1. Dow to build on last week’s momentum
In the week ahead, initial jobless claims Thursday will continue to be a key gauge of how renewed Covid-19 closures and delays in business reopenings in some state hot spots might impact the nascent economic recovery. Continuing claims in last week’s report rose by 59,000 to 19.3 million, despite the surge in rehiring evident in the June employment report, which saw a better-than-expected 4.8 million nonfarm positions added and the unemployment rate falling to 11.1% for the month.
2. Warren Buffett spends some of Berkshire’s cash hoard
Gerry Miller | CNBC
In the first major purchase from Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway since the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent market collapse in March, the conglomerate is spending $4 billion to buy the natural gas transmission and storage assets of Dominion Energy. Including the assumption of debt, the deal totals almost $10 billion. At his annual shareholder meeting in May, Buffett revealed that Berkshire had built up a record $137 billion cash hoard as Wall Street tanked, and that he hadn’t seen many favorable deals. Shares of Dominion surged in overnight premarket trading but pulled back to around breakeven.
3. Trump claims 99% of cases in America ‘totally harmless’
U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks as first lady Melania Trump looks on from the Truman Balcony on July 4, 2017 in Washington, DC.
During an Independence Day speech at the White House, President Donald Trump claimed, without evidence, that 99% of coronavirus cases in the U.S. are “totally harmless,” one day after he attended a “mask-optional” event at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota. Trump plans to hold an outdoor campaign rally Saturday at New Hampshire’s Portsmouth International Airport. After Trump’s indoor rally last month in Tulsa, Oklahoma, several campaign staffers and Secret Service agents tested positive for the coronavirus.
A weekend of Fourth of July celebrations, with a scarcity of masks and social distancing, raised concerns that rising coronavirus cases in 39 states could get worse. Florida and Texas reported 11,445 and 8,258 new cases for Saturday, the highest single day totals for both states since the pandemic began. The U.S. had over 45,300 new cases Saturday and nearly 50,000 on Sunday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
4. U.S. makes up about 25% of all global infections
Healthcare workers move a patient in the Covid-19 Unit at United Memorial Medical Center in Houston, Texas Thursday, July 2, 2020.
New worldwide Covid-19 cases topped 192,400 on Saturday and 182,400 on Sunday, according to Johns Hopkins data. Total global cases of the virus, which originated in China late last year, were approaching 11.5 million Monday, with more than 534,400 deaths. A quarter of the world’s cumulative infections and fatalities are in the United States.
Authorities in a city in the Chinese region of Inner Mongolia issued a warning Sunday, one day after a hospital reported a case of suspected bubonic plague. Cases of the Black Death, as it was known in the Middle Ages, are not uncommon in China but outbreaks have become increasingly rare.
Last week, in a separate worrisome development out of China, White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said a new strain of flu carried by pigs in China has characteristics of the 2009 and 1918 pandemics.
5. Uber, Postmates reportedly agree on $2.65 billion deal
Close-up of sign for the popular app-based food and supplies deliver service Postmates, in the Gourmet Ghetto (North Shattuck) neighborhood of Berkeley, California, October 6, 2017.
Smith Collection/Gado | Archive Photos | Getty Images
With food delivery becoming a mainstay in the era of coronavirus, Uber has agreed on a deal to buy U.S. food-delivery app Postmates in a $2.65 billion all-stock agreement, according to multiple media reports. Uber had wanted to buy Grubhub through its Uber Eats business, but that deal fell apart, and Europe’s Just Eat Takeaway reached a $7.3 billion agreement last month to buy Grubhub. Last week, there were reports that Postmates was considering offers from Uber and a special purpose acquisition company as it was simultaneously making plans to go public. Shares of Uber were soaring about 6% in premarket trading Monday.
— Reuters contributed to this report.