Thursday, May 28, 2020

4:35 pm ET: Stocks Give Up a Gain on Fears China Tensions May Escalate

Stocks gave up an early rally and ended slightly lower Thursday as traders feared that tensions with China could escalate again. The S&P 500 had been up 1.1% before sinking in the last hour after President Donald Trump said he would hold a news conference on China Friday. The announcement came after China’s legislature endorsed a national security law for Hong Kong that has strained relations with the U.S. and prompted new protests. The S&P 500 had been on track for its fourth straight gain, which would have been its longest winning streak since February before the coronavirus lockdowns began. Read more...

— The Associated Press

4:00 pm ET: Around the World in 90 Seconds

Nissan closures in Spain spark fiery protests, South Korea reports spike in coronaviurs cases, El Salvador's president takes hydroxychloroquine, the U.N. warns of Latin American hunger crisis, and the Netherlands and Thailand hire robots in light of social distancing. Here are you international coronavirus headlines.

— Megan Pratz

3:21 pm ET: Bike Shops Embrace Digital as Sales Soar, Says Priority Bicycles CEO

Biking has begun to surge in popularity on a global scale as people look for ways to remain active but safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Priority Bicycles Founder and CEO, David Weiner, says demand has recently gone way up and bikes continue to sell out. "Phones, and emails, are ringing off the hook. Everybody who doesn't have a bike wants one." Read more...

— Lawrence Banton

2:55 pm ET: Mich. Secretary of State Pushes Forward With Vote-By-Mail

In an interview on Cheddar, Benson pushed back against President Trump's attacks on mail-in voting, which have continued for days, leading Twitter to put up its first fact checks on the president's account. Read more... 

— Carlo Versano

1:49 pm ET: House Approves Changes to Business Coronavirus Aid Subsidy Program

The House has passed an overwhelmingly bipartisan measure to modify a new “paycheck protection” program for businesses that have suffered COVID-related losses. It would give businesses more flexibility to use federal subsidies for other business costs and extend the program for four additional months. Senate passage is likely next week. Read more...

— The Associated Press

12:49 pm ET: Abbott Labs Says ID Now Test Works When Used as 'Intended'

As each state develops plans to reopen its economies, testing is in the spotlight.

Abbott Laboratories' ID Now, a quick-result diagnostic test which has reportedly been used in the White House, came under scrutiny earlier this month for the accuracy of its testing, specifically the rate of false negatives. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced it would work with Abbott to investigate.

On Wednesday, the company released interim results. Phil Ginsburg, Abbott's Head of Infectious Disease, told Cheddar, "We found remarkable results." Read more...

— Courtney McGee

12:46 pm ET: A Shore Thing: Popular New Jersey Beach to Reopen Friday

Beachgoers will have the chance to soak up some sun at New Jersey's Point Pleasant Beach this weekend. Officials have reversed an indefinite closure due to the coronavirus pandemic. The popular Jenkinson's Boardwalk will also allow foot traffic starting Friday, May 29, however, amusement parks in the area will remain closed until Governor Phil Murphy gives the green light. While beaches are set to reopen, hundreds of police officers will be deployed to enforce social distancing guidelines. Michelle Castillo reports from the Jersey shore.

11:20 am ET: Top Spellers Prepare to Crown National Champion, From Home

With the Scripps National Spelling Bee canceled, many top spellers who would have been on the bee stage this week are instead competing online. The SpellPundit National Online Spelling Bee was launched by two teenage ex-spellers to fill the void left by Scripps' decision. Read more...

— The Associated Press

10:19 am ET: U.S. Layoffs Climb to 41 million, Despite Business Reopenings

Roughly 2.1 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week despite the gradual reopening of businesses around the country, bringing the running total since the coronavirus shutdowns took hold in mid-March to about 41 million. The government figures underscore the continuing damage to businesses and livelihoods from the outbreak that has now killed at least 100,000 people in the U.S. Read more...

— The Associated Press

8:22 am ET: Need2Know: Minneapolis Protests Spread, 100K Deaths & Launch Scrubbed

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

CIVIL UNREST SPREADS: Protests in Minneapolis over the killing of George Floyd while in police custody turned violent for the second night in a row. Demonstrators threw bricks through the windows of a police station and several businesses were looted and set on fire. Police again used tear gas to try to disperse the crowds. The unrest spread to Los Angeles, where Black Lives Matter demonstrators blocked off the 101 Freeway. KNBC

100K+ DEATHS: As the U.S. coronavirus death toll passed the 100,000 milestone, the W.H.O. warned that countries that reopen too quickly risk seeing a second peak ⁠— and that, so far, there doesn’t appear to be a seasonal pattern to the outbreak. South Korea is already seeing signs of a second wave after reporting its biggest spike of new cases in two months. WASH POST

LAUNCH SCRUBBED: NASA called off the launch of the SpaceX rocket about 15 minutes before it was scheduled to lift off due to weather. The crew will try again Saturday at 3:22 p.m. ET. Scrubbing a launch with just minutes to go isn’t uncommon and has to do with a complicated set of rules based on precise weather conditions. Had the window been just 10 minutes later, it’s likely that it would have been a go. SPACE.COM

BERTHA COMES AND GOES: The weather that caused the launch cancellation was part of a tropical storm that seemed to form almost out of nowhere off the coast of South Carolina. Tropical Storm Bertha existed for just six hours; it’s now a Tropical Depression after making landfall in Charleston. The system is forecast to bring heavy rains and the possibility of flooding from the Carolinas up to Virginia. ACCUWEATHER

HONG KONG AUTONOMY: Beijing’s parliament unanimously approved a law that would allow China to reassert control of Hong Kong. The broad “national security” law gives Beijing the authority to suppress any kind of dissent in the semi-autonomous city, which will have major implications for its status as a global financial hub. The State Dept. acknowledged as much, saying the U.S. no longer considers Hong Kong to be autonomous from China. CNN

BOEING'S PLANS: Boeing will begin laying off more than 6,000 employees this week in the first of what is expected to be several rounds of cuts as the planemaker tries to lower costs. The company is also restarting production of the 737 Max, the plagued jetliner that’s been grounded since early last year after two fatal crashes. It is still not cleared to fly. CNBC

LIGHTS OUT: It will soon be impossible for regular people to buy a product made by General Electric. The 130-year-old company founded by Thomas Edison is getting out of the business that it invented. GE is selling its lightbulb unit to Savant Systems as part of a major restructuring to focus on industrial machines like jet engines. Lightbulbs were GE’s last direct link to consumers, having already sold off its appliance unit to Haier. WSJ

STIMULUS PAYMENT DEBIT CARDS: Be careful tossing out your junk mail. About four million people are getting their coronavirus federal stimulus payments via prepaid Visa debit card. But the cards are easy to mistake for junk; they come in plain white envelopes from “Money Network Cardholder Services,” give no indication of how much money is on them, and are issued by “MetaBank.” If you got one, rest assured that it is legit, though it still requires activation. Here’s what the card looks like: SEE PIC

DISNEY WORLD REOPENING: Walt Disney World in Orlando has announced its plans to begin a phased reopening beginning July 11, with restrictions in place that include the mandatory wearing of masks by visitors and staff. The majority of the theme park’s 70,000-person staff has been furloughed since March. Orlando’s other two big parks ⁠— SeaWorld and Universal ⁠— will start reopening in the next two weeks. ORLANDO SENTINEL

'AGT' WORKPLACE INVESTIGATION: An investigation into the firing of Gabrielle Union as a judge on America’s Got Talent found no evidence of racial bias or the derogatory remarks that Union alleged were prevalent on the set. In an interview with Variety, the actress opens up about her experience on the show, including why Simon Cowell’s smoking got her sick and led to her ouster. READ IT

LEFTOVERS: BURIED TREASURE: Archaeologists in Italy have discovered an almost perfectly preserved mosaic tile floor under a vineyard near the city of Verona. For decades, it was believed an ancient Roman villa was buried underground at the site and diggers finally got a glimpse of what awaits them if they can successfully excavate the entire area. SEE PICS

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