US workers file 2.4 million jobless claims as crisis total tops 38 million

Iran oil shipment: Venezuelan military to escort fuel tankers

Venezuela says its military will escort five Iranian tankers, bringing oil to ease severe shortages.

A new standoff could be brewing between the United States, Iran and Venezuela over a shipment of millions of dollars of fuel.

Five Iranian oil tankers are just days away from arriving in Venezuela to help ease fuel shortages there.

Venezuela’s own oil refining industry collapsed; critics say that was because of underinvestment and mismanagement.

Al Jazeera’s Alexi O’Brien reports.

Beijing to unveil plans for national security laws in Hong Kong: report

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Beijing will announce a resolution for national security legislation in Hong Kong, proscribing secession, foreign interference and terrorism, the South China Morning Post newspaper reported on Thursday, citing unnamed sources.

The draft resolution will presented as a motion to National People’s Congress on Friday, the report said, adding that the new legislation would ban all seditious activities aimed at toppling the central government and any external interference in Hong Kong.

Best Buy Not Providing Outlook; Declared Dividend – Quick Facts

While reporting financial results for the first quarter on Thursday, electronics retailer Best Buy Co., Inc. (BBY) said it is not providing any financial guidance now as it had suspended all financial guidance for the full-year 2021 on March 21, due to the uncertainty related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The company also announced its board of directors has authorized the payment of a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.55 per common share, payable on July 2, 2020, to shareholders of record as of the close of business on June 11, 2020.

As previously communicated, the company suspended all share repurchases as of March 21, 2020.

Gold Retreats On Hopes Of Economic Recovery

Gold prices fell about 1 percent on Thursday as easing of lockdowns and the possibility of a coronavirus vaccine spurred hopes of a swift recovery in global growth.

Spot gold dropped 0.9 percent to $1,732.69 per ounce, while U.S. gold futures were down 1.1 percent at $1,733.20.

All 50 U.S. states have at least partially eased tight restrictions on businesses, despite persistent levels of hospitalizations and/or new coronavirus cases.

There is some optimism as some of the hardest-hit areas, including New York, New Jersey and Washington states are now showing the sharpest declines in new cases and deaths.

Meanwhile, the minutes from the Fed’s latest policy meeting showed that policymakers acknowledged the possibility of further support measures if the economic downturn persists.

The dollar rose ahead of the initial U.S. jobless claims data due later in the day. Economists expect claims to climb by 2.35 million in the week of May 10 to May 16.

Apollo Investment Q4 Results Beat View – Quick Facts

Apollo Investment Corp. (AINV) reported that its fourth-quarter net investment income rose to $38.79 million from $32.55 million in the prior year.

Net investment income per share for the quarter was $0.59 compared to $0.47 prior year. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report earnings of $0.45 per share for the quarter. Analysts’ estimates typically exclude special items.

Loss per share was $2.22 compared to earnings per share of $0.46 in the previous year.

Total investment income for the quarter grew to $71.60 million from $61.41 million in the prior year. Analysts expected revenues of $69.98 million for the quarter.

On May 20, 2020, the company declared a distribution of $0.45 per share, payable on July 8, 2020 to shareholders of record as of June 18, 2020.

EARNINGS SUMMARY: Details of The TJX Companies, Inc. Q1 Earnings Report

Below are the earnings highlights for The TJX Companies, Inc. (TJX):

-Earnings: -$887.49 million in Q1 vs. $700.18 million in the same period last year.
-EPS: -$0.74 in Q1 vs. $0.57 in the same period last year.
-Analysts projected -$0.15 per share
-Revenue: $4.41 billion in Q1 vs. $9.28 billion in the same period last year.

Brady Corp. Withdraws FY20 Outlook Amid COVID-19 – Quick Facts

While reporting financial results for the third quarter on Thursday, identification solutions provider Brady Corp. (BRC) said it is withdrawing its previously communicated financial guidance for the full-year 2020, due to the evolving and uncertain impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

South African central bank cuts lending rate by 50 basis points

JOHANNESBURG, May 21 (Reuters) – South Africa’s central bank cut its main lending rate by 50 basis points (bps) to 3.75% on Thursday, in what Governor Lesetja Kganyago said was a move aimed at shielding the economy from the impact of the new coronavirus.

The reduction comes on top of the 225 bps of rate cuts since March. The country has the highest number of coronavirus infections on the continent, with more than 18,000 identified cases. (Reporting by Mfuneko Toyana and Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo Editing by Alexander Winning)

US workers file 2.4 million jobless claims as crisis total tops 38 million

Another 2.4 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week as the number of workers sidelined by the coronavirus crisis topped 38 million, new federal data show.

That indicates almost a quarter of the US workforce has tried to join the nation’s unemployment rolls in the past nine weeks as the pandemic kneecapped the global economy.

Economists expected the US Department of Labor to report 2.4 million claims for last week. The feds also revised the prior week’s total down to 2.6 million from about 3 million.

While the weekly totals of initial jobless claims has fallen steadily since late March, the seasonally adjusted numbers have remained high as overwhelmed states slogged through large backlogs of applications.

But the number of people filing continued claims for unemployment benefits surged to more than 25 million in the week ending May 9, the feds said, suggesting many workers have not returned to their jobs since being laid off or furloughed amid lockdowns aimed at curbing the coronavirus.

The latest jobless claims were filed in the same week as the feds’ monthly employment survey that will be used to generate the closely watched jobs report for May. April’s survey showed unemployment spiking to a record 14.7 percent as the economy shed more than 20 million jobs, the worst losses since the Great Depression.

With Post wires