U.S. futures are higher…Senate rescue plan…More masks
UNDATED (AP) – European shares have opened higher and U.S. futures also rose after a mixed day of trading in Asia. Benchmarks rose today in Paris, Frankfurt, Hong Kong and Sydney but fell in Shanghai and Seoul. Positive momentum from an upbeat close on Wall Street yesterday helped offset negative economic data. South Korea’s central bank reported that its economy contracted 3.3% in April-June from the previous quarter, while Australia’s Treasury forecast a 7% drop in GDP.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is set to unveil a $1 trillion COVID-19 rescue package. The Republican leader is pushing past a GOP revolt over big spending and differences with the White House as the virus crisis worsens. The package is called CARES II and is to be released today. It’s made up of separate bills from 10 senators as McConnell seeks to replicate an earlier strategy to launch negotiations with Democrats. The path will be tougher this time. GOP senators and President Donald Trump are at odds over priorities. And Democrats say the package is not nearly enough to stem the health crisis, reopen schools and extend aid to jobless Americans.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – California will spend another $315 million on protective masks through a contract with a Chinese manufacturer. Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the deal with BYD on Wednesday as he touted California’s efforts to procure masks for health care and other essential workers. Newsom signed a $1 billion contract with BYD in April and the first masks began arriving last month after delays. Newsom said California will soon launch a competitive bidding process to try to get more masks at lower prices. But he also acknowledged the masks aren’t always getting to workers that need them and pledged a more aggressive state response.
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) – Consumer products giant Unilever says its second-quarter sales were only slightly lower than the same period a year ago despite lockdown measures triggered by the global fight against the coronavirus. Unilever’s results provide a snapshot of how consumer behavior was altered by the global pandemic – shoppers bought more food and drink to consume at home rather than visiting restaurants and cleaned their homes and hands more. The company’s brands include Ben & Jerry’s ice creams, Lipton tea and Dove soaps.
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) – Car and truck maker Daimler took a hit to earnings in the second quarter from the virus outbreak. The company posted a second-quarter net loss of $2.2 billion as sales of cars, trucks and buses fell by a third. Daimler’s CEO says the company is seeing the first signs of a sales recovery now, especially for its Mercedes-Benz luxury cars. The company says it has preserved cash and will keep cutting costs as it pushes ahead with a shift to selling more electric vehicles.