1. Dow shoots higher on new Fed pledge
A pedestrian passes by the New York Stock Exchange ,NYSE, in New York, the United States, March 17, 2020.
Michael Nagle | Xinhua News Agency | Getty Images
U.S. stock futures turned strongly positive Monday morning after the Federal Reserve pledged asset purchases with no limit to support markets. Dow futures hit their 5% “limit down” overnight, and were off 600-points at one stage Monday morning, as a massive coronavirus funding package failed a key Senate procedural vote Sunday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average tanked another 900 points or 4.5% on Friday, bringing the weekly decline to over 17% for the worst week since the 2008 financial crisis. Ahead of Monday’s session, the Dow was off more than 35% from last month’s record highs. The New York Stock Exchange’s trading floor will be close starting Monday. The NYSE will go to fully electronic trading. The 10-year Treasury yield, which popped back above 1% last week, was below that level early Monday.
2. Democrats block coronavirus bill over lack of worker protections
WASHINGTON, D.C. – APRIL 20, 2018: The United States Capitol in Washington, D.C., often called the Capitol Building, is the home of the United State Congress and the seat of the legislative branch of the U.S. federal govermnent. (Photo by Robert Alexander/Getty Images)
Top-level White House and congressional negotiators burned the midnight oil over the now-nearly $2 trillion coronavirus rescue package. Democrats blocked the bill in Sunday’s vote, saying it did too much to bail out companies and not enough to help workers. Several GOP senators, including Rand Paul, who tested positive for the coronavirus, were not present to vote. Others, such as Mitt Romney, were in quarantine as a precaution. The Federal Reserve and Treasury are working on financing programs that could be worth $4 trillion. Goldman Sachs upgraded shares of Boeing, which is hoping for a bailout. Boeing stock has dropped 80% from recent highs on the dual crises of the outbreak and the grounding of its 737 Max.
3. Trump activates National Guard in three states
US President Donald Trump (C), flanked by US Vice President Mike Pence (2nd L), and other members of the coronavirus task force, speaks during the daily briefing on the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, at the White House on March 22, 2020, in Washington, DC.
Eric Baradat | AFP | Getty Images
The United States has the third most coronavirus cases in the world, with over 35,000 and 471 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. More than half the U.S. cases are in New York, where the death toll increased to 153. Washington state has the second-most cases, with nearly 2,000 confirmed and 95 deaths. New Jersey, California and Illinois round out the top five states. President Donald Trump on Sunday activated the National Guard in New York, Washington state and California in order to combat the spread of the coronavirus. New York plans to run a clinical trial, beginning Tuesday, of a treatment regimen of antimalarial hydroxychloroquine and antibiotic azithromycin, a drug cocktail that has shown promise in fighting the coronavirus.
4. Italy’s death toll spikes to over 5,400 as Germany’s chancellor goes into quarantine
Global coronavirus cases topped 343,000, with 14,789 deaths and over 98,800 recoveries. China, where the outbreak started in December, still has the most cases at over 81,400. China’s 3,274 deaths are second to Italy’s 5,476 deaths. Italy is second in total cases at over 59,100. The U.S., Spain and Germany round out the top five countries. German Chancellor Angela Merkel went into quarantine over the weekend after contact with a doctor who tested positive for the virus. The German government is set to unveil major stimulus measures. Pressure mounts to cancel the Tokyo summer Olympics, set to begin at the end of July. Canada said it won’t send teams to compete. Local media reports indicate that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is considering a delay.
5. Cisco commits nearly a quarter-billion dollars to assist in prevention
Cisco Systems is committing $225 million to assist in efforts aimed at combating the coronavirus while the rest of Silicon Valley also initiates an investment blitz. 3M said it will supply New York and Seattle with a half-million N95 respirator masks to address the ongoing shortage of health-care equipment. Merck said it will supply New York City with a half-million masks. Chinese billionaire and Alibaba founder Jack Ma sent to Africa 5.4 million face masks, over 1 million testing kits, 40,000 sets of protective clothing and 60,000 protective face shields. BlackRock is committing $50 million in outbreak relief.
— The Associated Press contributed to this report.