Georgia Runoffs May Deliver U.S. Fiscal Stimulus Peach

Austrian expects to spend 1.5-2 bln euros to help firms in COVID shutdown

VIENNA, Nov 6 (Reuters) – Austria expects to spend up to about 2 billion euros ($2.4 billion) in aid to replace much of the turnover of companies forced to close during a coronavirus shutdown this month, Finance Minister Gernot Bluemel said on Friday.

“The costs will be roughly between 1.5 and 2 billion euros,” Bluemel told a news conference on the aid, which will provide firms with up to 80% of their sales a year earlier. Restaurants, bars and cafes are closed to all but take-away service until the end of the month. Theatres, gyms and museums are also closed.

Canadian Natural Resources Q3 Profit Tops Estimates – Quick Facts

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (CNQ.TO) reported third quarter adjusted earnings per share of C$0.11 compared to C$1.04, prior year. On average, 12 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report breakeven per share, for the quarter. Analysts’ estimates typically exclude special items.

“In the third quarter, we generated approximately C$1.74 billion in adjusted funds flow and approximately C$467 million in free cash flow, after capital expenditures and dividend payments. In the third quarter we allocated our free cash flow to the balance sheet, contributing to a significant reduction in net debt of approximately C$1.1 billion. Including committed and undrawn credit facilities, cash balances and short-term investments, the company had significant liquidity available at September 30, 2020 of approximately C$4.2 billion,” said Mark Stainthorpe, Canadian Natural’s CFO.

The company said its 2020 capital program is on target to be approximately C$2.7 billion, before acquisitions, while maintaining base production near 2019 levels.

U.S. Pending Home Sales Unexpectedly Pull Back Off Record High In September

Pending home sales unexpectedly pulled back off a record high in the month of September, according to a report released by the National Association of Realtors on Thursday.

NAR said its pending home sales index slumped by 2.2 percent to 130.0 in September after spiking by 8.8 percent to 132.9 in August. The drop came as a surprise to economists, who had expected pending home sales to jump by another 3.4 percent.

Despite the unexpected monthly decrease, pending home sales in September were up by 20.5 percent compared to the same month a year ago.

A pending home sale is one in which a contract was signed but not yet closed. Normally, it takes four to six weeks to close a contracted sale.

“The demand for home buying remains super strong, even with a slight monthly pullback in September, and we’re still likely to end the year with more homes sold overall in 2020 than in 2019,” said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun.

He added, “With persistent low mortgage rates and some degree of a continuing jobs recovery, more contract signings are expected in the near future.”

The unexpected drop in pending home sales came as three of four regional indices recorded decreases in contract activity on a month-over-month basis in September.

Pending home sales fell by 3.2 percent in the Midwest, 3.0 percent in the South and 2.6 percent in the West, while pending home sales in the Northeast rose by 2.0 percent.

United Airlines Offers Free Covid Test On Select Flights

United Airlines to offer free coronavirus testing for passengers, which the carrier expects will improve traffic on its flights.

Initially, the airlines will run a four-week trial, from November 16 to December 11, on passengers flying between London and Newark.

“We firmly believe that testing is a key component of a multi-layered approach to safely opening travel across the globe,” United’s managing director of operations policy and support Aaron McMillan told reporters. “The pilot program will guarantee that essentially everyone on board just tested negative for Covid-19.”

United passengers will be required to arrive at least three hours before the flight to receive the test that produces results within 20 minutes. Passengers who have previously tested negative will also have to undergo the test.

United says those who test negative for coronavirus will be allowed to board the flight. But, those who are positive will be isolated and either refunded or rebooked at a later time.

“It would be a requirement for everyone on board to have that negative test result prior to flight,” said McMillan.

Nevertheless, travelers arriving in the United Kingdom will still be required to observe 14-day quarantine.

“United will share customer feedback of this pilot with governments on both sides of the Atlantic to further demonstrate the effectiveness of these programs as an alternative to mandatory quarantines or duplicative travel restrictions,” said a company news release.

GoPro Q3 Results Top Estimates; Stock Surges

GoPro Inc. (GPRO) reported that its third-quarter net income was $3.31 million or $0.02 per share, compared to a loss of $74.81 million or $0.51 per share in the prior year.

Non-GAAP net income was $31.05 million or $0.20 per share, compared to a loss of $61.27 million or $0.42 per share in the prior year. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report earnings of $0.06 per share. Analysts’ estimates typically exclude special items.

Revenue for the quarter grew to $280.51 million from $131.17 million in the prior year. Analysts expected revenue of $234.5 million for the quarter.

GPRO closed Thursday’s trading at $6.62 up $0.42 or 6.77%. The stock further gained $1.03 or 15.56% in after hours trade.

Georgia Runoffs May Deliver U.S. Fiscal Stimulus Peach

Control of the Senate may not be known until at least Jan. 5, as both Georgia Senate races look likely to head for a runoff. This matters for 2021 U.S. gross domestic product, as it widens a narrow path to a Democratic sweep of Congress and the presidency. Accompanying stimulus, which could top $2 trillion, implies growth above 5% year-over-year, compared toBloomberg Economics’ current baseline of 3.5%.