Wall Street rallies on coronavirus optimism: April 8, 2020

By CNN Business

Updated 6:38 a.m. ET, April 9, 2020
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9:00 a.m. ET, April 8, 2020

More allegations of fraud at Chinese companies

From CNN Business' Paul R. La Monica

China's Luckin Coffee (LK), which hasn't traded since Monday following the disclosure of a major accounting scandal, isn't the only Chinese stock listed in the United States with serious financial problems.

Shares of Beijing-based after-school tutoring company TAL Education Group (TAL) plunged 8% Wednesday after disclosing late Tuesday that an employee was found to have "wrongly" boosted about 3% to 4% of sales in its last fiscal year "by forging contracts and other documentations." The employee has since been taken into custody by local police.

And iQIYI (IQ), a streaming service often dubbed the Netflix of China, is also down more than 8% after activist short seller Wolfpack Research said in a report that the company inflated its revenue by "overstating its user numbers by approximately 42%-60%."

iQIYI shot back against the allegations, saying in a press release that it "believes that the report contains numerous errors, unsubstantiated statements and misleading conclusions and interpretations."  

But nerves are clearly raw for investors in Chinese companies. After the Luckin debacle, there is increased skepticism.

8:34 a.m. ET, April 8, 2020

73% of Americans have seen a drop in income due to the coronavirus outbreak: survey

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

Nearly three in four Americans saw their family incomes be reduced by the coronavirus outbreak, according to a survey from the Peter G. Peterson Foundation and the Financial Times.

Another 92% expect the virus will impact the US economy "a lot."

The pandemic has cost many Americans their jobs already. Over the past two weeks, nearly 10 million people filed for unemployment benefits.

The survey, published yesterday, also showed that 71% of respondents said the outbreak had affected their personal and business decisions. That's up from just 13% in February.

Most respondents said they avoided public places and canceled travel plans, but 35% also said they put large purchases on hold.

8:08 a.m. ET, April 8, 2020

Heineken bucks trend with falling beer sales

From CNN Business' Jordan Valinsky

People are buying a lot of beer during the pandemic -- but apparently not Heineken. The company said that beer sales declined 2% for the first quarter of this year and it expects it to worsen in the future.

The Dutch brewer scrapped its 2020 guidance because of the "lack of visibility on the end date" of the pandemic.

Heineken makes a number of well-known beers, including Amstel, Sol and Tiger.

Nielsen said Tuesday that US beer sales rose in March as people stocked up because bars are closed. People are being told to stay home and limit gatherings to stop the spread of Covid-19.

7:43 a.m. ET, April 8, 2020

Dick's Sporting Goods announces furloughs

From CNN Business' Jordan Valinsky

Dick's is finding it difficult to operate without any sports, gyms or basically any other physical activity.

The sporting goods retailer that it's furloughing a "significant number" of its 40,000 employees beginning Sunday.

Dick's (DKS) said in a regulatory filing that because of the coronavirus, it's "increasingly evident" that its more than 800 stores aren't going to reopen anytime soon. It will keep on a small number of employees to fulfill online orders and curbside pickups.

7:18 a.m. ET, April 8, 2020

Panera pivots to groceries

From CNN Business' Jordan Valinsky

Panera Bread is expanding into groceries in an attempt to recoup some losses following the temporary closures of its cafe dining rooms.

Customers can get delivered or pick up a variety of items, including bagels, bread, gallons of milk, yogurt and fresh produce such as apples and avocados. Its regular menu of soups, salads and sandwiches remain available.

Panera is privately held by JAB Holdings, so the damage that the coronavirus pandemic is doing isn't publicly known. However, CEO Niren Chaudhary said in interview with CNBC that its business has recently fallen by 50%.

In a release, Chaudhary said that Panera Grocery can help customers provide "better access to essential items that are increasingly harder to come by."

6:43 a.m. ET, April 8, 2020

TJMaxx owner is furloughing a majority of 286,000 employees

From CNN Business' Jordan Valinsky

TJX (TJX), which owns discount retailers TJMaxx and Marshalls, is furloughing a "majority of store and distribution center" employees, according to a regulatory filing. The company has around 286,000 employees.

The company will pay workers for this week before they enter furlough on April 11. Its stores have been closed since mid-March because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The closures is "expected to have an adverse impact on its results of operations, financial position and liquidity," TJX warned.

6:31 a.m. ET, April 8, 2020

Tesla furloughs staff and slashes salaries

From CNN Business' Sherisse Pham and Peter Valdes-Dapena

Tesla (TSLA) is telling staff to brace for pay cuts and furloughs as the Covid-19 pandemic disrupts operations and cripples demand.

Starting next Monday, US employees at the electric car company who hold director and vice president-level roles and above will see pay reductions of 20% to 30%, and "everyone else" will receive a pay cut of 10%, according to an internal email obtained by CNN Business.

The reductions are expected to be in place until the end of June. Pay rises and equity grants will also be put on hold.

Non-US employees will also face similar reductions, according to the email.

Read more here.

6:41 a.m. ET, April 8, 2020

Global stocks and US futures are mixed on coronavirus caution

Global stocks and US futures are mixed on Wednesday as economic damage from the coronavirus pandemic continued to mount.

Across Asia:

  • Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index (HSIfell 1.2%
  • China's Shanghai Composite (SHCOMPdropped 0.2%
  • Japan's Nikkei (N225) bucked the trend, finishing with a gain of over 2%

In Europe:

  • France CAC 40 (CAC40shed 1.8% in early trading
  • Germany's DAX (DAXlost 1%
  • The FTSE 100 (UKXdropped 1.6% in London.

Following Tuesday's declines, US stock futures are slightly higher as of 6:15 am ET:

  • Dow (INDU) is up 28 points
  • S&P 500 (SPX) increased 0.2%
  • Nasdaq Composite (COMP) futures are up more than 0.2%