U.S. business activity hits record lows amid coronavirus lockdowns
Reuters: U.S. business activity hit new record lows in April as the novel coronavirus severely disrupted manufacturing and services industry production, pushing the economy into uncharted waters. Data firm IHS Markit said on Thursday its flash U.S. Composite Output Index, which tracks the manufacturing and services sectors, plunged to a reading of 27.4 this month. That was lowest since the series began in late-2009 and followed a final reading of 40.9 in March. A reading below 50 indicates a contraction in private sector output.

House will vote on a $484 billion relief plan; McConnell suggests states declare bankruptcy
New York Times: Lawmakers are gathering in Washington today to vote on a $484 billion coronavirus package that would revive a depleted loan program for distressed small businesses and provide funds for hospitals and coronavirus testing. But it will not provide money for state governments, even as governors across the country have had to divert resources to fight the virus while watching their revenue streams fall off a cliff.

– This Iowa family is behind the ‘Reopen’ protests popping up across the country (Des Moines Register)
– Bezos takes back the wheel at Amazon (New York Times
– Oil prices soar as traders prepare for wild ride to continue (Wall Street Journal)