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Money & Markets

Congress shifts attention to overhauling small-business aid

WASHINGTON — Deadlocked over the next big coronavirus relief bill, Congress is shifting its attention to a more modest overhaul of small-business aid in hopes of helping employers reopen shops and survive the pandemic. Bipartisan legiTslation that would give small employers more time to ...

Meatpacking safety recommendations are largely unenforceable

MINNEAPOLIS — Federal recommendations meant to keep meatpacking workers safe as they return to plants that were shuttered by the coronavirus have little enforcement muscle behind them, fueling anxiety that working conditions could put employees’ lives at risk. Extensive guidance issued ...

Walmart becomes a pandemic lifeline, online sales surge 74 percent

NEW YORK — Walmart emerged as one of the few lifelines to millions of people as the coronavirus spread, leading to surging profit and sales for the world’s largest retailer. Online sales in the U.S. jumped 74 percent for its fiscal first quarter that ended April 30, which captured the ...

J.C. Penney, 118-Year-Old Department Store, Files for Bankruptcy

J.C. Penney, with its budget-friendly clothing for families and reliable home furnishings, was for years a cornerstone of American malls and an undeniable success story. What started as a humble dry goods store in Wyoming in 1902 was a century later a national chain with a household name and ...

Officials release edited coronavirus reopening guidance

NEW YORK — U.S. health officials on Thursday released some of their long-delayed guidance that schools, businesses and other organizations can use as states reopen from coronavirus shutdowns. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention posted six one-page “decision tool” documents ...

US meat exports surge as industry struggles to meet demand

OMAHA, Neb. — U.S. meat exports are surging even as the industry is struggling to meet domestic demand because of coronavirus outbreaks at processing plants that have sickened hundreds of workers and caused companies to scramble to improve conditions. Although the situation could cause ...

US approves new coronavirus antigen test with fast results

U.S. regulators have approved a new type of coronavirus test that administration officials have promoted as a key to opening up the country. The Food and Drug Administration on Saturday announced emergency authorization for antigen tests developed by Quidel Corp. of San Diego. The test can ...

US unemployment surges to a Depression-era level of 14.7 percent

WASHINGTON — The coronavirus crisis has sent U.S. unemployment surging to 14.7%, a level last seen when the country was in the throes of the Depression and President Franklin D. Roosevelt was assuring Americans that the only thing to fear was fear itself. And because of government errors ...

A devastating jobs report for April will show virus’s impact

WASHINGTON — The U.S. government on Friday is poised to report the worst set of jobs numbers since record-keeping began in 1948, a snapshot of the devastating damage the coronavirus outbreak has inflicted on the economy. The unemployment rate for April could reach 16 percent or more, ...

Reynolds, Trump predict meatpackers ‘fully back up’ in 10 days or less

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds and President Donald Trump predicted Wednesday, during a meeting at the White House, that meatpacking plants would be “fully back up” within a week to 10 days. “Maybe sooner,” Trump said. Reynolds said South Dakota plants are coming back on board “and ...

Back in session: Senate risks a return but House stays away

WASHINGTON — Weighing the risks, the Senate will reopen on Monday as the coronavirus crisis rages and the House stays shuttered, an approach that leaves Congress as divided as the nation. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s decision to convene 100 senators at the Capitol during a ...

Buffett remains optimistic about future despite coronavirus

OMAHA, Neb. — Billionaire investor Warren Buffett doesn’t know how or when the economy will recover from the coronavirus outbreak shutdown, but he remains optimistic in the long-term future of the United States. Buffett said Saturday at Berkshire Hathaway’s online annual meeting that ...

With quirks and restrictions, many states lift lockdowns

GRETNA, La. — More than a dozen states let restaurants, stores or other businesses reopen Friday in the biggest one-day push yet to get their economies up and running again, acting at their own speed and with their own quirks and restrictions to make sure the coronavirus doesn’t come ...

Drug proves effective against virus as economic damage rises

Scientists on Wednesday announced the first effective treatment against the coronavirus — an experimental drug that can speed the recovery of COVID-19 patients — in a major medical advance that came as the economic gloom caused by the scourge deepened in the U.S. and Europe. The U.S. ...

Pandemic job actions offer hope for renewed labor movement

Jordan Flowers never thought he would become a labor leader. Then the coronavirus forced him to risk his life every time he clocked in. The robotics operator at Amazon’s Staten Island warehouse helped lead one of the first walkouts at the site — a protest over the company’s lack of ...

Despite risks, auto workers step up to make medical gear

DETROIT — Cindy Parkhurst could have stayed home collecting most of her pay while the Ford plant where she normally works remains closed due to coronavirus fears. Instead, she along with hundreds of workers at Ford, General Motors, Toyota and other companies has gone back to work to make ...

U.S. states build stockpiles of malaria drug touted by Trump

SALT LAKE CITY — State and local governments across the United States have obtained about 30 million doses of a malaria drug touted by President Trump to treat patients with the coronavirus, despite warnings from doctors that more research is needed. At least 22 states and Washington, ...

Virus pushes US unemployment toward highest since Depression

NEW YORK — Unemployment in the U.S. is swelling to levels last seen during the Great Depression of the 1930s, with 1 in 6 American workers thrown out of a job by the coronavirus, according to new data released Thursday. In response to the deepening economic crisis, the House passed a nearly ...

Moving past ‘invisible enemy,’ Trump nudges nation to reopen

WASHINGTON — For weeks, the Trump administration played up the dangers of the coronavirus as it sought to convince Americans to disrupt their lives and stay home. Now, as President Donald Trump aims for a swift nationwide reopening, he faces a new challenge: convincing people it’s safe to ...

Senate approves $483B virus aid deal

WASHINGTON — A $483 billion coronavirus aid package flew through the Senate on Tuesday after Congress and the White House reached a deal to replenish a small-business payroll fund and provided new money for hospitals and testing. Passage was swift and unanimous, despite opposition from ...