The outbreak of the coronavirus has dealt a shock to the global economy with unprecedented speed. Following are developments Tuesday related to national and global response, the work place and the spread of the virus.
— The New York Stock Exchange reopened the trading floor Tuesday, though with plexiglass shields and far fewer traders.
— U.S. restaurant traffic is starting to return as states push to get back to normal. Customer transactions at major restaurant chains fell 21% from a year ago for the week ending May 17, but it was the fifth consecutive week in which that gap narrowed, according to The NPD Group, a data and consulting firm. About 93,000 U.S. chain restaurant locations reopened between May 10 and May 17.
Transactions at full-service chains like Applebee’s and Olive Garden declined 49% from a year ago — or 33% in states where dining rooms reopened — compared with a 58% decline the prior week. Transactions at fast food chains fell 20% the week of May 17, a slight improvement from a week earlier.
— Office furniture maker Steelcase has called back most employees from furlough. All of the company's manufacturing and distribution locations are open. Many office and showroom locations are also beginning to reopen, although some remain restricted under stay-at-home orders. Steelcase's backlog of customer orders was about $700 million as of May 1. The company expects to manufacture and ship most of its current backlog by the end of July.
TRAVEL & LEISURE: When markets opened, some of the biggest gainers were airlines, hotels, restaurants and cruise lines. People are betting on the return to more normal rates of travel and a resumption of all things leisure. But as a reminder of the damage done to the industry, Latam Airlines, South America’s biggest carrier, sought U.S. bankruptcy protection Tuesday.