Coronavirus Update: Airlines Might Get More Payroll Assistance

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Good morning, it’s Thursday, August 6. Here’s your daily coronavirus update.

There are over 18.8 million cases of the virus worldwide, with over 708,000 deaths.

The U.S. has 4.8 million cases with over 158,000 deaths.

According to the COVID-19 Tracking Project, there were 52,265 new cases reported Wednesday. 681,537 new tests were reported. And 1,403 deaths were reported yesterday.

Democrats and Republicans will continue talks on Capitol Hill around the $600 unemployment assistance, which expired last Friday, and the stimulus package which both sides remain trillions of dollars apart on.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters in Washington that she was "optimistic that there is a light at the end of the tunnel" with respect to negotiations with the Republicans, but noted that "how long that tunnel is remains to be seen."

Airline stocks--including American Airlines, Delta and United--got a boost after a Reuters report that suggested lawmakers are looking to offer billions more in payroll assistance support to the beaten-down sector.

Reuters reported that 16 Republican Senators have backed a plan that would extend the $25 billion of payroll assistance already in place beyond the current September 30 deadline. This came after Reuters saw a letter signed by, among others, Colorado's Corey Gardner and Florida's Marco Rubio.

Last week, the International Air Transport Association, an industry lobby group, warned it would take until 2024 for global airline passenger traffic to return to pre-pandemic levels, while June data showed the lowest 'load factor' data in industry history.

Roku posted stronger-than-expected second-quarter earnings but warned that a slowdown in ad sales could hit a key portion of its business model.

Roku's chief executive officer, Anthony Wood, told investors on a conference call late Wednesday that the ad industry's outlook is 'highly uncertain' and won't likely recover to pre-pandemic levels 'well into 2021.'

And Bristol-Myers posted stronger-than-expected second-quarter earnings Thursday, and boosted its full-year profit outlook, as stronger sales of its Eliquis blood clotting treatment offset the continued slump in revenues from Opdivo.

You can follow Katherine Ross on Twitter at @byKatherineRoss.

Read more from Katherine Ross here.

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