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Twitch’s New Exclusivity Deals Show That It’s Running Scared & Mixer and YouTube


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  • Twitch signs new exclusivity deals with high-profile streamers Summit1G, Dakotaz, and JoshOG.
  • The move comes after streamers like Shroud and Ninja left the platform to sign exclusive deals with rival platform Mixer.
  • These deals suggest that Twitch is more scared of other streaming platforms than previously thought.

Popular streamers Summit1G, Dakotaz, and JoshOG have signed exclusive deals with Twitch. The length of these deals is unclear.

Loaded, the influencer management brand that represents the three streamers, told The Washington Post that these are “multiyear” content deals.

Twitch’s New Exclusive Deals Could Have Cost Millions

It’s also unclear how much these content deals are worth. The three streamers have a combined Twitch following of 11 million followers and signing them to exclusive deals probably wasn’t cheap.

Dakotaz let his feelings known about his Twitch deal with his emojis. | Source: Twitter

Ninja’s move to Mixer reportedly netted the streamer $20 million, and he had more than 14 million before that move. It may have cost Twitch around that much to get Summit1G, Dakotaz, and JoshOG to stay. However, as Twitch is owned by Amazon, whose founder is on his way to becoming the world’s first trillionaire, it has that kind of cash to spend.

How Twitch is Stopping its Biggest Streamers from Leaving

These aren’t the first exclusivity deals that Twitch has announced. In December, Twitch unveiled that TimTheTatman, LIRIK, and DrLupo had all signed deals with the platform. These will keep them on the site for years, preventing sites like Mixer, YouTube, and Facebook from swooping in.

The deals show that Twitch is no longer as confident in its seat at the top of the streaming mountain as it was before. While other streaming platforms were available, Ninja’s move to Mixer and the platform-hopping that has followed has made Mixer et al. a real option.

In January, YouTube signed Muselk, LazarBeam, and Valkyrae, getting them to move from Twitch, while Facebook has signed deals with Disguised Toast and Corinna Kopf–two other creators who were also popular on Twitch.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of CCN.com.

This article was edited by Sam Bourgi.

Last modified: May 27, 2020 11:26 PM UTC

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ASX to rise; Caution on China high


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Live

Updated

Key Points

  • The Australian sharemarket is poised to rise at the open this morning.
  • Tensions between the US and China continue to simmer.

Sandfire to restart drilling in Botswana

William McInnes

Sandfire Resources is set to resume exploration activity in Botswana by early June after the government announced a phased ending of COVID-19 restrictions.

The company said plans are underway for a staged restart of exploration activity that should see resource drilling at its A4 discovery resume in the next few weeks.

The company also said it had executed a binding agreement with Australian explorer Kopore Metals to acquire a ~6,700 km² land package in Namibia.

The licences for the package are located immediately along strike to the west of Sandfire’s Tshukudu licences in Botswana and cover a large, underexplored area within the western part of the Kalahari Copper Belt.

China weighs on commodity prices

William McInnes

Oil, iron ore and base metal prices all fell over the weekend, with China driving the weakness across most markets.

Crude oil sank, with Brent crude down 2.6 per cent to $US35.13 a barrel on Friday as doubts lingered about China’s demand for the rest of the year.

Meanwhile iron ore prices dipped 1.1 per cent to $US96.85 a tonne with the Chinese government’s work report delivered on day 1 of the National People’s Congress disappointed steel markets.

Base metals were also broadly weaker.

“Increased tensions between the US and China weighed on sentiment after China introduced new security legislation impacting Hong Kong,” said NAB head of commodity research Lachlan Shaw.

China headwinds put recovery at risk

Luke Housego

The highs recorded on sharemarkets in Australia and overseas last week could come under threat in the coming days, as relations between the world’s two largest economies rattle optimism and threaten another sell-off in shares.

The S&P/ASX 200 Index hit a two-month high in the middle of last week, which came after the US Nasdaq ended Wednesday just 4.5 per cent from its record close.

In addition to central bank and government stimulus, the rally was fuelled by reported progress on a vaccine and the ongoing wind-back of restrictions, which has seen commodity prices rise as economic activity lifts from historical lows.

But investors’ nerves were tested towards the end of the week as tensions between the US and China were again thrown into the spotlight after officials in Washington rebuked Beijing for national security laws viewed as a threat to the autonomy of Hong Kong.

“As someone who’s lived in the Asian time zone for almost 40 years now, the move in Hong Kong is quite a serious issue,” said Federation Asset Management adviser and former Merrill Lynch executive, Greg Bundy.

“There’s been a handful of stocks that have led the US recovery,” Mr Bundy added, referring to Facebook, Apple, Amazon Netflix and Alphabet.

“If any of those stocks faced any retaliation from the Chinese Communist Party … you would probably see … a 5 to 10 per cent sell-off pretty quickly.”

Read the full story at afr.com.

Stocks mixed; gold firms

Here are the weekend market highlights:

  • AUD -0.4% to 65.37 US cents (Year to date: -6.9%)
  • On Wall St: Dow flat S&P 500 +0.2% Nasdaq +0.4%
  • In New York: BHP -0.1% Rio +0.6% Atlassian +1.3%
  • In Europe: Stoxx 50 flat FTSE -0.4% CAC flat DAX +0.1%
  • Spot gold +0.4% to $US1734.68 an ounce in New York
  • Brent crude -2.6% to $US35.13 a barrel
  • US oil -2% to $US33.25 a barrel
  • Iron ore -0.6% to $US97.65 a tonne
  • Dalian iron ore -0.1% to 722 yuan
  • LME aluminium -1.3% to $US1502 a tonne
  • LME copper -1.9% to $US5287.50 a tonne
  • 2-year yield: US 0.17% Australia 0.24%
  • 5-year yield: US 0.33% Australia 0.38%
  • 10-year yield: US 0.66% Australia 0.86% Germany -0.49%

Read Timothy Moore’s Before the Bell here.

Good morning

Good morning and welcome to Markets Live for Monday.

This blog is not intended as investment advice.

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Wall Street ends mixed as China-US tensions weigh


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New York | Wall Street ended mixed on Friday in a mostly tame finish to a week of strong gains, as investors gauged China-US tensions and amid ongoing uncertainty about the pace of economic recovery from the coronavirus.

President Donald Trump’s warning on Thursday that the US would react strongly to China’s plan for a national security law in Hong Kong has raised concerns over Washington and Beijing’s possibly reneging on their Phase 1 trade deal.

Late in the session, stocks edged lower after the US Commerce Department said it was adding 33 Chinese companies and other institutions to an economic blacklist for human rights violations and to address US national security concerns.

The increasing rhetoric between Washington and Beijing has knocked Wall Street off multi-month highs, although the three main indexes still all rose around 3 per cent for the week, fuelled by optimism about an eventual coronavirus vaccine and the easing of virus-related curbs.

“We still think COVID-19 concerns are in the driver’s seat, but we could see US-China relations move back into the front seat,” said Eric Freedman, chief investment officer at US Bank Wealth Management.

US stock exchanges will be closed on Monday for the Memorial Day holiday.

The Nasdaq index is down about 5 per cent from its February 19 record high, helped in recent weeks by gains in Microsoft, Amazon and other heavyweight companies seen coming out of the economic downturn stronger than their smaller rivals.

The S&P 500 real estate sector index jumped 2.2 per cent, leading the 11 sectors, while energy dropped 0.7 per cent as oil prices sank about 3 per cent.

A 1.9 per cent drop in Chevron weighed on the Dow.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.04 per cent to end at 24,465.16 points, while the S&P 500 gained 0.24 per cent, to 2955.45. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.43 per cent to 9324.59.

For the week, the Dow added 3.3 per cent, the S&P 500 rose 3.2 per cent, and the Nasdaq climbed 3.4 per cent.

Mixed earnings from retailers Walmart, Best Buy and Home Depot earlier this week showed online shopping gaining traction with the lockdown orders, a trend that could damage brick-and-mortar players already feeling pressure from internet rivals.

On Friday, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group reported better-than-expected quarterly profit, but its shares tumbled almost 6 per cent. Smaller rival Pinduoduo’s US-listed shares surged over 14 per cent after the company posted upbeat results.

Nvidia climbed 2.9 per cent after forecasting strong quarterly revenue as demand surges for its data centre chips.

KKR & Co rose 1.1 per cent after India’s Reliance Industries said the private equity firm would buy a 2.3 per cent stake in its digital unit for 113.67 billion rupees ($US1.50 billion).

Data analytics software maker Splunk jumped over 12 per cent after it said it expects more demand for its cloud services.

Volume on US exchanges was 8.75 billion shares, compared to the 11.2 billion average for the last 20 trading days.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.17-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.30-to-1 ratio favoured advancers.

The S&P 500 posted six new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 62 new highs and nine new lows.

Reuters

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Pier 1 going out of business and closing all 540 stores – CBS News


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Retail stores face uphill battle during pandemic

Pier 1, the seller of wicker chairs and scented candles, said it will go out of business and permanently close all 540 of its stores. The Texas-based company said Tuesday that it was unable to find a buyer for its business after filing for bankruptcy protection earlier this year.

Pier 1 will start going-out-of-business sales as soon as it can reopen stores that have been temporarily shut due to the coronavirus pandemic. The company joins other major retailers to since the disease erupted in the U.S. in March. Apparel maker J. Crew as well as department store chains J.C. Penney and Neiman Marcus have all declared bankruptcy this month. 

Pier 1 traces to a single store in 1962 that sold beanbag chairs and love beads to hippies in San Mateo, California. It expanded to offer just about anything for the home, from lounge chairs to curtains, and it later adopted the logo: “From Hippie to Hip.” At its height, Pier 1 had more than 1,200 stores.

But in recent years, its business has slowed as it struggled to compete with online retailers Wayfair and Amazon, which sell sofas and coffee tables at a lower price and deliver them quickly. Pier 1’s revenue fell from nearly $1.9 billion in 2016 to $1.4 billion last year, with the company losing $310 million in 2019.

Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus feel economic toll of coronavirus pandemic

Pier 1 CEO Robert Riesbeck said in February that the company’s bankruptcy filing was intended to give the company more time and financial flexibility as it sought a buyer. 

“This decision follows months of working to identify a buyer who would continue to operate our business going forward,” he said in a statement on Tuesday. “Unfortunately, the challenging retail environment has been significantly compounded by the profound impact of COVID-19, hindering our ability to secure such a buyer and requiring us to wind down.”

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Via https://newsapi.org online business online marketing online business opportunities 4 Reliable Tips for Quickly Moving Inventory Online


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Via https://newsapi.org online business online marketing online business opportunities

Fortunately, there are a number of ways for brick-and-mortar stores to simplify this difficult process.


4 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Our current public-health crisis has resulted in a drastic shift in consumer spending habits, with stay-in-place orders drastically increasing demand for sanitary products and other household supplies, as well as entertainment options like board games and video games. And it should come as no surprise that the vast majority of these purchases are happening online.

For brick-and-mortar stores, the loss of foot traffic can be devastating. After an initial spike in foot traffic when people were stocking up on supplies, even major retailers like Costco and Walmart are seeing a notable drop. That’s why a robust online presence is a must for any small retail businesses hoping to sustain revenue. The sooner you can move your inventory online, the better your chances of reducing detrimental financial impact. Here’s how to make it happen.

Via https://newsapi.org online business online marketing online business opportunities 1. Use the right e-commerce platform.

The fastest way to get an online version of your store up and running is to integrate your site with a dedicated ecommerce platform like Shopify or BigCommerce. Such platforms allow you to set up your own secure ecommerce store with a few clicks, and make it easier to customize a design that best matches your branding.

Just like when customers entered your physical store, you will still be responsible for the whole of their experience. You will need to monitor orders, as well as shipping and payment status, to ensure that inventory is sent out in a timely manner. Consider checkout options that will allow you to accommodate the needs of local customers, such as curbside pickup or expedited delivery.

Related: How Shopify Became the Go-To Ecommerce Platform for Startups

Via https://newsapi.org online business online marketing online business opportunities 2. Be mindful of additional platforms beyond your website.

Stephen Baird, co-founder and CEO of TrackFly, recently explained via email, “Your own website should really just be the starting point for where you sell your products online. Using social media and niche platforms gives you more meaningful opportunities to reach your customers.”

In times when cash flow is a serious concern, it is important to investigate the variable costs associated with various third-party platforms. A specialized reseller that is more focused on your target audience may not reach as many people as Amazon, but it could ultimately drive more sales thanks to better targeting, while also allowing you to keep more of the profits.

Via https://newsapi.org online business online marketing online business opportunities 3. Provide as much product detail as possible.

Even with ecommerce’s increased popularity, many shoppers still prefer to buy in-store when possible. Research from Retail Dive indicates that 62 percent of customers share a desire to see, touch or try out the items in person. While you can’t fully replicate that experience online, you can come closer by giving detailed product descriptions.

This can include photos staged in attractive lighting and bullet-point lists describing the product’s features. Many third-party products already have detailed information available online that you can use. For custom products unique to your store, use successful ecommerce platforms in your niche for inspiration to decide which details will best recreate the in-store shopping experience.

Via https://newsapi.org online business online marketing online business opportunities 4. Keep your customers informed of changes.

Circumstances are changing every day. If you want your online store to gain traction, you must keep your customers informed of these changes through every avenue available. Email lists, social media posts and updates to your website and Google My Business profile will help keep customers better informed about your store’s status and the new availability of online shopping.

Don’t be afraid to reach out to area news media. Many local publications are providing their readers with updated lists of changes businesses are making to continue serving their customers. The more methods you use to reach out to your local audience, the easier it will be for them to discover your online store.

Even “old-school” methods can prove effective as you make this transition. In an interview with Search Engine Land, Mary Bowling, co-founder of Ignitor Digital shared, “I was walking around, and just about every business that’s closed has some kind of notice from the owner on its door with their phone number on it saying, ‘If you need something, call me,’ and to me, that’s a really good way to deal with it.”

Related: 4 Simple Ways to Communicate Better With Your Customers

Even before our new normal, an increasing number of customers were choosing to do their shopping online. This trend will likely be even more pronounced after the economy reopens. For brick-and-mortar retailers, a shift to include online sales today will help you be better positioned for the future.

Read More


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Via https://newsapi.org online business online marketing online business opportunities 4 Reliable Tips for Quickly Moving Inventory Online


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Via https://newsapi.org online business online marketing online business opportunities

Fortunately, there are a number of ways for brick-and-mortar stores to simplify this difficult process.


4 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Our current public-health crisis has resulted in a drastic shift in consumer spending habits, with stay-in-place orders drastically increasing demand for sanitary products and other household supplies, as well as entertainment options like board games and video games. And it should come as no surprise that the vast majority of these purchases are happening online.

For brick-and-mortar stores, the loss of foot traffic can be devastating. After an initial spike in foot traffic when people were stocking up on supplies, even major retailers like Costco and Walmart are seeing a notable drop. That’s why a robust online presence is a must for any small retail businesses hoping to sustain revenue. The sooner you can move your inventory online, the better your chances of reducing detrimental financial impact. Here’s how to make it happen.

Via https://newsapi.org online business online marketing online business opportunities 1. Use the right e-commerce platform.

The fastest way to get an online version of your store up and running is to integrate your site with a dedicated ecommerce platform like Shopify or BigCommerce. Such platforms allow you to set up your own secure ecommerce store with a few clicks, and make it easier to customize a design that best matches your branding.

Just like when customers entered your physical store, you will still be responsible for the whole of their experience. You will need to monitor orders, as well as shipping and payment status, to ensure that inventory is sent out in a timely manner. Consider checkout options that will allow you to accommodate the needs of local customers, such as curbside pickup or expedited delivery.

Related: How Shopify Became the Go-To Ecommerce Platform for Startups

Via https://newsapi.org online business online marketing online business opportunities 2. Be mindful of additional platforms beyond your website.

Stephen Baird, co-founder and CEO of TrackFly, recently explained via email, “Your own website should really just be the starting point for where you sell your products online. Using social media and niche platforms gives you more meaningful opportunities to reach your customers.”

In times when cash flow is a serious concern, it is important to investigate the variable costs associated with various third-party platforms. A specialized reseller that is more focused on your target audience may not reach as many people as Amazon, but it could ultimately drive more sales thanks to better targeting, while also allowing you to keep more of the profits.

Via https://newsapi.org online business online marketing online business opportunities 3. Provide as much product detail as possible.

Even with ecommerce’s increased popularity, many shoppers still prefer to buy in-store when possible. Research from Retail Dive indicates that 62 percent of customers share a desire to see, touch or try out the items in person. While you can’t fully replicate that experience online, you can come closer by giving detailed product descriptions.

This can include photos staged in attractive lighting and bullet-point lists describing the product’s features. Many third-party products already have detailed information available online that you can use. For custom products unique to your store, use successful ecommerce platforms in your niche for inspiration to decide which details will best recreate the in-store shopping experience.

Via https://newsapi.org online business online marketing online business opportunities 4. Keep your customers informed of changes.

Circumstances are changing every day. If you want your online store to gain traction, you must keep your customers informed of these changes through every avenue available. Email lists, social media posts and updates to your website and Google My Business profile will help keep customers better informed about your store’s status and the new availability of online shopping.

Don’t be afraid to reach out to area news media. Many local publications are providing their readers with updated lists of changes businesses are making to continue serving their customers. The more methods you use to reach out to your local audience, the easier it will be for them to discover your online store.

Even “old-school” methods can prove effective as you make this transition. In an interview with Search Engine Land, Mary Bowling, co-founder of Ignitor Digital shared, “I was walking around, and just about every business that’s closed has some kind of notice from the owner on its door with their phone number on it saying, ‘If you need something, call me,’ and to me, that’s a really good way to deal with it.”

Related: 4 Simple Ways to Communicate Better With Your Customers

Even before our new normal, an increasing number of customers were choosing to do their shopping online. This trend will likely be even more pronounced after the economy reopens. For brick-and-mortar retailers, a shift to include online sales today will help you be better positioned for the future.

Read More


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Online Business News

Via https://newsapi.org online business online marketing online business opportunities 4 Reliable Tips for Quickly Moving Inventory Online


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Traffic Exchange

Via https://newsapi.org online business online marketing online business opportunities

Fortunately, there are a number of ways for brick-and-mortar stores to simplify this difficult process.


4 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Our current public-health crisis has resulted in a drastic shift in consumer spending habits, with stay-in-place orders drastically increasing demand for sanitary products and other household supplies, as well as entertainment options like board games and video games. And it should come as no surprise that the vast majority of these purchases are happening online.

For brick-and-mortar stores, the loss of foot traffic can be devastating. After an initial spike in foot traffic when people were stocking up on supplies, even major retailers like Costco and Walmart are seeing a notable drop. That’s why a robust online presence is a must for any small retail businesses hoping to sustain revenue. The sooner you can move your inventory online, the better your chances of reducing detrimental financial impact. Here’s how to make it happen.

Via https://newsapi.org online business online marketing online business opportunities 1. Use the right e-commerce platform.

The fastest way to get an online version of your store up and running is to integrate your site with a dedicated ecommerce platform like Shopify or BigCommerce. Such platforms allow you to set up your own secure ecommerce store with a few clicks, and make it easier to customize a design that best matches your branding.

Just like when customers entered your physical store, you will still be responsible for the whole of their experience. You will need to monitor orders, as well as shipping and payment status, to ensure that inventory is sent out in a timely manner. Consider checkout options that will allow you to accommodate the needs of local customers, such as curbside pickup or expedited delivery.

Related: How Shopify Became the Go-To Ecommerce Platform for Startups

Via https://newsapi.org online business online marketing online business opportunities 2. Be mindful of additional platforms beyond your website.

Stephen Baird, co-founder and CEO of TrackFly, recently explained via email, “Your own website should really just be the starting point for where you sell your products online. Using social media and niche platforms gives you more meaningful opportunities to reach your customers.”

In times when cash flow is a serious concern, it is important to investigate the variable costs associated with various third-party platforms. A specialized reseller that is more focused on your target audience may not reach as many people as Amazon, but it could ultimately drive more sales thanks to better targeting, while also allowing you to keep more of the profits.

Via https://newsapi.org online business online marketing online business opportunities 3. Provide as much product detail as possible.

Even with ecommerce’s increased popularity, many shoppers still prefer to buy in-store when possible. Research from Retail Dive indicates that 62 percent of customers share a desire to see, touch or try out the items in person. While you can’t fully replicate that experience online, you can come closer by giving detailed product descriptions.

This can include photos staged in attractive lighting and bullet-point lists describing the product’s features. Many third-party products already have detailed information available online that you can use. For custom products unique to your store, use successful ecommerce platforms in your niche for inspiration to decide which details will best recreate the in-store shopping experience.

Via https://newsapi.org online business online marketing online business opportunities 4. Keep your customers informed of changes.

Circumstances are changing every day. If you want your online store to gain traction, you must keep your customers informed of these changes through every avenue available. Email lists, social media posts and updates to your website and Google My Business profile will help keep customers better informed about your store’s status and the new availability of online shopping.

Don’t be afraid to reach out to area news media. Many local publications are providing their readers with updated lists of changes businesses are making to continue serving their customers. The more methods you use to reach out to your local audience, the easier it will be for them to discover your online store.

Even “old-school” methods can prove effective as you make this transition. In an interview with Search Engine Land, Mary Bowling, co-founder of Ignitor Digital shared, “I was walking around, and just about every business that’s closed has some kind of notice from the owner on its door with their phone number on it saying, ‘If you need something, call me,’ and to me, that’s a really good way to deal with it.”

Related: 4 Simple Ways to Communicate Better With Your Customers

Even before our new normal, an increasing number of customers were choosing to do their shopping online. This trend will likely be even more pronounced after the economy reopens. For brick-and-mortar retailers, a shift to include online sales today will help you be better positioned for the future.

Read More


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Coronavirus Updates: Restaurant Suppliers See Order Pickup; Mortgage Rates Hit New Low


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20 minutes ago

Nascar Announces Return to Live Racing, Fans Will Stay Home

Nascar took the lead among major American sports in the quest to return from coronavirus pandemic shutdowns, announcing Thursday afternoon it will restart live racing–but without fans.

If the race at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, S.C. goes ahead as planned on May 17, it will be Nascar’s first on-track competition in more than two months. Nascar, whose season started Feb. 9 in Daytona, Fla., halted racing in mid-March.

Nascar’s announcement said races would be tailored to follow guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Darlington and Charlotte, N.C., tracks are within driving distance of North Carolina race shops, which Nascar noted would minimize travel and time spent in a community. Other adjustments include mandating the use of protective equipment, health screenings for everyone before entering the facility and physical-distancing protocols.

32 minutes ago

Federal Small-Business Aid: Too Little Bang, Too Few Bucks

With over 30 million jobs lost, the U.S. government’s spending on maintaining small-business employment hasn’t been efficient, Heard on the Street’s Justin Lahart says.

If the goal was to save as many jobs as possible, the places where the U.S. government’s first $350 billion in small-business loans and grants went were less than ideal. Here’s hoping the follow-on round of $310 billion in aid now under way is going better.

Small businesses—those that, by the government’s definition, have fewer than 500 employees—are key. Not only do they represent about half of U.S. employment, but they have an outsize role in many of the service sectors that have been hardest hit.

The program’s first round, which was tapped out in mid-April, often went elsewhere, with some large companies inappropriately tapping the program, drawing a rebuke from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. But beyond that, the money was also distributed unevenly, with some sectors receiving a much smaller share of funds than their shares of small-business employment, and some receiving more.

Census data show that the accommodation-and-food-services sector accounted for 14.1% of small-business employment but it received just 8.9% of the funds from the Paycheck Protection Program’s first round. Health care and social assistance accounted for 14.8% of employment but received 11.7% of the funds. On the other side of the ledger, the construction sector accounted for 8.9% of employment but received 13.1% of the funds. One reason why construction might have done better may have been that many firms in the sector may have had stronger ties with banks, which distributed the loans, and so were better able to navigate the program.

48 minutes ago

Reopening Plans in Florida, Texas, Alabama

Governors in some states sought to gradually reopen businesses to boost battered economies.

Retailers in Texas and Alabama are set to reopen with capacity restrictions Friday.

In Florida, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis this week laid out a gradual reopening plan scheduled to go into effect Monday, with restaurants and retail stores operating at 25% of indoor capacity. The plan excludes Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, which are still reeling from the virus.

Restaurants, malls and gyms in some Iowa counties were slated to reopen Friday with some protective restrictions in place.

“The virus will continue to be in our communities and, unfortunately, people will still get sick until a vaccine is available,” Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, a Republican, said Thursday. “Keeping businesses closed for weeks or months longer won’t change that fact, and it simply is not sustainable. It’s not sustainable for Iowans, their livelihoods, or our economy. We must all learn how to manage the virus in the course of our daily lives.”

Governors in states including New York, California and Louisiana have sought to increase testing capacity and develop contact-tracing teams before taking substantial steps to reopen statewide.

On Wednesday, leaders in Washington state and Nevada extended stay-at-home orders.

In Michigan, the Republican-dominated legislature declined to support the extension of Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-at-home order, which expires late Thursday, as hundreds of protesters seeking a reopening of the state gathered at the capitol.

Mrs. Whitmer has said she can continue the heart of the stay-at-home order through other means, without legislative backing.

50 minutes ago

Amazon’s Sales Jump as Coronavirus Prompts Surge in Online Shopping

Amazon.com has faced a gargantuan task of fulfilling a surge of orders during the coronavirus pandemic that has led to it hiring additional workers, paying employees more, and even removing some features from its website that drive extra sales.

On Thursday the tech giant said that revenue rose 26% from a year earlier to $75.5 billion in the three months through March. The boom in sales came at a cost, though, as profit fell 29% from a year earlier to $2.5 billion.

“The current crisis is demonstrating the adaptability and durability of Amazon’s business as never before, but it’s also the hardest time we’ve ever faced,” Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos said in a statement.

The surge in online buying taxed Amazon’s fulfillment centers, which saw unprecedented volumes for this part of the year. In response, Amazon temporarily stopped taking inventory for products deemed nonessential and announced plans to hire 175,000 more staffers for its warehouses and delivery network.

The deluge of orders constrained Amazon’s Prime one-day delivery promise, Chief Financial Officer Brian Olsavsky said. Bottlenecks picking and packing boxes for customers are causing delays in shipping those items to customers, he said.

1 hour ago

Gilead to Expand Manufacturing of Covid-19 Drug

Gilead Sciences said it has moved to expand manufacturing of remdesivir, a drug meant to treat patients with serious cases of Covid-19.

The company said it expects more than 140,000 treatment courses of the drug to be made by the end of May. Gilead spent about $50 million on research and development related to the drug in the first quarter.

“Where authorized by regulatory authorities, Gilead will focus on making remdesivir both accessible and affordable to governments and patients around the world,” the company said.

The move came as the European Medicines Agency began to consider greenlighting the drug as a treatment for Covid-19 based on clinical trial data released on Wednesday.

The EMA is conducting a “rolling review” of remdesivir’s data, which allows it to analyze experimental drugs while they are still in development.

“The start of the rolling review only means that the evaluation of remdesivir has started and does not imply that its benefits outweigh its risks,” the EMA said. The agency didn’t give a timetable for the review.

The EMA is Europe’s version of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and is responsible for approving the marketing of new drugs throughout the European Union. Gilead is in discussions with the FDA to grant an emergency use authorization that would allow use of remdesivir before full approval, the company said.

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Last Updated: Apr 30, 2020 at 6:15 pm ET

Major restaurant suppliers say the industry is getting ready to resume more normal operations, based on orders for deep-fryer oil and chicken. And Macy’s plans to open some stores Monday. Follow along for the latest news and insights on the coronavirus’s impact on investors, companies and economies.

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ASX to drop, Wall St sinks on bleak data


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Australian shares are poised to begin May with a sell-off as Wall Street fell on rising jobless claims and a collapse in consumer spending.

ASX futures were down 118 points or 2.1% to 5422 near 6am AEST. The local currency slid 0.7%.

Shares were lower on Wall Street and earlier fell across Europe. COVID-19 lockdown measures have now pushed US jobless claims to more than 30 million. The claims news came after the economy contracted at a 4.8% annual pace in the first quarter.

At the close in New York, the Dow was down 288 points or 1.2%. Apple and Amazon are due to post results shortly.

While risk-off selling pulled all three major U.S. stock averages into the red, the S&P 500 and the Dow posted their largest monthly percentage gains since January 1987, with the Nasdaq having its best month since June 2000.

The three indexes remain well within 20% of record highs reached in February, having quickly rebounded since shutdown efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic brought the economy to a grinding halt.

In a tweet, Mohamed El-Erian said: “Today’s across-the-board selloff in US #stocks takes little away from what has been a banner month…including gains of 11.2% and 15.5% for the Dow and NASDAQ respectively. By contrast, and despite the rebound of the last few days, #oil investors will wish to quickly forget April.”

As for the S&P 500, it advanced 12.7% in April, its best April since 1938, according to LPL Financial’s Ryan Detrick. It marks the best monthly gain since January 1987.

In a note, Mr Detrick said history hints that it might be time to be cautious, though these are not normal times.

“Right here and now we’d be careful after the record run stocks have seen, as a well-deserved break could be perfectly warranted. But with the dual benefits of record monetary and fiscal stimulus helping to bridge those most impacted by COVID-19, we continue to expect this recession to be one of the shortest on record and a much stronger economy later in 2020.”

Today’s agenda

Local: AiG performance of manufacturing April; CoreLogic house prices April, Producer prices first quarter

Overseas data: Japan Jibun manufacturing PMI April; UK Markit manufacturing PMI April; US Markit manufacturing PMI April final, ISM manufacturing April

Market highlights

ASX futures down 118 points or 2.1% to 5422 near 6am AEST

  • AUD -0.7% to 65.13 US cents
  • On Wall St: Dow -1.2% S&P 500 -0.9% Nasdaq -0.3%
  • In New York: BHP -3.4% Rio -5.5% Atlassian +1.8%
  • In Europe: Stoxx 50 -2.3% FTSE -3.5% CAC -2.1% DAX -2.2%
  • Spot gold -1.7% to $US1683.55 an ounce at 2.51pm New York time
  • Brent crude +12.6% to $US25.39 a barrel
  • US oil +24.6% to $US18.76 a barrel
  • Iron ore +1.9% to $US84.04 a tonne
  • Dalian iron ore +2.5% to 610 yuan
  • LME aluminium -1.1% to $US1489.50 a tonne
  • LME copper -1.3% to $US5196 a tonne
  • 2-year yield: US 0.19% Australia 0.20%
  • 5-year yield: US 0.35% Australia 0.41%
  • 10-year yield: US 0.62% Australia 0.88% Germany -0.59%

From today’s Financial Review

Forrest among 20 Virgin Australia bidders: A consortium including the iron ore magnate, if formalised, could involve Richard Branson and his former right-hand man, David Baxby.

Rebounding WA warns v riling China: China is helping WA’s economy rebound, leaving its staggeringly popular premier loathe to join calls for an inquiry into the coronavirus outbreak that sparked fresh Sino-Australian tensions.

Chanticleer: Tension between banks and analysts is a good thing: With so much riding on the performance of banks during this crisis, the tension over the assumptions being used to plan COVID-19 scenarios is healthy.

The ‘outsider’ steering the MCA through the crisis: The new chairman of Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art is the daughter of Lebanese immigrants who saw no art growing up and chose investment banking without any private school connections.

United States

US jobless claims tops 30m on extended lockdown toll: The number of Americans who’ve sought jobless benefits because of COVID-19 shutdowns rose still higher. Data also pointed to a record collapse in consumer spending.

Europe

Trade minister challenges European supply chain rethink: The coronavirus pandemic shouldn’t be used as cover for costly economic nationalism, Simon Birmingham tells a Brussels think tank.

European shares fell from seven-week highs on Thursday after the European Central Bank held back on big policy moves.

Euro zone banks sank 5.5% as the central bank said it would pay more for banks to borrow from it but otherwise kept much of its remaining policy powder dry.

The banking sector also came under pressure from a 8.6% decline in France’s Societe Generale as it reported a quarterly loss, while Britain’s Lloyds Banking Group became the latest to be hit by provisions against expected bad loans due to the pandemic.

Along with a slide in energy stocks as oil major Royal Dutch Shell slumped 10.8% on cutting its dividend for the first time in 80 years, London’s FTSE dived 3.5%. The index logged its steepest one-day loss in one month.

The wider oil & gas sector fell 3.4%

The pan-European STOXX 600 fell 2% after a three-day rally, while euro zone stocks were down 1.9%.

Asia

Hong Kong shares finished higher on Wednesday, lifted by financials after China’s biggest listed banks reported higher first-quarter profits.

At the close of trade, the Hang Seng index was up 67.63 points, or 0.28%, at 24,643.59. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index rose 0.57% to 10,040.87.

China stocks rallied on Thursday to post their biggest monthly advance since December, after positive trial results for a drug to treat COVID-19 and downbeat data reinforced hopes of further stimulus to bolster the world’s second-largest economy.

The blue-chip CSI300 index ended up 1.2% at 3912.58, while the Shanghai Composite Index closed 1.3% higher at 2860.08.

For the month, CSI300 climbed 6.1%, while SSEC was up 4%, both posted their best monthly rise since last December, as investors cheered the reopening of some parts of the country and a raft of stimulus measures.

Currencies

ECB retains credit focus as eurozone contracts: The central bank further eased credit for banks though it won’t boost bond buying at least for now.

TD Securities recommend selling the euro: “While EURUSD has proved resilient in recent weeks, we think this is coming to an end. We think the EUR will feel the pull from the host of challenges facing the region.

“Specifically, we think the EUR will face rising headwinds from a combination of a dire growth outlook, rising political tensions, and a deteriorating capital flows backdrop. We examine each of these drivers in turn.

“We see this latest push toward 1.10 as an opportunity to enter short EURUSD positions. In line with this, we are adding this position to our FX Model Portfolio. We are targeting a move below 1.05.”

Commodities

Fortescue tries to block publication of iron ore prices: The miner has been accused of violating US publishers’ constitutional right to press freedom, after seeking to prevent publication of its iron ore prices.

Copper eased on Thursday as a private sector survey showed factory activity in China unexpectedly shrank.

Lingering fears for a long recovery ahead for China pulled benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) down 1.3% to $US5196 per tonne by 1611 GMT.

The closely watched Caixin survey showed factory activity shrank last month as the coronavirus pandemic shattered global demand, sparking a substantial drop in export orders and more layoffs.

China accounts for nearly half of global copper consumption estimated at 24 million tonnes.

Fresh cancellations of 10,000 tonnes took on-warrant aluminium stocks available to the market in LME warehouses to 1.18 million tonnes.

But the LME inventories are still near their highest since December, having climbed about 78% since January 17.

LME aluminium eased 1.1% to $US1489.50 a tonne.

Australian sharemarket

The S&P/ASX 200 Index advanced 129 points, or 2.4 per cent, to 5522.4 on Thursday, rising to a six-week high as it extended its rebound from a heavy loss through February and March, rising 9.5 per cent through April.

Best month for shares since ’88 as Fed, COVID drug fuel rally: Renewed “whatever it takes” promises from the Fed and faith in Gilead’s virus treatment are keeping the bull market inside a bear market alive.

Bank dividends will disappoint for some time: Analysts believe the recovery in dividend payouts this time will not be as quick as during previous downturns.

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    ASX to rise; oil plunges anew


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    Australian shares are set to open higher, bolstered by optimism that efforts to reopen the global economy are gathering momentum, particularly in the US.

    ASX futures were up 26 points or 0.5% to 5334 near 6am AEST. Wall Street was higher near 4pm, with all three benchmarks up near or more than 1%.

    The local currency was 1.4% higher.

    That optimism was offset again by continuing weakness in the oil market.

    Brent crude hovered around $US20 a barrel and US crude plunged anew, driven lower by skittish investors fleeing the US benchmark due to lack of available storage to deal with a coronavirus-induced collapse in demand.

    Fuel demand is down 30% globally, and storage is becoming precious, with roughly 85% of worldwide onshore storage full as of last week, according to Kpler data.

    Today’s agenda

    No local data

    Overseas data: UK nationwide house prices April; US S&P CoreLogic CS house prices February, consumer confidence index April, Richmond Fed manufacturing index April

    Market highlights

    ASX futures up 26 points or 0.5% to 5334 near 6am AEST

    • AUD +1.4% to 64.59 US cents (overnight peak 64.72)
    • On Wall St near 4pm: Dow +1.5% S&P 500 +1.6% Nasdaq +1.1%
    • In Europe: Stoxx 50 +2.6% FTSE +1.6% CAC +2.6% DAX +3.1%
    • Spot gold -1% to $US1712.33 an ounce at 2.23pm New York time
    • Brent crude -8.8% to $US19.56 a barrel
    • US oil -24.2% to $US12.84 a barrel
    • Iron ore -1% to $US83.48 a tonne
    • Dalian iron ore -0.8% to 602 yuan
    • LME aluminium -0.5% to $US1507 a tonne
    • LME copper +1.2% to $US5199 a tonne
    • 2-year yield: US 0.22% Australia 0.22%
    • 5-year yield: US 0.40% Australia 0.44%
    • 10-year yield: US 0.66% Australia 0.90% Germany -0.46%
    • US prices near 4.10pm New York time

    From today’s Financial Review

    NAB pain builds bad debt buffer: National Australia Bank shareholders are taking a savage blow as the bank seeks to protect itself from rising loan losses, with the dividend cut set to pressure its big four rivals.

    Chanticleer: Market forgives NAB’s sins: Years of underperformance against its peers meant the success of NAB’s $3.5 billion capital raising rested heavily on the turnaround capabilities of CEO Ross McEwan.

    Future Fund shows how to play the illiquid game: The Future Fund thumbed its nose at the superannuation industry with a resilient March quarter performance showcasing its covetous advantage of not having to “take its marks” on illiquid assets. At least not yet.

    United States

    US investors are looking ahead to earnings this week including from Apple, Amazon and Microsoft.

    “Everyone’s excited that we will reopen, and there’s optimism around that but I would be a little concerned because what we really need is to return to normal for the markets to keep up with the optimism,” said Julia Carlson, chief executive of Financial Freedom Wealth Management Group in Oregon.

    Tesla jumped more than 9% and was the biggest boost to the Nasdaq after a report said the electric-car maker is calling some workers back to its California vehicle-assembly plant next week.

    The US economy needs another, fourth stimulus bill that could push it to take off again in what is commonly called a “V-shaped recovery”, White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett said in a Fox News interview.

    “We’re going to probably need another phase of stimulus of some sort. We’ve built a bridge to the other side of this crisis we believe and it looks like we’re getting close to opening up in many places around the country. With that, we have to think about what’s it going to take to make sure we go back to thriving,” Hassett said.

    “And I don’t think that absent another round of stimulus that it’s very likely that you would see a V-shape,” he added.

    Europe

    Britain poised to hit visitors with two-week quarantine: The government may belatedly tighten its borders next month, even as it relaxes some domestic lockdown restrictions.

    Airline stocks led European shares higher on Monday on hopes of state support, while upbeat earnings from Deutsche Bank and others added to optimism fuelled by signs that many countries will soon ease coronavirus-driven lockdown measures.

    Shares of Lufthansa jumped 10.5% after Germany’s transport minister said he was in favour of protecting the airline company. Air France KLM advanced 0.9% following a €7 billion government aid package.

    German shares surged 3%, while the pan-European STOXX 600 closed up 1.8% after a modest fall last week.

    The volatility gauge for euro zone stocks dropped to its lowest in nearly eight weeks at 34.7193, more than halving from its peak of 95.02 in mid-March.

    Euro zone banks surged 3.9% as Deutsche Bank beat first-quarter earnings expectations but warned it might miss its capital requirement target this year. The German lender’s shares jumped 12.7%.

    “One important point is that earnings have actually been coming better than expected,” Sebastien Galy, macro strategist at Nordea Asset Management, wrote in a client note.

    Asia

    Japanese shares rose sharply on Monday as some better-than-expected earnings lifted market sentiment.

    The benchmark Nikkei average advanced 2.7% to 19,783.22, its highest closing since April 17, with the Nikkei volatility index, considered a fear gauge based on option pricing, falling 9.8% to 34.9.

    Advantest jumped 8.4% after the chip-testing equipment supplier forecast a 14.2% year-on-year increase in operating profit for the April-June quarter.

    Fanuc surged 12.0% as the factory automation company’s profit drop in the business year ended in March was not as bad as some had feared.

    Analysts said investors also were pleased by Fanuc’s earnings forecast for the April-September half, as it allowed the market to gauge the potential downside from the impact of the coronavirus.

    Payne lashes China’s ‘economic coercion’: Foreign Minister Marise Payne says Australia’s call for an inquiry is “principled” as one winemaker highlights the “political risk” of doing business with China.

    Hong Kong shares climbed on Monday, in line with global peers, as hopes for a fresh rollout of stimulus measures from major central banks to cushion the economic impact of the coronavirus underpinned sentiment.

    At the close of trade, the Hang Seng index was up 448.81 points or 1.88% at 24,280.14. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index rose 2.27% to 9875.59, its best daily performance since March 25.

    The Shanghai Composite index closed up 0.25% at 2815.49 points, while the blue-chip CSI300 index ended 0.68% higher.

    Currencies

    Commodities

    Benchmark three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) rose as much as 2.5% to $US5269 a tonne, its highest since March 17, before paring gains to $US5199 by 1700 GMT, a rise of 1.2%.

    LME aluminium inventories keep piling up, rising to 1,336,775 tonnes, the highest since January 16 and up 38% over the past six weeks, LME data showed.

    LME aluminium shed 0.5% to $US1507.

    China’s Yunnan province will set aside 1 billion yuan to help businesses stockpile 800,000 tonnes of base metals. China is the world’s biggest consumer of metals and accounts for around half of global copper consumption.

    Coal and alumina prices looking sick as virus takes hold: The perverse price rally that accompanied the initial stages of the pandemic is a distant memory for Australian exporters, which are now facing collapsing commodity prices.

    Australian sharemarket

    Australian shares started the week strongly as optimism over an easing of pandemic restrictions and more central bank support offset weakness in the banking sector after National Australia Bank revealed a capital raising and savage dividend cut.

    The S&P/ASX 200 index jumped 1.5 per cent, or 78 points, to 5321.40, shaking off a sluggish start to the session. Mesoblast surged 41 per cent to $3.85 extending Friday’s rally linked to optimistic clinical outcomes of its cell therapy.

    Costello wary of super concentration risk

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