As virus roars back, so do signs of a new round of layoffs

WASHINGTON (AP) — A resurgence of confirmed COVID cases across the South and West — and the suspension or reversal of re-openings of bars, hotels, restaurants and other businesses — is endangering hopes for an economic rebound in the region and perhaps nationally. At stake are jobs of millions of people who held out hopes that their layoffs from business shutdowns would prove short-lived. On Thursday, the government is expected to issue another robust jobs report. Yet any bright news might already be outdated: The jobs report won’t fully capture the impact of the COVID upsurge in the South and West and the desperate steps being pursued to try to control it.


Stocks close out best quarter since 1998 with more gains

NEW YORK (AP) __ Wall Street closed out its best quarter since 1998 with more gains Tuesday but still well below the record high it reached in February, before devastating lockdowns were put in place to fight the coronavirus. The S&P 500 gained 1.5%, bringing its gain for the quarter to nearly 20%. However that came after a wipeout in the first quarter as the economy screeched to a halt and millions of people lost their jobs. The economy remains in a recovering but still fragile state, and moves by Texas and other states to reverse steps to reopen businesses as infections surge have discouraged investors.


Mnuchin says hardest-hit businesses should be next aid focus

WASHINGTON (AP) — Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has told Congress that the administration wants the next round of economic aid to focus on supporting businesses like restaurants that have been hardest hit by the coronavirus crisis. Mnuchin said Tuesday he is already talking to lawmakers about getting another round of relief approved by the end of July. He said those discussions included ways to use left-over funds from the $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief bill. There is about $128 billion in that program that has not been doled out from the popular Paycheck Protection Program that was designed to provide support to businesses if they keep their workers on the payroll.


Fauci, CDC chief raise concerns about full airline flights

WASHINGTON (AP) — Top federal health officials are criticizing American Airlines for planning to fill flights and leave no seats empty during the virus pandemic. Dr. Anthony Fauci said Tuesday that packing people close together is even more problematic within the confines of an airplane. American said last week it will end its practice of trying to leave half of all middle seats empty. CDC director Robert Redfield says American’s announcement sends the wrong message to the public. Texas-based American is joining United in trying to fill planes to 100%. Airlines are desperate to increase revenue as they try to survive a plunge in air travel due to the virus.


Facebook bans violent ‘boogaloo’ groups, not the term itself

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Facebook has banned an extremist anti-government network loosely associated with the broader “boogaloo” movement, a slang term supporters use to refer to a second Civil War or a collapse of civilization. But the platform didn’t try to name the group, underscoring the difficulty of grappling with an amorphous network linked to a string of domestic terror plots that appears to obfuscate its existence. Facebook designated the movement as a dangerous organization similar to the Islamic State group and white supremacists, both of which it already bans. Facebook says it is removing groups, accounts and pages when they have a “clear connection to violence or a credible threat to public safety.”


Airbus shedding 15,000 jobs, mostly in Europe

PARIS (AP) — European aircraft manufacturer Airbus says it plans to eliminate 15,000 jobs over the next year. The jobs will mostly be lost in Europe. Airbus is struggling with the financial hit of the coronavirus pandemic. It said Tuesday that it doesn’t expect air traffic to recover to pre-COVID levels before 2023 and potentially as late as 2025. It plans to shed 5,000 workers in France, 5,100 in Germany, 1,700 in Britain, 900 in Spain and 1,300 others at Airbus facilities elsewhere.


Adidas HR head resigns as company addresses diversity issues

NEW YORK (AP) — The head of global human resources at sports apparel and shoe company Adidas has resigned following criticism from employees of what they see as the company’s failure to diversify its workforce. The announcement follows media reports about criticism from a group of Black employees who were calling on the company’s board to investigate Karen Parkin and her strategy for addressing racial issues in the workplace. Adidas said its CEO Kasper Rorsted will assume responsibility for global human resources on an interim basis until a successor is appointed. ___

The S&P 500 gained 47.05 points, or 1.5%, to 3,100.29. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 217.08 points, or 0.9%, to 25,812.88. The Nasdaq composite climbed 184.61 points, or 1.9%, to 10,058.77. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks rose 20.16 points, or 1.4%, to 1,441.37.