NYSE trading floor reopens, Gottlieb sees U.S. hospitalizations ticking up

U.S. coronavirus deaths are approaching 100,000, more than double that of any other country, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Across the country, Americans observed Memorial Day weekend with some states reopening beaches and other outdoor areas. Merck, meanwhile, has entered the vaccine race, announcing Tuesday it has teamed up with research nonprofit IAVI to develop a potential candidate. 

This is CNBC’s live blog covering all the latest news on the coronavirus outbreak. This blog will be updated throughout the day as the news breaks. 

  • Global cases: More than 5.5 million
  • Global deaths: At least 346,632
  • U.S. cases: More than 1.6 million
  • U.S. deaths: At least 98,223

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

S&P 500 back above 3,000 for the first time since early March

9:36 am ET — Stocks surged as optimism grew about the reopening of the economy and a potential coronavirus vaccine. The S&P 500 rallied 2.2%, breaking above 3,000 for the first time since March 5. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose around 600 points, or 2.4%. The 30-stock average also traded at levels not seen since early March, jumping above 25,000. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 1.6%. 

Read stock market activity updates from CNBC’s Fred Imbert and Yun Li. —Melodie Warner

Dentists consider investing in UV light products as they reopen

9:30 am ET — As dentist offices reopen, some are considering using ultraviolet light technology to keep their practices clean and to help prevent their patients and staff from getting sick.

Manufacturers of UV light sanitizing equipment are seeing huge increases in business inquiries, particularly from dentists.

“We’re getting calls, emails, hundreds and hundreds, if not thousands of requests on a daily basis,” said Brett Messina, vice president of sales and marketing at Medical Illumination, which makes VidaShield, an air purifier that disinfects using UV light.

Though UV light has been proven effective against other coronaviruses, research is still ongoing regarding its impact on Covid-19. This new technology could also be an expensive investment for dental offices looking to recover profits from shut downs. —Hannah Miller

Memorial Day weekend boosts air travel to 13% of last year’s levels

A sign reminding passengers to stay 6 feet apart is seen at a screening checkpoint at Orlando International Airport. The Transportation Security Administration has rolled out new guidelines for the screening of air passengers designed to decrease the chances that its officers are exposed to the coronavirus.

Paul Hennessy | SOPA Images | Getty Images

9:24 am ET — Air travel reached a more than two-month high over Memorial Day weekend, but carriers have long to go before getting remotely close to last year’s levels as the pandemic keeps a lid on demand.

Memorial Day kicks off the peak travel season of late spring and summer, which is usually the most lucrative time of year for U.S. carriers. More than 1.2 million people passed through checkpoints at U.S. airports from Friday through Monday, according to the Transportation Security Administration, about 13% of the numbers logged a year earlier.

U.S. airlines have slashed service and parked roughly half of their fleets as the virus and shelter-in-place orders devastated demand, but executives say they have turned a corner from the low point hit in April. Airlines are closely watching for a sustained pickup in demand beyond the holiday weekend. —Leslie Josephs

McLaren Group is laying off 25% of its workforce as coronavirus halts races, manufacturing and sales

The 2020 McLaren 600LT Spider

Mack Hogan | CNBC

9:18 am ET — McLaren Group, which owns the Formula 1 team and supercar maker, plans to lay off 1,200 staff as part of a proposed restructuring. Roughly 25% of the luxury car maker’s workforce stands to be affected.

The redundancies will be made across McLaren’s applied, automotive and racing businesses worldwide. Some support and back office roles will also be affected. —Sam Shead

U.K. minister quits over top aide’s lockdown trip

Dominic Cummings, special advisor for Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson, makes a statement at 10 Downing Street, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease in London, Britain, May 25, 2020.

Jonathan Brady/Pool via Reuters

9:08 am ET — A political crisis is brewing in the U.K. after Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s closest aide defied calls to quit over an apparent breach of the country’s coronavirus lockdown rules.

Dominic Cummings defended his decision on Monday to travel 260 miles from London to Durham, northern England, days after the U.K. went into lockdown in March. He said his trip to family in Durham was within the scope of the restrictions because he needed to seek child care in case he and his wife fell ill.

However, his explanation hasn’t convinced everyone. On Tuesday, Scotland Minister Douglas Ross announced he was resigning from the government due to “events over the last few days.” Ross said that, while he accepted that Cummings’ statement on Monday “clarified” his actions, “these were decisions many others felt were not available to them.” —Ryan Browne

Even amid coronavirus crisis, the number of students applying for financial aid drops

9:03 am ET — The coronavirus crisis has made families suddenly feeling less confident about their ability to pay for college next year.

Fewer families have applied for financial aid and only a few more weeks remain until the June 30 deadline to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid for the fall semester.

The FAFSA form is the gateway to all federal money, including loans, work-study and grants.

The number of applications is down 2.8% from last year, with roughly 55,000 fewer high school seniors applying, according to the National College Attainment Network. —Jessica Dickler

NYSE floor reopens two months after shuttering

7:55 am ET — The trading floor at the New York Stock Exchange reopened Tuesday, welcoming back about 80 brokers after a two-month closure. 

Traders entering the floor will be required to take a temperature test and sign a legal document saying they understand the risks of returning. The stock exchange will bar entry to anyone who took public transportation. Read more about the floor’s reopening and traders’ sentiments around returning from CNBC’s Bob Pisani. —Sara Salinas

Hospitalizations tick up after states reopen, former FDA chief says

7:16 am ET — U.S. hospitalizations are on a gradual upswing now that every state has begun to reopen nonessential businesses and ease restrictions, former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb told CNBC. 

“We now see a trend in an uptick in hospitalizations. It’s a small uptick, but it is an uptick and it’s unmistakable and it is probably a result of reopening,” Gottlieb said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “We are going to have to watch it.”

Florida, Georgia, Virginia, Alabama, Maryland, Minnesota and others have all seen an increase in hospitalizations since beginning to reopen, Gottlieb said. He added that the “national trend is a small uptick.” —Will Feuer

Disclosure: Scott Gottlieb is a CNBC contributor and is a member of the boards of Pfizer and biotech company Illumina.

Merck announces plans to develop coronavirus vaccine

7 am ET — Merck announced that it has teamed up with research nonprofit IAVI to develop a potential vaccine against the coronavirus.

The vaccine candidate for Covid-19 is currently in preclinical development, the U.S. drugmaker said in a statement, with clinical studies expected to start later in the year.

If the vaccine is approved, Merck and IAVI said they would work together to make it “accessible and affordable” to people across the globe. Shares of Merck were up more than 3.5% in premarket trading. —Sam Meredith

Global fund for vaccine, drug development raises $10 billion

6:54 am ET — A global fund established to support and accelerate the development of a coronavirus vaccine and effective treatments has raised about $10.4 billion, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said.

The fund was established at a virtual conference on May 4, which the U.S. did not participate in. —Will Feuer

Read CNBC’s previous coronavirus live coverage here: Russia reports record daily rise in deaths; Spain calls for EU border rules

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