, including new sanitization processes and a larger combination of online and in-person sales, according to officials.
“For digital, this whole disruptive period with corona is an inflection point from which there’s no turning back,” Mike Jackson, chairman and CEO of AutoNation, the country’s largest auto retailer, recently told investors.
What that means for consumers is being able to choose how much or how little of the process they want to conduct online. That includes scheduling a test drive or delivery of a vehicle to appraising a trade-in and getting prequalified for financing.
More importantly, it should result in less, if any, time waiting at dealerships and flexible options such as having the vehicle picked up or delivered – something Tesla Motors and other newer auto retailers such as Carvana have been doing for years. —Michael Wayland
McConnell says new unemployment benefit will not get extended
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky, speaks during a news conference following the weekly Senate Republican caucus luncheon in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, May 19, 2020.
Stefani Reynolds | Bloomberg | Getty Images
12:44 p.m. ET — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told House Republicans that the next coronavirus relief legislation would not extend the $600 per week federal unemployment benefit, a source familiar with his remarks said.
The enhanced unemployment insurance, passed as part of the $2 trillion rescue package in March, aims to provide a financial backstop as shutdowns designed to slow the pandemic led to more than 38 million people filing jobless claims since March. Last week, House Democrats approved a bill that would extend the strengthened unemployment insurance through January.
The disagreement reflects a broader partisan divide over how and when to use more federal money to try to blunt the economic crisis created by the outbreak. —Jacob Pramuk
New York City mayor says ‘all roads are leading’ to begin reopening in first half of June
A travel direction sign is seen in Bryant Park during the coronavirus pandemic on May 20, 2020 in New York City.
Noam Galai | Getty Images
11:55 a.m. ET — New York City is on track to begin its phased reopening in the first half of June as the number of people admitted to the city’s hospitals and those currently in intensive-care units for Covid-19 continues to decline, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
The percentage of people citywide testing positive for Covid-19 has remained below 15% for 10 days now, he said. For more than a week, the city has been around or below the annual average for people administered to the hospitals for the category of diseases related to the coronavirus, which is “very powerful,” De Blasio said.
“I want to signal as clear as a bell, all roads are leading to the first half of June. The city indicators, the state indicators, we’re seeing very clear progress,” de Blasio said at a press conference.
Phase one of the state’s reopening plan would allow for curbside pickup and in-store drop off at retail stores and the resumption of construction and manufacturing jobs. New York City has met four of the seven health criteria required by the state to begin its phased reopening. —Noah Higgins-Dunn
Contactless temperature-checking kiosks are coming. Here’s what it’s like to use one
10:57 a.m. ET — As states begin to reopen, venues like movie theaters, theme parks and sports stadiums are looking for ways to keep staff and visitors safe. Part of that strategy involves checking temperatures to prevent people who are sick from entering populated locations.
However, for venues that typically have large crowds, trying to do mass temperature checks can be an overwhelming undertaking. To handle that, tech companies IntraEdge and Pyramid have created a contactless kiosk that can check the temperature of up to 1,500 people per hour.
A kiosk called “Janus” uses thermal imaging technology to scan a person and determine if their temperature is above the allowed 100.4-degree mark set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This camera has an error margin of less than one-tenth of a degree Fahrenheit. The kiosk encrypts the result and sends it to the user’s phone, but will show on the screen whether they have been granted access to the venue. These units cost around $7,500 each and can be deployed by a venue within four to six weeks of ordering. —Sarah Whitten
April home sales plunge nearly 18%, while drop in inventory pushes prices to record high
10:47 a.m. ET — The economic fallout from the coronavirus hit the housing market hard in April. Sales of existing homes fell 17.8% month-to-month to the slowest pace in 9 years, according to the National Association of Realtors. The supply of homes for sale hit a record low for April, as fewer people listed their homes, and those already on the market pulled their listings. That pushed the median price of an existing home to a record high of $286,800. —Diana Olick
Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen released from prison into home confinement
10:44 a.m. ET — President Donald Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen became the latest high-profile federal prisoner to be released into home confinement as part of an effort by officials to reduce the risk of coronavirus among inmates.
Cohen, 53, joins former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and the controversial attorney Michael Avenatti in being freed in recent weeks due to Covid-19 concerns. Cohen, who pleaded guilty to financial crimes and felonies related to hush-money payments to women who claim they had sex with Trump, will serve the remaining part of his three-year prison term at his apartment in Manhattan.
Cohen’s release originally was expected on May 1 but was delayed for unknown reasons after reports that he is writing a tell-all book about Trump that is planned for release before the 2020 presidential election. Cohen’s sentence is due to end in November 2021. —Dan Mangan
TSA changes screening procedures for pandemic era
A TSA officer wears a protective mask while screening travellers at Orlando International Airport. In the past 14 days across the nation, 58 TSA screening officers have tested positive for COVID-19, including 9 in Orlando.
Paul Hennessy | Barcroft Media | Getty Images
10:36 a.m. ET — Travelers headed to U.S. airports in the coming weeks will have to scan their boarding passes themselves at security checkpoints and face longer lines, under new procedures aimed at curbing the spread of Covid-19, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said.
Air travel, which normally picks up in the late spring before peaking in July, is starting to recover from more than six-decade lows hit in April, a slump driven by the virus and measures to avoid it like stay-at-home orders. Air travel, even with the recovery, is still down 92% compared with last year, but TSA is urging passengers to arrive at the airport early because of some new screening protocols and staffing changes.
Travelers will also have to put their carry-on food in a clear plastic bag to avoid setting off an alarm, lessening the chance a TSA officer will have to touch their items. TSA Precheck members do not need to remove items from their bags.
TSA is also telling travelers to wear a mask, which major U.S. airlines have mandated for crew members and passengers, though carriers have stopped short of forcing travelers to wear masks on board. Six TSA employees have died from the virus, while 590 have tested positive and 386 of them have recovered. —Leslie Josephs
NJ Gov. Murphy says further reopening in a ‘matter of weeks’
10:32 a.m. ET — New Jersey hopes to reopen gyms, barbers, indoor restaurants and other nonessential businesses that remain shuttered in a “matter of weeks,” Gov. Phil Murphy told CNBC.
New Jersey, which is the second hardest-hit state in the country in terms of Covid-19 cases, has taken a more cautious approach to reopening than some other states that have not seen as large of outbreaks. Retail businesses in the state were allowed to reopen for curbside pickup on Monday and the state will open its beaches Friday for Memorial Day Weekend.
“We chose to rip the band-aid off the economy, which has been extraordinarily painful for job loss, for small businesses, for many of our sectors,” Murphy said. “This is a delicate balance without question.” —Will Feuer
Amazon reportedly delays Prime Day sales event until September
Prime Day, first launched in 2015, is Amazon’s marquee shopping event and it typically uses the discount celebration to secure new Prime members, as well as to promote its own products and services. The company moved to delay the event because it continues to face a surge of online orders due to the coronavirus.
Amazon’s supply still hasn’t caught up with demand and many household goods are still out of stock or showing delayed shipping times. Brands and sellers have been preparing for Amazon to delay this year’s Prime Day. Reuters reported in April that Amazon would move the event, usually scheduled for July, until at least August. —Anne Palmer
Latest hot spots of new U.S. cases
Starbucks CEO says U.S. and China sales improving as chain reopens cafes
9:41 a.m. ET — Starbucks customers are gradually returning to the chain’s cafes in U.S. and China. The company has regained about 60% to 65% of its U.S. same-store sales over the last week, compared with the same period a year ago, CEO Kevin Johnson wrote in a letter to employees.
Cafes in China have regained about 80% of their same-store sales, according to Johnson.
About 99% of cafes in China have reopened, while more than 85% of U.S. locations are open again with modified hours and operations. —Amelia Lucas
Stocks slip as investors digest latest weekly jobless claims data.
9:37 a.m. ET — Stocks fell slightly as investors digested sharp gains from earlier in the week along with the latest weekly jobless claims data. The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded just 28 points lower, or down 0.1%. The S&P 500 dipped 0.1% as well while the Nasdaq Composite was flat.
Read updates on stock market activity from CNBC’s Fred Imbert and Thomas Franck. —Melodie Warner
Summer driving season is starting, but it’s unclear how many people will hit the road
A customer gets ready to fill his car with gasoline at a Shell gas station in San Francisco, California.
9:15 a.m. ET — Memorial Day is the traditional start to summer, but it’s unclear whether drivers can, or will, take to the road as states reopen.
Gasoline demand is still down about 30% even as all 50 states resume some level of activity. How much drivers fuel up is an important indicator that has been closely tied to employment. U.S. gasoline use is also important for oil prices since American drivers normally count for about 10% of world oil demand each day.
Analysts who are watching the gasoline market are tracking mobility data and traffic congestion data, in addition to traditional supply and demand metrics. The uneven reopening of the economy has made it difficult to assess what fuel demand will be like.
AAA, which normally projects Memorial Day travel, has said it would not make a forecast this year. Forty-three million people traveled last year, according to AAA. —Patti Domm
A vaccine might be ready by early 2021. It’s far from guaranteed
9:08 a.m. ET — U.S. officials and scientists are hopeful a vaccine to prevent the virus will be ready by early next year. But it’s far from guaranteed, scientists warn. The fastest-ever vaccine development, mumps, took more than four years and was licensed in 1967.
Additionally, scientists still don’t fully understand key aspects of the virus, including how immune systems respond once a person is exposed. The answers may have large implications for vaccine development, including how quickly it can be deployed to the public. —Berkeley Lovelace Jr.
More than half of small businesses are looking to have PPP funds forgiven, survey says
9:00 a.m. ET — A National Federation of Independent Business survey found that 80% of businesses polled have applied for PPP loans and 90% have received funding. But while more than half believe they will have all loan expenses forgiven, many are struggling to comply with the law as written.
Nearly half say using the loan in the eight-week window is difficult and the same percentage says it’s challenging to get employee headcount back to where it was precrisis. This comes ahead of a vote in the House of Representatives next week on potential changes to PPP around forgiveness and usage guidelines. —Kate Rogers
Weekly jobless claims rose 2.438 million, seventh straight week of a declining pace
8:52 a.m. ET — Initial claims for unemployment insurance totaled 2.44 million last week, representing the seventh straight week of a declining pace following the record peak of 6.9 million in late March. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been looking for 2.4 million claims.
In the nine weeks since the coronavirus-induced lockdown shut down large parts of the U.S. economy, some 38.6 million workers have filed claims.
Read more about the U.S. weekly jobless claims from CNBC’s Jeff Cox. —Melodie Warner
Most Americans will be vaccinated by summer 2021, Morgan Stanley biotech analyst predicts
7:17 a.m. ET — Most Americans will be vaccinated against Covid-19 by the middle of next year, Morgan Stanley biotech analyst Matthew Harrison told CNBC’s “Worldwide Exchange.”
“We’ve talked about spring to summer of 2021 as when we would expect to see the vast majority of the U.S. population vaccinated,” he said, adding that he’s watching Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, CanSino and GSK–Sanofi as major players in the race for a vaccine.
A vaccine could be approved for broad distribution sooner, he said, but it will take time for any company to ramp up manufacturing and distribution capacity. Moderna, which is leading the pack, is already building manufacturing and could produce tens of millions of doses by the end of 2020, with that increasing to a rate of 1 billion doses per year by the middle of 2021. —Will Feuer
‘The worst is behind us,’ Italy’s prime minister says
A rider of delivery food Just Eat runs in Piazza Duomo on April 23, 2020 in Milan, Italy.
Pier Marco Tacca
7:09 a.m. ET — Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said Italy, which was the first epicenter of Europe’s epidemic, has overcome the worst part of its crisis.
“We can say that the worst is behind us. … We cannot stop to wait for a vaccine, otherwise we would find ourselves with an irreparably compromised society and production system,” Conte told the Italian Parliament, Reuters reported, as the country looks to lift more lockdown measures.
He also warned the public that “now is not the time for parties” after scenes of young people gathering at night in some cities, and also appealed to the public to take their vacations in Italy. —Holly Ellyatt
Graceland is set to reopen
6:42 a.m. ET — Elvis Presley’s Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee, reopens Thursday. The rocker’s home-turned-museum is running tours at 25% capacity, requiring employees to wear face masks and encouraging visitors to do the same. It will also limit restaurants to 50% capacity. “We’re going to lose money for the foreseeable future, but we need to show a path forward,” Joel Weinshanker, managing partner of Graceland Holdings, told CNBC’s “Worldwide Exchange.” Weinshanker also said Graceland’s workers are ready to return. “People were crying they were so happy” when they found out they were coming back, he added. —Matthew Belvedere
Read CNBC’s previous coronavirus live coverage here: Euro zone downturn eases; US gives AstraZeneca $1 billion for vaccine