Good Monday morning.
Which companies have proven their lasting value during the crisis? The Harris Poll has taken a stab at answering that question, surveying American attitudes about each company’s resolve, integrity, responsiveness and permanence. (See more here.) The top ten:
The poll also shows that while the U.S. economy is reopening, fear is not subsiding. The latest wave of poll results–taken June 6-8–finds 52% of respondents fear they could “die as a result of contracting the virus”–still near record highs. That’s perhaps not surprising, given that seven states are seeing their coronavirus cases rise significantly.
Separately, a poll of IT workers by Xerox shows that an estimated 82% of workers who shifted to work-from-home during the pandemic will have returned to the workplace in 12-18 months’ time. And 56% of those responding say their companies are increasing their technology budgets, both to allow more flexible work and to speed digital transformation.
More news below.
Stocks fells in Asia and Europe today, due to fears over fresh coronavirus outbreaks in China and the U.S. The Nikkei 225 was down 3.5%, the Hang Seng down 2.2% and the ASX 200 also down 2.2%. The Stoxx Europe 600 fell around 2.4% on opening before recovering slightly, and U.S. futures point to an initial drop of around 2.5% this morning, erasing Friday’s gains. Wall Street Journal
BP is writing down the value of its business by between $13 billion and $17.5 billion, due to what it sees as sustained weaker demand for energy, thanks to coronavirus pandemic. BP: “The aftermath of the pandemic will accelerate the pace of transition to a lower carbon economy.” BP said in February that it would become a “net-zero” company by 2050. Fortune
Morgan Stanley still thinks a V-shaped recovery is coming this year. Unlike many other observers, the bank’s economists think the global economic output will be back to pre-pandemic levels by Q4. They wrote: “In our base case, we assume that a second wave of infections will occur by autumn, but that it will be manageable and result in selective lockdowns…In contrast, we assume in our bear case that we re-enter into the strict lockdown measures implemented earlier this year, resulting in a double-dip.” Fortune
Positive coronavirus tests for 17 passengers on a June 11 China Southern Airlines flight marked the first time the country has triggered its “circuit-breaker” flight regulations. As Fortune‘s Naomi Xu Elegant explains: The circuit-breaker rules mandate that all incoming passengers to China must be tested for coronavirus. If five or more passengers on the same flight test positive, that airline will be suspended for one week. If ten or more passengers on one flight test positive, the suspension increases to four weeks. The rules apply to all flights into China, and passengers are tested on arrival.” Fortune
AROUND THE WATER COOLER
The beauty sector is seeing an acceleration in digital transformation due to the pandemic, according to L’Oréal’s chief digital officer Lubomira Rochet, who says: “In ecommerce, we achieved in eight weeks what it would have otherwise taken us three years to do.” Around a fifth of the company’s revenues now come from its own ecommerce operation or platforms such as Amazon and Walmart. Financial Times
Gatwick, the second-largest airport in the vicinity of London, England, reckons it will take three to four years for passenger volume levels to return to those seen last year, CEO Stewart Wingate said today. Big airlines are scaling back their presence at Gatwick due to the crisis—Virgin Atlantic is ending its operations there and British Airways said it may follow suit. CNBC
Paul Whelan, arrested late 2018 in Russia on spying allegations, has been sentenced to a 16 years behind bars. The dishonorably-discharged marine, who subsequently worked as security chief for a U.S. auto parts firm, maintained his innocence, was sentenced today despite protestations from the U.S. about the fairness and transparency of his trial. Deutsche Welle
Given that the coronavirus crisis has “reiterated that we cannot live without plastic,” how best to get plastic recycling efforts back on track? According to Surendra Patawari, chairman of circular-economy firm Gemini Corporation, the solutions lie in education, government help in promoting demand for recycled material, and the proper monitoring of companies’ recycling commitments. Fortune