Retailers show early signs of recovery; AstraZeneca ramps up antibody study

Retailers show early signs of recovery; AstraZeneca ramps up antibody study

Even as some countries, particularly those first hit by the coronavirus, show some positive signs of improvement, the World Health Organization has warned that the pandemic is still worsening around the world. Most daily new cases are coming from 10 countries, according to the WHO, mostly in the Americas and South Asia. 

In the U.S., the New York City region, which was the initial epicenter of the country’s outbreak, has seen the daily growth of its epidemic decline substantially, and officials have begun to ease restrictions. However, some states that were among the first to reopen have begun to see signs that their outbreaks are worsening. 

This is CNBC’s live blog covering all the latest news on the coronavirus outbreak. This blog will be updated throughout the day as the news breaks. 

  • Global cases: More than 7.1 million
  • Global deaths: At least 406,925
  • U.S. cases: More than 1.9 million
  • U.S. deaths: At least 111,007

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Retail store closures could accelerate to as many as 25,000 in 2020

A store stands closed near Wall Street as the coronavirus keeps financial markets and businesses mostly closed on May 08, 2020 in New York City.

Spencer Platt | Getty Images

9:15 a.m. ET — As the coronavirus pandemic takes a toll on many retailers’ businesses, there could be as many as 25,000 store closures announced by these companies this year, according to one firm.

U.S. retailers could announce between 20,000 and 25,000 closures in 2020, according to tracking by Coresight Research, with 55% to 60% of those situated in America’s malls. That would also mark a new record — which was previously more than 9,300 locations in 2019.

Bankruptcy filings by retailers have started to mount, and Coresight expects more are on the way.

“We expect that a return to pre-crisis levels in offline discretionary retail sales overall will be gradual, as we expect consumer confidence, demand and spending to be short of normal for some time,” Coresight founder and CEO Deborah Weinswig said in the report. —Lauren Thomas

The newest U.S. hot spots 

Macy’s says reopening stores are performing better than expectations, shares soar

A view outside Macy’s Herald Square during the coronavirus pandemic on May 13, 2020 in New York City.

Noam Galai | Getty Images

8:17 a.m. ET — Macy’s shares are rising after the company released its preliminary financial results, saying customers are returning to reopened stores much faster than it expected. The department store operator is also telling analysts and investors it should enter the holiday season later this year in the lean inventory position. Shares were recently up more than 9% in premarket trading.

With the retailer’s stores shut for most of its fiscal first quarter due to the coronavirus pandemic, sales are expected to fall 45% to $3.02 billion from $5.5 billion a year ago, Macy’s said. It is also forecasting a quarterly net loss of $652 million, or $2.10 per share, for the period ended May 2, compared with net earnings of $136 million, or 44 cents a share, in the same period a year prior. 

As of June 1, Macy’s said it had roughly 450 locations back up and running. The company also on Monday evening announced it has raised $4.5 billion in new financing, giving it “sufficient liquidity” to weather the coronavirus crisis. —Lauren Thomas

Engagement ring sales dropped off steeply during pandemic, Tiffany & Co says  

8:10 a.m. ET — As people across the globe stayed home during the pandemic, Tiffany & Co saw a sharp drop off in sales — especially for engagement rings.

The luxury jewelry company said same-store sales were down by about 44% during its fiscal first quarter, as most of its 324 stores temporarily closed. Its biggest decline was in engagement jewelry, which plummeted by nearly 50%

Tiffany said sales are gaining steam again, especially in China. Sales in the country jumped by 30% during April and about 90% in May, compared with the same period a year prior. And, it said, its new collection of rose gold and gold with diamonds is catching customers’ eyes. —Melissa Repko

U.S. likely won’t shut down again even if cases rise after reopening, Gottlieb says 

Remdesivir study on monkeys shows drug reduced lung damage

Lab technicians load filled vials of investigational coronavirus disease (COVID-19) treatment drug remdesivir at a Gilead Sciences facility in La Verne, California, U.S. March 18, 2020. Picture taken March 18, 2020.

Gilead Sciences Inc | Reuters

7:42 a.m. ET — Gilead Sciences antiviral drug remdesivir helped to prevent macaques infected with the coronavirus from developing respiratory disease and reduced lung damage associated with the virus, according to a new study published in the medical journal Nature.

The study involved 12 monkeys infected with the coronavirus, with only six of them given remdesivir intravenously early on in the study. Those that received the drug did not develop respiratory disease and suffered less lung damage, the study showed.

“Our data support early remdesivir treatment initiation in Covid-19 patients to prevent progression to pneumonia,” the authors said in the report. The drug did not appear to reduce the infectiousness of the infected animals, however.

“Despite the lack of obvious respiratory signs and reduced virus replication in the lungs of remdesivir-treated animals, there was no reduction in virus shedding,” the study said. Clinical trials involving humans are ongoing. —Holly Ellyatt

AstraZeneca ramps up studies for antibody treatments

A pedestrian walks past signage outside an AstraZeneca Plc research and development facility in Shanghai, China, on Monday, June 8, 2020.

Qilai Shen | Bloomberg | Getty Images

7:05 a.m. ET — British drugmaker AstraZeneca expects to move two potential Covid-19 antibody-based therapeutics into clinical trials in the next two months, the company announced.

AstraZeneca said it licensed the antibodies from Vanderbilt University and hopes to develop them into a potential combination therapy for both the prevention and treatment of Covid-19.

The company, which is already working on a potential coronavirus vaccine, also said it has signed agreements with the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority to support development of the potential treatments. —Will Feuer

Read CNBC’s previous coronavirus live coverage here: Brazil faces criticism over data; Germany reports record plunge in exports

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