The daily business briefing: June 30, 2020

Harold Maass
Cirque Du Soleil performers
Getty Images


Cirque du Soleil files for bankruptcy

Cirque du Soleil filed for bankruptcy protection in Canada on Monday after the coronavirus pandemic forced the acrobatic circus to cancel shows and lay off performers. The move is designed to help the Montreal-based entertainment company come up with a plan to resume operations as the public health crisis continues. The company suspended its productions around the world in March as the coronavirus pandemic hit North America. It had to lay off more than 4,000 people, about 95 percent of its workforce. "With zero revenue since the forced closure of all of our shows due to COVID-19, the management had to act decisively to protect the company's future," CEO Daniel Lamarre said. The company said as part of the bankruptcy filing it had entered into a purchase agreement with its existing shareholders. [Reuters, Daily Mail]


Dow posts biggest gain since June 5 despite COVID-19 surge

Stocks surged on Monday despite concerns about the economic rebound as coronavirus cases spiked in several states. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 2.3 percent, its best day since June 5. The S&P 500 rose by 1.5 percent, and the Nasdaq Composite closed up by 1.2 percent. Shares of aircraft maker Boeing jumped up by 14.4 percent after the Dow member's Boeing 737 Max jets started recertification flights that will be a critical step toward getting the planes back into service after two crashes within five months killed 346 people, leading to the grounding of the planes. Apple, another Dow component, rose by 2.3 percent. The main U.S. indexes also were buoyed by a National Association of Realtors report that pending home sales jumped by a record 44.3 percent last month. Stock futures were mixed early Tuesday. [CNBC]


Gilead coronavirus drug to cost over $3,000

Gilead Sciences, the pharmaceutical company developing a coronavirus treatment drug shown to be effective among severe COVID-19 cases, announced on Monday it will price the drug, remdesivir, at $520 per dose. That adds up to about $3,120 for a typical course of treatment with the antiviral drug, which has been shown in initial studies to reduce respiratory and fever symptoms of COVID-19. The Food and Drug Administration said in April it will authorize the emergency use of the drug. The price in the U.S. will be higher than in other developed countries, CNBC reports, noting it costs $2,340 elsewhere. [CNBC]


Twitch suspends Trump account over footage with 'hateful conduct'

Twitch, the Amazon-owned livestreaming site, announced Monday it would temporarily suspend President Trump's official account on the site, citing "hateful conduct" in footage from Trump campaign rallies. Trump launched his Twitch account a year ago. Unlike Twitter and Facebook, Twitch at the time said it would not tolerate violations of its terms of service, and would "not make exceptions for political or newsworthy content." Twitch deemed a rebroadcast of Trump's 2016 kickoff rally where he labeled Mexican immigrants "rapists," as well as parts of Trump's recent Tulsa rally, in violation of those terms and removed them as of Monday as part of a broader crackdown on offending content. Reddit announced that it was banning several subreddits supportive of Trump and the far-right over hate speech. [The Verge]


Ford joins companies suspending social media ads

Ford Motor Co. on Monday became the latest major corporation to suspend advertising on all social media platforms for 30 days. The move came as an increasing number of companies have expressed support for a campaign calling for an ad boycott against Facebook until the social media giant does more to stop hate speech on its platform. Ford said it was reevaluating its advertising on social media, and that hate speech, violence, and racial injustice need "to be eradicated." Microsoft has halted spending on Facebook and Instagram, and Adidas and Reebok said they were suspending their Facebook ads through July. ConAgra is suspending ads for its brands, which include Slim Jim, Duncan Hines, and Vlasic. It won't advertise on Facebook and Instagram for the rest of the year. [Reuters, Seeking Alpha]