CNBC United States of America
Get latest business news on stock markets, financial & earnings on CNBC. View world markets streaming charts & video; check stock tickers and quotes.
General Motors taps Delta's Paul Jacobson to fill CFO job - CNBC
Jacobson is an important hire for GM as it enters into new ventures and continues to restructure its business operations toward all-electric vehicles.
General Motors has tapped Delta Air Lines CFO Paul Jacobson to replace Dhivya Suryadevara, who unexpectedly left GM for digital payments company Stripe in August, the automaker announced Friday. Jacobson, 48, has been with Delta since 1997, a span that included the Sept. 11 terror attacks, Delta's 2008 merger with Northwest Airlines, the Great Recession and most recently, the coronavirus pandemic. He has been Delta's CFO since 2012 and in April rescinded his retirement, announced in February, as the airline faced the severe financial impact from the virus. His appointment as GM's CFO is effective Dec. 1. Jacobson is an important hire for GM as it enters into new ventures and continues to restructure its business operations toward all-electric vehicles. He'll also be tasked with assisting the automaker in persuading Wall Street that it's undervalued. Shares of GM have failed to achieve any sustainable growth over the past decade. At Delta, Jacobson was a key contributor to Delta's strategies and was instrumental in balance-sheet initiatives that resulted in nearly $10 billion in debt reduction. He was named the airline industry's best CFO eight times by Institutional Investor magazine's poll of Wall Street analysts and investors. Jacobson's decision to leave comes during the airline industry's worst-ever crisis. U.S. airlines lost more than $11 billion in the third quarter alone. Raising cash quickly became a priority for airlines. In his last few months as Delta's CFO, the company raised billions to weather the pandemic, including a $9 billion debt sale backed by its loyalty program, an industry record. The announcement of Jacobson's departure from Delta comes about two months after the airline's COO, Gil West, announced his retirement. "Paul is a great addition to the GM senior leadership team and is dedicated to leading the company for the benefit of all stakeholders customers, employees, suppliers, communities and shareholders," GM CEO Mary Barra said in a release. Jacobson, in a statement, said the company's so-called triple-zero vision of zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion is "compelling because it embraces the needs of society, customers and investors, and they are executing an historic technology shift to electrification from a position of strength." John Stapleton, GM's acting CFO since Aug. 31, will continue as North America chief financial officer, a position he has held since January 2014. Delta said it will "conduct a global search to identify" its next CFO and that two high-ranking executives head of business development and financial planning Gary Chase and Bill Carroll, senior vice president of finance and controller will serve as co-CFOs in the interim. CNBC's Leslie Josephs contributed to this report.
U.S. reports record 88,521 new Covid cases as scientists warn of 'exponential growth' - CNBC
"We're starting to find ourselves on a steep slope of the epidemic curve, so I think you're going to see cases accelerate," Dr. Scott Gottlieb told CNBC on Friday.
The United States reported a record 88,521 new coronavirus cases on Thursday as the pandemic seeps into every area of the country and scientists warn of exponential growth ahead of the holidays. "We're starting to find ourselves on a steep slope of the epidemic curve, so I think you're going to see cases accelerate," Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former head of the Food and Drug Administration, told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Friday. The positivity rate, or the percentage of total tests that are positive, is greater than 10% in roughly 15 states, a sign that "there's more infection out there that we're not turning over," he said. Gottlieb predicted that the U.S. could hit 100,000 new cases Friday or Saturday. The U.S. is continuing its upward climb on what's now the pandemic's third peak, with cases growing by 5% or more in 45 states as of Thursday, according to a CNBC analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Over the last week, the U.S. reported an average of roughly 76,590 new cases every day, the highest seven-day average recorded yet and up more than 25% compared with a week ago, according to Johns Hopkins data. The surge in the U.S. follows a wave of new Covid-19 cases in countries across Europe that have prompted new, stringent lockdown measures on their businesses. Germany on Wednesday announced a "light lockdown," with bars, restaurants, gyms, cinemas and theaters to close. France said it would adopt a second nationwide lockdown beginning Friday, ordering people to leave their homes only for essential purposes. "If we get to the levels of some of the European countries like France and Italy, Spain, the U.K. are experiencing, it's going to really press our health-care system across the country," Gottlieb said. "But right now, I think we're starting to see cases accelerate." The U.S. is conducting record amounts of testing, according to data compiled by the Covid Tracking Project. However, more testing cannot account for the rise in cases, health officials say, because the percentage of tests coming back positive has increased as well. "As the nation did after Memorial Day, we are at another critical point in the pandemic response," Adm. Brett Giroir, assistant secretary of health who leads the government's testing effort, said Wednesday on NBC's "TODAY." Hospitalizations for Covid-19 are also on the rise a sign that the pandemic has taken a turn for the worse in some parts of the country, particularly in the Midwest. As of Thursday, 17 states reached record-high hospitalizations based on a seven-day average, including Iowa, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin, according to the Covid Tracking Project. "We cannot afford to overwhelm our hospitals, especially those in rural areas where the infrastructure is absent as well as the medical staff needed to operate the surge of ICU," Ali Mokdad, professor of health metrics sciences at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, said during an Infectious Diseases Society of America conference call on Thursday. "Unfortunately, at this stage right now, we're starting to peak rapidly in many states and we're going toward this exponential growth ... and we're keeping an eye on hospitalizations, and we need to be very careful not to overwhelm our hospitals," Mokdad said. White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci warned that the U.S. could surpass 100,000 daily cases in late June as outbreaks were swelling in states across America's Sun Belt. However, the country was able to keep the outbreak to under 70,000 cases a day until Oct. 22. "If things do not change ... if they continue on the course we're on, there's going to be a whole lot of pain in this country with regard to additional cases and hospitalizations and deaths," Fauci told CNBC's "The News with Shepard Smith" on Wednesday. "We are on a very difficult trajectory. We are going in the wrong direction." Gottlieb told CNBC "we should try to remain vigilant and be careful these last two or three months as we get through what is going to be the most difficult season." CNBC's Will Feuer, Nate Rattner, Kevin Stankiewicz and Sam Meredith contributed to this report. Disclosure: Scott Gottlieb is a CNBC contributor and is a member of the boards of Pfizer, genetic testing start-up Tempus and biotech company Illumina. Pfizer has a manufacturing agreement with Gilead for remdesivir. Gottlieb also serves as co-chair of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and Royal Caribbean's "Healthy Sail Panel."
McRib returns to McDonald's nationwide for the first time since 2012 - CNBC
Starting Dec. 2, McDonald's McRib is returning to menus nationwide for the first time since 2012.
Starting Dec. 2, McDonald's McRib is returning to menus nationwide for the first time since 2012. The limited-time pork sandwich is brought back every year but is notoriously hard to find. McDonald's even released its own McRib locator app to help customers find restaurants that sold it. The fast-food giant brought the McRib to 10,000 of its 14,000 U.S. restaurants last year in its biggest launch since 2012. The item has been appearing on McDonald's menus in the U.S. since 1982, helping the chain attract customers to its restaurants during the holiday season. The nationwide launch this year comes as McDonald's U.S. sales are rebounding from the coronavirus pandemic. Earlier in October, the chain said that same-store sales in its home market rose nearly 5% in its latest quarter. The popularity of the McRib could fuel even higher sales growth, although a resurgence of Covid-19 cases could hinder McDonald's recovery. Shares of McDonald's, which has a market value of $166 billion, have risen 8% so far this year.
French economy rebounds in the third quarter, but new lockdown risks a 'double-dip' - CNBC
France's GDP has rebounded as the country benefited from few social restrictions, but the focus is now on the final months of 2020 amid a new lockdown.
LONDON The French economy bounced back in the third quarter as it profited from a summer period with few social restrictions. However, the focus is now on the final quarter of the year after the two largest economies in the euro area announced nationwide lockdowns. France's gross domestic product grew by 18.2% between July and September, the country's statistics office, Insee, said in a preliminary reading. France's GDP had contracted by 13.7% during the second quarter, which included the first full month (April) of nationwide lockdown in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. "The massive increase in French GDP in the third quarter is of no comfort to French policymakers or households, who are now contending with a second national lockdown," Andrew Kenningham, chief Europe economist at Capital Economics, said in a note. Despite the improvement during the summer period, "GDP remained well below the level it had before the health crisis," Insee said. On an annual basis, the third quarter reading came in 4.3% lower from a year ago. French President Emmanuel Macron announced on Wednesday a second lockdown starting Friday due to a rapid increase in the number of infections over the past weeks. This means that restaurants, bars and non-essential shops are closing once again. However, schools and factories will keep their doors open. "We now have to contemplate the idea of a double-dip as the economy is knocked back by new restrictions," Claus Vistesen, economist at Pantheon Macro said in a note. In Germany, retail sales dropped 2.2.% in September from the previous month, preliminary data showed on Friday. Retail of food, beverages and tobacco grew 6.8%, but sales in textiles, clothing, shoes and leather goods fell 7.3%, the German statistics office said on Friday. The European Central Bank suggested on Thursday that there will be more monetary stimulus coming to the euro zone. The central bank will revise its economic expectations for the 19-member area in December and will decide then how much more support is needed. "We have done that in the past: We have responded very promptly, very appropriately, very heavily, some would say, to the first wave that hit the euro area economies. We have done it for the first wave; we will do it again for the second wave," ECB President Christine Lagarde said on Thursday. On top of low interest rates, the ECB has lowered costs for banks and created a coronavirus-specific government bond purchase program. The latter is currently set to last until June of 2021 with a total envelope of 1.35 trillion euros ($1.57 trillion).
Cramer reacts to Amazon, Alphabet, Apple and Facebook earnings - CNBC
"In most cases, the earnings estimates were way, way, way, way, way, way, way too low," the "Mad Money" host said.
CNBC's Jim Cramer on Thursday rejected the idea that Big Tech stocks may be "ridiculously expensive." After sifting through the earnings reports posted by Amazon, Alphabet, Apple and Facebook, the "Mad Money" host said the idea is "insane." "In most cases, the earnings estimates were way, way, way, way, way, way, way too low," he said as part of his first reaction to their results from the September quarter. "That's exactly what you'd expect from best-of-breed companies that are growing into their enormous market capitalizations every hour, every minute of the week." Despite strong reports from four of the most valuable components on the S&P 500, only the stock of Alphabet, the parent of Google, was up in the aftermarket. Below are Cramer's reactions to each of their results: Alphabet Alphabet shares surged double digits in the after hours after the company announced a big earnings beat and double-digit revenue growth. The company reported earnings of $16.40 per share on revenue of $46.17 billion in the third quarter, when estimates were pegged at $11.29 and $42.90 billion, respectively. "Alphabet, the parent of Google, was the one company that did something very unusual: They delivered a huge top- and bottom-line beat, and that sent the stock roaring," Cramer said. "I always expect Alphabet to somehow drop the ball and scare people, but they didn't this time. That didn't happen. ... This is, as of today, a new Alphabet." Amazon Amazon stock dipped 1% after the company announced quarterly numbers, despite having results that were much better than expected. The online giant made a profit of $12.37 per share, nearly twice the $7.41 that was expected, and brought in $96.15 billion in sales, against a Factset estimate of $92.78 billion. "They obliterated the estimates," Cramer said. "The only real blemish? While the guidance for the next quarter was strong, their operating income forecast was a little bit light, which is why the stock got dinged a bit after hours." Facebook Facebook shares moved 1% higher before trading more than 1% under after the social media company released third-quarter numbers that topped Wall Street estimates. Facebook produced $2.71 of earnings per share and $21.47 billion in revenue, against analyst forecasts of $1.91 and $19.8 billion, respectively. "If you thought the boycott would hurt them, think again," Cramer said. "Looks like their advertising business is on fire." Apple Apple slid 5% in the aftermarket after posting a slight beat on the top and bottom lines in its fourth-quarter report and choosing not to give investors guidance for the current quarter that ends December. The company showed earnings of 73 cents per share and revenue of $64.7 billion, up 1% from a year ago. "IPhone sales were weak, but you've got to keep in mind that this was the last quarter before, maybe, their most important iteration comes out the [iPhone] 12, four different models," Cramer said. "Based on the first five days of shipping data, though, CEO Tim Cook is feeling optimistic. ... I think the pullback here is a buying opportunity." Disclosure: Cramer's charitable trust owns shares of Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Alphabet. Disclaimer Questions for Cramer?Call Cramer: 1-800-743-CNBC Want to take a deep dive into Cramer's world? Hit him up!Mad Money Twitter - Jim Cramer Twitter - Facebook - Instagram Questions, comments, suggestions for the "Mad Money" website? [email protected]
Starbucks earnings top estimates as sales rebound quicker than expected in U.S., China - CNBC
Starbucks' global same-store sales fell 9% in its fiscal fourth quarter.
Starbucks on Thursday reported that sales in the U.S. and China are recovering from the coronavirus pandemic more quickly than expected, helping global same-store sales shrink just 9%. The global coffee chain's sales have been boosted by customers spending more on their Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Frappuccinos, although foot traffic remains down. The company's outlook for fiscal 2021 is projecting a faster rebound than expected by analysts. Shares of the stock initially rose after the report, but were now down about 1%. Here's what the company reported compared with what Wall Street was expecting, based on a survey of analysts by Refinitiv:
- Earnings per share: 51 cents, adjusted, vs. 31 cents expected
- Revenue: $6.2 billion vs. $6.06 billion expected
Exxon announces additional job cuts amid ongoing Covid-19 hit to oil demand - CNBC
Exxon is reducing its workforce as the energy giant continues to feel the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.
Exxon said Thursday that it intends to reduce its U.S. staff by around 1,900 employees as the energy giant continues to see its operations pressured by the coronavirus pandemic. The layoffs will occur through a mix of voluntary and involuntary programs. Exxon said the reduction is part of ongoing reorganization efforts aimed at improving efficiency and reducing costs. "These actions will improve the company's long-term cost competitiveness and ensure the company manages through the current unprecedented market conditions," a statement from the company said. "The impact of COVID-19 on the demand for ExxonMobil's products has increased the urgency of the ongoing efficiency work." Earlier in October Exxon said it was cutting its European operations by 1,600 positions through the end of 2021. According to Edward Jones' Jennifer Rowland, the combined cuts represent about 5% of Exxon's global workforce. The announcement comes as the oil and gas industry continues to feel the pain of the coronavirus pandemic. West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. oil benchmark, has recovered since plunging into negative territory for the time time on record in April, but the contract still trades at a deep discount to prior prices. On Thursday WTI traded around $36. As recently as January it traded north of $62 per barrel. Amid the decline in prices, energy companies have taken drastic measures to improve their balance sheets, including reducing staff and in some cases suspending dividends. Exxon has repeatedly said that its dividend remains a priority. On Wednesday the company maintained its fourth quarter dividend at 87 cents per share, although this was the first time since 1982 that it didn't raise its payout. Exxon will report third quarter results on Friday before the market opens. Shares were up 2.6% during midday trading. For the year, the stock is down 53%.
Biden maintains polling lead over Trump with five days until Election Day - CNBC
Biden's lead over Trump doesn't appear to be shrinking in the final days of the 2020 election the way Hillary Clinton's did in 2016.
President Donald Trump is down in the polls against former Vice President Joe Biden, and unlike in Trump's 2016 race against Hillary Clinton, the gap doesn't seem to be closing in the final five days of the 2020 campaign. At this point in the last election, Clinton's lead had suddenly shrunk to a near-tie with Trump after new revelations about her email server. But now, with Trump no longer a political novelty and in the absence of late-breaking bombshells, Biden's polling advantage looks far more durable. Here's what national polling trackers said Thursday morning: While the national polls have slightly narrowed in recent weeks, Biden appears poised to hold onto his lead through Election Day next Tuesday. Meanwhile, FiveThirtyEight's Nate Silver notes that a majority of state polls show Biden's position improving. Some states, previously considered GOP strongholds, have become hotly contested late in the race. The Cook Political Report and NBC News both moved Texas from "Lean Republican" to the "Toss Up" column this week, for instance. FiveThirtyEight also projects Biden is slightly favored to win Georgia, which hasn't voted for the Democratic presidential candidate since 1992. All of that is not to say a Biden victory is a foregone conclusion. While a series of October surprises in 2016 ultimately benefited Trump, Clinton still won the popular vote by more than two million votes but she lost in the Electoral College following a series of close defeats in key swing states. It's still possible Trump could pull off the same upset in 2020. Biden holds an edge, on average, in the key battleground states that put Trump over the top in the last cycle, but by a smaller margin than his national lead. Polls show the candidates neck-and-neck in a handful of the most crucial battleground states. The Republican incumbent has spent the final weeks of the race in a mad dash across the country, each day hosting at least one of his signature in-person campaign rallies and drawing large crowds of supporters. On Thursday, Trump is scheduled to deliver speeches in Florida and North Carolina, two of the most competitive races in the nation. At those rallies, the president could focus on the economy, which has long been the area where he's received the highest ratings from voters. The Commerce Department reported Thursday morning that the economy grew at its fastest rate ever in the third quarter of 2020, a figure the Trump campaign is surely eager to tout. But that economic boom followed the worst-ever plunge in the previous quarter, when GDP fell by 32.9%. And that historic decline was largely due to the coronavirus pandemic, which voters have consistently said they think Biden would handle better than Trump. The Covid-19 crisis, which gripped the U.S. early in the year and has yet to loosen up, remains a central issue in the election. More than 8.85 million cases, and at least 227,703 deaths, have been reported in the U.S., according to Johns Hopkins University. Trump has downplayed the threat of the virus, clashed with his own administration's public health experts and declined to get personally involved in ongoing negotiations for additional government relief. He has hosted events at the White House and on the campaign trail that disregard guidelines on social distancing and other preventive measures, and he himself was hospitalized with the virus earlier this month. His latest spate of rallies are marked by massive groups of supporters packed tightly together, many of whom refuse to wear masks. The events are being held even as the U.S. appears to be entering its third wave of rising Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations a situation that his own experts, such as Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Robert Redfield, had warned about months earlier. But Trump, in his closing argument for reelection, has complained that the media is focusing too much on the pandemic, accusing them of pushing the issue for political purposes. Early voting is at record levels, and there are fewer undecided voters left to court than in 2016. Huge numbers of people have registered to vote since the previous election, which Democrats believe helps their efforts. Trump, however, has doubled down on unverified allegations of wrongdoing by Biden related to his son, Hunter Biden. Trump hurled accusations about Biden and and his son in both of their debates, neither of which were followed by a boost in the polls for the president. The issue might animate some of Trump's supporters, but even some of the president's allies in Congress are skeptical it will shift the race. "I don't think it moves a single voter," Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, told Axios.
U.S. weekly jobless claims total 751,000, vs 778,000 expected - CNBC
The number of first-time unemployment claims declined for a second straight week — to the lowest level since Covid shutdowns began in March.
The number of first-time unemployment-benefits filers fell to the lowest level in the pandemic, declining for a second straight week, the Labor Department reported Thursday. Initial weekly U.S. jobless claims came in at 751,000 for the week ending Oct. 24, down 40,000 from the previous week. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected initial jobless claims to come in at 778,000. It was the lowest initial claims total since the week of March 14, when they came in at 282,000. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected 778,000 new claims for last week. But with Covid-19 infections rising sharply again, economists voiced concern about the jobs market and economy. "We had expected that the steep decline we saw in claims last week would be too big to repeat, but downside momentum in claims remains intact," Jefferies economist Thomas Simons said in a note. "The question going forward is going to be whether a surge in COVID cases and renewed measures aimed at containing the virus will lead to another spike in claims in the coming weeks." Thursday's data brought the four-week moving average for initial claims down to 787,750 from 812,250, the Labor Department said. Continuing jobless claims, which include those receiving unemployment benefits for at least two straight weeks, dropped by 709,000 to 7.75 million for during the week of Oct. 17. Data on continuing jobless claims is delayed by one week. U.S. stock futures got a lift from the unemployment data, erasing earlier losses and trading slightly higher. Sentiment on Wall Street was also aided by strong third-quarter GDP data released Thursday morning. The better-than-expected data came as lawmakers failed to reach a deal on new U.S. fiscal stimulus. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell adjourned the Senate earlier this week, essentially shutting the door on a potential aid bill being passed before Tuesday's election. With coronavirus infections rising across the U.S., some parts of the country could reinstate stricter social distancing measures. On Wednesday alone, more than 80,000 new infections were reported in the U.S., according to an NBC tally. Subscribe to CNBC PRO for exclusive insights and analysis, and live business day programming from around the world.
Oil major Shell increases dividend as third-quarter earnings beat forecasts - CNBC
Shell said it would raise its dividend to shareholders for the third quarter of 2020 and on an annual basis going forward.
LONDON Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell on Thursday reported better-than-expected third-quarter earnings and announced plans to increase its dividend to shareholders. The Anglo-Dutch company reported adjusted earnings of $955 millionfor the three months through to the end of September. That compared with a net profit of $4.77 billion over the same period a year earlier, and adjusted earnings of $638 million for the second quarter of 2020. Analysts at Refinitiv had expected third-quarter net profit to come in at $594 million for the third quarter. Shell said it would raise its dividend to shareholders by around 4% to 16.65 U.S. cents for the third quarter of 2020 and on an annual basis going forward. It comes around six months after the oil major reduced its dividend for the first time since World War II, following a dramatic slide in oil prices amid the coronavirus crisis. "Our sector-leading cash flows will enable us to grow our businesses of the future while increasing shareholder distributions, making us a compelling investment case," Ben van Beurden, CEO of Royal Dutch Shell, said in a statement. "The strength of our performance gives us the confidence to lay out our strategic direction, resume dividend growth and to provide clarity on the cash allocation framework, with clear parameters to increase shareholder distributions." Shares of Shell, down more than 61% year-to-date, rose around 3% during early morning deals. Shell has planned to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050 or sooner, and CEO Ben van Beurden said the firm must continue to strengthen the "financial resilience" of its portfolio as it makes the transition. As part of that plan, Shell said it would transform its refining portfolio to six "energy and chemicals parks," down from 14 sites at present. "The Board has reviewed Shell's recent performance and its plans to grow its businesses of the future, and we are confident that Shell can sustainably grow its shareholder distributions as well as invest for growth," Chad Holliday, chair of the Shell board, said in a statement. In addition, Holliday said the board had "approved a cash allocation framework for Shell which, on reducing its net debt to $65 billion, will target total shareholder distributions of 20-30% of cash flow from operations." The results come as energy market sentiment remains subdued, with an upsurge in global coronavirus cases hampering the prospects of oil demand growth. A wave of new Covid-19 infections in Europe has prompted some countries to impose fresh lockdown measures as winter looms. International benchmark Brent crude futures traded $38.99 a barrel on Thursday morning, down around 0.3% for the session, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures stood at $37.30, around 0.25% lower. Oil prices are down around 40% year-to-date. Earlier this week, energy giant BP posted a small profit for the third quarter, but said the ongoing impacts of the coronavirus pandemic were likely to "continue to create a volatile and challenging trading environment."