FINANCIAL MARKETS

Stocks turn mixed

NEW YORK (AP) — Stock indexes are mixed on Wall Street. Investors are balancing cautious optimism about the reopening of businesses shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic against worries that the civil unrest across the U.S. over police brutality could disrupt the economic recovery and widen the outbreak.

The S&P 500 index was essentially flat after wavering between small gains and losses in the early going. The index is coming off its second month of solid gains.

Overseas, Hong Kong's market rose after President Donald Trump didn't pull out of a trade truce reached earlier with China.

ECONOMY-MANUFACTURING

Survey: US factories sink in May for third straight month

WASHINGTON (AP) — American factories slowed for the third consecutive month in May as they continued to sustain economic damage from the coronavirus pandemic.

The Institute for Supply Management, an association of purchasing managers, said Monday that its manufacturing index came in at 43.1 last month after registering 41.5 in April. Anything below 50 signals that U.S. manufacturers are in retreat.

New orders, production, hiring and new export orders all fell in May but at a slower pace than they did in April.

The pandemic and the lockdowns, and travel restrictions meant to combat it, have brought economic activity to a near-standstill. 

CONSTRUCTION SPENDING

April construction spending falls 2.9% as virus upends work

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. construction spending fell 2.9% in April, the largest drop in 18 months, with broad declines across all building activity as shutdowns hobbled projects and workers were told to stay home.

The Commerce Department report Monday followed a basically flat reading in March.

Spending on residential construction dropped 4.5% in April with single-family construction down 6.6% and the smaller apartment segment down 9.1% Construction of nonresidential projects fell 1.3% with office buildings, hotels and the sector that includes shopping centers all down.

Spending on construction by the federal government and state and local governments was down 2.5% in April.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-ANTIVIRAL DRUG

Gilead says drug helped moderately ill coronavirus patients

UNDATED (AP) — A California biotech company says its experimental drug remdesivir improved symptoms when given for five days to moderately ill, hospitalized patients with COVID-19.

Gilead Sciences gave few details on Monday but says full results will be published soon in a medical journal.  

Remdesivir is the only treatment that’s been shown in a rigorous experiment to help fight the coronavirus. A large study led by the National Institutes of Health recently found it could shorten recovery time for patients hospitalized with severe disease.

Gilead's study involved nearly 600 patients who had moderate pneumonia but did not need oxygen support. Ten days of remdesivir did not prove better than standard care alone. 

VIRUS OUTBREAK-BLACK BUSINESSES

Black businesses hit hard by COVID-19 fight to stay afloat

DETROIT (AP) — The COVID-19 pandemic has not only disproportionately impacted African Americans, infecting and killing them at higher rates across the nation, but black Americans are also experiencing the economic brunt of the pandemic.

It has raised fresh concerns about the survival of black businesses that have been the backbone of cities like Detroit and Atlanta for years.

The pandemic has exposed existing racial disparities, experts say, and many believe it could also wipe out whatever progress has been made toward building black generational wealth, which has long lagged behind other racial groups.   

GERMANY-LUFTHANSA

Lufthansa board nods through $10 billion bailout plan

BERLIN (AP) — The supervisory board of Lufthansa has given its blessing to a $10 billion government bailout plan thrashed out between the airline, the German government and the European Union.

The German carrier on Monday quoted the Lufthansa supervisory board chairman Karl-Ludwig Kley saying it had been “a very difficult decision.” Kley said the board recommends shareholders now approve the plan "even if it requires them to make substantial contributions to stabilizing their company.”

Lufthansa has been hard-hit by the downturn in travel during the coronavirus pandemic. The airline will be required to relinquish some of its slots in Frankfurt and Munich to competitors and the government will take a 20% stake in Lufthansa.

SUPREME COURT-BERNARD MADOFF

Supreme Court declines to take Bernard Madoff trustee case

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is leaving in place a ruling that allows the trustee recovering money for investors in the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme to pursue more than $4 billion that went to overseas investors.

The high court Monday declined to get involved in the case.

An appeals court said trustee Irving Picard could go after money that went through foreign investment funds back to foreign investors. A lower court had said those transactions were beyond the reach of U.S. law.

Madoff pleaded guilty in 2009 to orchestrating the largest Ponzi scheme in history. He was sentenced to 150 years in prison.

Picard has recovered approximately $14 billion of about $18 billion that investors put into Madoff’s business.

COPYRIGHT-LAWSUIT

Publishers sue Internet Archive over scanning of books

WASHINGTON (AP) — Four of the country’s biggest publishers have sued a digital library for copyright infringement. They allege that the Internet Archive has illegally offered more than a million scanned works to the public, including such favorites as Toni Morrison’s “Song of Solomon,” Malcolm Gladwell’s “Blink” and Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road.”

In March, the Internet Archive announced it had established a “National Emergency Library” in response to the coronavirus outbreak that had shut down most of the country’s schools and libraries.

The Archive has said that it operates like a traditional lending library, a non-profit entity providing free books.