1. U.S. coronavirus surges weigh on Wall Street
Dow futures were pointing to about a 100 point decline at Friday’s open, one day after the U.S. saw a record-high 63,200 new daily Covid-19 cases. The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Thursday fell 360 points, or 1.4%, on renewed concerns about slowing business reopenings — and in some cases reclosures — in hotspot states. However, the Nasdaq rose 0.5%, closing at another record as investors continued to buy what they perceive as coronavirus-proof tech stocks.
The government reports a key measure of inflation at 8:30 a.m. ET, one hour before the stock market opens. Economists expect the June producer price index to gain 0.4%. The core rate, excluding food and energy prices, is seen advancing 0.1% for June.
2. United, pilots union reach tentative agreement
United Airlines and the union representing its some 13,000 pilots have reached a tentative agreement for voluntary furloughs and early retirement packages. United is the last of the four biggest U.S. carriers to reach such an agreement with pilots. The moves come as chances for a recovery in air travel grow more remote as cases of Covid-19 spike and states such as New York and New Jersey issue quarantine orders for some arriving travelers in a bid to stop the spread of coronavirus, airline executives have warned. Shares of United, which lost more than 7% Thursday, were dropping another 3.5% in Friday’s premarket.
3. Disney World set to reopen as Florida infections spike
Shares of Disney were under pressure in Friday’s premarket trading, ahead of Saturday’s reopening of Walt Disney World in Orlando, at time when Florida is seeing major Covid-19 spikes. The pandemic has forced the company to shutter its theme parks, push back film openings and run ESPN without live games from major U.S. sports leagues. The new Disney+ video streaming service has been a bright spot. Disney and Comcast’s Universal theme parks in California have yet to be given the green light to reopen as coronavirus infections also surge in the Golden State. Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and 24newsreads.com.
4. Dozen states see record-breaking new cases
California and Florida were among 12 states that hit a record-breaking, seven-day average for daily new Covid-19 cases, according to a 24newsreads.com analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. States grappling with expanding coronavirus outbreaks should seriously consider shutting down again, White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said on a Wall Street Journal podcast this week.
World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the pandemic is “getting worse” around the world as a record 227,000 new Covid-19 cases were reported globally Thursday. In a stark difference in the way China and Hong Kong handle coronavirus spikes, Hong Kong is closing schools Monday after 34 locally transmitted cases were reported, marking the second consecutive day of rising infections in the Chinese territory.
5. Biden says investors ‘don’t need me’
Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is blasting President Donald Trump for being too focused on the stock market during the coronavirus crisis. “Trump has been almost singularly focused on the stock market, the Dow and Nasdaq. Not you. Not your families,” Biden said at a campaign stop in Pennsylvania on Thursday. “I came from here in Scranton. Not the wealthy investor class. They don’t need me.” The former vice president, laying out his moderate plans for an economic recovery, also said he wants to end what he called the “era of shareholder capitalism.”