1. Dow to bounce after worst day since ‘Black Monday’
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, March 12, 2020.
Brendan McDermid | Reuters
Dow futures, reversing overnight losses, were pointing to about a 1,00-point advance at Friday’s open after Wall Street suffered its worst session since the “Black Monday” stock market crash in 1987. The futures hit limit up, meaning they can’t trade higher than up 5%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Thursday lost over 2,350 points or nearly 10% — pushing further into a bear market. It’s down more than 28% from its Feb. 12 closing high. The S&P 500 tanked 9.5%, joining the Dow in a bear market and officially ending the longest bull market ever. From its financial crisis low on March 9, 2009, to its all-time high close of 3,386 on Feb. 19, the S&P 500 had gained 400%. But since last month’s record, the index lost nearly 27%. A bear market is defined by a decline of at least 20% from recent highs.
2. Fed meets next week with high expectations for rate cut
Goldman Sachs expects the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates a full 1% at next week’s meeting. Such a move would take the key fed funds overnight lending rate to a financial crisis low range of 0%-0.25%. Near-zero rates began in December 2008 and remained there for seven years. On Thursday, stocks briefly pared some of their losses after the Fed said it would take a series of moves to add up to $1.5 trillion into the financial system. Hedge fund billionaire David Tepper told CNBC’s Scott Wapner that the Fed should launch temporary and targeted measures, such as buying mortgages and treasurys, to relieve some of the stress in the markets.
3. From sports to theme parks to Broadway, cancellations mount
Cancellations and declarations of states of emergency have poured in as U.S. coronavirus cases topped 1,700 with 40 deaths. Washington state, New York and California account for 60% of confirmed cases in America. In attempts to halt the spread of the virus at public events, professional sports organizations including the PGA, NBA, NHL, MLB and Major League Soccer suspended action. The NCAA canceled March Madness basketball. Universal and Disney announced theme parks closures. Disney delayed the release of “Mulan.” Broadway is going dark. Global coronavirus cases surpassed 128,300 with 4,720 deaths. More than half of those infected are listed as recovered. In the worst hot spot outside China, where the outbreak started in December, Italy said its cases rose to 15,113, including 1,258 people who have recovered and 1,016 who have died.
4. Trump won’t be tested for coronavirus; Trudeau’s wife gets it
A photo showing a Brazilian government official (r) posing for a photo next to President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence at Mar-A-Lago has tested positive for the 2019 novel coronavirus.
President Donald Trump won’t be tested for coronavirus after meeting with a Brazilian official who tested positive over the weekend. An Australian official with the coronavirus met with Attorney General William Barr and Ivanka Trump. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau‘s wife, Sophie Gregoire, has tested positive. “Following medical advice, she will remain in isolation for the time being,” according to statement from the prime minister’s office. Justin Trudeau is in “good health with no symptoms,” the statement said. Gregoire Trudeau had recently returned from a speaking engagement in London and began exhibiting “mild flu-like symptoms including a low fever” late Wednesday.
5. Biden vs. Sanders on stage Sunday and at the polls Tuesday
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) (L), speaks as former Vice President Joe Biden gestures during the Democratic presidential primary debate at Paris Las Vegas on February 19, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Mario Tama | Getty Images
The Democratic National Committee is moving Sunday’s presidential debate between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders from Arizona to Washington, D.C., because of concerns about the coronavirus. The DNC had already announced the debate would be held without a live audience. The next major nominating contests are on Tuesday, when Arizona, Florida, Illinois and Ohio hold primaries. A win for the former vice president in Florida could be a knockout punch to Sanders. The Vermont senator is now projected to win last week’s California primary. Democrats must win at least 1,991 delegates by the Democratic National Convention in July to secure the nomination. As of Thursday, Biden had won 854 delegates and Sanders had 701.