Global tourism upended; worst-case earnings scenario dodged

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A doorman wearing a face shield and mask to protect from coronavirus stands outside the main entrance of the Fortnum & Mason department store as customers leave carrying shopping bags in the Piccadilly area of central London, Friday, May 22, 2020. The store reopened its food hall department for customers to enter yesterday as part of a phased reopening as the British government is beginning to relax aspects of its nationwide coronavirus lockdown. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

The outbreak of the coronavirus has dealt a shock to the global economy with unprecedented speed. Following are developments Friday related to national and global response, the work place and the spread of the virus.

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SUPPLY DEMANDED: The virus has upended supply chains and shut stores that would typically furnish goods and services.

— Amazon India is filling nearly 50,000 seasonal positions across its fulfillment and delivery networks to keep up with increased demand. The company said in a blog post Friday that the jobs will include part-time flexible work opportunities as independent contractors with Amazon Flex.

— Bed Bath & Beyond plans to reopen about 600 additional stores within three weeks and bring back 11,000 furloughed workers. The vast majority will be Bed Bath & Beyond locations, but it's also opening dozens of its Christmas Tree Shop stores and Cost Plus World Market stores. Its buybuy BABY and Harmon Face Values stores have remained open because to provide essential goods.

EARNINGS SEASON: The worst was expected this season and must Wall Street analysts believe the majority of companies at least dodged that. But 40% of all S&P 500 pulled all financial guidance for the year due to the chaos of a pandemic.

— Deere CEO John May said the virus has created a lot of uncertainty and the company expects global sales of its agriculture equipment to fall between 10% and 15% this year, and for construction and forestry equipment to fall as much as 40%. The company on Friday reported that revenue fell 18%, and profits tumbled 41% in its most recent quarter. Both were better than expected.

— Foot Locker's comparable-store sales plunged 42.8% in the quarter and its loss of $98 million far exceeded all projections. The footwear chain suspended its dividend for this quarter, cut its capital expenditure expectations in half, slashed salaries, and also deferred executive compensation for top executives.