20.76 -0.01 (-0.05%)
After hours: 4:19PM EDT
|Bid||20.75 x 1000|
|Ask||20.77 x 1200|
|Day's range||20.55 - 22.21|
|52-week range||14.33 - 41.90|
|Beta (5Y monthly)||1.30|
|PE ratio (TTM)||4.55|
|Earnings date||05 May 2020|
|Forward dividend & yield||1.52 (7.13%)|
|Ex-dividend date||04 Mar 2020|
|1y target est||37.50|
Amazon faces worker complaints over its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, General Motors says it's moving fast to manufacture face masks and we've got some numbers quantifying the video conferencing boom. Yesterday, warehouse workers on Staten Island in New York walked off the job in protest of Amazon’s treatment amid the crisis. Meanwhile, workers at Whole Foods, which is owned by Amazon, are organizing a “sick out” strike to demand better protections on the job, Vice reports.
GM today announced manufacturing details around building much-needed medical face masks. The automotive giant said today in a released statement it expects to deliver 20,000 masks on April 8 and soon after, able to produce 50,000 masks a day once the production line is at full capacity. GM turned to global partners to create this manufacturing line within a week.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- It’s a nice day for a drive. The sky is not the pristine swimming-pool blue that every New Yorker of a certain age recalls from Sept. 11. It’s partly cloudy, like the times. The Thruway is not crowded but it’s far from deserted. A tractor-trailer is weaving erratically in the middle lane. It’s such a modest, manageable, danger: I actually enjoy the command and control of steering around it.Heading north, I pass beneath a digital sign flashing slogans of survival: “flattenthecurve.” “Stay at Home.”I have not stayed. Instead, I’m going to pick up about a dozen masks from my friend Sal and deliver them to my friend David. David is a cardiologist in a major New York City hospital who has been enlisted in the city’s fight against Covid-19. He and his colleagues are expected to risk their lives, daily, with inadequate protection. A short drive upstate is the least I can do. It’s also apparently more than the federal government can do.This is my second trip upstate for masks. The previous weekend, I met Sal in the mostly deserted parking lot of a train station. He was there when I arrived. I rolled down the passenger window and he plopped a bag of construction masks on the empty seat. We chatted for a minute, bade each other good health and departed. The masks were not made for the disease engulfing New York hospitals. But I presume they are better than nothing. I dropped them on David’s back porch.The missing masks, like the absent ventilators that President Donald Trump considers someone else’s problem, are an emblem, a freak flag, of the government’s failure to respond to the crisis. On March 20, the president was asked if he would finally invoke the Defense Production Act to rush production of hospital equipment needed to save lives. He said he had, in fact, already done so — “yesterday.” Millions of masks are coming, he said. “They will be here soon.”It was not true, of course. He didn’t invoke the law until March 27, and then seemingly with an ancillary, or even primary, goal of punishing a single company, GM, which has a female CEO. He subsequently speculated that the reason hospitals have inadequate supplies is that staff are pilfering them. Lies that used to own the libs now kill people instead.I exit the Thruway and pass a little roadside cantina, someone’s meager living, now closed. I drive past the gun shop where, the weekend before, men were lined up outside, fleeing fear by tempting tragedy. I pass an antique shop, someone else’s livelihood, closed.I arrive at the train station parking lot a few minutes early so that this time I don’t keep Sal waiting. There are a couple dozen cars scattered across a lot made for hundreds, mimicking the social distance protocol of their owners. Sal pulls up moments later.The new set of masks came from a brewery. Sal had been out for a walk and decided to visit the friends who own it. They weren’t serving on the premises, but they were filling orders for delivery. Sal and his friends got to talking about the ugly state of things and the shortage of masks came up. Sal said he had delivered construction masks to someone last weekend. His friends noted that someone had just dropped off some masks for them to use. They offered the masks to Sal, who contacted his mask middleman: me.It might be a nice story if it weren’t a result of the world’s most powerful nation being caught wholly unprepared for a pandemic that had previously visited Asia and Europe and was headed for North America in a hurry. By the end of February, hospitals were already seeking to preserve dwindling supplies of protective equipment — gowns, gloves, shoe covers and eye shields in addition to masks.I take the masks from Sal and meet his new dog. Corona-conscious, I refrain from petting her even though she and I are both eager for a good ear scratch. I get back in the car, turn around and head home, past more closed businesses and a lot jammed with idle school buses. Another diner seems to have at least a dozen cars in the parking lot. Strange. Perhaps it’s a rebel holdout against the virus, where the patrons adopted the “hoax” mantra early on and just stuck with it, declining to join the grudging accommodation to biology made by the White House and Fox News.The masks on the seat beside me look a little odd — off-color, long, wide, unwieldy. But I’m no expert. I drop them on David’s porch and hope for the best.A friend emailed last week that she had been making masks herself until she ran out of elastic. Her daughter is an emergency room physician in another city, as is her son-in-law. Each is issued a single gauze mask to start the day; they have to make it last an entire grueling, traumatic, Covid-19 shift.She is worried for their lives. I am too. The president, not so much.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Francis Wilkinson writes editorials on politics and U.S. domestic policy for Bloomberg Opinion. He was executive editor of the Week. He was previously a writer for Rolling Stone, a communications consultant and a political media strategist.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.
General Motors told suppliers on Monday it is postponing work on at least half a dozen future models to conserve cash during the coronavirus pandemic and suggested it could delay the planned launch in late April of its highly profitable large sport utility vehicles. GM previously told suppliers that it planned to begin production in late April of the redesigned 2021 Cadillac Escalade, GMC Yukon, Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban full-size SUVs at its Arlington, Texas, plant after winding up production of the outgoing models this week, according to an email reviewed by Reuters. A GM spokesman reiterated on Monday what the automaker had said last week - that the situation with its U.S. plants was "fluid" and that the automaker would "continue to evaluate" whether and when to reopen those plants on a week-by-week basis, with "employee safety" guiding that decision.
General Motors (GM) will manufacture VOCSN critical-care ventilators at its Indiana manufacturing facility, including the FDA-cleared ventilators scheduled for shipment as early as next month.
President Donald Trump, who excoriated General Motors Co on Friday and invoked emergency powers to compel the production of badly needed ventilators to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, has abruptly shifted gears to praise the automaker. Trump, who has been on the defensive for not moving faster to compel the production of medical equipment, invoked the Defense Production Act (DPA) for the first time on Friday, saying GM was wasting time in negotiations. GM had announced earlier on Friday, however, that it would begin quickly building ventilators.
(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump’s consideration of a quarantine for metropolitan New York has drawn criticism from the state’s governor. Italian deaths exceed 10,000, a third of the world’s total.Russia will shut its borders after a sharp rise in cases over a week. Japan is planning an “unprecedented” stimulus.Hyatt will furlough two-thirds of its U.S. employees. France seeks to nearly triple hospital intensive care units.Key Developments:Cases near 650,000; 30,000 dead, 137,000 recovered: Johns HopkinsItaly’s Death Toll Tops 10,000N.Y.’s Cuomo opposes quarantineRonaldo and his Juventus teammates get a pay cutRhode Island self-quarantines out-of-state visitorsPentagon to buy 8,000 ventilatorsSubscribe 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. For BNEF’s view of the impact on energy, click here.Italy’s Juventus in Deal to Cut Salaries (4:40 p.m. NY)Juventus Football Club SpA, home to star player Cristiano Ronaldo, agreed with its players and coach Maurizio Sarri to reduce compensation as the outbreak forced Italy’s Serie A and other leagues to halt games.The team owned by the Agnelli family will cut players’ salaries by an amount equal to the monthly wages of March, April, May and June, the company said in a statement. A spokesman for Juventus confirmed the measure applies to Ronaldo and all team players.Juventus will save about 90 million euros ($100 million) for the 2019-2020 financial year.Read more herePentagon to Buy 8,000 Ventilators (4:25 p.m. NY)The Pentagon’s logistics agency will spend $84.4 million to buy 8,000 ventilators from four vendors, with an initial 1,400 delivered by early May. The announcement didn’t name the companies involved.The Pentagon is adjusting about 1,500 contracts to raise the “progress payments” to 90% from 80% for large businesses, and to 95% from 90% for small businesses.“This will provide immediate cash flow to industry, especially small businesses in the supply chain, once incorporated into the contract,” Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Mike Andrews said in a statement.Hyatt Furloughs Two Thirds of Workers (4:10 p.m. NY)Hyatt Hotels Corp. will furlough or significantly reduce the schedules of two-thirds of its U.S. corporate employees as the company cuts costs as hotel revenue plunges.The steps begin April 1 and continue through the end of May and affect employees in other regions, said a company spokesman. Hyatt will fund health insurance premiums for the workers, and employees who aren’t sent home will take temporary pay cuts.Hyatt Chief Executive Officer Mark Hoplamazian and Chairman Tom Pritzker aren’t taking salaries, the spokesman said. The company’s senior leadership team is taking a 50% pay cut.Read more hereKansas Orders Statewide Lockdown (4 p.m. NY)Kansas Governor Laura Kelly ordered people to stay at home in most cases amid the coronavirus pandemic, saying state action is needed to resolve a patchwork approach taken by local health departments.Kelly’s executive order that takes effect March 30 and runs through April 19. As of Saturday, the state had 261 cases of Covid-19, and five deaths.“The patchwork approach that has developed is inconsistent and is a recipe for chaos and, ultimately, for failure in our statewide fight,” the governor said in a statement.France Seeks to Triple ICUs (3:30 p.m. NY)France is working to nearly triple the number of hospital intensive care units as eastern regions and Paris face shortages of beds for the most serious cases, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe and Health Minister Olivier Veran said Saturday during a press conference. The country has a total of 37,575 cases and 2,314 deaths.Veran and Philippe warned of possible shortages of some medications and equipment used for rapid diagnostic tests in the coming weeks and said authorities have ordered 1,000 ventilators from French manufacturer Air Liquide SA, as well as 5 million rapid diagnostic tests.Germany Ties Aid to Pay Cuts (3:15 pm. NY)The German government may demand pay and bonus cuts for senior managers of companies that tap financial aid in the coronavirus crisis, Economy and Energy Minister Peter Altmaier said.“It’s important to me that management boards and senior executives contribute in emergencies, especially with respect to bonus payments,” Altmaier told Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.After the virus impact subsides, Germany will require an economic “fitness program” that includes boosting the competitiveness of industries including biotech, steel and cars, Altmaier told the Sunday newspaper.Cuomo Opposes Trump Quarantine (2:44 p.m. NY)Governor Andrew Cuomo said he opposed President Donald Trump’s idea to quarantine the New York metropolitan area, now the epicenter in the U.S., describing it as a “scary concept.”Cuomo said he had spoken with Trump earlier Saturday but that they didn’t discuss a quarantine.Cuomo said that New York state’s deaths from coronavirus soared on Saturday to 728, from 519, still by far the most in the U.S. The total number of cases rose to 52,318, up 7,681 overnight, he said.In Florida, Governor Ron Desantis said he discussed the quarantine with Trump, telling reporters “whatever we need to do” to reduce the spread. He said it is “bad policy” to have people leave New York with many infections and head to states such as Florida.Read full story hereFDA to Work at Home Past Trump’s Easter Goal (3 p.m. NY)The Food and Drug Administration told most employees to expect to work from home through at least May 1, rejecting the president’s goal of reopening the country by Easter Sunday. “The health and well-being of our FDA family continues to be our focus as the Covid-19 pandemic evolves,” James Sigg, chief operating officer, wrote Thursday in an email obtained by Bloomberg.Trump softened his stance Saturday on the Easter goal. “We’ll see what happens,” he said.Read the full story hereItalian Deaths Exceeds 10,000 (2:30 p.m. NY)Italy’s coronavirus death toll topped 10,000 even as the daily total slowed to 889 from a record 969 on Friday. The nation reported 5,974 new infections, about the same as the previous day.Italy, which has the pandemic’s highest death toll, is set to extend drastic containment measures until mid-April and will more than double the financial stimulus for its paralyzed economy. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and French President Emmanuel Macron are advocating a joint European Union response, exposing an EU rift dating back to the euro-area debt crisis.Turkey Limits Flights, Crowds (1:55 p.m. NY)Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan further restricted movement and banned large gatherings, saying in a televised speech that everyone must observe a “voluntary quarantine” or face more stringent controls.Erdogan said all flights abroad are suspended and intercity travel is banned unless officially authorized. Some public areas such as picnic spots will be closed during weekends and large groups won’t be allowed in on weekdays.Bilal Eksi, the chief executive officer of Turkish Airlines, said on Twitter that domestic flights would be limited to between 14 cities starting on Sunday, down from 42 domestic destinations usually.Rhode Island Shuts Retail (1:45 p.m. NY)Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo ordered out-of-state visitors to self-quarantine, shut all non-essential business from Monday until April 13, and limited public gatherings to no more than five people.Raimondo on Saturday reported the state’s first two deaths from Covid-19.Read full story hereHHS Warns Against Discrimination (1:30 p.m. NY)The U.S. Health and Human Services Department is reminding health care workers that they must not discriminate against patients because of their age or disability when deciding how to allocate scarce resources.“We are not a society governed by utilitarianism,” Roger Severino, director of HHS’s civil rights office, said on a call with reporters.The agency’s guidance left unclear exactly how health workers should decide who gets lifesaving treatment. HHS said that choices should be based on an individualized assessment of a patient based on “the best available objective medical evidence,” and that it has already received civil-rights complaints that it plans to investigate.U.S. Mulls Metro NYC Quarantine (12:23 p.m. NY)President Trump said he’s considering an enforced quarantine in areas of New York and New Jersey to curb the outbreak.Trump told reporters he had spoken with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo before departing the White House to send off a Navy hospital ship bound for New York City from Norfolk, Virginia.The president said he’d rather not impose such a quarantine but that the country may need it. Asked about his ambition to urge many Americans to return to work by the Easter holiday on April 12, Trump said “we’ll see what happens.”New York and New Jersey have more than half the U.S. Covid-19 cases.Michigan Cases Top U.S. Rate (12:05 p.m. NY)Michigan is becoming the next U.S. coronavirus hotspot, registering new cases at more than triple the national rate. The state had 3,657 cases as of Friday -- versus zero just over two weeks ago -- and now ranks fifth in the nation. At least 92 people have died.Impoverished Detroit and surrounding Wayne County made up half the state total. Suburban Oakland County, home for thousands of white-collar auto jobs, had 23% of cases.Other Midwestern cities posted sharp increases. Cook County, Illinois, which includes Chicago, saw cases rise from 413 at the end of last week to more than 1,900 Friday, according to the University of Chicago. The county accounts for three-quarters of the state total. Outbreaks in Louisiana, Arkansas and Tennessee also accelerated. Cases in Nashville’s Davidson County quadrupled in a week, as did those in Orleans Parish, Louisiana.Read the full story hereSerbia Expands Mandatory Isolation (11:55 a.m. NY)Serbia doubled the mandatory isolation period for people returning from abroad to 28 days and extended the weekend curfew by two hours as total infections jumped the most in a day on Saturday. The biggest former Yugoslav republic reported 131 new cases, bringing the total to 659. Ten people have died and about as many are in critical condition, Health Minister Zlatibor Loncar said.Russia to Shut Borders (11:40 a.m. NY)Russia will temporarily shut its borders starting March 30 after a sharp increase in infections in the past week. on Saturday, health officials reported 228 new cases overnight, bringing the total to 1,264, with four deaths.Moscow’s mayor shut all non-essential business on Saturday and recommended everyone stay home. The government halted international flights on Friday and Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin called on regions to close most businesses.Read the story hereU.K. Has Most Deaths in a Day (10:30 a.m. NY)Fatalities jumped by 260, to 1,019, as of late Friday, the Department of Health and Social Care reported. There were 17,089 confirmed cases Saturday, up from 14,543 a day earlier. The government is expanding testing for hospital staff and building new facilities near London, Birmingham and Manchester.Portugal Deaths Rise (10:20 a.m. NY)Portugal’s cases rose 20% in one day and deaths climbed to 100 from 76, a fraction of the fatalities in neighboring European nations.Deaths so far indicate a fatality rate of 1.9%, but 7.9% for those more than 70 years old, Health Minister Marta Temido said in Lisbon. The peak of infections may occur at the end of May, based on current data, she said. “This indicates that the containment measures that we’ve adopted, namely that people stay at home except to go to work, are being effective,” Temido said.Trump Clears State Funding (9:15 a.m. NY)President Trump approved disaster declarations for Michigan and Massachusetts on Friday. He has approved declarations for more than a dozen states, making them eligible for certain federal funding.Earlier, Trump complained that Gretchen Whitmer, Michigan’s Democratic governor, as well as her counterpart in Washington, don’t appreciate his administration’s efforts to combat the coronavirus epidemic, and said Vice President Mike Pence shouldn’t take their calls.(Added link to Juventus story in bullet and item)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.
General Motors Co has reached a $120 million (96.2 million pounds) settlement with owners who claimed that their vehicles lost value because of defective ignition switches, which have been linked to 124 deaths. The preliminary settlement was filed on Friday night with the federal court in Manhattan and requires approval by U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman. It would resolve the last major piece of litigation stemming from ignition switches that could cause GM vehicles to stall and prevent airbags from deploying.
The decision is due to a "strong drop in demand, especially in the automotive sector, in a context of sharply lower metal prices," the company said. Lead is umbilically tied to the automotive sector. Collapsing automotive production and sales are generating a demand shock that is travelling up the value chain through parts suppliers to metals fabricators and on to metal producers such as Recylex.
(Bloomberg) -- Sixteen months after Mary Barra angered Donald Trump by announcing plans to close several U.S. factories in states the president vowed to revive, the General Motors Co. CEO is back on the outs with the White House.Unlike in late 2018, Trump’s Friday fracas over ventilators caught GM completely off guard, according to people familiar with the matter. Trump first went on a Twitter tirade, accusing the company of taking too long to make the desperately needed medical devices and of trying to gouge the government. By the evening, he dredged up an old grudge, taking another shot at the automaker for closing a car factory in Ohio.Executives at GM -- which had worked around the clock for a week to convert an Indiana parts plant into a breathing-machine factory -- were themselves frustrated over how long it was taking the federal government to finalize terms with its partner Ventec Life Systems Inc., said people familiar with the private deliberations. GM forged ahead and detailed the ventilator deal in a midday statement that didn’t refer to Trump but disputed him by saying it would be “contributing its resources at cost.”Trump followed up his angry tweets hours later with an order that GM accept a federal contract that the company and Ventec had been seeking all along. His missives marked another set of twists and turns in what has been a tumultuous relationship between one of America’s most prominent companies and a president who prides himself on an ability to work with the private sector.Patching things up with the White House will be crucial for a company that is struggling to cope with its plants having to idle amid the coronavirus pandemic. The company is freezing work on new-vehicle programs, deferring pay for white-collar staff and piling up cash to weather a global health crisis and the economic fallout expected to follow for months to come.“The entire GM team is proud to support this initiative,” the company said in response to Trump’s order. “Our commitment to build Ventec’s high-quality critical care ventilator, VOCSN, has never wavered.”Reminiscent Run-InFor Barra, 58, the run-in with Trump is reminiscent of attacks the president waged after she went public in November 2018 with plans to close plants in Michigan, Ohio and elsewhere. Within hours of the announcement, Trump told reporters he had a conversation with Barra. Describing himself as “very tough” with the CEO, he told her “you better get back in,” referring specifically to GM’s plant in Lordstown, Ohio.The next day, Trump claimed his administration was looking into cutting all government subsidies the company received, including for electric cars. He didn’t follow through on the threat.In March 2019, Trump tweeted that GM needed to reopen the Lordstown plant or sell it to a new owner. The next day, he told followers he’d just spoken with Barra and claimed she blamed the United Auto Workers union for supposed intransigence. The next day, he urged the company and union to have talks on the plant immediately rather than when they were scheduled to negotiate a new labor deal in the fall.Barra had a breakthrough in May, when she gave Trump a heads-up that GM was working on a deal to sell the Lordstown factory to a maker of electric pickups. Trump tweeted “GREAT NEWS FOR OHIO!” and thanked “Mary B.” His posts preempted GM’s press release about the still-preliminary discussions by more than an hour.Taking Trump’s SideIn October, GM sided with the Trump administration’s in the legal fight he’d been having with California over the future of fuel economy rules.When other automakers were trying to arrange a compromise side deal with California, they purposely avoided broaching the idea with GM, the Wall Street Journal later reported. The group was worried GM was meeting with the administration and would try to derail their effort, the newspaper said, citing Mary Nichols, the head of California’s Air Resources Board.The same month, GM ended a painful and costly 40-day strike by reaching a deal with the UAW that saved a plant in Michigan the company had planned to close, though not the one in Ohio.Still, the company committed to investing $7.7 billion in U.S. facilities and creating or retaining 9,000 jobs as part of the four-year contract.“General Motors gave us a little hard time with one building, wasn’t happy about that,” Trump said at a December rally in Battle Creek, Michigan. “It was the only building I had a problem with in the whole car industry. Right? Alright, you know the one I’m talking about. I didn’t like that. Anyway, but they’re spending money, you know, what can I tell you.”‘Patriotic’ OfferBy March, as the Trump administration was responding to the coronavirus pandemic, Barra again had a private conversation with the White House, this time telling top economic adviser Larry Kudlow that the company was willing to call back workers to idled plants and try converting them to build ventilators.Kudlow alluded to the conversation during a March 18 interview on Fox News. He praised Barra’s offer to reporters afterward, saying it was made “on a voluntary basis for civic and patriotic reasons.”On March 20, GM announced its collaboration with Ventec. In the week since then, when Trump and other officials in his administration were asked why they hadn’t invoked the Cold War-era Defense Production Act and compelled manufacturers to make ventilators, they said companies including GM were already stepping up.‘Extremely Unhappy’That stance changed in dramatic fashion on Friday. Trump referred to “Mary B” again on Twitter, though this time he said it was “always a mess” working with her.During an evening press conference in the White House briefing room, he criticized GM anew for closing the plant in Ohio, which is now owned by Lordstown Motors Corp.“I was extremely unhappy with Lordstown, Ohio, when they left Lordstown, Ohio,” Trump said of GM. “Frankly, I think that would be a good place to build the ventilators, but we’ll see, we’ll see how that all works out.”GM’s wheels were in motion to make ventilators before Trump’s order, and the federal government isn’t going to make the company move any faster than it was already, said Kristin Dziczek, the vice president of industry, labor and economics at the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Michigan.“Mary seems pretty unflappable, and she’s going to do what’s the right thing to do,” Dziczek said by phone. “She’ll just keep on keeping on and hope to receive some degree of clarity about what it is the customer wants, which is the federal government.”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) -- The U.S. became the first country to reach 100,000 coronavirus cases. Italy had its deadliest day with almost 1,000 fatalities. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his health secretary tested positive.President Donald Trump ordered General Motors to start making ventilators by invoking a Cold War-era law. Toyota’s idled U.S. manufacturing facilities will make much-needed face shields and masks.New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said new infections will be “astronomical.” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti warned his city may see a New York-like surge in less than a week.Key Developments:Cases top 585,000; 26,800 dead, 130,000 recovered: Johns HopkinsU.S. cases top 100,000, more than Italy, ChinaU.S. ramps up virus testing, but demand still outpaces supplyWorkers critical to world’s food supply falling illU.K. orders unprecedented shutdown of housing marketTokyo braces for critical weekendFrom Spain to Germany, farmers warn of fresh food shortagesSubscribe 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.U.S. Becomes First Nation With 100,000 Cases (5:27 p.m. NY)The U.S. became the first country to surpass 100,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus on Friday, a day after it overtook China to become the largest outbreak in the world. America’s most prominent hot spots are New York and New Jersey, which together account for half the country’s total cases. California has more than 4,000.L.A. Warns of New York-Level Surge in Five Days (5:06 p.m. NY)Los Angeles could see a coronavirus surge similar to New York City’s in five days if the spread continues at the rate it’s been going, Mayor Eric Garcetti said.“We will have doctors making excruciating decisions,” Garcetti said at a press briefing alongside Governor Gavin Newsom. They spoke in front of the U.S. Navy hospital ship Mercy, which docked in Los Angeles to lend extra medical space for non-coronavirus needs. It will be the largest hospital in the city, Garcetti said.Rhode Island Stops Cars With N.Y. Plates (5 p.m. NY)Rhode Island police, aided by the National Guard, on Saturday will conduct house-to-house searches to find people who traveled from New York to demand they begin 14 days of self-quarantine. State police are already stopping cars with New York license plates.“Right now we have a pin-pointed risk,” Governor Gina Raimondo said. “And that risk is called New York City.”Raimondo, a Democrat, said she consulted lawyers and while she couldn’t close the border, she felt confident she could enforce a quarantine. Many New Yorkers have summer houses in the state, especially in tony Newport, and the governor said authorities would be checking there.Trump Signs $2 Trillion Stimulus Bill (4:47 p.m. NY)President Donald Trump signed the largest stimulus package in U.S. history, a $2 trillion aid bill intended to rescue the economy. The plan will provide a massive injection of loans, tax breaks and direct payments to large corporations, small businesses and individuals whose revenue and income have plummeted under social distancing restrictions.Read full story hereFour Die on Holland America Cruise Ship (4:30 p.m. NY)Carnival Corp.’s Holland America line said four passengers died on its Zaandam ship, which has had an outbreak of flu-like symptoms on board, including at least two confirmed cases of Covid-19. The cruise line said the passengers were “older” but didn’t say how they died.The Zaandam, currently near Panama, was still at sea when cruise companies halted new voyages earlier this month.Trump Orders GM to Make Ventilators (4 p.m. NY)President Donald Trump ordered General Motors Co. to immediately begin making ventilators, invoking a Cold War-era defense act amid productive talks with the automaker.“Our negotiations with GM regarding its ability to supply ventilators have been productive, but our fight against the virus is too urgent to allow the give-and-take of the contracting process to continue to run its normal course. GM was wasting time,” Trump said in a statement. “Today’s action will help ensure the quick production of ventilators that will save American lives.”GM and ventilator maker Ventec Life Systems Inc. had much of what they needed in place to ramp up production of the breathing machines. They were just waiting on the Trump administration to place orders and cut checks.Belgium May Keep Limits Until May 2 (3 p.m. NY)Belgium extended restrictions on citizens and businesses, which took effect March 14, by two weeks until April 19, and Prime Minister Sophie Wilmes signaled a further extension to May 3, saying it’s too early to declare the epidemic under control. Belgians must stay at home except for essential activities such as grocery shopping. Gatherings by more than two people are banned and stores selling non-essential goods remain closed.N.Y. Seeks Aid for Four New Hospitals (2:45 p.m. NY)New York is seeking federal assistance for four new emergency hospitals, Governor Andrew Cuomo said, as the number of state deaths spiked 35% in a day to more than 500.The new sites would join four centers the U.S. is setting up in the city, he said. The state wants more beds for Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties. Cuomo spoke from the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on Manhattan’s west side, which is being converted into a 1,000-bed emergency hospital that will open Monday.Cuomo said current demand for medical equipment is adequately covered and that the state is stockpiling additional supplies for a potential peak of infections three weeks from now. “We don’t need them yet,” he said. “We need them for the apex.”The governor said he would keep the state’s schools closed for an additional two weeks, at which time the situation will be reassessed.Luxembourg Plans to Test for Herd Immunity (1:30 p.m. NY)Luxembourg is in an intensive planing phase to be among the first nations to research so-called herd immunity based on new blood tests the country is expecting to get, Health Minister Paulette Lenert said Friday.The new tests wouldn’t check for Covid-19 infections but whether people have developed immunity against the new virus. Luxembourg, due to its small population of just over 600,000 people, is in a fortunate position to do this, the minister said. Scientists would be able to test samples that would be representative of the entire population, the minister said.Italy’s Daily Toll Nears 1,000 (12:35 pm. NY)Italy had its highest daily death toll even as the number of new cases declined on Friday. Fatalities shot up to 969, the most in a 24-hour period since the start of the outbreak.New infections totaled 5,959, compared with 6,153 the previous day, civil protection authorities said at their daily news conference in Rome. Italy now has 86,498 total cases, roughly the same number as the U.S. and more than China, where the disease’s first outbreak occurred.U.S. Buys More Ventilators (12:30 p.m. NY)President Donald Trump said the federal government bought “many ventilators” from several companies he didn’t identify. Trump in a tweet said the names will be announced later.State and local officials have been pleading with the federal government for more ventilators as cases of the coronavirus mount.France Extends Restrictions (12:20 p.m. NY)French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said public confinement is being extended to April 15. The restrictions could be further extended if needed, he said in a press conference after a cabinet meeting on Friday. A scientific committee consulted by the government recommends at least six weeks of confinement, he said.Portugal’s Cases Rise 20% (12:14 p.m. NY)Portugal’s cases rose 20% to 4,268 from 3,544 a day earlier, the government’s Directorate-General of Health said. That compares with a daily increase of 18% reported Thursday and a 27% rise on Wednesday. The total number of deaths increased to 76 on Friday from 60 reported through Thursday morning.Director-General of Health Graça Freitas said the data suggest the peak won’t be a moment in time but rather a plateau, and may not occur before May.Libya, Syria Face Catastrophe: WHO (11:35 a.m. NY)Libya reported its first case this week, meaning 21 of 22 Eastern Mediterranean nations have infections. The World Health Organization said Libya’s capacity to respond is extremely limited in some areas and non-existent in others, with a large movement of people from neighboring countries.The outbreak also threatens to cause a catastrophe in Syria, the WHO said. Half of the nation’s hospitals are not functioning after nine years of war and thousands of health workers having fled the country. Millions of displaced people live in overcrowded camps in the country’s northwest, but after two days of tests using 300 WHO kits, no cases so far have been detected, the agency said.Toyota Shifts Factories to Face Shields (11:07 a.m. NY)Toyota Motor Corp.’s idled manufacturing facilities in the U.S. will make much-needed face shields and masks, and the Japanese automaker is closing in on deals with medical-device makers to help them boost production.The carmaker said Friday it will start mass production of face shields early next week to supply hospitals near its plants in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and Texas. Toyota also said it is finalizing pacts with at least two companies to make breathing ventilators and respirator hoods, and it’s looking for partners to make protective masks. The company on Thursday extended its shutdown of North American factories for two weeks.U.K. Virus Deaths Jump 30% (10:29 a.m. NY)The number of people in the U.K. who have died from coronavirus increased by 31% to 759 as of Thursday, the Department of Health said. That’s higher than the five-day average of 20%.Some 14,579 have tested positive for the disease as of Friday, an increase of about 25%, above the five-day average of 20%.Two Fed Bankers Confident of Rebound (10:29 a.m. NY)Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic and Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan expressed confidence the U.S. economy will rebound when restrictions on activity are lifted.“This is a public health crisis” and different from a typical recession, Bostic said on Bloomberg Television Friday. Kaplan offered a similar view a few minutes earlier. “We were strong before we went into this, and we believe that we’ve got a great chance to come out of this very strong,” he said.Kaplan said unemployment would peak “in the low to mid teens” before recovering to around 7%-to-8% by year-end.Coronavirus Response Leaves U.K. Vulnerable: Lancet (9:29 a.m. NY)A delayed response by the U.K. government to the coronavirus pandemic has left the health system “wholly unprepared” for an expected surge of critically ill patients, according to the editor of the medical journal The Lancet.In a letter posted on the journal’s website, Richard Horton described chaos and panic across the National Health Service, basing his comments on messages he received from workers. The government last month should have expanded testing capacity, ensured the distribution of protective equipment and stepped up training, he said.U.K. Prime Minister, Health Secretary Have Virus (9:17 a.m. NY)British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will self-isolate in Downing Street for seven days after a test found he had the coronavirus, spokesman James Slack told reporters on Friday. Health Secretary Matt Hancock has also contracted the illness, in a double blow to the U.K. government’s response to the crisis.Both men have reported mild symptoms. Meals will be left at Johnson’s door while he continues to work by video-conference, Slack said. Hancock is self-isolating and working from home.These are the latest high-profile individuals to contract the virus in Britain after Prince Charles, the heir to the throne, tested positive.U.K. Sees No Change to Brexit Timetable (8:29 a.m. NY)“In terms of the timetable there’s no change from our point of view,” the U.K. prime minister’s spokesman James Slack told reporters in a conference call. Slack was asked if there would be an extension to the Brexit transition period beyond December.NYC Mayor Says Trump Needs to Face Reality on Ventilators (8:20 a.m. NY)New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said cases of the new coronavirus are going to become “astronomical,” putting unprecedented strain on the hospital system. Trump said in an interview on Fox News that he didn’t think New York state needed the 30,000 ventilators that Governor Andrew Cuomo has asked for to treat Covid-19 patents with respiratory conditions.“When the president says the state of New York doesn’t need 30,000 ventilators, with all due respect to him, he’s not looking at the facts of this astronomical growth of this crisis,” de Blasio said. “If they don’t have a ventilator, a lot of people are just not going to make it.”Rolls-Royce Pauses U.K. Civil-Engine Output (8:07 a.m. NY)Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc will wind down jetliner-engine production in the U.K. as it spends a week implementing cleanup and safety measures to cope with the coronavirus outbreak. The company, which makes turbines for wide-body planes, will “significantly reduce” all but essential activities within its U.K. civil aerospace facilities from midnight, it said in a statement Friday.Rolls-Royce is taking a break from manufacturing after customer Airbus SE also paused production to check on measures to protect employees from Covid-19. Boeing Co. has gone a step further, winding down planemaking in the Seattle area for two weeks after a worker died of virus-related complications.China Ramps Up Stimulus Measures (8 a.m. NY)China will “appropriately” raise its fiscal deficit as a share of gross domestic product, issue special sovereign debt and allow local governments to sell more infrastructure bonds as part of a stimulus package to stabilize the economy, according to a politburo meeting on Wednesday, central China television reported late on Friday.Italy Virus Curve Seen Flattening Slightly (7:49 a.m. NY)The curve of new coronavirus cases in Italy appears to have started flattening slightly since March 20, Silvio Brusaferro, head of the country’s National Health Institute, said at a press conference on Friday. The mortality rate in the country is proportional to patients’ age, Brusaferro said.The National Health Institute said the country wasn’t at the peak of the contagion yet, but the head of the Superior Health Council Franco Locatelli said there were clear signs that the containment measures “are efficient, so people must respect them.”Italy reported its biggest rise in coronavirus infections in the last five days on Thursday, as the disease spread further in the northern Lombardy region, even after weeks of rigid lockdown rules.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.
President Donald Trump signed Friday a presidential directive ordering GM to produce ventilators and to prioritize federal contracts, just hours after the automaker announced plans to manufacture the critical medical equipment needed for patients suffering from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. The order, made under the Defense Production Act, marks a sudden reversal by Trump, who has touted the efforts by GM and other manufacturers to try to ramp up production of ventilators and personal protective gear that is in short supply as COVID-19 cases continue to rise. The order came amid a dispute with GM over a contract to produce the ventilators.
General Motors Co said it will partner with Washington-based Ventec Life Systems to make ventilators at GM's Kokomo, Indiana, electrical components plant as soon as April, at the rate of 10,000 a month, up to 200,000 units. GM also will make surgical masks at its Warren, Michigan, facility, starting in early April and ramping up to 50,000 masks a day, with the ability to double that.
The U.S. is leading the world in the number of reported coronavirus cases, surpassing 85,000 Friday, with nearly one-quarter of cases emerging in New York City alone. The worldwide case count has surpassed 550,000, and the death toll has surged past 25,000. Italy has reported more than 8,000 deaths.
Trump's attacks against GM again highlight the president's baffling stance on officially invoking the Defense Production Act.
WASHINGTON/DETROIT (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump blasted General Motors Co and Ford Motor Co on Friday, calling on the two U.S. automakers to quickly build badly needed ventilators for COVID-19 patients and suggesting he might invoke the Defense Production Act to force the companies to move faster. GM and Ford separately announced this week that they are working with companies to help boost ventilator production. Many Democrats including New York Governor Andrew Cuomo have urged Trump to invoke the act, which grants the president the power to expand industrial production of key materials or products for national security and other reasons.
Tesla, Louis Vuitton and other companies are re-directing their resources for COVID-19 relief measures.
WASHINGTON/DETROIT (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday invoked emergency powers to require General Motors Co to build much-needed ventilators for coronavirus patients after he accused the largest U.S. automaker of "wasting time" during negotiations. Trump, who has been on the defensive for not moving faster to compel the production of medical equipment, for the first time invoked the Defense Production Act, saying GM was not moving quickly enough even though earlier on Friday the largest U.S. automaker announced it would begin building ventilators in the coming weeks. Asked about negotiations with GM over ventilators, Trump expressed anger with the company's decision to close an assembly plant in politically important Ohio.