Stocks Waver as China Tensions Climb: Live Updates

Costco, the club retailer, has started to limit the amount of meat customers can buy at once.

The company, which attracts shoppers who want to buy in bulk, said in an update on its website on Monday that fresh beef, pork and poultry products would be “temporarily limited to 3 items” per member.

On Monday, Tyson Foods, one of the world’s largest pork, chicken and beef producers, said that it expected further “slowdowns and temporary idling” of meat processing plants because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Tyson did not quantify how much meat production had declined, but the union representing plant workers estimates that pork production has fallen by as much as 25 percent and beef was down 10 percent.

The cruise giant Carnival Corporation said on Monday that it planned to reopen cruising on eight of its ships before the end of the summer.

Carnival has canceled service on some of its cruise lines through September, but it said it was planning to offer cruises from ports in Galveston, Tex.; Miami; and Port Canaveral, Fla., as early as Aug. 1.

Carnival, the world’s largest cruise line, has been at the center of the coronavirus pandemic since the beginning, widely blamed for a series of major outbreaks that spread the disease across the world. Last week, Congress began investigating the company’s handling of the virus, asking it to turn over internal communications related to the pandemic.

All of Carnival’s North American cruises set to depart between June 27 and July 31 would be canceled, the company said in its statement on Monday.

“We will use this additional time to continue to engage experts, government officials and stakeholders on additional protocols and procedures to protect the health and safety of our guests, crew and the communities we serve,” the company said.

One week after the Paycheck Protection Program began backing a second round of small-business relief loans, $175 billion of the program’s $310 billion in remaining funding has been committed, according to the Treasury Department and Small Business Administration.

About 2.2 million applicants have been approved for loans so far in this round, with an average size of $79,000, the agencies said. That’s far smaller than the $206,000 average in the program’s first $342 billion lending round, when publicly traded companies and other larger organizations sucked up billions of dollars.

Technical problems with the Small Business Administration’s overwhelmed computer system early last week, preventing many banks from having their customers’ applications processed. Lenders said the crush began to ease toward the end of the week, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Monday that the backlog had been cleared.

JPMorgan Chase, the program’s largest lender in the first round, said on Friday that it had approved 211,000 additional loans, bringing its lending through the program to $29 billion. Bank of America said on Monday that it approved 256,000 applications in the last week, bringing its total lending to nearly $25 billion. Citigroup said it submitted just over $3 billion in loans to the S.B.A. for approval in the last week.

But many questions remain about the program’s murky rules — particularly those involving loan forgiveness for businesses that use the money to retain or rehire workers. The earliest loan recipients will be able to seek forgiveness at the end of this month. The Treasury and S.B.A. said Sunday that they planned to issue additional rules and guidance.

Public companies return millions in loans set aside for small businesses.

Publicly traded companies have given back more than $375 billion in federal stimulus loans meant to help small businesses stay afloat, according to a New York Times analysis of securities filings and public announcements. Many of the companies began returning the loans after their disclosures raised an outcry that the stimulus program was steering money to major corporations instead of smaller operations like independent retailers and restaurants.

Nine of the 10 largest known loans issued to public companies have or will be returned, the Times analysis shows. The outlier, a loan to BBQ Holdings, which owns several hospitality brands including Famous Dave’s BBQ, was first disclosed on Friday.

The U.S. will borrow $3 trillion to pay for coronavirus response.

The Treasury Department said on Friday that it expected to issue nearly $3 trillion in debt from April through June, a substantial escalation in federal borrowing that is a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic.

In a news release Thursday, Treasury officials said the new borrowing was necessary to cover increased spending on aid to individuals and businesses — via programs like enhanced unemployment benefits, loans to small and large businesses and direct payments to lower- and middle-income Americans.

The borrowing will also cover the shortfall in tax revenue that has been exacerbated by the department’s decision to delay some tax filing deadlines, including the deadline for individual income taxpayers, from April 15 to July 15.

The fact that those taxes will eventually be paid suggests that not all of the new borrowing will permanently add to the national debt. The Congressional Budget Office projected last month that the budget deficit would hit $3.7 trillion for the 2020 fiscal year.

The shares of the four biggest U.S. airlines — Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, American Airlines and Southwest Airlines — fell sharply on Monday after Warren Buffett said that he had dumped his stakes in the companies.

“We like those airlines, but the world has changed for the airlines,” Mr. Buffett said on Saturday during the annual shareholder meeting of his conglomerate, Berkshire Hathaway. “I don’t know how it’s changed and I hope it corrects itself in a reasonably prompt way.”

Mr. Buffett invested in those companies in 2016 after rejecting the industry for years. In an interview with CNBC at the time, he said that airlines had been “a disaster for capital,” but said that he believed that the industry had gotten “a bad first century” out of the way. Indeed, airlines had enjoyed a rare yearslong streak of profitability before the pandemic.

The existential crisis the industry now finds itself in has started to spread to their suppliers. On Monday, General Electric’s aviation unit, which makes engines and other aircraft components, said it is planning to cut up to 25 percent of its work force, a reduction of about 13,000 hourly and salaried employees. Last week, Boeing said it expected it would take years for passenger demand to recover and is planning to cut 16,000 jobs.

“We have not done anything, because we don’t see anything that attractive to do,” he said.

Stocks rebound from early decline as technology share rally.

Stocks on Wall Street inched higher on Monday, following a drop in Europe and Asia, as investors remained on edge about the severity of the economic downturn.

The S&P 500 was less than half a percent higher, after recovering from early losses in part because of a rebound in shares of large technology companies.

Markets have been pushed and pulled by two competing ideas lately. Encouraged by the progress made in combating the coronavirus pandemic and hopeful that economies will begin to reopen soon, investors bid stocks sharply higher in April. But that optimism has been undermined as evidence of the damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic to employment, corporate profits and the broader economy continues to roll in.

For the last few days, the focus has been on the risks. On Monday, sentiment was hurt by rising tensions between the United States and China.

The Trump administration, under pressure for its own bungles in dealing with the outbreak, has ramped up criticism of China’s response. President Trump said on Sunday that the Chinese government made a “horrible mistake” in its coronavirus response and then orchestrated a cover-up that allowed the pathogen to spread around the world. He has threatened new tariffs on Chinese products in response.

In some global markets, the drop was partly a catch-up to trading on Friday. Stocks in France and Germany, which had been closed Friday, fell more than 3 percent. But the FTSE 100 in Britain, which did trade on Friday, was only slightly lower.

Tim Bray, an engineer who had been a vice president of Amazon Web Services, wrote in a blog post that his last day at the company was Friday. He criticized a number of recent firings by Amazon, including that of an employee in a Staten Island warehouse, Christian Smalls, who had led a protest in March calling for the company to provide workers with more protections.

Mr. Bray, who had worked for the company for more than five years, called the fired workers whistle-blowers, and said that firing them was “evidence of a vein of toxicity running through the company culture.”

Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The company, whose popularity was lifted more than a decade ago by one of its most prominent fans, Michelle Obama, had amassed enormous debt even before the outbreak. Since then, it has seen sales virtually wiped out at more than 170 J. Crew stores and a further 140 operated under the popular Madewell brand that it also owns.

Catch up: Here’s what else is happening.

Reporting was contributed by Stacy Cowly, Alexandra Stevenson, Kate Conger, Michael Corkery, David Yaffe-Bellany, Vanessa Friedman, Andrew Ross Sorkin, Mihir Zaveri, Jeanna Smialek, Niraj Chokshi, Brooks Barnes, Mohammed Hadi, Austin Ramzy, Michael J. de la Merced, Carlos Tejada, Noam Scheiber, David McCabe, Marc Tracy and Sapna Maheshwari.

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