|Bid||55.41 x 2200|
|Ask||55.65 x 1200|
|Day's range||54.35 - 56.60|
|52-week range||51.72 - 77.03|
|Beta (5Y monthly)||0.96|
|PE ratio (TTM)||10.97|
|Earnings date||28 Apr 2020 - 03 May 2020|
|Forward dividend & yield||2.00 (3.61%)|
|Ex-dividend date||21 Apr 2020|
|1y target est||81.25|
CVS Health plans to hire for full-time, part-time and temporary jobs, including home delivery drivers and customer service representatives.
Anecdotal reports of clinical drug trials being disrupted by the coronavirus outbreak have caused concern for the life sciences sector at large, though it appears vaccine trials for COVID-19 won’t be affected, according to Moody’s.
(Bloomberg) -- On Mar. 18, a laid-off customer-service representative for one of the airline companies attended an Amazon.com Inc. employee orientation in Dallas. He found himself packed into a room with about 70 other applicants, sitting shoulder-to-shoulder to watch a PowerPoint presentation about what it’s like to work for the online retailer. The man, who provided a smartphone photo to document his experience, said the event was exactly like one he attended last year for a seasonal holiday job with Amazon. In other words, there were no special precautions to keep attendees safe from the coronavirus. When the man raised concerns about the crowded conditions, he said an Amazon manager mocked him and a fellow recruit sneered.“They made jokes and told me to leave if I was unhappy,” he said, adding that one manager said Amazon’s operations were exempt from the rules because the company is considered an essential service. “They didn’t care one tiny bit.” The former customer rep took the job but still worries about getting sick. Amazon also ignored official social-distancing guidelines at mid-March events near Portland, Oregon, and in Kenosha, Wisconsin, according to two applicants. A fourth person who attended an Amazon job fair in West Jefferson, Ohio, said she was sent home and asked to return another day because the gathering was too crowded, suggesting precautionary measures are in place at least at some events or Amazon is changing its practices.The absence of social distancing at Amazon hiring events recently made the rounds on social media. One user tweeted photos he said were taken at recent recruiting event in Los Angeles. Another complained on Twitter that the event she attended, where people were in close proximity on a line, wasn’t safe. She didn’t disclose the location. Bloomberg was unable to reach those people.In an emailed statement, Amazon said it has updated its recruiting practices to avoid large crowds and keep applicants safe, but it declined to say precisely when it made the change.“These situations occurred two weeks ago and we’ve since moved all new hire events and orientations to virtual platforms,” Amazon spokeswoman Lindsay Campbell said. “Any situation in which teams don’t follow social distancing guidelines are immediately investigated.”In its initial rush to hire 100,000 people to meet surging demand from customers fearful of visiting physical stores, Amazon dusted off its holiday season recruiting playbook: holding events with lines snaking through hallways and crowds packed into meeting rooms to watch videos, submit identification and fill out paperwork. The practices violate official Covid-19 safety guidelines, which include avoiding large gatherings and maintaining at least six feet of distance from others.Amazon is widely seen as an indispensable service amid the pandemic, providing such essentials as food, cleaning supplies and medicine. That hasn’t stopped critics from accusing the company of putting customers ahead of its warehouse workers. These employees aren’t simply handling essential goods but also processing returns and packing toys, clothes and cosmetics. As the outbreak spreads and more cases are confirmed among Amazon’s warehouse workforce, demonstrations and walkouts have erupted in the U.S. and Europe along with demands from lawmakers and regulators for the company to improve working conditions.On Monday, workers staged a walkout at Amazon’s Staten Island warehouse, where three more cases were reported Tuesday evening; they called for the facility to be shut down for cleaning. Hours later, workers at a Chicago depot picketed outside their facility. And in Romulus, outside Detroit, on Wednesday, a group of Amazon employees lined the sidewalk of their warehouse, complaining about a lack of transparency from management and beseeching Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos to shut it down.Amazon has lauded the bravery of its workers delivering essentials during the crisis and said it’s protecting them through social distancing requirements and stepped-up cleaning.With the economy imploding, many Americans are willing to toil at an Amazon warehouse. Almost 4 in 10 would have difficulty covering a sudden $400 emergency expense, according to a survey on economic health released in May by the Federal Reserve, highlighting the precarious financial condition of many hourly workers living paycheck to paycheck. A record-breaking 3.3 million people filed jobless claims in the week ending March 21, and experts say unemployment could top 30 percent, five points higher than the Great Depression’s jobless peak.Amazon’s March 16 announcement that it would be hiring and boosting pay represents a lifeline to thousands of people who have lost their livelihoods in the travel, leisure and hospitality industries. “There are very few jobs right now, and millions of people are going to want them,” said Fred Goff, who runs Jobcase, a job search and networking site for hourly workers. “Amazon was ahead of the curve with $15 an hour and announced temporary raises. They’re not going to have a problem hiring people.”Vancouver, Washington, resident Robin Guyton, 62, is among them. She had part-time jobs bringing developmentally disabled people on outings to shopping malls and bowling alleys, but her hours were sharply reduced since everyone has to stay home. Amazon beckoned with warehouse work that pays up to $20 an hour and health benefits. She attended a hiring event near Portland in March and accepted a job offer that day.“It’s a big company and in times like this, their services are more in demand, so there’s some job security,” she said. “This whole thing took the wind out of my sails, and I just need a job to pay the bills.”Good pay, benefits and job security outweighed her alarm about the crowded job event, where she said people were packed side-by-side at tables to fill out online applications on shared computers that weren’t cleaned between uses.“I was so stunned, but I was so desperate to get the job I just did what I could by staying as far away from people as I could,” she said.Walmart Inc., Costco Wholesale Corp., Kroger Co. and CVS Health Corp. are all also ramping up recruitment to meet surging demand for essential supplies. Some have sped up hiring practices by offering virtual interviews and forgoing drug and background checks, reducing the need to pack people into big job fairs.Walmart, which is hiring 150,000 people, compressed its hiring process from approximately two weeks to just 24 hours and is giving verbal offers by phone following online assessments. Other companies like Kroger use online platforms to check the identification of applicants so a bunch of new workers don’t have to attend big events to go through government-required ID verification, said Julie Pearl, co-founder of Tracker Corp., one of several companies that provide a remote ID checking service.One speed bump for the companies hiring is a new stimulus package that includes enhanced unemployment benefits that could give some workers pause about taking grocery clerk, warehouse or delivery jobs that they think are too risky during the outbreak, said Gary Burtless, a senior fellow in economic studies at the Brookings Institution.“There are a lot of people with low or average pay who will find that their income when they are laid off will rise, not fall, as a result of the special unemployment benefits,” he said.Amazon could be taking steps to make some hiring events safer for applicants. One woman, who previously worked with people with disabilities, applied for an Amazon warehouse job and said she and about 20 other applicants were sent home from a hiring event in West Jefferson, Ohio, on March 21 because it was too crowded and asked to return another day.She returned three days later to find a much smaller group of about 25 people and some seats were roped off. The orientation was shortened by two hours to limit time people spent near each other, said the woman, who was between jobs when she heard an advertisement that Amazon was hiring.The warehouse manager where she works has been sending daily emails reminding employees of the importance of their jobs in keeping essential goods moving during the pandemic, she said, and hand sanitizer was available throughout the facility during her first week on the job. (Updates with worker protests.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Should investors think about buying Walgreens stock with the pharmacy and retail giant set to report its Q2 fiscal 2020 earnings results on Thursday, April 2?
UnitedHealth's (UNH) UnitedHealthcare business actively enhances service suites for customers, thereby helping contain the virus spread.
CVS Health’s (CVS) Aetna became the first major insurer to voluntarily forego costs connected to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has become the most far-reaching infection in decades.
COVID-19 is taking an enormous toll on economic and health infrastructure, thereby resulting in massive layoffs. However, there are certain companies that are challenging this downtrend.
Retail giants Walmart, Amazon and CVS are posting hundreds of thousands of new jobs to keep up with coronavirus-related demand, though historical and current data show they’re an exception to the rule.
While hotel room demand plummets with the ongoing spread of coronavirus, Hilton launched a program this week to find temporary work for its tens of thousands of furloughed employees. The global hotel company employs 60,000 people directly and 200,000 at its franchised properties across the U.S. As a result of coronavirus, Hilton has had to […]
(Bloomberg) -- The U.K. will go into lockdown after Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered sweeping measures to keep people from leaving their homes for at least three weeks.Governors of Michigan, Massachusetts, West Virginia and Wisconsin implemented stay-at-home policies. The Federal Reserve announced a second wave of initiatives to support the U.S. economy after Democrats blocked the Senate from advancing a rescue plan.Deaths in Italy, the epicenter of the outbreak in Europe, slowed for a second day. Germany was ready to approve aid to Italy, and Chancellor Angela Merkel’s first coronavirus test came back negative. Key Developments:Cases top 372,000 and 16,000 dead: Johns Hopkins tallyCrisis in aviation industry deepensIOC member says Olympics will be postponedCVS to hire 50,000 workers to meet demandCases in New Jersey rise almost 1,000 overnight to 2,844Fed’s Bullard says U.S. unemployment may hit 30% in 2QRhode Island postpones its presidential primary from April 28 to June 2Subscribe to a daily update on the virus from Bloomberg’s Prognosis team here.Click VRUS on the terminal for news and data on the coronavirus and here for maps and charts. For analysis of the impact from Bloomberg Economics, click here. To see the impact on oil and commodities demand, click here.Florida Orders Self-Isolation for Travelers From N.Y., N.J. (5:34 p.m. NY)Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said he will issue an executive order making it mandatory for all arrivals from New York and New Jersey to self-isolate for two weeks upon entering the state.Trump Administration May Reopen Obamacare Exchange (5:20 p.m. NY)The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is considering reopening enrollment for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act in response to the outbreak. Americans who don’t currently have coverage may see if they qualify for “special enrollment periods” if they’ve lost their job or have been subject to other life-changing circumstances, a CMS spokesperson said.CMS is working closely with the states and health plans to assess other necessary actions to ensure Americans have coverage and access to services during the pandemic, the spokesperson said. Boris Johnson Puts U.K. on Three-Week Lockdown (4:38 p.m. NY)U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson approved radical measures to ban all unnecessary movement of people for at least three weeks. Police will break up gatherings and have the power to fine individuals who break the tough new laws. Shops selling non-essential items, playgrounds, libraries and places of worship will be closed.Read the full story hereWork to Begin on Hospital at Javits Center (3:33 p.m. NY)Construction will begin this week to turn the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan into a 1,000-bed hospital, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said.The main showroom of the center will be broken up into four 250-bed hospitals each about 40,000 square feet in size, Cuomo said at the center. The state is hoping to add an additional 1,000 beds at the center for less-intensive medical care, for a total of 2,000 new beds, Cuomo said.New Jersey, too, expects to increase patient capacity and is asking the Federal Emergency Management Agency to operate four pop-up hospitals, a step that has support from President Donald Trump, Governor Phil Murphy said.Read the full story hereFrance Advises Against Test Drug (3:03 p.m. NY)As deaths climbed almost 30% in France, Health Minister Olivier Veran said the government recommends against prescribing the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine or using it for anything other than severe cases. France is participating in a multi-country study looking at the efficacy of four experimental treatments, including hydroxychloroquine.New Deaths Fall in Italy for Second Day (2:27 p.m. NY)Italy reported 601 new deaths from the coronavirus on Monday, posting a decline for a second day, as the country enters its third week of lockdown measures designed to keep the spread of the disease in check.Total cases in the country rose to 63,927, civil protection officials said, while the hard-hit Lombardy region around Milan, which accounts for about half of the nation’s infections, registered a decrease in the number of hospitalized virus patients, top health official Giulio Gallera said Monday.Read the full story hereIMF Predicts Recession (1:30 p.m. NY)The International Monetary Fund said it expects a global recession this year that will be at least as bad as the downturn during the financial crisis more than a decade ago, followed by a recovery in 2021.Nearly 80 countries have asked the Washington-based IMF for emergency finance, Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said in a statement Monday following a conference call of Group of 20 finance ministers and central bankers. Georgieva said the fund strongly supports extraordinary fiscal actions already taken by many countries and welcomes the moves of major central banks to ease monetary policy.“Even more will be needed, especially on the fiscal front,” she said.Read the full story hereBoeing Closes Washington Plants (1:15 p.m. NY)Boeing Co. is temporarily shuttering its Seattle-area factories, compounding hurdles for a company already reeling from the grounding of its top-selling plane.The shutdown will begin March 25 and last 14 days. The company will conduct deep cleaning at affected sites and establish “rigorous criteria for return to work.”The closing leaves Boeing with just one fully functioning jetliner factory.Read the full story hereGermans Offer to Help Stricken Italy (1:10 p.m. NY)German officials are ready to help Italy get through the coronavirus pandemic and are prepared to support an emergency loan from the euro area’s bailout fund.The preferred option in Berlin would see Italy granted an enhanced credit line by the European Stability Mechanism with minimal conditionality, according to a German official with knowledge of the government’s thinking. While Chancellor Angela Merkel has said she’s happy to discuss Italy’s request for jointly issued coronavirus bonds to shore up euro members’ finances, the official said Germany isn’t ready to move forward with that idea.Read the full story hereDow Loses Gains Under Trump (12:02 p.m. NY)The Dow Jones Industrial Average has lost more than 30% of its value in just over a month, wiping out all of its gains since Donald Trump was elected on Nov. 8, 2016. The S&P 500 Index isn’t too far behind, while the Nasdaq Composite Index’s return remains in the green -- albeit on a downward trajectory with the rest.New Cases May Be Slowing in Germany (10:25 a.m. NY)Germany’s public health authority has seen a trend toward the exponential growth in new cases flattening out and expects to see by Wednesday whether this is the case, Lothar Wieler, president of the authority, said at a press conference earlier on Monday. “I am optimistic.”RKI repeated that many local health agencies don’t report over the weekend and that those numbers will trickle in during the course of the week.NYC May Lose $6 Billion in Tax Revenue (10:21 a.m. NY)New York City is “staring down a fiscal emergency” and may lose as much as $6 billion in tax revenue over the next 15 months, as the the Covid-19 epidemic shuts down a broad swath of the city’s economy, comptroller Scott Stringer said.Moderna’s Vaccine May Reach Some This Fall (10:10 a.m. NY)Moderna Inc.’s experimental vaccine for the new coronavirus could be available to a select few as soon as this fall. That’s ahead of expectations for a commercial launch in another year.Stephane Bancel, the biotech’s chief executive, told Goldman Sachs representatives on Friday that the vaccine could be made available to a few, potentially health-care workers under emergency-use authorization. Moderna has been working with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases on the vaccine and just started testing in humans earlier this month.A potential vaccine isn’t expected to be commercially available for at least a year. Moderna is also scaling up manufacturing so that the company can produce millions of doses each month, according to a company statement.GE Aviation to Cut About 10% of U.S. Workforce (9:27 a.m. NY)GE Aviation plans to cut about 10% of its total U.S. workforce, its chairman said in a message to employees. There will be a temporary lack of work impacting approximately half of its U.S. maintenance, repair and overhaul employees for 90 days.Merkel Is Tested, Awaiting Results (9:16 a.m. NY)German Chancellor Angela Merkel was tested today for the coronavirus and is awaiting the results, her spokesman said at a news conference. He said the chancellor is in good health and continuing with her work. The German leader quarantined herself at home on Sunday following earlier contact with a doctor who later tested positive.The government has signed off on taking on billions in new debt as part of an unprecedented package totaling 750 billion euros ($800 billion).Trump Weighs Easing Curbs (8:50 a.m. NY)President Trump began talking privately late last week about reopening the nation, despite the swiftly rising number of coronavirus cases and against the advice of health professionals, because he’s worried about the economic damage from an extended shutdown, according to people familiar with his thinking.He earlier retweeted several posts calling for healthy people to return to work after 15 days of precautions. “The fear of the virus cannot collapse our economy that President Trump has built up,” says a post retweeted by Trump. “Flatten the curve NOT the Economy,” another says.Russia Expects 10% Slump This Year in Worst-Case Scenario (8:45 a.m. NY)Russia’s economy could shrink by as much as 10% this year if the spread of coronavirus requires a full lockdown, according to a worst-case scenario being discussed by the government.Forecasts show the contraction could be around 5%-10%, according to people familiar with the estimates, who asked to remain unidentified since discussions are ongoing. That would be as deep as the 7.8% contraction Russia suffered in 2009.Singapore Sees Largest Daily Increase (8:35 a.m. NY)Singapore reported its biggest one-day jump in coronavirus infections with 54 new cases, of which 48 were imported. Earlier, Malaysia confirmed 212 new cases, the biggest daily jump, bringing the total to 1,518 despite imposing a lockdown that began on March 18.U.K. Won’t Hesitate to Take Further Measures (8:22 a.m. NY)U.K. will take further measures “quickly” to restrict movement of people if there’s evidence current steps aren’t working, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman, James Slack tells reporters on a conference call on Monday.The U.K. economy will contract at least 10% in the first half of the year as the fallout form the coronavirus hammers output, according to Bloomberg Economics’ estimates. In a report released Monday, senior U.K. economist Dan Hanson said support provided by the Bank of England and the Treasury should prompt a turnaround in the second half of the year if the outbreak is contained by the summer.H&M Warns It May Need to Cut Thousands of Jobs (8:22 a.m. NY)H&M has already temporarily closed all stores in several of its biggest markets including Germany and the U.S. and during the last few days also closed all its stores in the U.K. That means 3,441 of the group’s 5,062 stores are now shuttered. The Swedish fashion retailer said its response to the crisis is “likely to affect tens of thousands of employees in all parts of the business” across the globe.U.K. in Talks to Increase Delivery of Virus Tests (8:05 a.m. NY)The U.K. is in talks with firms to boost delivery of coronavirus tests to front line health and social care staff, the FT reports, citing two people familiar. Sending test kits to people at home is also being explored, the paper said.Fed Signals Unlimited QE (8 a.m. NY)The Federal Reserve on Monday announced a second wave of initiatives, including buying an unlimited amount of bonds to keep borrowing costs low and setting up programs to ensure credit flows to corporations and state and local governments.The Fed will buy Treasuries and agency mortgage-backed securities “in the amounts needed to support smooth market functioning and effective transmission of monetary policy to broader financial conditions and the economy,” and will also buy agency commercial mortgage-backed securities, according to a statement.CVS Health to Hire 50,000 (8 a.m. NY)CVS Health Corp. said it plans to hire 50,000 people in full-time, part-time and temporary jobs to tackle surging demand for drugstore services and health goods. The drugstore chain said it plans to hire store workers, delivery drivers, distribution center workers and customer service employees. Rival drugstore chain Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. on Sunday said it plans to hire more than 9,500 people, while Amazon.com Inc. plans to hire 100,000, and Walmart Inc. 150,000.New Jersey Unemployment Has ‘Gone up Dramatically’ (7:41 a.m. NY)New Jersey unemployment has “gone up dramatically” as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Governor Phil Murphy said. The state will report labor statistics today, according to an interview on CNN. States need a “huge amount” of direct cash assistance, and they’re also looking for equipment and other help from the federal government, Murphy said.(A previous version of this story corrected new number of cases in New Jersey.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Yahoo Finance chats with the CEO of PepsiCo North American Foods Steven Williams on how the food and beverage giant is navigating the coronavirus.
(Bloomberg) -- CVS Health Corp. said it plans to hire 50,000 people in full-time, part-time and temporary jobs to tackle surging demand for drugstore services and health goods during the U.S. coronavirus outbreak.The drugstore chain said it plans to hire store workers, delivery drivers, distribution center workers and customer service employees. CVS and other pharmacies are inundated with people stocking up on medications, health and household items. Prescription delivery is up nearly 300% since CVS waived fees earlier this month, CVS spokesman T.J. Crawford said in an email.CVS’s hiring push is one side of a brutal, rapid economic shift as tourism, restaurant and other services industries lay off huge numbers of workers in response to plummeting demand because of coronavirus fears and lockdowns. As Americans stay at home, they’re ordering goods online and going to drug and grocery stores to stock up.The drugstore chain plans to hire furloughed workers from existing clients like Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. and Marriott International Inc., using virtual job fairs and interviews to hire at a time when Americans are being told to limit in-person contact and stay home.CVS isn’t alone. Rival drugstore chain Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. on Sunday said it plans to hire more than 9,500 people, while Amazon.com Inc. plans to hire 100,000, and Walmart Inc. 150,000.CVS store employees and other hourly workers will also get bonuses between $150 and $500, the Woonsocket, Rhode Island-based chain said in a statement.“Our colleagues have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to providing essential goods and services at a time when they’re needed most,” CVS CEO Larry Merlo said in the statement.The company will also offer child and elder care for workers. Part-time employees will have access to some paid time off for the duration of the Covid-19 pandemic.CVS operates about 9,900 drugstores in the U.S., and last year had annual retail and pharmacy sales of $85.9 billion.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Fixed-income exchange-traded funds have always been, and will continue to be, a contentious subject. Just the idea of a liquidity mismatch between the products and the underlying securities raises tough questions. Which is the more accurate reflection of a market: the benchmark index full of bonds that don’t trade or the ETF that does?As with most things, the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle. But for now, bond ETFs across the world are trading at staggering discounts to their net asset values in what some have dubbed an “illiquidity doom loop.” More recently, that spiral has ensnared even funds that invest in some of the most stable fixed-income securities in the world. It’s one thing if the largest high-yield municipal-bond fund is going berserk — as I wrote last week, that could be chalked up in part to steeply repricing a few securities tied to senior-living facilities. It’s quite another for supposedly safe assets to get hammered. For better or worse, fixed-income ETFs can never be looked at quite the same way going forward.A Bloomberg News article on Friday spotlighted the $6.2 billion iShares Short Maturity Bond ETF (ticker: NEAR). As the name suggests, it holds very short-term corporate debt, with an average duration of less than a year. Some of its biggest holdings include debt from Charter Communications Inc., Ford Motor Co., General Electric Co. and CVS Health Corp., all of which matures within the next eight months. Some of these businesses have had their struggles, yes, but they’re not going belly-up imminently, even with the coronavirus outbreak.Heading into this month, NEAR never swung more than 0.25% in either direction at any point in the previous year. It traded in a 35-cent range over 12 months. Most days, it would barely move at all. Then, something snapped. On March 18, the fund dropped 1.4% in its sharpest decline since inception in 2013. On March 19 it collapsed, tumbling as much as 8.9% because of rumors that BlackRock Inc. was restricting cash redemptions for traders looking to redeem more than one unit. It closed down $3, equivalent to roughly 30 months of dividend payments. The Bloomberg Barclays Short-Term Government/Corporate Total Return Index, meanwhile, was little changed.“Equity-like risk with T-bill upside,” David Schawel, chief investment officer at Family Management Corp., quipped on Twitter. A BlackRock Inc. spokesman told Bloomberg News that the ETF paid out about $150 million in redemptions Thursday, all in cash.NEAR was hardly the only supposedly stable ETF that was slammed. Pacific Investment Management Co.’s Enhanced Short Maturity Active Exchange-Traded Fund (ticker: MINT) dropped 1.35% in the biggest one-day decline since 2009. The Fidelity Low Duration Bond Factor ETF (ticker: FLDR) crumbled 8.35% on March 12, then staged a big rebound of 7.1% on March 13 before losing 8.7% last week.My colleague Eric Balchunas at Bloomberg Intelligence refers to ETFs as a “release valve” for investors to find liquidity when it’s vanishing across bond markets and investors aren’t confident they can sell the underlying securities. It supports the argument that the funds are a better indication of where the market is clearing than the bonds themselves. Or, at the very least, ETFs get out ahead of the ups and downs to come. He said that a vast majority of purportedly bad optics aren’t really that bad at all.What happened to NEAR was different. On Twitter, Balchunas called the huge price drop “unacceptable.” It was a “bad move” by BlackRock, he said. The money manager realized its mistake and reversed course, he added, “but damage was done.” While it’s possible that NEAR and the other ETFs will recover soon from their violent drops and company missteps, this feels like a moment of truth for the fixed-income ETF industry. If investors are simply turning to them for instant price discovery and liquidity, then the funds have certainly held up their end of the bargain. If, however, institutions expected the ETFs to minimize tracking error to a benchmark index, they’ve been let down amid this market turmoil. Heading into Friday, roughly 70 fixed-income ETFs were trading with at least a 5% discount to their net asset value, and 16 traded at a discount of 10% or greater.Again, there could be a snapback. In fact, evidence of one began emerging on Friday across a range of fixed-income ETFs. After reaching a stunning 28% discount on March 18, the VanEck Vectors High Yield Municipal Index ETF (ticker: HYD) staged its biggest two-day advance since inception in 2009. Its short-term cousin, SHYD, surged 9.4% on Friday alone. It’s not clear whether that’s because the underlying securities have stopped selling off or just because the fund became so heavily discounted. If it’s the latter, then the open-end ETF has taken on similar characteristics as closed-end funds, with enterprising investors closing the NAV gap.None of this means the ETF industry is in jeopardy. It just means investors need to realize they won’t function as steady, index-based products during crisis-like periods. Investors were pulling cash from bond funds of all types at a record pace in the week through March 18, which is often the impetus for a vicious cycle. Combine that with a lack of liquidity as banks step back as market-makers, and it’s no wonder that ETFs spiraled. I have little doubt that fixed-income ETFs will get through this rough stretch. But the experience will forever change the conversation about how they’ll perform in a worst-case scenario. This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Brian Chappatta is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering debt markets. He previously covered bonds for Bloomberg News. He is also a CFA charterholder.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- The number of dead in Italy surpassed those in China, as the virus showed signs of slowing there. President Donald Trump is asking regulators to expand the use of a malaria drug to treat the disease.The U.S. issued its highest warning to Americans not to travel abroad. The British government denied it plans to confine Londoners to their homes and ban them from leaving the capital.AT&T is in discussions for a $3 billion loan. Ford Motor Co. suspended its dividend and withdrew its earnings guidance. Trump said he would support the U.S. taking equity stakes in companies given bailout money. Filings for U.S. unemployment benefits surged.Key Developments:Cases hit 231,319 worldwide, death toll tops 9,600Lagarde pledges no limits to ECB action, bonds soarEnglish Premier League postponed until April 30Younger adults aren’t as impervious as originally thoughtNew York ordered 75% of a company’s non-essential workers to stay home.The Cannes Film Festival was postponed for at least a monthSubscribe to a daily update on the virus from Bloomberg’s Prognosis team here.Click VRUS on the terminal for news and data on the coronavirus and here for maps and charts. For analysis of the impact from Bloomberg Economics, click here. To see the impact on oil and commodities demand, click here.Johnson’s U.K. Brexit Chief in Isolation With Symptoms (5:33 p.m. NY)The U.K.’s chief negotiator for its trade talks with the European Union, David Frost, is isolating himself after showing symptoms of coronavirus, a British official said. It comes after Michel Barnier, Frost’s EU counterpart, announced on Twitter earlier on Thursday that he had tested positive for the disease. The two men had not had contact since the first round of talks in Brussels two weeks ago.The news is likely to crush any hopes that the negotiations over the two sides’ future trade relationship can make any substantial progress while the global pandemic continues. This week’s round of talks, scheduled for London, had already been put on hold.Tesla Suspends Production at Lone U.S. Plant (5:07 p.m. NY)Tesla will idle production at a northern California facility that is its lone U.S. assembly plant. The decision follows several days of public pressure by local police and city managers about the carmaker continuing to run the factory in spite of a county shelter-in-place order.U.S. Tells Citizens Abroad to Come Home (4:45 p.m. NY)The U.S. Justice Department escalated a global travel alert to its highest level, telling Americans to avoid all international trips. U.S. citizens in other countries should arrange for immediate return home unless they are prepared to stay abroad indefinitely, the agency said in an advisory.“If you choose to travel internationally, your travel plans may be severely disrupted, and you may be forced to remain outside of the United States for an indefinite timeframe,” the advisory says.CVS Begins Testing (3:28 p.m. NY)CVS Health Corp. opened its first coronavirus testing site, in the parking lot of a pharmacy in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. The company warned there will likely be “issues that arise” that will help the program improve as it opens other sites.Texas Takes Broad Anti-Virus Actions (2:51 p.m. NY)Texas Governor Greg Abbott closed all schools and gyms in the state and banned public gatherings of 10 or more people in sweeping new orders to fight the spread of the coronavirus.The state declared its first public health disaster since 1901. Abbott emphasized that the new limits didn’t amount to a shelter-in-place order, but said he holds quarantine powers if he needs to use them later.Schools will remain closed statewide at least through April 3. He also banned visits at nursing and retirement homes and restricted restaurants and bars to take-out or drive-thru service only, consistent with advice from federal health officials.Johnson May Issue More Restrictions (2:23 p.m. NY)U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that some Londoner aren’t doing enough to contain the spread of the coronavirus and that he would take more steps if necessary. He said earlier, however, that London wouldn’t be locked down.He also said Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak will announce actions on Friday to support struggling businesses.“I say to businesses, stand by your employees, stand by your workers, because we will stand by you,” he told reporters.Johnson also said there were no plans to halt London’s sprawling mass transit system.Italy Death Toll Passes China (1:33 p.m. NY)Italy surpassed China as the country with the most coronavirus deaths, as its number of fatalities reached 3,405 and the pandemic’s global spread accelerates. China has reported 3,245 deaths.Italy nation remained in lockdown.Africa Has Undetected Cases, Conditions Challenging (1:12 p.m. NY)While African nations have some undetected cases, it’s probably not a large number, said Matshidiso Moeti, the region’s director at the World Health Organization. It’s difficult to estimate the true case load, she said.Social distancing and proper hand-washing can be a challenge in some parts of Africa, she added. Families might not have room to isolate infected patients, and soap and clean water are limited in some locations, she said. Non-governmental organizations can help to ensure access to clean water, sanitation and soap in Africa.While Africa has a younger population, the region has higher rates of HIV and many countries lack universal access to health treatment, Moeti said. Malnutrition is also a bigger issue than in Asia and Europe. Recently TV and radio have been talking “virtually only about coronavirus,” and authorities need to make sure messages are getting out about other health issues such as cholera, Moeti said.National Guard Sees ‘Tens of Thousands’ Deployed (1:08 p.m. NY)“Tens of thousands” of U.S. National Guard personnel are likely to be deployed in the fight to combat the coronavirus outbreak.About 2,000 members of the reserve force have already been mobilized at the request of governors in 27 states, and the number could double by the weekend, Air Force General Joseph L. Lengyel, head of the National GuardBureau, said at a Pentagon briefing.Carnival Offers Cruise Ships for Response (1:07 p.m. NY)Carnival Corp. is making its cruise ships available for possible virus response efforts, President Donald Trump said Thursday, citing talks with the company’s chairman, Micky Arison.U.S. Should Get Shares in Bailed-Out Companies (12:47 p.m. NY)President Donald Trump said he’d support the U.S. taking an equity stake in companies that receive coronavirus-related aid from taxpayers and prohibiting firms from increasing executive bonuses and stock buy-backs.U.K. Contacts As Many as 15,000 Retired Doctors (12:45 p.m. NY)The U.K. is contacting 15,000 retired and former doctors who have left the profession in the last three years to see if they are willing to help with efforts to fight the pandemic, the General Medical Council said in a statement Thursday. A third of those being contacted are aged 44 and under.The GMC will grant the entire group automatic temporary registration to practice with no reassessment. Those that don’t want to participate can opt out. About 33% were previously general practitioners, while 35% were specialists.Trump Touts Malaria Drug as Potential Treatment (12:26 p.m. NY)The Food and Drug Administration has been told by President Donald Trump to see if it can expand the use of an experimental malaria drug, chloroquine, to treat patients in the middle of the U.S. coronavirus outbreak.At a press conference at the White House Thursday, Trump and the head of the FDA gave apparently conflicting comments about the availability of the drug. Trump said chloroquine had been approved and could be given to patients by doctors with a prescription.“It’s been around for a long time, so we know that if things don’t go as planned it’s not going to kill anybody,” Trump said.Minutes later, FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn, said that use of the drug would be in a clinical trial to find out whether or not it works, and if so, what dose would safe and effective.U.S. to Tell Americans Not to Travel Overseas (12:21 p.m. NY)The State Department is preparing to raise its travel alert to Level 4 for the entire world, a move aimed at stopping Americans from going overseas as the Trump administration tries to get control of the coronavirus, according to a person familiar with the matter.Level 4 is the highest advisory in the State Department’s travel alert system and essentially tells Americans not to travel overseas at all. It is normally reserved for countries in a state of war such as Yemen and Somalia.Trump: FDA Approves Malaria Drug for Coronavirus (12:05 p.m.)A drug used for the treatment of malaria will be allowed for treatment of Covid-19, President Donald Trump said Thursday, putting an experimental, largely unproven therapy onto the market in the middle of the U.S.’s coronavirus outbreak.The decision to approve the drug, chloroquine, is a nearly unprecedented step by U.S. drug regulators, who typically conduct careful trials of drugs to determine their safety and effectiveness.“It’s been around for a long time, so we know that if things don’t go as planned it’s not going to kill anybody,” Trump said of the drug at a press conference with Food and Drug Commissioner Stephen Hahn at the White House on Thursday.Trump also said that an experimental drug from Gilead Sciences Inc., remdesivir, is also “essentially approved.” Trump didn’t elaborate on what that meant.Blue Apron Extends 1,100% Surge (10:15 a.m. NY)Blue Apron Holdings Inc. shares extended a record four-day surge that has seen the stock jump more than 1,100% this week alone.The meal-kit delivery company opened above $25 a share for the first time since the fall of 2018, as investors flock for safety from the coronavirus-driven rout. The optimism comes as Americans prepare for a potential “shelter-in-place” order that would restrict their ability to leave their homes.NJ Transit Seeks $1.25 Billion in Federal Aid (10 a.m. NY)New Jersey Transit is seeking $1.25 billion of federal aid to make up for a plunge in fare revenue in the wake of the new coronavirus, according to a letter sent by the agency to the state’s congressional delegation.Ridership has dropped 88% since March 9. The financial toll will be “extraordinary and beyond anything experienced in our company’s history,” NJ Transit wrote in a letter seen by Bloomberg News.Ford Halts Dividend, Withdraws Guidance (9:17 a.m. NY)Ford suspended its dividend and withdrew its guidance as the automaker addresses effects of the coronavirus pandemic. It’s offering new-car customers six-month payment relief.White House Mulls 50-Year Bond (8:25 a.m. NY)The Trump administration is revisiting the idea to issue ultra-long bonds as it grapples with how to finance a $1.3 trillion fiscal stimulus plan. President Donald Trump’s advisers are considering, among many options, 50-year and 25-year bonds as they seek financing for additional federal debt with the lowest cost to taxpayers.Separately, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said he will propose a massive expansion of unemployment insurance when he meets with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell this morning.Israel Uses Powers to Override Drug Patent (8:01 a.m. NY)Israel approved the import of a generic version of Kaletra, a patent-protected drug that is intended for treatment of HIV, for use in coronavirus cases, the Justice Ministry said. This is the first time since the 1967 patent law came into force that the Attorney General is making use of an article in the law that permits approval of a generic version of a patent-protected drug.India Curbs Incoming Flights (7:51 a.m. NY)India barred all international flights from landing in the country for a week starting March 22, as part of measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The federal government also asked states to enforce work-from-home for all private-sector employees except those working in emergency and essential services.Germany May Authorize Emergency Borrowing Next Week (7:46 a.m. NY)German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government is considering taking steps as early next week that would allow the government an unlimited increase in borrowing to help stem fallout from the coronavirus crisis.Merkel’s Cabinet may meet Monday to sign off on the higher borrowing and ask for a special session of the Bundestag to approve the request, said people with direct knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be identified discussing private deliberations.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
The worldwide coronavirus crisis showed no signs of letting up on Thursday, as Italy’s death toll surpassed China’s.