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All times below are in Eastern time.
- Global cases: More than 591,802
- Global deaths: At least 26,996
- US cases: At least 101,657
- US deaths: At least 1,581
The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
7: 26 pm: SF secures 300 hotel rooms for self-quarantine, will open new shelter at convention center
San Francisco Mayor London Breed on Friday announced that the city had secured 300 hotel rooms for the purpose of self-isolating people who have tested positive for COVID-19.
The city also will open a new shelter at its Moscone West convention facility. The 300 leased hotel rooms will be used to quarantine seniors, homeless people, first responders and health care workers who have tested positive for the coronavirus or under investigation for the illness and need to be isolated.
The city is also in the process of finalizing leases for an additional 3,000 hotel rooms next week, according to the office of the mayor. The new shelter at the Moscone West convention center will allow the city to house more vulnerable populations who are required to practice social distancing.
The shelter will allow the city to relocate some people from other shelters. Moscone West is typically used to house company conventions, such as the Worldwide Developers Conference where Apple has previously announced many of its iPhone and Mac products. “At a time when we’re encouraging everyone who can to stay home and stay six feet apart when they do go out, it’s important that our shelters and navigation centers also have the space to follow the public health requirements,” Breed said in a statement. —Salvador Rodroguez
7:09 pm: Nike learned a lesson in China: Some want to sweat away their coronavirus stress
Nike has a variety of mobile apps for fitness, including Nike Run Club.
Nike‘s stores might be temporarily shut due to COVID-19, but the sportswear giant is getting more people to sweat during stressful times. With many gyms like Equinox shut down, people are turning to its apps, and that is helping boost its e-commerce business.
Nike has made the premium version of its Nike Training Club app, which offers virtual workouts like a 43-minute upper body strength routine, or a 23-minute core strength yoga course, free to all U.S. consumers. It made the switch last weekend, when it started promoting a new ad campaign telling people to “Play Inside and Play for the World,” amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
In the U.S., Nike has since seen a more than 100% increase in weekly active users of its NTC app, Heidi O’Neill, the president of Nike’s Consumer and Marketplace division said. And in China, where the virus originated, Nike saw an 80% increase in NTC workouts in the latest quarter. —Lauren Thomas
7:03 pm: Trump says he told Pence not to call governors who aren’t ‘appreciative’ of White House coronavirus efforts
President Donald Trump said Friday that he instructed Vice President Mike Pence not to reach out to governors who aren’t “appreciative” of his administration’s efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus in their states.
“If they don’t treat you right, I don’t call,” Trump said of those state leaders.
“I think they should be appreciative. Because you know what? When they’re not appreciative to me, they’re not appreciative to the Army Corps of Engineers, they’re not appreciative to FEMA. It’s not right,” Trump told reporters at a daily press briefing at the White House.
The president mentioned Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, both Democrats who have been critical of the White House’s actions to combat the deadly pandemic. —Kevin Breuninger, Christina Wilkie
6:56 pm: Fiorina criticizes coronavirus relief bill, says large companies haven’t ‘earned’ help
Former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina criticized the coronavirus relief package passed by Congress and signed by President Donald Trump on Friday, saying that the bill was too generous to large companies.
“It’s the $500 billion of corporate bailout that I object to. I think it is not taxpayer money well spent, and I don’t think the companies have earned it, and they have vast resources at their disposal through some of the backstops and extraordinary measures that the Federal Reserve has taken,” Fiorina said Friday on CNBC’s “Closing Bell.” —Jesse Pound
6:51 pm: Airbnb freezes hiring and suspends marketing due to coronavirus
Airbnb will institute a hiring freeze and suspend its marketing as the company adjusts to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on its business, a person familiar with the matter told CNBC.
The company’s founders will also be taking on no salary and its executives will take a 50% salary reduction for the next six months. Additionally, employees have been told that it is unlikely that they will get their 2020 bonus. The hiring freeze will impact all roles with the exception of a very small number of critical positions, according to the person, who asked to remain anonymous discussing internal matters.
It’s a dramatic turn of events for Airbnb, which was poised to be the hottest tech IPO (or direct listing) of the year until the COVID-19 crisis struck the U.S. last month. —Sal Rodriguez
6:46 pm: As retailers extend store closures past the two-week mark, tougher decisions need to be made
March 27 was the day that many retailers set roughly two weeks ago as the marker for how long they planned to temporarily keep their shops closed. But as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise, nothing is opening back up again.
For some, this might not come as a surprise. Many of these companies likely set the initial end-of-the-month date because they knew they could at least pay workers for two-weeks time, verbally committing to do so, and they had already paid their landlords March rent.
Now, heading into April, we are in uncharted territory. Where the industry goes from here will depend on many factors as the announcements from a number of retailers illustrate. —Lauren Thomas
6:40 pm: Inside the Navy’s hospital ships helping to ease the surge of coronavirus patients
Sailors perform a surgical procedure in an operating room aboard the hospital ship USNS Comfort.
Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Danny Ray Nunez Jr. | US Navy
6:20 pm: Gov. Cuomo, the National Guard and FEMA transform the Javits Center into a hospital
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announces plans to convert the Jacob Javits Center on Manhattans West Side into a field hospital as Coronavirus cases continue to rise on March 23, 2020 in New York.
Bryan R. Smith | AFP | Getty Images
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday that the construction of a temporary hospital at the Jacob K. Javits Center had been completed with the help of FEMA and the National Guard. The New York City convention center, which usually hosts events like New York Comic Con, is now home to 1,000 hospital beds that will be used to handle patient overflow caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The temporary hospital at the Javits Center in Manhattan is just the first of several that will be built in New York. Cuomo plans to have a temporary hospital in each of New York City’s five boroughs as well as in Westchester, Rockland, Nassau and Suffolk counties. –Hannah Miller, Adam Jeffery
5:45: US coronavirus cases top 100,000, doubling in three days
Confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. surpassed 100,000 Friday, doubling in just three days as the pandemic accelerates and the U.S. rolls out broader testing measures.
Data from Johns Hopkins University showed the total number of coronavirus cases as 101,707 and the total number of deaths in the U.S. as 1,544.
The virus emerged in Wuhan, China, in December. It has since spread to more than half a million people in almost every country around the world and continues to pick up speed, the World Health Organization warned earlier this week.
“The pandemic is accelerating,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Monday at a press briefing from the organization’s Geneva headquarters. “It took 67 days from the first reported case to reach 100,000 cases, 11 days for second 100,000 cases, and just four days for the third 100,000 cases.” –William Feuer
5:30 pm: North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper orders residents to stay at home order
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper issued a stay-at-home order Friday and closed the state’s nonessential businesses in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The order goes into effect 5:00 pm Monday, but Cooper urged residents to begin staying at home immediately.
“It’s what we have to do to save lives,” he said at a press briefing Friday.
Residents will still be able to leave for essential reasons, including to get food or medicine, according to Cooper. People will also be able to leave their homes for outdoor exercise or to help others.
North Carolina has 763 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and has had three deaths from the virus, according to data compiled by the state’s Department of Health and Human Services. –Hannah Miller
5 pm: Trump signs $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill as the US tries to prevent economic devastation
President Donald Trump signed a $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill on Friday, as Washington tries to blunt economic destruction from the pandemic ripping through the United States.
The House earlier passed the stimulus package, believed to be the largest in U.S. history, by voice vote, which simply measures if more lawmakers shout for “aye” or “nay” on whether to support it. The chamber scrambled Friday to block an effort to delay its passage. —Jacob Pramuk
4:30 pm: California suspends eviction orders for those financially impacted by coronavirus
Medical personnel from Riverside (CA) University Health Systems hospitals administer a Coronavirus Test to an individual during drive-through testing in the parking lot of Diamond Stadium.
Photo by Bob Riha, Jr./Getty Images
California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an executive order banning the enforcement of eviction orders for renters affected by the coronavirus through May 31. The order is effective immediately, providing relief to tenants who have rent due April 1.
Landlords are prohibited from evicting tenants for nonpayment of rent and the enforcement of evictions by courts or law enforcement is also banned, according to a statement from the governor’s office.
Tenants must declare in writing no more than seven days after their rent’s due date that they cannot pay all or part of their rent because of COVID-19. Reasons for lack of payment could include being sick from the coronavirus, caring for someone who is sick, experiencing a layoff or needing to miss work to care for a child, among other circumstances. Tenants remain obligated to repay full rent in a timely manner and could still face eviction after the enforcement moratorium is lifted. They must provide documentation that verifies their financial status changed because of the virus. –Hannah Miller
4:15 pm: SeaWorld furloughs nearly all of its employees
SeaWorld has temporarily furloughed more than 90% of its employees as of April 1, according to an SEC filing. Furloughed employees will not be paid after March 31 and will be eligible for unemployment subject to local regulations. “The furlough period is uncertain at this time due to the temporary park closures and will be reassessed as business conditions dictate,” the filing said. SeaWorld said earlier this month that it initially planned to close all of its parks until the end of March. —Hannah Miller
4 pm: Trump orders General Motors to make ventilators under Defense Production Act
President Donald Trump has ordered General Motors to make ventilators under the Defense Production Act hours after criticizing the company for not acting quickly enough to produce the supplies amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Korean War-era statute can force certain American companies to produce materials that are in short supply in the face of the growing outbreak.
The order comes hours after GM announced plans to build critical-care ventilators with Ventec Life Systems at one of the automaker’s components plants in Indiana. —Michael Wayland
3:45 pm: Disneyland and Disney World to stay closed
Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort will remain closed until further notice, according to an announcement from the Walt Disney Company. Hourly employees of the parks as well as resort cast members will continue to be paid through April 18, the company said.
Universal Orlando Resort previously extended its closure until April 19. After shutting down on March 16, the theme park originally planned to stay closed until the end of March. —Hannah Miller
3:30: San Francisco’s early restrictions seem to be helping hospitals avoid coronavirus overload — so far
In San Francisco, once feared to be a hotbed for the coronavirus, doctors are not yet seeing the dire overcrowding of hospitals that other areas like New York are are experiencing.
“I was on campus today, and it’s actually quite mellow,” said Dr. Bob Watcher, UC San Francisco’s Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine told CNBC on Thursday. “Because we’re not doing elective procedures that can be pushed back, it’s even quieter than usual.”
For now, UCSF clinicians are managing a steady trickle of patients entering into the emergency rooms with COVID-19 symptoms. while still bracing for a possible flood. As of Friday, San Francisco has 279 confirmed cases and the city saw its largest increase of COVID-19 diagnoses on Thursday. California now has more than 4,000 known COVID-19 cases. —Christina Farr
3:23 pm: Dow pares some losses, down 400 points
Major stock indexes pared some losses in late trading. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 400 points, or 1.7%, after falling as much as 1,000 earlier in the session. The S&P 500 slid 1.2% while the Nasdaq Composite traded 1.6% lower. —Fred Imbert
3:06 pm: Walmart, Kroger have already hired thousands of new employees
Thousands of new Walmart and Kroger employees are already restocking shelves, checking out customers and working at distribution centers across the country.
Kroger is the parent company of grocery chains, including Fred Meyer and Harris Teeter. It has hired more than 23,500 employees so far, and it plans to hire an additional 20,000 for its stores, manufacturing plants and distribution centers in the coming weeks, according to a company news release.
Walmart hired 25,000 employees in less than a week, after it announced plans to add a total of 150,000 part-time and full-time workers through the end of May.
The major U.S. grocers have some of the most aggressive plans to staff up as boxes of pasta, canned goods, toilet paper and other essential items continue to fly off shelves during the coronavirus pandemic. They’ve expedited hiring and received numerous applications from people laid off or fuloughed by restaurants, hotels or other hard-hit industries. —Melissa Repko
2:50 pm: Four dead on Carnival cruise ship amid new coronavirus outbreak aboard
Four passengers died aboard Holland America’s “Zaandam” cruise ship and two people on board tested positive for the coronavirus, the company said.
The company, which is owned by parent Carnival Corp., did not say how many passengers and crew were tested, but said 53 passengers and 85 crew members are exhibiting symptoms consistent with the coronavirus. There are more than 1,800 people aboard the ship, the company said, adding that four doctors and four nurses are also onboard.
The company said in a statement that “four older guests have passed away on Zaandam,” but did not specify whether they died of COVID-19. “No one has been off the ship since March 14 in Punta Arenas, Chile.” —Will Feuer
2:40 pm: France reports new spike in deaths
Members of the Charitable Brotherhood of Saint-Eloi de Bethune, each wearing a face mask, carry a coffin towards a grave, at Pierrette cemetery in Bethune, on March 27, 2020, as the country is under lockdown to stop the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus.
Denis Charlet | AFP | Getty Images
French health authorities reported 299 new deaths from coronavirus, taking the total to 1,995, as the government has decided to extend by two weeks the national lockdown, now due to end on April 15 at the earliest.
The climb in the number of deaths represents a daily rise of 18%, a less-marked increase from the previous day.
During a press conference, health agency director Jerome Salomon added that the number of cases had risen to 32,964, a rise of 13% in 24 hours. —Reuters
2:11 pm: GM to start producing critical-care ventilators
GM and Washington-based Ventec said officials are “working around the clock to meet the urgent need for more ventilators,” citing efforts to begin production at the Kokomo plant “already underway.” GM, according to a release, is donating its resources at cost. —Michael Wayland
1:45 pm: Italy tops 9,000 deaths, overtakes China in cases
A view shows some of 35 coffins of deceased people stored in a warehouse in Ponte San Pietro, near Bergamo, Lombardy, on March 26, 2020 prior to be transported in another region to be cremated, during the country’s lockdown following the COVID-19 new coronavirus pandemic.
Piero Cruciatti | AFP | Getty Images
Italy recorded 919 new deaths from coronavirus, the highest daily toll anywhere in the world, while the number of confirmed cases eclipsed the total in China where the virus first emerged.
Italy was the first Western country to introduce severe restrictions on movement after uncovering the outbreak five weeks ago. It has tightened them week by week, banning all non-essential activities until at least next Friday.
Only the United States has now recorded more cases, while Italy has suffered almost twice as many deaths as any other nation. —Reuters
1:30 pm: House passes $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill
US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (C) and Representatives Kevin McCarthy (L) and Steny Hoyer show the bill to the press after the House passed a $2 trillion stimulus bill, on March 27, 2020, at the US Capitol in Washington, DC
Alex Edelman | AFP | Getty Images
The House passed a $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill, sending the unprecedented measure to President Donald Trump’s desk after a scramble to block efforts to delay its passage.
The plan, which includes one-time payments to individuals, strengthened unemployment insurance, additional health-care funding and loans and grants to businesses to deter layoffs, got through the Senate unanimously on Wednesday night. On Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi described the bill “as mitigation” of the disease’s destruction, predicting there would be more plans to aid “recovery.” —Jacob Pramuk
1:23 pm: Google is offering $340 million in free ads for small businesses as part of coronavirus help package
As part of the package, the company is also donating the following:
- A $200 million investment fund that will help NGOs and financial institutions provide small businesses with capital
- $250 million in advertising grants to help the World Health Organization and government agencies offer information on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19
- $20 million in Google Cloud credits for academic institutions and researchers
- Unspecified financial support to help increase production capacity for life-saving equipment, including face masks and ventilators. —Jennifer Elias
1:11 pm: Coronavirus relief bill gives small businesses more time to cover payroll taxes
Small businesses facing payroll tax payments are likely to get some relief from Congress – the option of deferring payment to Uncle Sam until next year.
In particular, the pending $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill will permit small businesses to defer their share of Social Security payroll taxes in 2020. Payroll taxes are shared by workers and their employers, so that each pays 6.2% toward Social Security and 1.45% toward Medicare.
Sole proprietorships would also qualify. —Darla Mercado
1:04 pm: Cramer sees oil plummeting below $20 per barrel on dual coronavirus-price war crises
Cramer cited oil prices as something high-frequency, computerized stock market traders are watching.
“I think oil takes out $20,” Cramer said on “Squawk on the Street.” With U.S. oil trading around $21.50 per barrel early Friday, prices would have to fall more than 7% to go below $20. It was down more than 4% late Friday morning.
On March 18, the per-barrel price of West Texas Intermediate crude, the U.S. benchmark, closed just above $20, in an over 24% single-day plunge that was its third-worst session ever. —Kevin Stankiewicz
12:54 pm: WHO officials enroll first patients from Norway and Spain in ‘historic’ coronavirus drug trial
The first patients in a “historic” trial to test treatments for the coronavirus have been enrolled in Norway and Spain, World Health Organization officials announced.
World health officials are testing four of the most promising drugs to fight COVID-19, including malaria medications chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, an antiviral compound called Remdesivir, a combination of HIV drugs Lopinavir and Ritonavir and a combination of those drugs plus interferon-beta. —Will Feuer
12:48 pm: The Fed’s balance sheet just passed $5 trillion for the first time ever due to rescue bill
Though its efforts to keep markets running and boost the economy are just getting into gear, the Federal Reserve’s asset portfolio has reached levels never seen before.
The central bank’s balance sheet, which consists largely of bonds and other assets it has purchased over the years, ballooned to $5.3 trillion for the week ending Wednesday. That’s well above the $4.52 trillion peak it hit in mid-May 2016 before the Fed started rolling off the bonds it had acquired during and after the financial crisis.
This latest peak has occurred in rapid fashion, the result of expansion begun in small steps earlier this year then accelerated with the growth of the coronavirus crisis. —Jeff Cox
12:43 pm: ‘Throw Massie out’ – Trump rages on Twitter after GOP Rep hints he’ll oppose coronavirus stimulus bill
Rep. Thomas Massie, leaves the House Republicans’ caucus meeting in the Capitol on immigration reforms on Thursday morning, June 7, 2018.
Bill Clark | CQ Roll Call | Getty Images
President Donald Trump lashed out at Rep. Thomas Massie, calling him a “third rate Grandstander” after the Kentucky Republican signaled he would oppose a $2 trillion relief bill intended to soften the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
“He just wants the publicity. He can’t stop it, only delay, which is both dangerous & costly,” Trump said of Massie in a series of furious tweets.
Trump said that while Republicans had to “give up some stupid things” through negotiations with Democrats “in order to get the ‘big picture’ done,” the bill was “90% GREAT!”
“WIN BACK HOUSE, but throw Massie out of Republican Party!” Trump added. —Jacob Pramuk, Kevin Breuninger
12:39 pm: Pence says economic fundamentals remain strong despite massive coronavirus impact
Vice President Mike Pence said on Friday that the fundamentals of the U.S. economy remain robust despite the coronavirus pandemic that has tanked markets and led to unprecedented layoffs of millions of Americans.
“While the stock market has ebbed and flowed, and even this week made dramatic moves, President Trump and our entire economic team believe that all the fundamentals continue to be strong,” Pence said on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street.” “And that, as we deal with the coronavirus that this economy will come roaring back once we see our nation through this challenging time.” —Tucker Higgins
12:33 pm: IMF chief Georgieva says the world is in a recession, containment will dictate strength of recovery
International Monetary Fund chief Kristalina Georgieva said that the global economy is now in a recession thanks to COVID-19, but that she’s heartened to see world leaders finally realizing that only coordinated effort will be able to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.
“We have stated that the world is now in recession and that the length and depth of this recession depend on two things: Containing the virus and having an effective, coordinated response to the crisis,” she told CNBC’s Sara Eisen.
“I’m very encouraged by what I see now. I see much clearer understanding [among global leaders] that if we don’t beat it everywhere we won’t be able to get out of it,” she added. —Thomas Franck
12:19 pm: Apple announces COVID-19 website and app in partnership with CDC and the White House
The software was developed in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control, the White House-led Coronavirus Task Force, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The COVID-19 app is available on Apple’s App Store, and there is also a website that can be accessed from Windows or Android phones and computers. —Kif Leswing
12:12 pm: GOP Rep. Massie pledges to delay vote on massive $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill
U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), trailed by reporters, walks to the floor of the House of Representatives in the U.S. Capitol on March 27, 2020 in Washington, DC.
Win McNamee | Getty Images
House members are scrambling back to the Capitol on Friday morning as one member’s opposition to a $2 trillion coronavirus rescue package is set to delay its passage.
With few representatives in Washington this week as the outbreak tears across the country, House leaders hoped to approve the legislation quickly Friday by voice vote — which simply decides whether shouted yeas or nays from members present are louder. But Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., said he plans to force a typical recorded vote, which could hold up passage for hours as the House needs a quorum of 216 representatives present.
In a series of tweets announcing his plan to request a full vote, Massie argued the unprecedented rescue measure spends too much taxpayer money, criticizing Democrats for pushing for changes this week rather than approving an earlier version of the legislation. —Jacob Pramuk
12:08 pm: Bank of America CEO says struggling customers can defer loan payments online with ‘two-clicks’
Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan said that retail customers who are struggling because of the coronavirus pandemic can defer loan payments online with a simple two-click process.
“What we’ve told people is we’ll defer payments,” Moynihan told CNBC’s Jim Cramer. “If you have a cash flow interruption because of your employment and you need to defer your payments for 30, 60, 90 days, call us up.”
The second-largest U.S. bank by assets has had 150,000 requests for payment deferrals since the coronavirus crisis began in earnest in the U.S. this month, Moynihan said. To streamline the process, which can tie up call center lines, the bank is ramping up a way to apply for relief online, he said. —Hugh Son
11:59 am: Trump criticizes GM, CEO Mary Barra for wanting ‘top dollar’ for producing ventilators
President Donald Trump criticized General Motors and its CEO Mary Barra for their response to producing needed ventilators amid the coronavirus pandemic and wanting “top dollar” for such work.
Trump, in a tweet, said, “As usual with ‘this’ General Motors, things just never seem to work out. They said they were going to give us 40,000 much needed Ventilators, ‘very quickly’. Now they are saying it will only be 6000, in late April, and they want top dollar. Always a mess with Mary B. Invoke ‘P’.”
In the initial tweet, the meaning of “Invoke P” wasn’t immediately clear. But Trump followed up with a second tweet saying he was referring to invoking the Defense Production Act that would force companies to produce such equipment. —Michael Wayland, Lauren Hirsch
11:53 am: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo extends school closures as coronavirus cases rise
Paramedics wearing protective equipment carry a stretcher into Elmhurst Hospital Center in the Queens borough of New York, U.S., on Thursday, March 26, 2020.
Angus Mordant | Bloomberg | Getty Images
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo extended school closures across the state by two weeks to April 15 as the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise, he said.
“When you look at the number of cases that’s still increasing, it only makes sense to keep the schools closed,” he said at a press conference.
Cuomo is also calling on hospitals across the state to double their capacity. The state currently has 53,000 hospital beds, but will need 140,000 of them for coronavirus patients over the next three weeks when the outbreak is expected to peak in New York, he said.
“We’re asking hospitals to try to increase capacity 100% … “We’re looking at converting dorms. We’re looking at converting hotels,” he said. —Berkeley Lovelace Jr.
11:47 am: Mnuchin says taxpayers will be ‘compensated’ for airline relief
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said that the coronavirus economic stimulus bill before Congress is not an airline bailout and that taxpayers will be compensated for relief given to companies hobbled by the global pandemic.
At the same time, Mnuchin said in an interview with Fox Business Network that plane-maker Boeing has not requested government help.
“I’ve been very clear this is not an airline bailout,” Mnuchin said. “And that taxpayers need to be compensated for relief they’re giving to airlines.”
U.S. airlines are preparing to tap the government for up to $25 billion in grants to cover payroll in a sharp travel downturn triggered by the coronavirus, even after the government warned it may take stakes in exchange for bailout funds, people familiar with the matter said. —Reuters
11:39 am: ‘This will not be licked by Easter,’ doctor warns in call for two-week US lockdown
President Donald Trump wants the country to “open up,” but a growing number of health experts want a nationwide lockdown to stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
Those experts are saying the United States needs to impose a two-week or longer pause of non-essential activity before federal and state governments can even think about economic and social life starting to return to normal.
Far stricter restrictions on businesses and individuals need to be adopted – and not the loosening of restrictions called for by some, including Trump, the experts say.
“This will not be licked by Easter,” said Dr. Aaron Carroll, a professor of pediatrics at the Indiana University School of Medicine, who is one of the loudest voices calling for a shutdown. —Dan Mangan
11:30 am: America’s department stores can make it as much as 8 months with closed stores, analyst says
A sitting area typically filled with people is virtually empty as a man walks through Herald Square with a protective mask on March 12, 2020 in New York City.
Gary Hershorn | Getty Images
With stores temporarily shut due to the coronavirus pandemic — and a slim-to-zero chance of opening in the near future — America’s department stores are facing a cash crunch.
Department store chains have enough liquidity to make it about five to eight months, with their stores sitting dark, in this coronavirus pandemic, according to an analysis by Cowen & Co. It says that is “better than feared” because the firm does not anticipate the temporary store closures will drag on for that long.
In making these assumptions, Cowen is measuring liquidity as cash plus revolvers, relative to key expenses such as rent, labor and promised dividend payments. Cowen said labor costs are about 10% of annual sales, while rent is about 3%, to give a sense of what some of these expenses look like. —Lauren Thomas
11:18 am: Digital divide of US households without internet
Data from Pew Research Center shows large swaths of the U.S. are trying to cope without a household internet connection while much of the country hunkers down to work and shop from home.
Before coronavirus hit the U.S., about 7% of private-industry workers had access to a flexible workplace benefit, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Those jobs tend to pay well, which helps explain why access to telework varies sharply by income, according to the Pew Research Center.
Lack of internet access has also left millions of households cut off from vital services and information during the pandemic. —Melodie Warner, John Schoen
10:27 am: Real ID deadline gets pushed back due to coronavirus
“The federal, state and local response to the spread of the coronavirus here in the United States necessitates a delay in this deadline,” DHS acting secretary Chad Wolf said in a statement.
States across the country have temporarily closed or restricted access to departments of motor vehicles, which has prevented millions of people from applying for and receiving their new state-issued Real IDs, the statement said.
For now, adults boarding any federally regulated aircraft can continue to use their current driver’s licenses as usual for domestic travel and wait until 2021 to obtain a Real ID-compliant license. —Jessica Dickler
10:21 am: US consumer sentiment falls to lowest level in more than 3 years
Doug Hassebroek shops with a protective mask during the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Brooklyn, New York, March 25, 2020.
Caitlin Ochs | Reuters
U.S. consumer sentiment fell to a three-year low as the coronavirus outbreak ramps up, according to data from the University of Michigan.
The index of consumer sentiment dropped to 89.1 in March — its lowest level since October 2016 — from 101 in February. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected consumer sentiment to fall to 90.
March’s decline in sentiment was the fourth-largest in nearly 50 years, according to Richard Curtin, chief economist for the Surveys of Consumers. —Fred Imbert
9:35 am: Dow tanks more than 800 points following a massive 3-day bounce
Stocks fell sharply, giving back some of the strong gains experienced in the previous three days to cap off another volatile week on Wall Street.
Chevron, Boeing and American Express led the 30-stock Dow lower, sliding more than 5% each. Energy and industrials were the worst-performing sectors in the S&P 500 as they dropped 5.8% and 4.3%, respectively. —Fred Imbert
9:03 am: Billionaire Leon Cooperman: I’m optimistic the stock market has bottomed on coronavirus fears
Billionaire investor Leon Cooperman told CNBC he’s optimistic that the stock market has bottomed on coronavirus fears.
“If I’m right on the virus call, if I’m right and that’s the big ‘if’ … I think the market at the recent low … was close enough to the bottom to be called the bottom,” Cooperman said on “Squawk Box.”
The S&P 500 hit its recent low of 2191.86 on Monday, which was about 35% lower than the index’s last month’s all-time high.
The investor, who made his fortune picking individual stocks, said he sees an S&P range of 2,200 to 2,800 this year. —Kevin Stankiewicz
8:50 am: CEO behind Buffett, Bezos health venture says US ‘death toll curve’ worse than China
The CEO behind the joint health-care venture between JPMorgan, Amazon and Berkshire Hathaway is calling for a national “shelter-in-place” order as deaths from the coronavirus continue to rise in the U.S.
“Our death toll curve is now worse than when China was at the same stage,” Haven CEO Dr. Atul Gawande told CNBC. “We have 12 states with more than 1,500 cases. China had one province,” said Gawande, also a renowned surgeon, author and speaker.
Gawande said health officials are learning from Washington state, where the death toll there appears to be declining. “Shelter in place, which some states are doing,” he said. “We don’t have the others on board. We really need a national shelter in place.” —Berkeley Lovelace
8:29 am: US infections on the rise
8:13 am: Build-A-Bear Workshop and The Cheesecake Factory announce furloughs
Mall staples Build-A-Bear Workshop and The Cheesecake Factory both announced they are furloughing workers. Build-A-Bear plans to furlough more than 90% of its workforce, and The Cheesecake Factory has furloughed 41,000 hourly restaurant workers, according to regulatory filings.
Furloughed employees for both companies will continue to be eligible for employee benefits, including insurance.
Citing the impact of government regulations and landlord decisions to close properties, Cheesecake Factory is not paying rent for the month of April. —Amelia Lucas
8:04 am: Dow futures point to 800-point drop
U.S. stock futures pointed sharply lower following a strong rally sparked by increasing expectations of a massive fiscal stimulus from Congress while investors shook off grim unemployment data.
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures implied an opening drop of about 800 points amid volatile trading. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures also pointed to more than 2% declines at the open. —Fred Imbert
7:20 am: UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson tests positive
Screen grab of Prime Minister Boris Johnson addresses the nation from 10 Downing Street, London, as he placed the UK on lockdown as the Government seeks to stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
PA Video – PA Images
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced he has tested positive for COVID-19. “Over the last 24 hours I have developed mild symptoms and tested positive for coronavirus,” he said on Twitter. “I am now self-isolating, but I will continue to lead the government’s response via video-conference as we fight this virus.”
“The test was carried out in No 10 by NHS staff and the result of the test was positive,” a spokesman for No. 10 Downing Street said in a statement. “In keeping with the guidance, the Prime Minister is self-isolating in Downing Street. —Will Feuer
7:13 am: New York hospitals will run out of medical supplies in a week, former FDA chief says
7:07 am: UK to pay pensions and pensions of furloughed staff
Britain will announce it intends to cover the costs of employer national insurance and pension contributions for businesses furloughing staff, a statement from Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s office said. —Reuters
7:05 am: Norway predicts 2% economic slowdown this year
Norway’s government now predicts its gross domestic product excluding oil will contract by 2% this year as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, a sharper drop than the 1% contraction it expected last week. The forecast is based on the assumption that the urgent situation in Norway and other countries remains for the coming two months, and that growth thereafter gradually returns to the normal, the government said in a white paper. —Reuters
6:59 am: Spain’s death toll spikes by 769 overnight to 4,858
Two workers transport a coffin at La Almudena cemetery on March 26, 2020 in Madrid, Spain. Spain plans to continue its quarantine measures at least through April 11.
Carlos Alvarez | Getty Images
Spain’s death toll rose overnight by 769 cases to 4,858, the health ministry said, the highest number of fatalities recorded in 24 hours for the country. The total number of those infected rose to 64,059 from 56,188 on Thursday. —Reuters
6:10 pm: Hungary announces two-week lockdown
Hungary has become the latest country to announce a two-week lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19. Prime Minister Viktor Orban said via public radio that while citizens must maintain social distancing, they would be able to go to work, shop and take limited exercise outdoors, starting Saturday. Orban said people can still go outside, but they cannot be in a group. Hungarian police will enforce compliance with the rules and apply fines, if needed. —Silvia Amaro
5:37 pm: Iran’s death toll rises to 2,378
The Iranian health ministry reported a total of 2,378 deaths from the virus and 32,332 confirmed cases, according to Reuters. —Silvia Amaro
5:30 am: Italy’s business morale plunged in March
A worker carries out sanitation operations for the Coronavirus emergency in Piazza dei Miracoli near to the Tower of Pisa in a deserted town on March 17, 2020 in Pisa, Italy.
Laura Lezza | Getty Images
Morale among Italian businesses plunged in March as the outbreak dampened economic activity, Reuters reported.
Data by statistics institute ISTAT showed that its composite business morale index — which captures the manufacturing, retail, construction and services sectors — sank to a reading of 81.7 this month from last month’s 97.8. The March reading was the lowest since June 2013, Reuters reported. —Yen Nee Lee
Read CNBC’s coverage from CNBC’s Asia-Pacific and Europe teams overnight here: Russia reports spike in cases; Hungary imposes national lockdown