Monday, May 11, 2020

5:45 pm ET: Tesla CEO Musk Restarts California Factory Amid Lockdown

Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirmed on Twitter Monday that the company has restarted its California factory in violation of local government orders.

In the afternoon tweet, Musk wrote that he would be on the assembly line and asked that he be arrested if authorities take anyone into custody.

State law allows a fine of up to $1,000 a day or up to 90 days in jail for operating in violation of health orders. Read more...

— The Associated Press

5:18 pm ET: Around the World in 90 Seconds

France and Turkey are slowly reopening from coronavirus-related shutdowns, while Russia is rushing to build medical facilities after a surge in COVID-19 cases. South Korea has also seen a small increase in cases linked to Itaewon, the gay nightclub district in the city, and LGBTQ advocates are concerned about anti-gay backlash in the conservative country. 

5:12 pm ET: West Wing Visitors, Staff Now Required to Wear Masks

The White House is requiring everyone who enters the West Wing to wear a mask or face covering after coronavirus scares near President Donald Trump. Read more...

— The Associated Press

4:52 pm ET: Tech Stocks Keep Rallying, Help Keep Wall Street Steady

Wall Street was split on Monday, as continued gains for technology and health care stocks helped cover-up for more prevalent losses elsewhere.

The S&P 500 ended the day at a virtual standstill, up just 0.39 points at 2,930.19, despite a lot of movement going on underneath. It rallied back from an earlier loss of 0.9% in the morning.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 109.33 points, or 0.4%, to 24,221.99, while the Nasdaq composite added 71.02, or 0.8%, to 9,192.34.

Through the muddled day, one of the market’s few points of clarity was that investors continue to love technology stocks.

Even with the coronavirus pandemic throwing the global economy into disarray, tech stocks in the S&P 500 have been remarkably resilient. They’re up 4.1% for 2020 as investors look for companies that can be winners in both a ”normal” and a stay-at-home economy. Read more...

— The Associated Press

4:01 pm ET: New PepsiCo Snack Deliveries Will Also Help In-Store Sales, Says SVP

As consumers adapt to the 'new normal' of staying in PepsiCo is launching two new direct-to-consumer platforms that will let hungry customers get food and beverages delivered straight to their doors. offers consumers curated bundles of PepsiCo's top-selling snacks that can be delivered to their doors within two days, and on, they will be able to choose from more than 100 Frito-Lay products as well. 

Gibu Thomas, PepsiCo senior vice president and head of e-commerce, told Cheddar Monday that these new platforms are designed to meet customers' needs now.  Read more...

— McKenzie Marshall

3:32 pm ET: AP Source: MLB Owners Approve Plan to Start Season in July

Major League Baseball owners gave the go-ahead Monday to making a proposal to the players’ union that could lead to the coronavirus-delayed season starting around the Fourth of July weekend in ballparks without fans, a plan that envisioned expanding the designated hitter to the National League for 2020. Read more...

— The Associated Press

3:28 pm ET: Ex-White House Pandemic Official Calls for 'Unified Response' to Reopening

A former White House public health official whose position was eliminated by President Donald Trump is calling for stronger national guidelines for when and how to reopen the economy.

Dr. Beth Cameron, who is currently vice president of global biology programs at the Nuclear Threat Initiative, was previously a senior director in the White House pandemic office under the National Security Council. The office was initially established by the Obama administration after the Ebola outbreak in 2014, but the Trump administration dissolved it as part of a departmental consolidation in 2018. Read more...

— Alex Vuocolo

2:08 pm ET: Broward County Mayor Implores Reopening Businesses: 'Don't Get Greedy'

Florida is in Phase 1 of reopening from coronavirus-related shutdowns. That means many restaurants, retail stores, and salons are beginning to unshutter in the Sunshine State, although hard-hit areas still have to wait, including two of the most populous counties: Miami-Dade and Broward.

Broward County Mayor Dale V.C. Holness told Cheddar Monday many of the counties in South Florida have been working together to decide on a reopening date for their communities. Read more...

— McKenzie Marshall

1:47 pm ET: Virus Rampages Across Vast Navajo Lands, Close-Knit Families

The virus arrived on the reservation in early March when late winter winds were still blowing off the mesas and temperatures at dawn were often barely above freezing.

It was carried in from Tucson, doctors say, by a man who had been to a basketball tournament and then made the long drive back to a small town in the Navajo highlands. There, believers were preparing to gather in a small, metal-walled church with a battered white bell and crucifixes on the window.

On a dirt road at the edge of the town, a hand-painted sign with red letters points the way: “Chilchinbeto Church of the Nazarene.”

From that church, COVID-19 took hold on the Navajo Nation, hopscotching across families and clans and churches and towns, and leaving the reservation with some of the highest infection rates in the U.S.

Crowding, tradition, and medical disparities have tangled together on the tribe's land — an area nearly three times the size of Massachusetts — creating a virological catastrophe. Read more...

— The Associated Press

1:43 pm ET: Wall Street Erases Early Loss, Steady on Tech Stock Strength

Stocks indexes are mixed on Wall Street Monday as continued strength for tech and health care offset weakness elsewhere in the market. The S&P 500 was up 0.3% after erasing an earlier loss of 0.9%. Tech stocks helped lead the way, continuing their remarkably resilient run. That helped to make up for most stocks in the market falling to losses including roughly two of three in the S&P 500. The sharpest losses were hitting companies whose profits are most closely tied to the strength of the economy, including banks and producers of chemicals and other raw materials. Read more...  

— The Associated Press

8:10 am ET: Need2Know: West Wing Outbreak & Reply-All Fix 

Get your news over easy every morning by listening to the Need 2 Know podcast (StitcheriTunes) and signing up for our morning newsletter.

WHITE HOUSE COVID OUTBREAK: The White House is struggling to control a coronavirus outbreak in the West Wing that has so far infected at least two people in President Trump’s inner circle. Days after the president’s valet tested positive, the vice president’s press secretary did as well. Now the White House is urging more employees to work from home and plans to ramp up testing. Dr. Fauci is self-quarantining after making “low risk” contact with an infected staffer. The White House is denying reports that VP Pence is also self-isolating. CNN

UK REOPENING: UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is urging all Brits who can’t work from home to return to their jobs, easing some of the country’s restrictions and unveiling a new slogan: “Stay Alert, Control the Virus, Save Lives.” England is introducing a color-coded threat level system, similar to the one used for the terror threat level, that will inform the public about the current risk posed by the virus, depending on region. BBC

PROMISING ANTIBODY STUDY: A very promising large study, quietly released last week, suggests that almost everyone exposed to the coronavirus produces antibodies — and therefore has at least some immunity to the disease. The new study of more than 1,300 New Yorkers relied on a test method that produces only a very small number of false positives, which have plagued many other antibody tests. It found that antibodies were present in just about everyone who had the disease, regardless of age, sex, or severity of illness. NY TIMES

AHMAUD ARBERY LATEST: Amid a weekend of mask-clad protests and celebrations of what would have been Ahmaud Arbery’s 26th birthday, the mayor of Atlanta called Arbery’s shooting death a “lynching.” Newly-released surveillance video appears to show Arbery making a brief stop at a construction site moments before he was killed, which his family's lawyers say is “consistent with the evidence” that he was not doing anything illegal. The father and son who are being charged with his murder say they thought he was a burglar. AJC

TESLA TO LEAVE CA? Elon Musk says he plans to move Tesla’s headquarters and operations out of California after the county that houses its main U.S. plant said the factory couldn’t reopen. Alameda County said its shutdown order superseded the state’s decision to allow some nonessential businesses back. Musk immediately filed a federal lawsuit seeking an injunction to reopen, arguing that the county is overreaching. One California Democratic official responded: “F-ck Elon Musk.” MARKETWATCH

REPLY-ALL-POCALYPSE FIX: If you’ve even been an unwitting participant in a “reply-all-pocalypse,” when a coworker starts a chain of reply-alls to emails sent to large groups of people, you know how annoying it can be. Microsoft now has a fix. The company just turned on a feature for Office 365 users that detects and blocks “reply-all email storms” automatically. In a blog post, Microsoft says it used an internal incident — in which an employee replied-all to an email asking to be taken off a list and generated 15 million messages in an hour — as inspiration. USA TODAY

WHEN WILL SPORTS BE BACK? The MLB is expected this week to officially propose an abbreviated season to begin in July. There are rumors the French Open may be held as scheduled, but without fans. ESPN has a helpful running list of all the major leagues and sports, and where each stands on restarting: SEE IT

IN MEMORIAM: LITTLE RICHARD: Little Richard, one of the “founding fathers” of rock ‘n roll who more or less invented the flamboyance and showmanship that came to define the genre, died Saturday. Stevie Van Zandt of the E Street Band said of him: “The man who invented It. Elvis popularized it. Chuck Berry was the storyteller. Richard embodied the Spirit of RocknRoll.” Little Richard was 87. OBIT

IN MEMORIAM: JERRY STILLER: Jerry Stiller, the comedian known for his roles on Seinfeld and King of Queens and as father to Ben Stiller, has died of natural causes. Ben announced the news on Twitter early this morning. Stiller, perhaps best known as playing Frank Costanza on Seinfeld, also had a serious career as a dramatic actor on Broadway. He was 92. OBIT

LEFTOVERS: SNL SEASON FINALE: Saturday Night Live bid farewell to its 45th season with another “at-home” episode, featuring, among other things, Alec Baldwin possibly retiring his President Trump impression. The entire cast, quarantined at home, participate in a wistful goodbye and a hope for things to return to normalcy: WATCH THE SKETCH

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