The daily business briefing: July 14, 2020

California shuts down many businesses again after virus surges, Biden to unveil a plan to end power-plant carbon pollution, and more

Biden in Pennsylvania
(Image credit: TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images)

1. California shuts down businesses again due to coronavirus surge

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) on Monday ordered another statewide shutdown of a variety of businesses, including bars, indoor dining, movie theaters, and museums, due to a wave of new COVID-19 cases. More heavily populated counties on the state's watchlist also had to shut down hair salons, gyms, indoor malls, and other personal care-related businesses. "This continues to be a deadly disease," Newsom said. California has had an average of 8,664 new cases per day over the past week, up more than 1,500 from the week before, the state's department of public health said Sunday. Also on Monday, both the Los Angeles Unified School District and San Diego Unified School District announced they wouldn't reopen schools when classes resume August 18.

Los Angeles Times ABC7 News

2. Biden to unveil plan to end power-plant carbon pollution by 2035

Former Vice President Joe Biden plans Tuesday to unveil a climate plan that includes eliminating carbon pollution from power plants by 2035, The Washington Post reported, citing a person briefed on his proposal. The proposal for a 15-year push for a clean energy standard would be far more aggressive than Biden's previous climate positions. The policy was among the recommendations last week from task forces created by the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee and former primary-season rival Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) as part of an effort to win over voters from the party's progressive wing. Biden also is expected to call for spending $2 trillion to support the clean-energy economy over four years.

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3. June federal budget deficit hits $864 billion, smashing record

The U.S. budget deficit grew to a record $864 billion in June, up from just $8 billion in June last year, due to the cost of the government's response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Treasury Department said on Monday. Federal spending reached $1.1 trillion in the month, more than double the figure for a normal month. Tax revenue was essentially flat, partly because the Treasury Department pushed back the filing deadline from April to July. The deficit for the first nine months of the current fiscal year has now ballooned to $2.7 trillion, including $2 trillion from April to June. Economists said the spending was necessary. "Big government deficits are the only thing keeping the U.S. economy on life support," said Nathan Tankus, research director at the Modern Money Network.

The Washington Post

4. RTW Retailwinds files for bankruptcy protection

RTW Retailwinds on Monday became the latest retailer to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as the coronavirus pandemic wipes out sales. The 102-year-old women's fashion firm said it would close some of its nearly 400 stores. The company also owns Fashion to Figure and Kate Hudson's fashion line, Happy x Nature. The pandemic and an already difficult environment for fashion retailers created "significant financial distress on our business," said Sheamus Toal, the chief executive of RTW. Several other retail chains that depend heavily or entirely on clothing sales, including J. Crew, Neiman Marcus, and J.C. Penney, already have sought bankruptcy protection.

The Washington Post

5. Stock futures edge higher ahead of bank earnings

U.S. stock index futures rose early Tuesday ahead of earnings reports from the nation's biggest banks. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500, and the Nasdaq were up by just over 0.3 percent. The Dow closed down by 10 points on Monday after rising by as much as 500 points during the day. The S&P 500 lost nearly 1 percent, giving back a 1 percent gain that briefly put the index in positive territory for the year. The tech-heavy Nasdaq closed 2.1 percent lower on Monday, dragged down by losses for Netflix, Microsoft, Amazon, and Facebook. "I think what we're seeing here is the ongoing push-pull between the rising cases of coronavirus versus the states reopening the economies," Susan Schmidt, head of U.S. equities at Aviva Investors, told CNBC.