NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are drifting lower on Wall Street following a mixed set of earnings reports from big U.S. companies. The S&P 500 was down 0.1%, while Treasury yields were holding relatively steady and gold inched a bit further into record heights.
3M was a particularly heavy weight on the Dow, which sank 96 points. The maker of n95 masks reported a profit for the latest quarter that fell shy of analysts’ expectations.
McDonald’s also dropped after reporting earnings for the spring that were weaker than Wall Street had forecast.
Consumer confidence tumbles in July as COVID-19 spreads
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumer confidence tumbled in July to a reading of 92.6 as coronavirus infections spread in many parts of the country.
The Conference Board, a New York research organization, reported Tuesday that its Consumer Confidence Index fell from a June reading of 98.3. The consumer confidence index is closely watched for signals it can send about future consumer spending, which accounts for 70% of economic activity.
The Conference Board said that the large decline in the expectations index reflected big drops in sentiment in Michigan, Forida, Texas and California, all states that have seen a resurgence in coronavirus cases.
S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller: US home prices rose 3.7% in May
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home prices grew more slowly in May, but continued to show resilience in the face of the coronavirus outbreak. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose 3.7% in in May from a year earlier, a drop from a 3.9% increase in April and a smaller gain than economists had expected. Still, home prices have risen steadily despite the pandemic and lockdowns that have badly damaged the American economy.Phoenix led the way with a 9% annual gain in home prices, following by Seattle (up 6.8%) and Tampa (up 6%). Chicago registered the smallest increase: 1.3%.
FEDERAL RESERVE-LENDING PROGRAMS
Fed extends lending programs as pandemic’s impact lengthens
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve will extend seven of its emergency lending programs through the end of the year, an acknowledgement that the programs may be necessary for longer than was first thought as the U.S. struggles to control the coronavirus.
The Fed announced the extension of the programs, past their original expiration dates of Sept. 30, at a time when a spike in confirmed virus cases has shown signs of slowing the economy.
The extension applies to several programs that lend to Wall Street banks and other financial institutions to ensure the flow of credit to businesses and households as well as to the Fed’s corporate bond purchase programs.
McDonald’s faces uneven recovery
UNDATED (AP) — McDonald’s sales improved throughout the second quarter as markets reopened globally, but the fast food giant still faces a bumpy recovery.
Chicago-based McDonald’s said 96% of its 39,000 restaurants worldwide are now open, compared to 75% at the start of the second quarter. But the recovery is uneven. Improvement has slowed in China, but same-store sales are improving in the U.S.
McDonald’s net income fell 68% to $484 million during the second quarter. Earnings, adjusted for one-time items, were 66 cents per share. That fell short of Wall Street’s forecast of 74 cents, according to analysts polled by FactSet.
Revenue fell 30% to $3.76 billion, slightly ahead of analysts’ expectations.
Pandemic hurts sales, profit for Pfizer amid restructuring
FAIRLESS HILLS, Pa. (AP) — Drugmaker Pfizer on Tuesday reported a 32% plunge in second-quarter profit, as the global coronavirus pandemic limited marketing of new prescriptions for its medicines. Still, the biggest U.S. drugmaker posted a solid profit and nudged up parts of its 2020 financial forecast.
Pfizer earned $3.43 billion, or 61 cents per share. Revenue fell 11% to $11.8 billion.
Pfizer is among the drugmakers leading the race to develop a safe, effective vaccine against the coronavirus. Late Monday it announced the start of a late-stage trial of an experimental COVID-19 vaccine that it’s developing with German partner BioNTech.
Remington seeks bankruptcy for second time in as many years
UNDATED (AP) — Remington Arms, weighed down by lawsuits and retail sales restrictions following the Sandy Hook school massacre, is seeking bankruptcy protection for the second time in as many years. The nation’s oldest gunmaker listed assets and liabilities of between $100 million and $500 million.. Gun sales have slumped, as they typically do, under a Republican administration, because gun owners are not as compelled to stockpile weapons out of fear that Congress will create tougher gun-control laws. But the past three years have been particularly volatile, fueled in part by a mass shooting in Las Vegas and other high-profile mass killings that have led retail chains to restrict sales, or removed guns completely from stores.
Air travel not expected to recover before 2024
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Air travel will take even longer than previously thought to return to pre-virus levels. That’s the gloomy prediction from the air transport trade association, or IATA.
They are pushing their forecast back by a year, to 2024. That’s when they say travel will make it back to 2019 levels. In June, air travel around the world was down 86% compared to a year earlier.
IATA says air travel recovery will take longer because of the resurgence of cases in many places including the U.S.
Kodak lands loan to bolster US-produced drug supply
UNDATED (AP) — Photography company Eastman Kodak is set to receive a $765 million government loan to create a new division that will help make ingredients for use in generic drugs.
Kodak Pharmaceuticals will make critical pharmaceutical ingredients that have been identified as essential but have lapsed into chronic national shortage, as defined by the Food and Drug Administration.
The unit will have the capacity to produce up to 25% of active pharmaceutical ingredients used in non-biologic, non-antibacterial, generic pharmaceuticals.
Revel suspends NYC scooter service after second fatal crash
NEW YORK (AP) — A ride-sharing scooter startup said Tuesday it is suspending operations in New York City after a second fatal crash in less than two weeks.
Revel tweeted that service “will be shut down until further notice” as it reviews safety and rider accountability measures. The company’s app alerted riders to the news.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said city officials spoke to Revel executives on Tuesday and made clear the company’s safety record is “an unacceptable state of affairs.”
The company’s blue scooters, which require a driver’s license but no training to rent, had been seen as an alternative to taxis and subways during the coronavirus pandemic.
GADGET SHOW-GOING VIRTUAL
Consumer Electronics Show won’t be held in person next year
NEW YORK (AP) — CES, one of the world’s biggest technology conferences, won’t be held in person next year, a reversal from May when organizers said it still planned to go ahead with a smaller show in Las Vegas.
Instead, the 2021 event will be a virtual convention, one that organizers hope to bring back to Las Vegas in 2022. The announcement Tuesday is sure to be a blow to the tourism industry in Las Vegas.
More than 170,00 people attended the four-day show this January, flying from all over the world to see some of the latest TVs, robots and gadgets.
Teachers’ union OKs striking if unsafe to return
UNDATED (AP) — One of the nation’s largest teachers’ unions is authorizing its members to strike if their schools plan to reopen without proper safety measures in the middle of the global pandemic.
The American Federation of Teachers, which represents 1.7 million school employees, issued a resolution on Tuesday saying it will support any local chapter that decides to strike over reopening plans. The group says school buildings should open only in areas where coronavirus infections are low enough and if schools enact certain safety measures.
The union’s president blasted President Donald Trump for ordering schools to reopen even as the virus continues to surge. Randi Weingarten called Trump’s response “chaotic and catastrophic,” saying it has left teachers angry and afraid.
Twitter gives Trump Jr. a tweet timeout for pandemic misinfo
WASHINGTON (AP) — Twitter has temporarily halted President Donald Trump’s son from tweeting after he shared a video riddled with unsupported claims about the coronavirus Monday.
The video features pro-Trump doctors telling Americans they do not need to wear masks to prevent coronavirus and saying hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria drug, is a sure-fire way to treat coronavirus. The video directly refutes advice from Trump’s own medical experts, who have urged people to slow the virus’ spread by wearing masks and cautioned against using hydroxychloroquine to treat coronavirus.
A Twitter spokesman confirms that Twitter required Trump Jr. to take down the video and put his account on a 12-hour timeout.
Former CBS digital chief takes top job at Tinder
NEW YORK (AP) — The one-time chief of digital media at CBS is the new CEO of Tinder.
Match Group, which owns Tinder and other dating sites like OkCupid, says Jim Lanzone will take over for current CEO Elie Seidman on Monday.
Lanzone held various jobs during his tenure at CBS Corp. from 2011 to 2019, including chief digital officer.
The Dallas company reports second quarter earnings next week. Match had a solid first quarter despite the negative impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.
Altria expands sales of heated cigarette as revenue slides
WASHINGTON (AP) — Marlboro-maker Altria says cigarette sales continue to decline as it pushes to expand sales of an alternative heated-tobacco product.
The tobacco giant’s second-quarter profit fell slightly but still beat Wall Street expectations when adjusted for one-time expenses. Sales slid 3.8% on lower sales of cigarette brands like Marlboro, Parliament and others.
Altria has been working to expand its business to vaping and alternative tobacco products. The company recently expanded marketing of a heat-not-burn cigarette.
U.S. health regulators said earlier this month that the product, licensed from Philip Morris International, reduces exposure to harmful chemicals in cigarettes.