Customers sit at McDonald’s outdoor seating in Union Square as the city moves into Phase 3 of re-opening following restrictions imposed to curb the coronavirus pandemic on July 7, 2020 in New York City.
Alexi Rosenfeld | Getty Images
McDonald’s is expected to report its second-quarter results before the bell on Tuesday.
Here’s what Wall Street is expecting, based on a survey of analysts by Refinitiv:
- Earnings per share: 74 cents expected
- Revenue: $3.68 billion expected
During the first two months of the quarter, the company said its U.S. same-store sales shrank 12% and global same-store sales plunged 29.8%, according to a June regulatory filing. McDonald’s calculations for same-store sales include locations that were temporarily shuttered due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Fast-food chains like McDonald’s have been recovering faster than the overall restaurant industry, thanks to their convenient drive-thru lanes and cheap deals.
McDonald’s announced on Friday that it will require face coverings at all of its U.S. restaurants and would continue its pause on reopening dining rooms for another month. About 2,200 of its U.S. dining rooms had reopened as of July 1.
Shares of McDonald’s, which has a market value of $155 billion, have risen 1.8% so far this year.
In this May 4, 2020 photo provided by the University of Maryland School of Medicine, the first patient enrolled in Pfizer’s COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine clinical trial at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, receives an injection.
University of Maryland School of Medicine | AP
U.S. drugmaker Pfizer and German biotech BioNTech said they began their late-stage human trial for a potential coronavirus vaccine on Monday as pharmaceutical companies race to win regulatory approval before the end of the year.
The trial will include up to 30,000 participants between the ages of 18 and 85 across 120 sites globally, the companies announced. If successful, they expect to submit it for final regulatory review as early as October.
The decision to start the trial reflects “our primary goal to bring a well-tolerated, highly effective vaccine to the market as quickly as possible, while we will continue to evaluate our other vaccine candidates as part of a differentiated COVID-19 vaccine portfolio,” BioNTech CEO Ugur Sahin said in a release. “Many steps have been taken towards this important milestone and we would like to thank all those involved for their extraordinary commitment.”
The companies’ experimental vaccine, uses messenger ribonucleic acid, or mRNA molecules, to provoke an immune response to fight the virus. Scientists hope mRNA, which relays genetic instructions from DNA, can be used to train the immune system to recognize and destroy the virus.
Earlier this month, the companies said one of its four coronavirus vaccine candidates produced neutralizing antibodies, which researchers believe is necessary to build immunity to the virus, in all participants who received two of the 10 or 30 microgram doses.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
People wear protective face masks in Koreatown as the city continues Phase 4 of re-opening following restrictions imposed to slow the spread of coronavirus on July 26, 2020 in New York.
Noam Galai | Getty Images
President Donald Trump said Monday that states should begin reopening their businesses as the coronavirus outbreak in parts of the United States shows its first signs of slowing.
“I really do believe a lot of the governors should be opening up states that are not opening,” Trump said during coronavirus briefing from the Bioprocess Innovation Center at Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies in Morrisville, North Carolina. “We’ll see what happens with them.”
On Sunday, Arizona reported a 13% drop in the seven-day average of new Covid-19 cases, logging 2,627 newly diagnosed cases over the previous 24 hours, down from 3,022 the previous week, according to a CNBC analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Cases in Texas have fallen almost 19% over the previous week as of Sunday, while Florida has just begun seeing its curve of new cases start to flatten.
Trump touted the new data at the press briefing. “Over the weekend, cases in Florida, Texas and Arizona held steady and are now heading down. In Arizona, they are heading down and very substantially down,” he said.
While cases appear to be slowing, public health officials and infectious disease experts warn that reopening businesses too early could cause another resurgence in new Covid-19 cases. Early in the outbreak, U.S. cases peaked at around 30,000 new cases a day before falling and plateauing at roughly 20,000 new cases per day in mid-May. As some states began to reopen in late April through June, new cases began to surge with the U.S. now reporting more than 60,000 new cases a day.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
U.S. President Donald Trump delivers a speech during a tour of the Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies’ Innovation Center, a pharmaceutical manufacturing plant where components for a potential coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine candidate are being developed, in Morrrisville, North Carolina, July 27, 2020.
Carlos Barria | Reuters
The Department of Health and Human Services awarded the contract to the Fujifilm Texas A&M Innovation Center in College Station, Texas, Trump said. He made the announcement at the Bioprocess Innovation Center at Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies in Morrisville, North Carolina, where the company is manufacturing “bulk drug substance” for a coronavirus vaccine by Novavax, which was awarded $1.6 billion by the federal government to help develop the vaccine.
“These same manufacturing processes are being conducted on an even larger scale in College Station, Texas,” Trump said. “Today, I’m proud to announce that HHS has just signed a $265 million contract with the Fujifilm Texas A&M Innovation Center, which is quite the place, to dramatically expand their vaccine manufacturing capacity.”
The site will support Operation Warp Speed, the Trump Administration’s effort to accelerate the development, manufacturing and distribution of vaccines and treatments to fight the coronavirus that causes Covid-19. The task order from HHS reserves manufacturing capacity in the facility through the end of 2021, the company said in a release.
“Our leading scientists and engineers in College Station are honored to support COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing with the goal of delivering a safe and effective vaccine to the U.S. population,” Dr. Gerry Farrell, chief operating officer of FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies, Texas, said in a statement. “We will allocate the reserved capacity based on direction provided by the U.S. government, and similar to our North Carolina site, we expect a portion of the reserved capacity to be allocated to Novavax, Inc. for its NVX-CoV2373 COVID-19 vaccine candidate.”
The site, which is a part of the Centers for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing at Texas A&M University, was established in 2009 with support from the state, according to the school’s website. FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies is a subcontractor of the center, the company said.
The company’s site says it has decades of experience in the development and manufacturing of vaccines, monoclonal antibodies and other biologics viral products.
“To ensure we have the needed capacity, we are engaging domestic centers for advanced manufacturing that HHS has helped build in recent years,” HHS Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement. “Securing more manufacturing capacity here in America will help get a vaccine to Americans without a day wasted and prepare our nation for future emergencies.”
This is breaking news. Check back here for updates.
Dr. Anthony Fauci (R), director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, participates in the daily coronavirus task force briefing at the White House on April 22, 2020 in Washington, DC.
Drew Angerer | Getty Images
White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said Monday he is “not particularly concerned” about the safety risk of a potential coronavirus vaccine by Moderna, despite the fact that it uses new technology to fight the virus.
The vaccine, which entered a large phase three human trial Monday, uses Messenger ribonucleuc acid, or mRNA molecules to provoke an immune response to fight the virus. Scientists hope mRNA, which relays genetic instructions from DNA, can be used to train the immune system to recognize and destroy Covid-19. While early studies show promise, mRNA technology has never been used to make a successful vaccine before.
“It’s a novel technology. We are certainly aware of the fact that that there’s not as much experience with this type of platform as there are with other standards,” Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told reporters on a conference call alongside National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins. “I’m not particularly concerned. But I don’t want a lack of severe concern get in the way that we are keeping an open mind to look for any possible deleterious effects as we get into and through the phase three trial.”
Scientists could know whether a potential coronavirus vaccine by Moderna works as early as October, but will likely have the full results by November, Fauci said.
Moderna, which is working in collaboration with the NIH, announced earlier in the day that it began its late-stage trial for its vaccine. The trial will enroll at least 30,000 participants across 87 locations, according to ClinicalTrials.gov. Participants in the experimental arm will receive a 100 microgram dose of the potential vaccine on the first day and another 29 days later. Some patients will also receive a placebo.
Moderna’s experimental vaccine contains genetic material called messenger RNA, or mRNA. If approved the Food and Drug Administration, it would be the first of its kind.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
In this March 16, 2020, file photo, a subject receives a shot in the first-stage safety study clinical trial of a potential vaccine by Moderna for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle.
Ted S. Warren | AP
Moderna shares soared more than 8% in premarket trading Monday after the biotech company announced it received an additional $472 million from the U.S. government to support the development of its potential coronavirus vaccine.
The additional funding from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority will support Moderna’s late-stage development of its vaccine including the phase three study, which begins Monday and will include more than 30,000 participants. Moderna received $483 million from the federal agency in April.
The results from the late-stage trial could be released as soon as October, Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said during an interview with CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “It’s a really optimistic scenario. It could be November. Again, at this stage, it’s impossible for us to know precisely. It will depend on the event rate, the attack rate of infection.”
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
A “Now Hiring” sign is displayed outside a Papa John’s International Inc. pizza restaurant in Louisville, Kentucky.
Luke Sharrett | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Papa John’s on Monday announced it would hire 10,000 more workers as it tries to meet surging demand for its pizzas.
Consumers who are sheltering in place are ordering more Papa John’s food during the coronavirus pandemic. During the three months ended June 28, the pizza chain’s North American same-store sales soared 28%, according to its preliminary estimates.
The company recently added 20,000 employees. At the end of 2019, it had 16,500 employees, according to its annual report.
Papa John’s is not the only large restaurant chain to announce hiring plans amid widespread unemployment. Rival pizza chains Pizza Hut and Domino’s announced plans to hire thousands to meet demand as lockdowns began across the U.S. Other large restaurant chains, like McDonald’s and Chipotle Mexican Grill, have also announced their own hiring sprees as their sales bounce back.
Papa John’s also said it is expanding its college tuition program to include Southern New Hampshire University and University of Maryland Global Campus. Employees and their immediate family members can receive reduced tuition.
Shares of Papa John’s, which has a market value of $3.1 billion, have risen 48% so far this year.
At farms across the country, workers are contracting Covid-19, sparking concerns about how to protect the low-wage laborers.
Millions of Americans are working from home after their governors told them to shelter in place, but farmworkers, grocery store employees and other essential workers don’t have the option as they try to maintain the national food supply.
The U.S. meat supply has already seen production lag due to outbreaks in slaughterhouses and meatpacking plants. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that more than 16,200 workers across 23 states have tested positive for the virus. Total production of federally inspected red meat and poultry fell 8% in April and 13% in May, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
But while meatpacking workers were falling ill, cases among farmworkers didn’t become a concern until early summer, when many labor-intensive crops needed to be harvested. In June, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis blamed a surge of new coronavirus cases on farmworkers and day laborers, although cases were spiking outside of agricultural areas, leading state Latino leaders to call on him to apologize for his comments.
California has seen its overall cases surge in June and July, and it recently passed New York for total confirmed cases. It also hosts half of the country’s farm worker population, who harvest crops from wine grapes to mushrooms.
Marielos Cisneros, a production clerk for Primex Farms in Wasco, California and a single mother, tested positive for Covid-19 in June and still feels nauseous when she eats. She said that the farm’s human resources department told her not to tell other employees about her diagnosis. Cisneros believes her four children caught the virus from her.
Primex Farms, which grows pistachio nuts, denied the allegation that any of its management representatives told employees to hide a positive diagnosis.
“We are very proactive and encouraging employees to report any COVID related symptoms,” a spokesperson said in a statement to CNBC. “We have also done contact tracing by sending everyone with potential exposure to get tested, and we are not allowing employees to come to work who have shown any of the COVID-19 symptoms.”
Primex said that it has tested all of its employees for Covid-19, and 150 workers tested positive. Over 70 have returned to work with permission from a medical professional or a health department official.
Most farmworkers labor outside, where the risk of catching the virus is lower and social distancing is easier. Instead, the larger risks come outside of work. H-2A visas for temporary agriculture workers require that employers provide housing, transportation to and from work and access to a kitchen at no extra cost for their migrant workers. The labor camps typically resembles barracks, and social distancing is difficult.
“Not too many small family farmers have the resources to hire someone to, say, clean the bathrooms three or four times a day, and same goes with the kitchen,” said Baldemar Velasquez, president of Farm Labor Organizing Committee, a branch of the AFL-CIO that represents workers in the Midwest and South.
Nearly 200 farmworkers living at such a facility in Oxnard, California tested positive for Covid-19 in early July.
“A lot of places are operating just as usual,” said Armando Elenes, secretary treasurer of United Farm Workers, which primarily represents laborers in California, Oregon and Washington.
Velasquez said that the companies buying tobacco, fruits and vegetables from farms should issue an emergency one-year increase in prices to give small family farmers enough funds to make their labor camps safer.
“These companies are not hurting for money. The only thing that they’re hurting for is increased profits,” he said.
Velasquez said that he suspects there are many unreported cases. He said some workers may be reluctant to get tested for Covid-19 because they fear not being paid while they are quarantining or recovering from the illness, although legally their employer must pay them.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act requires businesses with fewer than 500 employees to cover paid leave related to Covid-19 through the end of the year, offering some protection to low-wage laborers. The UFW advocated for an expansion to cover larger farms with the state of California and won. But less than half of farmworkers surveyed in 2015 and 2016 for the Department of Labor’s National Agricultural Workers Survey had health insurance.
“They’re so used to working even when they’re sick, just working through it,” Elenes said.
Cisneros said her health insurance covered some of her medical expenses stemming from Covid-19. She only received a few hours worth of sick pay from Primex Farms until she and her coworkers went on strike, demanding free face coverings, better sanitation measures and more information about sick employees. Now, she said that Primex is retaliating against her and trying to get her to quit, at a time when the national unemployment rate is 11.1%.
Primex denied that its employees were ever on strike and said that it has been paying out the required sick pay since the California mandate was made law. The company also denied that it is retaliating against any of its employees.
Some farm workers might also be motivated not to get tested because a positive Covid-19 test could also disrupt their future work prospects.
“If they feel that their labor contractor or supervisor disapproves of their not working, then they won’t be recruited to come back next year,” Velasquez said.
U.S. coronavirus deaths top 1,000 for four straight days as California, Florida and Texas report record averages
Medical personnel move a deceased patient to a refrigerated truck serving as make shift morgues at Brooklyn Hospital Center on April 09, 2020 in New York City.
Angela Weiss | AFP | Getty Images
The U.S. reported more than 1,100 coronavirus deaths on Friday, marking the first time since May the morbid daily death toll rose above 1,000 for four consecutive days, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
There were 10 states across the U.S. that reported record daily coronavirus deaths based on a seven-day moving average, according to a CNBC analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins. CNBC uses a seven-day trailing average to smooth out spikes in data reporting to identify where cases and deaths are rising and falling.
Covid-19 cases across the country remained steady, however, with the nation’s seven-day average growing by less than 1% compared with a week ago, according to Hopkins data. Deaths and hospitalizations typically lag behind an increase in cases because it can take a while after someone is diagnosed to become seriously ill and potentially die, epidemiologists say.
Some states that have reported climbing cases for weeks, including California, Texas and Florida, are now seeing record daily coronavirus deaths based on a seven-day moving average.
Texas had an average of 138 new deaths on Friday, which is more than 29% higher compared with a week ago, according to a CNBC analysis of Johns Hopkins data. California had an average of 104 new deaths, which is more than 13% higher compared with a week ago. Florida reported an average of 121 daily deaths, a near 21% increase compared with a week ago.
On Thursday, Adm. Brett Giroir, an assistant secretary for health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said that the rate of deaths from the coronavirus in the United States should begin to fall in the “next couple of weeks.”
The seven-day rolling average of coronavirus infections is beginning to drop, and U.S. health officials predict hospitalizations will go down next week and mortality rates will follow in about two weeks, he said during a press briefing with reporters.
Giroir’s prediction differs from forecasts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National and state-level forecasts suggest that the number of new deaths in the U.S. over the next four weeks will likely exceed the number reported over the previous four weeks, according to the CDC.
“Nobody’s letting up their foot from the gas,” he added. “If we throw caution to the wind, go back to the bars, this will all go into reverse.”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott told CNBC Friday that the state has not yet “conquered” the coronavirus and it’s “going to take a little while” to eliminate, although the state has made some strides. State officials and funeral home directors are ordering extra body bags and refrigerated trucks as they prepare for an increase in deaths from Covid-19, which has already killed at least 4,717 people in the state.
“I feel like we have reached a plateau where we’ve contained the exponential growth of Covid at this particular time, but we have a lot more work to do in the coming weeks,” Abbott said. “We don’t have Covid conquered right now.”
U.S. President Donald Trump is seated prior to signing an executive order regarding social media companies in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., May 28, 2020.
Jonathan Ernst | Reuters
President Donald Trump announced Friday he will sign four executive orders aimed at lowering the high cost of prescription drugs in the United States in what he said would restructure the prescription drug market in the U.S.
“The four orders I’m signing today will completely restructure the prescription drug market in terms of pricing and everything else to make these medications affordable and accessible for all Americans,” Trump said at the White House. “Under my administration, we’re standing up to the lobbyists and special interests and fighting back against a rigged system.”
Trump made lowering drug costs one of his key health-care issues early in his term. But drug pricing has taken a backseat over the last year as the Trump administration has shifted its focus to other priorities such as the teen vaping epidemic and now the coronavirus, which continues to rapidly spread through the United States with more than 4 million cases as of Friday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
Earlier this week, Trump warned that the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. will probably “get worse before it gets better” and urged the public to wear face masks to help curb the spread of the virus.
Industry trade group PhRMA, or the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, has argued that drug price hikes over the years have been modest, and have cited concerns with the nation’s rebate system. Those are the discounts drugmakers give to middlemen, also known as pharmacy benefit managers, often in exchange for more favorable insurance coverage for their drugs. The group has favored changes to Medicare, including capping the amount seniors would pay for on their own at the pharmacy counter every year.
The SPDR S&P Pharmaceuticals ETF (XPH), which tracks drug stocks, was more than 1% lower ahead of Trump’s announcement.
Even though Trump issued the executive orders, it may take months for the administration to finalize them.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.