Stocks slump on warnings of the worst global recession since the 1930s

Stocks slumped, while Treasuries surged as bleak retail, manufacturing and homebuilding data from the world’s largest economy added to concern over a severe global recession.

The S&P 500 Index sank from a one-month high, with all of its major groups dropping. Financial shares slid as Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s investment portfolio took a hit from the coronavirus pandemic, while Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup Inc. followed rivals in setting aside billions for loan losses. Oil plunged to the lowest in two decades amid a record collapse in U.S. fuel demand. Treasuries surged with the dollar.

Both earnings and economic data highlight the brutal impact of the economic stoppage designed to combat the virus outbreak. U.S. retail sales and factory output posted historic declines in March, and surveys in April looked even worse. Manufacturing in New York state and sentiment among American homebuilders plunged by previously unthinkable amounts.

“The market

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Face masks may be ‘new normal’ in post-virus life as U.S. prepares gradual reopening By Reuters

© Reuters. Medical workers respond at Maimonides Medical Center during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID19) in the Brooklyn borough of New York


By Maria Caspani and Jessica Resnick-Ault

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The death toll from the coronavirus pandemic in the United States approached 31,000 on Wednesday as governors began cautiously preparing Americans for a post-virus life that would likely include public face coverings as the “new normal.”

The governors of Connecticut, Maryland, New York and Pennsylvania each issued orders or recommendations that residents wear face masks as they emerge from isolation in the coming weeks.

“If you are going to be in public and you cannot maintain social distancing, then have a mask, and put that mask on,” said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat.

Similar orders were imposed in New Jersey and Los Angeles last week and face coverings were recommended by Kansas

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What the government bailout means for airline investors (and CEOs)

The strings attached to the $50 billion aid package just enacted to aid America’s stricken airlines will fundamentally change the industry for years to come. In exchange for the sorely needed cash, the major carriers will cease the stock buybacks and dividends that have been their main channels for rewarding investors, possibly for years, making their shares far less attractive. Strict caps on C-suite pay could make it difficult to recruit top talent. The biggest threat: The hit from the coronavirus is so unprecedented, so devastating, that carriers––some heavily leveraged today––may need to shoulder hazardous levels of government-guaranteed debt simply to survive.

It’s important to distinguish between the two programs created by the Coronavirus Economic Stabilization Act of 2020, better known as the CARES Act. The measure provides a total of $50 billion in assistance for passenger carriers split evenly between a $25 billion Payroll Protection Grants package, and … Read More