CNBC.com’s MacKenzie Sigalos brings you the day’s top business news headlines, and what to watch as the coronavirus pandemic continues to keep most of America on lockdown. On today’s show, CNBC’s Robert Frank takes a look at how large corporations received hundreds of millions of dollars meant for small business relief.
Here are the other top stories we’re watching:
Gilead Sciences said that a draft document showing disappointing results from a closely watched clinical trial of the company’s treatment for the coronavirus contained “inappropriate characterizations” and that the study’s findings were “inconclusive.”
Shares of the biotech firm fell 4% in intraday trading Thursday after the Financial Times reported that antiviral drug remdesivir did not improve Covid-19 patients’ conditions or reduce the virus’ presence in the bloodstream in a clinical trial in China. The report, citing a draft document that was accidentally published by the World Health Organization and has since been removed, also said the drug showed significant side effects, and some patients were taken off of it.
The Small Business Administration issued new guidance on Thursday making it less likely that big publicly traded companies can access the next round of funding for the U.S. government’s small business relief program. It also stepped up pressure on public companies that have tapped funds to return the money.
The update comes after a public furor that large companies tapped the facility, known as the Paycheck Protection Program, for hundreds of millions of dollars in loans while thousands of small businesses have yet to receive funding.
It took only five weeks for the U.S. economy to wipe out all the job gains it added over the last 11 years.
Coronavirus-induced business closures throughout the U.S. have fueled the number of Americans applying for state unemployment benefits. Last week, new jobless claims totaled 4.427 million, the Labor Department reported Thursday.
Combined with the four prior jobless claims reports, the number of Americans who have filed for unemployment over the previous five weeks is 26.45 million. That number exceeds the 22.442 million positions added to nonfarm payrolls since November 2009, when the U.S. economy began to add jobs back to the economy after the Great Recession.