Here’s your weekly update covering the biggest stories in the business world, all in a 5 minute read.
- The S&P 500 finished the week with healthy gains as news about a potential vaccine from the U.S. biotechnology company Moderna sent equities flying earlier in the week. The experimental vaccine from Moderna showed signs that it can create an immune-system response to fend off the new coronavirus, offering tentative hopes in the global effort to combat the pandemic.
- The S&P has nearly clawed its way back to its 200-day moving average – a recovery that few expected to see occur this swiftly.
- Hertz, the car-rental company founded over a century ago, filed for bankruptcy late Friday after travel restrictions and the global economic collapse destroyed demand for its vehicles.
- U.S. retail sales fell a record 16.4% in April as lockdown measures pummeled consumer spending. Clothing store sales fell 79% from March and even grocery purchases dropped 13%. Online sales grew 21.6% year-over-year.
- Industrial production declined 11.2% in April, the most severe plunge on record as factories, mines and utilities battered by the coronavirus pandemic.
- Democratic-controlled House passed a $3 trillion coronavirus relief package on Friday, but it is unlikely to be passed in the Republican-controlled Senate as the major parties struggle to find a path forward on the pandemic response.
- It took 33 days for stocks to drop 34%, and three weeks to gain half of it back. But rare readings are emerging in options trading, valuations, and volume, indicating that the lull may not last.
- A long stretch of remote working has understandably led companies to think again about their office space — particularly about whether they need so much.
- In many ways, the pandemic has functioned as a great clarifier, making it impossible to ignore the dilapidated state of so many American systems. It’s highlighted whose work is actually essential, which leaders actually care about people who aren’t like them, and whose lives are considered expendable.