• US stocks kicked the week off higher today.Investors are focusing on the onslaught of earnings in the week ahead, including big names like Amazon, Google and Microsoft. Meanwhile, oil prices are dropping again as the lack of storage capacity that drove down prices last week continues to weigh on the commodity. The Dow opened up 0.5%, or 126 points. The S&P 500 climbed 0.7%. The Nasdaq Composite rose 0.9%.
  • The Trump administration could issue as early as this week a new set of guidelines on opening specific types of businesses as President Trump looks to revive the US economy, people familiar with the matter say. The new guidelines would provide more detailed recommendations on how to reopen restaurants, child care centers, camps, public transportation and places of worship, with a focus on keeping people spaced apart and hygiene practices ramped up to prevent the coronavirus from re-spreading.
  • Theaters and dine-in restaurants in Georgia are allowed reopen today, even though the statewide shelter-in-place order doesn’t expire until the end of the month. This is the second wave of business reopenings in the state. On Friday, Republican Gov. Brian Kemp allowed gyms, barber shops, hair salons, tattoo parlors and bowling alleys to reopen their doors.
  • Tyson Foods is warning that “millions of pounds of meat” will disappear from the supply chain as the coronavirus pandemic pushes food processing plants to close, leading to product shortages in grocery stores across the country.  Tyson Foods, which employs roughly 100,000 workers, closed its pork plants in Waterloo, Iowa, and Logansport, Indiana, last week so that workers in those facilities could be tested for the virus.
  • Daily coronavirus cases and growth rates in the commonwealth are still slowly rising and hospitalizations are flat. However, the state needs 14 days of downward numbers and more personal protective equipment before entering phase one of the plan. Northam said that could come in two weeks. His executive order extending non-essential business closures is set to expire May 8, 2020.
  • The plan to reopen Virginia’s badly suffering economy came into focus Friday afternoon, with Northam announcing his “Forward Virginia Blueprint.” Reopening the state is tied directly to testing for COVID-19, so the state is working to expand the number of testing labs that can process in a day.

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