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May 14, 2020

Market Insider | Biggest Moves Premarket: Stocks making the biggest moves in the premarket: 3M, Cisco, SmileDirectClub, Starbucks & more

Peter Schacknow

Take a look at some of the biggest movers in the premarket:
Norwegian Cruise Line (NCLH) – Norwegian reported a first-quarter loss of 99 cents per share, wider than the 50 cents a share loss that analysts had projected. Revenue was in line with forecasts. The cruise line operator said it was well-positioned to withstand 18 months of voyage suspensions.
3M (MMM) – 3M said its sales fell 11% in April, with a surge in face mask demand being offset by declines for its other product lines. Health-care sales rose 5%, while transportation and electronics saw a 20% drop and safety and industrial sales fell 11%.
Cisco Systems (CSCO) – Cisco reported quarterly profit of 79 cents per share, beating consensus estimates by 10 cents a share. Revenue topped estimates as well. The networking equipment maker also gave an upbeat current-quarter forecast, as it benefits from an increase in remote work.
SmileDirectClub (SDC) – SmileDirectClub lost 28 cents per share for its latest quarter, wider than the 19 cents a share loss that Wall Street analysts were anticipating. The maker of teeth-straightening aligners saw its revenue miss estimates as well, and the company sees its kits businesses providing a larger percentage of revenue going forward compared to business in its SmileShops. Following the release of the quarterly report, Bank of America Securities cut its rating on the stock to “underperform” from “buy.”
Jack In The Box (JACK) – Jack In The Box came in 16 cents a share below estimates, with quarterly earnings of 50 cents per share. The restaurant chain’s revenue beat Street forecasts. Comparable sales were down 4.2%, and Jack In The Box also withdrew financial guidance as well as suspending its dividends and share buybacks.
Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) – Fiat Chrysler will not distribute its 2019 dividend that was due to be paid this year because of the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. Peugeot parent PSA Groupe is also suspending its dividend payout, and the two automakers said their merger plans are proceeding as scheduled.
DraftKings (DKNG) – Susquehanna Financial began coverage of DraftKings with a “positive” rating, noting that the online gambling site operator is the leader in a market that could grow to as much as $40 billion in the next 10 years.
Intelsat (I) – Intelsat filed for bankruptcy protection, in a move designed to allow the satellite operator to participate in an upcoming government airwaves auction. Intelsat has $14.5 billion in debt, and would have to spend more than $1 billion to participate due to the cost of moving existing customers off airwaves to be sold.
Tyson Foods (TSN) – Tyson cut prices for some of the beef it sells to supermarkets and restaurants by 20% to 30%. This comes after disruptions at meat plants led to a jump in the cost of meat.
Tesla (TSLA) – Tesla issued a warning to workers who choose to stay at home even after being ordered back to work, saying they could lose their unemployment benefits.
Starbucks (SBUX) – Starbucks wants landlords to lower rent for the next year, according to a letter from Chief Operating Officer Roz Brewer and reported by the Seattle Times. The letter cited the economic disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mastercard (MA) – Mastercard said it saw a slight rebound in credit card use during the two weeks ended May 7, due to loosening of social distancing rules in some areas as well as fiscal stimulus.
McCormick (MKC) – McCormick was upgraded to “outperform” from “neutral” at Credit Suisse, as more people cook at home and use the company’s spices and other products.
Allogene Therapeutics (ALLO) – Allogene released favorable data from a phase 1 study of its treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Analysis | The Cybersecurity 202: New Jersey lawsuit tries to block Internet voting in the state

By Joseph Marks

with Tonya Riley

Human rights activists and New Jersey law students are suing to block the state from using Internet-based voting systems, which security experts say are fundamentally insecure against hacking.
The effort is a shot across the bow for the online systems, which some states have embraced as a solution for people who have trouble voting by mail during the pandemic despite widespread security concerns.
New Jersey piloted an app-based system on Tuesday in a collection of 33 small elections for people with disabilities that make it impractical for them to vote by mail. Everyone else had to vote by mail and there was no in-person voting option.
New Jersey officials haven’t said whether they plan to repeat the pilot in the state’s July primary or the general election, but the lawsuit is trying to stop those plans before they start. It's essentially an offshoot of an earlier lawsuit that challenged the security of the state's voting machines and also dealt with the danger of voting systems going online.
It’s critical that voting be accessible for everybody but not at the expense of security and the risk of a group of people having their votes manipulated,” said Penny Venetis, director of Rutgers University Law School’s International Human Rights Clinic, which is challenging the use of online voting on behalf of Coalition for Peace and its New Jersey division as well as a state legislator.
Venetis and her students filed their motion Monday. They initially aimed to halt Internet voting during the Tuesday election but couldn’t get a hearing in time.
Delaware and West Virginia are planning larger pilots for voters with disabilities and those in the military or overseas during their states' presidential primaries in June. The states are all using a cloud-based system designed by the Seattle-based company Democracy Live.

A man uses a cellphone in New Orleans. (Jenny Kane/AP)
States that are using them have described the Internet systems as a safe way to ensure everyone can vote amid a pandemic that has upended everything about elections. 
But security experts see them as an invitation for hackers to alter votes undetected and worry they’ll deny equal treatment to voters with disabilities by making them take security risks other voters don’t have to.
This is one of many issues of inequality that the virus is bringing to the fore,” Venetis told me.
The New Jersey secretary of state’s office didn’t respond to a request for comment about future plans for the app or about how many people used it on Tuesday.
Internet-based voting is generally viewed as less secure than any in-person voting system. 
That’s because there’s no way to ensure that the computer, phone or tablet the voter is using hasn’t been compromised, and it's impossible for the voter to verify that the vote is still correct when it reaches election officials.
Because there’s no paper record of the vote there’s also no way to audit it after the fact.
There’s very clear scientific consensus that the return of voted ballots by Internet is not securable,” Andrew Appel, a Princeton University computer science professor, who wrote an expert statement for the plaintiffs in the New Jersey case, told me.
The Department of Homeland Security also sent states an alert last week warning that online voting systems pose “significant security risks” that could undermine the integrity of an election or compromise the secrecy of the ballot.
The DHS alert was less critical of systems that deliver blank ballots to voters over the Internet or that allow them to mark their votes on a home computer and then print them out and mail them in.
Democracy Live also produces such systems, which Venetis and Appel said they urged New Jersey to adopt instead of the fully online system.

People wait to cast their votes. (Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images)
New Jersey had a spotty record with election security even before the pandemic hit. 
It’s one of just two states, along with Louisiana, where nearly all in-person voting machines will lack paper records in 2020, which experts say are vital to protect against hacking.
That’s despite a four-year push by DHS and more than $1 billion in federal money nationwide aimed at eliminating such machines and making other cybersecurity fixes following Russia’s hacking and disinformation operation in 2016.
The earlier lawsuit filed by Venetis and the Rutgers students aimed to stop the state using those paperless voting machines. It dragged on for more than a decade and didn't ultimately block the machines. But Superior Court Judge Mary C. Jacobson did order New Jersey officials to ensure the state’s voting process is kept entirely offline — an order the Rutgers clinic is asking her to enforce now.
My big concern is this will not just be an emergency measure. It will continue past the quarantine and it will be expanded,” Venetis told me. “And that’s a real problem because votes can be manipulated and it will be completely and totally invisible.”

The keys
House lawmakers will vote Friday on a historic resolution that would allow lawmakers to vote remotely during the pandemic. 

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.), left, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). (Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg News)

The rule change would allow members at home to designate a colleague in Washington to cast votes on their behalf.
The order kicks the can down the road, however, on lawmakers using videoconferencing or other tech tools to vote from home, saying such systems could be used in the future if the House’s tech division certifies they’re sufficiently secure against hackers.
The measure would also allow committees to hold official video hearings something the Senate is already doing. “That one big step is to make sure Congress can act,” House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.), who introduced the changes, told Paul Kane.
The proposed rule change was supposed to be introduced late last month but was stalled by Republican opposition. Hoyer said the final rules incorporated ideas from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). McCarthy accused Democrats of using the rules to steal power.
Trump extended until 2021 an order banning U.S. companies from dealing with Huawei or other telecommunications companies deemed a national security risk. 

President Trump. (Evan Vucci/AP)
The White House first issued the order last May, but the Commerce Department has provided temporary licenses over the past year allowing some U.S. companies to continue to sell goods to Huawei. U.S. officials say Huawei could serve as a backdoor for Chinese espionage and have urged allies to similarly get tough with the company, but Huawei denies those charges.
Trump’s move comes as relations between China and the United States have cooled dramatically during the pandemic.
U.S. officials also warned that Chinese government hackers are likely trying to steal coronavirus research, calling it a "significant threat to our nation’s response to COVID-19."
DHS will advise U.S. telecom companies on how to protect 5G cellphone towers following arson attacks linked to coronavirus conspiracy theories. 

Workers install 5G telecommunications equipment on a T-Mobile tower. (Adrees Latif/Reuters)
The warning follows nearly a dozen arson attacks against towers in Britain, the Netherlands and Belgium last month after false claims that the technology spreads the coronavirus, Ellen Nakashima reports.
U.S. carriers have also seen sporadic attacks in recent weeks, some of which may have been the work of "eco-terrorists" rather than conspiracy theorists, an industry official told Ellen.
The U.S. government and World Health Organization officials have made clear there's no connection between 5G technology and the virus.

Hill happenings

The Senate will vote today on whether to renew vast government spying powers.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). (Andrew Harnik/AP/Bloomberg News)
The powers expired about two months ago when the Senate failed to reauthorize them before breaking for an extended recess during the pandemic.
The Senate failed to pass one bipartisan amendment on the bill yesterday to exclude Internet browsing and search histories from a warrantless surveillance program. The amendment, introduced by Sens. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), failed by just one vote and might have passed except that four members did not vote.
But in a win for privacy hawks, the Senate did pass an amendment by Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah), which will increase oversight of the court that grants warrants under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Here are details from Politico's Martin Matishak.
More news from the Hill:

Warrant marks a major escalation of the investigation of stock trades by lawmakers as the coronavirus spread.
Los Angeles Times

‘Unmasking’ is a routine practice used to identify U.S. individuals who are referred to anonymously in an intelligence document.
Matt Zapotosky, Ellen Nakashima and Shane Harris

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) said Wednesday that he was pushing for inclusion of measures meant to defend the United States against cyber threats in the upcoming annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
The Hill

Industry report

A  group of more than 140 global technology companies is today launching a new initiative promoting awareness of security risks associated with “smart” Internet-connected devices.

An Amazon Echo, center, and a Google Home, right. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
The  Cybersecurity Tech Accord's “Stay Smart. Stay Safely Connected” campaign will host an online repository of Internet of Things security tips and international privacy standards.
More industry news:

Cyberattackers seeking more than $2M from Travelex got inside Allen Grubman’s celebrity law firm. Confidential docs are now leaking online as the hackers turn the screws.
The Daily Beast

A company that pays hackers to submit serious flaws says it’s made aware of so many flaws in Apple operating systems that it will stop acquiring new ones.

Global cyberspace

Germany has "hard evidence" Russian was responsible for a cyberattack on the country's parliament, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said. 

German Chancellor Angela Merkel. (Michael Kappeler/dpa/AP)

The breach allowed hackers to steal documents from Merkel's office, the Associated Press reports.
The statement comes after federal prosecutors issued an arrest warrant against an alleged officer in Russia's GRU military intelligence agency last week. Merkel didn't confirm the arrest was related but said, “I take these things very seriously.” Russian officials have repeatedly denied involvement in the 2015 hack.
More global cybersecurity news:

China's foreign ministry, asked about China-linked hackers breaking into U.S. COVID-19 research, said China opposed what it called slander from the United States.

Whether you love them or hate them (or think they won’t work), authorities around the world have universally embraced the concept of contact tracing tech in order to curb the coronavirus’s spread.

France is empowering regulators to slap large fines on social-media companies that fail to remove postings deemed hateful, one of the most aggressive measures yet in a broad wave of rules aimed at forcing tech companies to more tightly police their services.
The Wall Street Journal

Chat room

Even though the House is trying remote voting, the Senate is still meeting in person, a move some technologists consider unnecessary and dangerous. Stanford Internet Observatory Director Alex Stamos:
It's crazy that the Senate is meeting in person. All this money spent on continuity of government and we put our most powerful octogenarians in the same room during a viral pandemic.
Every movie with a huge door closing on a secure mountain base lied to you.
— Alex Stamos (@alexstamos) May 13, 2020


  • The Open Technology Institute will host an event on the role of technology in pandemic response efforts today at 11:30 a.m.

Coronavirus | Test Kit: How do coronavirus home antibody tests work, and how do I get one?

9-12 minutes - Source: The Telegraph

A coronavirus antibody test kit has been approved by Public Health England, The Telegraph has learned, in a breakthrough that could be key to easing the UK's lockdown restrictions.

What is an antibody test?

An antibody test can detect if a person has had coronavirus before and has since recovered. The test, carried out by a device that pricks your finger for blood, works this out by testing your blood for coronavirus antibodies to see if they have already beaten the virus and gained some immunity to it.
The coronavirus swab test that the Government currently uses can only tell whether a person has the virus, not if they have had it and recovered. These swab tests also take much longer to get a result.
The antibody test is also known as a "serological test".
The Telegraph understands that the Department of Health is in negotiations with Swiss healthcare company Roche to buy millions of its coronavirus antibody test kits.
The accuracy of the test was given approval by experts at PHE’s Porton Down facility. Then, on May 13, Roche said it stood ready to provide hundreds of thousands of laboratory-based tests to the NHS each week.
The Elecsys laboratory-based test requires a blood sample to be taken by a health professional. Blood serums are obtained, to which reagents are added, and then examined in machines known as cobas e analysers, already widely installed in NHS labs across the country.
The development of an accurate antibody test is seen as key to helping Britain get back to work.
Scientists believe people who produce antibodies after having coronavirus may develop immunity to catching the virus again, making them safe to return to work.
The Government had previously hoped to roll out millions of antibody tests, but supplies from China failed to pass sensitivity and specificity tests.
Ministers will attempt to recoup taxpayers' money spent on the fingerprick tests after an Oxford University trial found they returned inaccurate results.
That failure was a significant setback because it had been hoped the antibody tests would show who had already built up immunity, therefore offering a swifter route out of lockdown.
In April, however, Professor Karol Sikora, a private oncologist and Dean of Medicine at the University of Buckingham, validated a test kit using samples from staff at his clinics, which were then verified by a private lab.
Around six per cent of staff were found to have had the virus but, crucially, under-40s who had tested positive came back negative, suggesting the test may not be useful for the wider population.
Siemens Healthineers, a German diagnostics and medical imaging firm, also announced on April 23 that it was producing an antibody blood test to identify past coronavirus infections.
The blood tests were expected to be available to large labs by late May, the company said, adding that it would be able to provide more than 25 million tests per month from June thanks to an upgrade to its manufacturing site in Massachusetts.
Another antibody test being pioneered by Oxford University could be available by the end of May, according to Professor John Newton, the UK's national testing co-ordinator.

What is an antigen test?

An antigen test detects the presence (or absence) of an antigen, not antibodies. An antigen is a structure within a virus that triggers the immune system's response to fight off the infection. It can be detected in blood before antibodies are made.
An antigen test is effective because it can take a few days for the immune system to build enough antibodies to be detected in a test, however, antigens can be detected almost immediately after infection. So, in theory, the test can tell much sooner whether someone has the virus.
Antigen tests are used to diagnose HIV, malaria and flu.

Will NHS staff be tested?

The test will enable NHS staff to know if they have been infected with – and have recovered from  the virus so they can return to work.

Who can get a coronavirus home test?

Geoff Twist, the managing director of Roche Diagnostics UK and Ireland, said the firm was working with the Government and the NHS to enable the company's test to be rolled out across the UK as soon as possible.
In theory, anyone would be able to buy other tests from Amazon or Boots. Last month, the Government ordered 3.5 million fingerprick tests, mainly from Chinese manufacturers, and later placed provisional orders for 17.5 million tests from nine firms including some based in the UK.
None of the tests were found by Oxford to be reliable enough for mass use. It could now be months before an effective coronavirus testing kit, that can be used at home, comes on the market.
But, earlier this month, some companies were still selling the antibody tests online to individuals who are desperate to find out if they have acquired immunity from the coronavirus.
On April 26, the Government was forced to deny claims it had ordered up to 50 million home testing kits.
Department of Health sources dismissed a report that 50 million antibody tests had been ordered by ministers at a cost of as little as £10 each.

Can I get a coronavirus test?

Public Health England had said that a small number of tests would be tested in a laboratory before being distributed via Amazon and sold in Boots. Had the tests passed the laboratory testing, they would then have been available to everyone.

How much would the test cost?

The Government has not yet released any official information about the cost of a test  though it would clearly be in the public interest for them to be affordable to everyone. Finger-prick tests by SureScreen, a British company, cost £6.

Who makes the coronavirus test?

The Telegraph understands that the Department of Health is in negotiations with the Swiss healthcare company Roche to buy millions of the company's kits.
Mologic, a Bedfordshire company that produces pregnancy tests, was granted £1 million by the Government to develop the coronavirus test.
SureScreen, a Derby firm, has created a finger-prick test which they say takes 10 minutes to return a result and is 98 per cent accurate. The tests are reportedly being used by private companies in a number of European countries.

Why are these tests important?

A widely available test that produces results so quickly would drastically change the UK's strategy for dealing with the virus and would change our daily lives.
In the NHS, staff would be able to return to work sooner if they know whether they have already had the virus.
People who have already had the virus and are immune would, in theory, be able to return to work and go back to their normal lives.
The impact of these tests on the economy and on public health could be enormous. See how the tests work below.

Do they use these tests in other countries?

The UK is not the only country ordering the tests.
Professor Sharon Peacock, the director of the national infection service at Public Health England, said: “Tests are being ordered across Europe and elsewhere and purchased in South-East Asia. This is widespread practice. We are not alone in doing this."
While some countries, such as South Korea and Germany, have successfully tested far more people than in other countries, these tests are in most cases the much slower swab tests.

Hundreds of thousands to be tested each day by NHS

The NHS could start testing hundreds of thousands of people per day for Covid-19 within a matter of weeks, NHS England's medical director has said.
Here is the current testing ratio:
Professor Stephen Powis told LBC, the phone-in and talk radio station, that testing is being expanded and there would be more widespread testing of NHS workers.
"We want to get hundreds of thousands of tests ramped up in the next few weeks per day," he said.
The Government is coming under intense pressure to increase testing, particularly for frontline NHS staff so those who are negative can get back to work.
Asked to clarify whether he really meant hundreds of thousands of tests per day, Professor Powis said: "That's what we are aiming for. That is what we want to ramp up to, but remember this is a new virus and we're starting from scratch.
"The kits which are required to do this testing are being manufactured as we speak. We are getting those into the country, we are ramping it up.
"I am talking of hundreds of thousands of tests.
"All of this is ramping up and increasing as we speak but, yes, you heard me correctly, we need to get to hundreds of thousands of tests a day, and we will do that over the course of the next few weeks and we will be making tests available to NHS staff within the next few days."
Figures from the Department of Health and Social Care said Public Health England (PHE) and the NHS were expecting to be carrying out up to 25,000 tests per day.
Capacity was then expected to continue to be ramped up towards 200,000 tests per day, according to the Prime Minister.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced that a testing facility had opened in Milton Keynes.
You can read more on the UK government's plan for testing here.

How many people are being tested for coronavirus?

The Government has met its target to conduct at least 100,000 coronavirus tests a day, Matt Hancock announced, hailing an “incredible achievement”.
The Health Secretary said 122,347 tests for Covid-19 were achieved on the final day of April.
However, the announcement swiftly attracted controversy as it emerged the tally includes swab kits sent to private homes and satellite testing sites not yet delivered to a laboratory for a result.

US Economy: Unemployment Claims to Show Jobs Continue to Vanish: Live Updates

12-15 minutos - Source: NYT

Right Now
Futures markets are predicting that Wall Street will fall at the open.
Credit...Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters

Global markets tumble on more negative outbreak news.

Global markets fell on Thursday amid more signs that the global recovery from the coronavirus will be slow and painful.
European stocks opened more than 1 percent lower after a similarly dismal day in Asia and a drop in the United States on Wednesday. Futures markets were predicting that Wall Street would also fall at the open, though perhaps not as sharply.
Markets reacted in part to a combative-sounding tweet from President Trump mentioning the temporary truce that Washington and Beijing struck in January to halt their nearly two-year trade war. They were also responding to comments from Jerome H. Powell, the Federal Reserve chairman, who said the economic hit could be substantial if American policymakers don’t do enough to support the economy.
Prices for U.S. Treasury bonds, which tend to rise when investors are skittish, were mostly higher. Oil prices were slightly higher on futures markets.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 index fell 1.7 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index dropped 1.4 percent. Mainland China’s Shanghai Composite index lost 1 percent. South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.8 percent.
In London, the FTSE 100 index was down 1.9 percent in morning trading. The DAX index in Germany fell 1.6 percent, while France’s CAC 40 fell 1.9 percent.

U.S. job losses keep mounting, and many of the unemployed can’t get benefits.

Credit...Travis Dove for The New York Times
The Labor Department is expected to say Thursday that 2.5 million people filed new unemployment claims last week, according to a consensus of Wall Street analysts. Although the weekly tally of new claims has been declining since late March, the latest count is likely to push the eight-week total above 35 million.
Roughly one in four people who had jobs in February were unemployed by the end of April, the economists Alexander Bick of Arizona State University and Adam Blandin of Virginia Commonwealth University said in a report released Tuesday.
State unemployment insurance and emergency federal relief were supposed to tide households over during the shutdown. But several states have a backlog of claims, and applicants continue to complain of being unable to reach overloaded state agencies.
More than half of those applying for unemployment benefits in recent weeks have been unsuccessful, according to a poll for The New York Times in early May by the online research firm SurveyMonkey.
And 13 states have yet to fully put in place the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program that Congress passed in March to help freelancers, self-employed individuals and other workers not normally eligible for state jobless benefits.
In states where workers have been able to apply for pandemic assistance, many got caught in what Roberta Reardon, the New York State labor commissioner, called a “federal glue trap” — an initially cumbersome application process. To New Yorkers still waiting, Ms. Reardon said, “I promise we will get you and make you whole.”

The pandemic ruined Tesla’s momentum, and Elon Musk is livid.

Credit...Jim Wilson/The New York Times
A few months ago, everything seemed to be going Elon Musk’s way.
After a turbulent start to 2019, Tesla, the electric car company he co-founded, had reported profits two quarters in a row and its stock was surging. Mr. Musk claimed vindication by defeating a defamation lawsuit and was staying out of trouble on Twitter. Tesla was on a tear.
But the coronavirus set Mr. Musk off. His dreams of dominating the car industry were put on hold when Alameda County, Calif., forced Tesla’s Fremont plant, which brings in most of the company’s revenue, to shut down in late March.
That frustrated Mr. Musk, who had long dismissed the seriousness of the coronavirus — promoting unproven research, suggesting that Covid-19 deaths were overstated and predicting that there would be zero new cases in the United States by the end of April. (There were almost 32,000.)
His anger boiled over last week, as he threatened to move the factory out of California and sued the county in federal court, Niraj Choksi reports. This week, Mr. Musk officially reopened the plant, to the frustration of some workers and county officials who had been negotiating a reopening plan with Tesla for weeks.
As the plant reopened, Mr. Musk thanked employees for making “the factory come back to life.”
“I have vastly more respect for someone who takes pride in doing a good job,” he said in an email, “whatever the profession, than some rich or famous person who does nothing useful.”

Powell’s warning on the economy spooked investors.

Credit...Kevin Lamarque/Reuters
The Federal Reserve chair, Jerome H. Powell, delivered a stark warning on Wednesday that the United States was experiencing a blow that could permanently damage the economy if Congress and the White House did not provide sufficient financial support to prevent a wave of bankruptcies and prolonged joblessness.
In Washington, discussions of additional rescue measures have run aground, with Democrats proposing sweeping new programs and Republicans voicing concerns over the swelling federal budget deficit, which is projected to hit $3.7 trillion this year.
President Trump and his economic advisers have pressed the pause button on negotiations for additional spending, waiting to see how much the economy rebounds as states begin lifting restrictions on business activity.
“Additional fiscal support could be costly but worth it if it helps avoid long-term economic damage and leaves us with a stronger recovery,” Mr. Powell said at a Peterson Institute for International Economics event.
The comments, which were the latest, and perhaps most influential, negative note investors have heard this week, triggered a nearly 2 percent drop in the S&P 500 on Wednesday. On Tuesday, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, warned that a too-rapid reopening of large parts of the American economy could risk a difficult-to-control resurgence of Covid-19.
The market had been steadily climbing since late March, when the Federal Reserve signaled that it was ready to purchase unlimited bonds to stabilize key financial markets and President Trump signed a $2 trillion economic rescue package.
That rally, however, may have taken some of the pressure off lawmakers.
“There is an inverse correlation between stock prices and the desire from Congress to provide additional stimulus,” said William Delwiche, an investment strategist at Baird, a financial firm based in Milwaukee.

China gets its ‘OK Boomer’ moment over the nation’s future.

Credit...Jialun Deng
A commercial extolling Chinese youth, showed online and on state-run television, provoked an immediate nationwide backlash in the country, writes The New York Times columnist Li Yuan.
The clash playing out across the Chinese internet over the past week amounts to a debate about the future of the world’s other superpower — specifically, for the minds and the souls of China’s younger generation. These tensions have been simmering for a long time, but the coronavirus outbreak — and the Chinese government’s propaganda campaign to play down its initial missteps — have brought those tensions to the fore.
Many of the younger generation looked at the images on the commercial of affluent, happy young people and didn’t recognize themselves. China’s biggest boom years are over, many think. China’s older generation, having amassed all the money and power, is simply trying to co-opt them with flattery.

Sony shares are down after the pandemic hits its electronics business hard.

Credit...Charly Triballeau/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Shares of the Japanese electronics and entertainment giant Sony were down more than 3 percent in intraday trading on Thursday following its announcement the day before that its operating profits could fall by 30 percent or more in the current fiscal year.
The coronavirus has hit Sony’s electronics business hard, while giving a boost to some of its entertainment offerings, as people stuck at home seek to keep themselves busy.
But the strength of the company’s film and music properties was not enough to offset the damage the pandemic has wrought: The company recorded a 57 percent drop in operating profits to 35.4 billion yen in the three months ending in March, Sony said in its annual earnings report released on Wednesday.
Annual operating profit fell 5 percent to 845.5 billion yen from the previous year, it said.
The company’s shares opened 3.5 percent lower Thursday morning, before recovering some ground by midafternoon.
Some of the company’s new movie and music releases have been pushed back because of the pandemic, and ticket sales are down as theaters remain closed. The damage has been offset by increased streaming, the company said, with revenues from its music and pictures segments growing year on year in the three-month period that ended in March.
Consumers stuck at home have also spent more on Sony’s online gaming services as they while away the hours by downloading and playing games for the company’s PlayStation 4.
But the pandemic has been catastrophic for the company’s electronics business, as well as its financial services offerings.
The near complete shutdown of factories in China and elsewhere earlier this year disrupted production of electronic goods and components, which account for more than a quarter of the company’s overall business. The problems were exacerbated by declining consumer demand.
Looking ahead, Sony declined to make any definite predictions for the year, citing the uncertainty caused by the pandemic. But the company said it was still on track to release its highly anticipated PlayStation 5 gaming console in time for the 2020 holiday season.

Uber says it raised $900 million to fund acquisitions.

Credit...Chang W. Lee/The New York Times
Uber raised $900 million in a debt sale to help fund potential acquisitions, the ride-hailing company said Wednesday.
Uber is in talks to acquire Grubhub, the food-delivery service, although the deal has not yet been finalized and could still fall apart. If it goes through, it would create one giant player in food delivery as more people turn toward those services in the coronavirus pandemic.
Uber’s debt sale puts it alongside Disney, ViacomCBS and Live Nation, which have all raised cash to ride out financial uncertainty caused by the pandemic. Uber said it would put the proceeds toward “working capital and other general corporate purposes, which may include potential acquisitions and strategic transactions.”
Companies like Uber are trying to limit damage to their business from the coronavirus — Uber’s main ride-hailing business has cratered as people have stopped traveling — and double down on services that are growing. The food delivery business has also been highly competitive, with rivals regularly undercutting one another on delivery prices, so a deal that would unite two of the players could help reduce those pressures.

J.C. Penney could file for bankruptcy as soon as Friday.

Credit...Charles Krupa/Associated Press
J.C. Penney, the department-store chain that was founded in 1902, might file for bankruptcy as soon as Friday after skipping two interest payments on its debt in the past month, according to two people familiar with the matter.
The company is in talks to secure about $450 million in debtor-in-possession financing, which would allow it to keep operating the business, according to the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because discussions were confidential. The company declined to comment.
The people said that the filing date could change, and that the amount of financing was still being negotiated. It would follow last week’s bankruptcy filing from the Neiman Marcus Group, as department stores struggle to navigate their businesses through the coronavirus pandemic.
J. Crew also filed for bankruptcy last week. A filing from J.C. Penney, however, would be the biggest bankruptcy yet during the pandemic, based on its number of locations and workers. The retailer, which is based in Plano, Texas, has 846 stores in the United States and Puerto Rico and 90,000 employees.
J.C. Penney skipped a $12 million interest payment due last month, saying at the time that it was a “strategic decision” in order to take advantage of a 30-day grace period before it was considered in default. The deadline for that would be Friday. The chain also skipped a $17 million interest payment due on May 7, with a grace period of five business days. The deadline to make that payment also appears to be Friday.

Reporting was contributed by Niraj Chokshi, Li Yuan, Ben Dooley, Carlos Tejada, Jeanna Smialek, Jim Tankersely, Matt Phillips, Sapna Maheshwari and Michael J. de la Merced.

The New Coming World: China’s ‘OK Boomer’: Generations Clash Over the Nation’s Future

By Li Yuan

The New New World
A commercial extolling Chinese youths has set off a debate over whether they are too nationalistic — and their prospects too limited — for the country’s good.
Credit...Jialun Deng
China’s version of the “OK boomer” clash began when a famous middle-age actor praised the younger generation as if the country’s teenagers and 20-somethings were heaven-sent gifts.
“All those people who complain that each generation is worse than the last should look at you the way I’m looking at you — full of admiration,” said He Bing, a film and television star with a baritone voice, in a commercial for a Chinese online video service.
China’s young people benefit from education, travel and all the world’s knowledge, said Mr. He, over images of young people scuba diving, skydiving, kayaking, racing sports cars, playing professional online games and touring Japan, France, Antarctica and other exotic destinations.
“Because of you,” he said, “the world likes China more.”

The commercial, shown online and on state-run television, provoked an immediate nationwide backlash. Today’s youths are too brainwashed, too nationalistic and too eager to snitch on professors and other public figures who don’t toe the Communist Party line, said prominent members of China’s “boomer” generation, who remember a time when the country seemed more open and accepting.
Many in the younger generation looked at the images on the commercial of affluent, happy young people and didn’t recognize themselves. China’s biggest boom years are over, many think. China’s older generation, having amassed all the money and power, is simply trying to co-opt them with flattery.
“There are still young people in China without cellphone or internet connection,” a viewer wrote on Bilibili, the video website that made the commercial, in a comment that received more than 16,000 likes. “Young Chinese should think hard about who we are, how we are faring and what we want. Don’t be fooled by outside voices.”
The clash playing out across the Chinese internet over the past week amounts to a debate about the future of the world’s other superpower — specifically, for the minds and the souls of China’s younger generation. These tensions have been simmering for a long time, but the coronavirus outbreak — and the Chinese government’s propaganda campaign to play down its initial missteps — have brought those tensions to the fore.
Every society has its generational differences, but in China they are stark.
China’s boomers, who were born in the 1960s and 1970s, are as lucky as the American baby boomers born after World War II. China was opening up after nearly 30 years of political turmoil and economic mismanagement under Mao Zedong. Jobs were plentiful. Housing was cheap. And while the party kept an iron grip on political power, society began to open up to new ideas. Before they were blocked beginning about a decade ago, we could use Google and Wikipedia and read The New York Times’s website. The future seemed bright.
China is a very different country now, especially for Chinese people born after 1990, or China’s Generation Z. Its economy in recent months shrank for the first time since the Mao era as the country grappled with the coronavirus. One estimate put the unemployment rate at 20 percent. At the same time, housing in major cities is as out of reach for members of Generation Z as it is for their contemporaries in New York and San Francisco.
China may be the second-largest economy in the world and have more billionaires than the United States, but the real disposable personal income per capita in 2019 was only $4,334, just one-tenth that of Americans’.
Chinese state media is trying to distract the youth from these realities. The Bilibili video’s message is in line with Beijing’s to the young generation: You’re lucky to live in China today, and you should shout down critical voices. The People’s Daily, the Communist Party’s official newspaper, its tabloid the Global Times and many other official media outlets shared the video on social media, even though it’s a commercial for a private internet company.
The Bilibili commercial — timed for May 4, a government-endorsed day for commemorating patriotic youth — was a sensation. It was ranked the No. 1 video on Bilibili’s own platform, with more than 20 million views for the week. On Weibo, the Twitter-like social media platform, it was viewed 50 million times. Bilibili, which has 130 million users, saw its stock price rise by 11 percent in three days.
Credit...Tingshu Wang/Reuters
But some young people aren’t buying it. On Bilibili and other social media platforms, many wrote that the video was for the haves, not the have-nots. It also confused the freedom to consume, they said, with the freedom to make choices based on free will.
“The speech reminded me of the flattering tricks the adults played when I was little,” Cheng Xinyu, a high school senior in the southwestern city of Chengdu, said in an interview. “Like, ‘You’re so good that you certainly won’t eat that candy.’”
The video’s description of her generation’s free choices? “I just laughed when that part came up,” Ms. Cheng said.
Further underscoring the wealth gap, some posted on Bilibili’s comments section Article 1 of the Chinese Constitution: “The People’s Republic of China is a socialist state under the people’s democratic dictatorship led by the working class and based on the alliance of workers and peasants.”
Many older people recoiled at the lionization of a generation in which many members, accustomed to a life of propaganda, blindly defend the government.
Many young people are among those who have used the “traitor” to describe Fang Fang, the Wuhan-based writer who kept an online diary about the city under lockdown and demanded accountability. These young warriors have reported at least two professors who support Fang Fang to their universities.
“We who were born after 1995 pledge that we will not follow the likes of Fang Fang,” said the most-liked comment on the Global Times Weibo post of the Bilibili video. “We will bring down those sinners.”
They argue on China’s behalf on the world stage as well, sometimes using software to bypass the censorship infrastructure for access to Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Their belligerence prompted some boomers to compare them to Mao’s Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution, with some using the mocking nickname “little pinks.”
Many boomers felt compelled to speak out.
“I’m that person who says every day that this generation is worse than mine,” Su Qing, a journalist, wrote in a line-by-line rebuttal of Mr. He’s speech. “I don’t envy you.”
Mr. Su mocked Mr. He’s contention that young Chinese people have access to all the knowledge that the world has to offer and the freedom to make choices.
“Congratulations! You have the rights to criticize the United States and the traitors. Everything else is 404,” he wrote, referring to the error message for censored web pages and sites.
“Because of your overseas online expeditions, the world knows that there are radical young people in China,” he wrote. “The world had only seen such young people in Germany in the past.”
Li Houchen, a former internet executive and now a podcast host, urged people to boycott Bilibili, saying the video is part of the “propaganda business.”
In an emotional podcast, he accused the members of the young generation of indulging in consumerism and becoming the tool and mouthpiece of the authorities, saying they had become the “henchmen” of the system by reporting people they disagree with to the authorities. “Of course, your generation is worse than mine.”
The authorities, Mr. Li said, once condemned the youths’ fixation on video games and animation. “Now they need the young people to attack the likes of Fang Fang,” he said. “They need the young people to control the public opinions, so they started flattering the young generation.”
If anything, it’s the age of uncertainty and enormous challenges, Mr. Li argued.
“Are we living in a time that rewards hard work, kindness and honesty? Or are we living in a time of lies and fear?” he added. “Are we living in a boom time, or are we living in a time of enormous challenges?”