Italy to extend lockdown, US labor market reels

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This is CNBC’s live blog covering all the latest news on the coronavirus outbreak. All times below are in Eastern time. This blog will be updated throughout the day as the news breaks. 

  • Global cases: More than 219,400
  • Global deaths: At least 8,946
  • US cases: At least 9,159
  • US deaths: At least 150

All data above is provided by Johns Hopkins University.

8:08 am: Stock futures point to more losses

Futures contracts tied to the major U.S. stock indexes pointed to more losses at the open, building on the previous session’s steep losses as the coronavirus crisis rages on.

As of 7:58 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were down more than 500 points, implying an opening loss of more than 400 points. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures also fell.

“Markets are clearly in a state of panic and forced liquidations – but risks remain skewed to the upside and this should become much more apparent once some of the solvency issues are addressed,” Adam Crisafulli, founder of Vital Knowledge, said in a note.  —Fred Imbert, Thomas Franck

7:54 am: One person dies every 10 minutes in Iran

COVID-19 kills one person every 10 minutes in Iran, the health ministry spokesman tweeted, as the death toll in the Middle East’s worst-affected country climbed to 1,284.

“Based on our information, every 10 minutes one person dies from the coronavirus and some 50 people become infected with the virus every hour in Iran,” Kianush Jahanpur tweeted. —Reuters

7:28 am: Spain’s death toll climbs more than 200 overnight

Spain’s health ministry said its national death toll soared by 209 to 767 fatalities from the previous day as the total number of coronavirus cases climbed by a quarter to 17,147. On Wednesday, there were 13,716 cases in Spain. —Reuters

7:25 am: Virus could inflict record-setting damage on the US jobs market

The first wave of bad economic news directly related to the coronavirus crisis is likely to come from the jobs market, and that could be delivered sooner rather than later.

Virtually all of the economic data releases out now cover periods before the COVID-19 spread began to zero in on the U.S.  Some of those reports have hinted at a slowdown heading into the worst of the virus period, but the extent of the damage has been hard to gauge. That will change over the next week or so when the Labor Department releases the tallies for weekly jobless claims. The latest weekly unemployment numbers are expected out at 8:30 a.m. ET Thursday. —Jeff Cox

7:08 am: Italy’s lockdown will be prolonged, prime minister says

The Trevi Fountain is closed for visitors in Rome, Italy on March 10, 2020, within the measures taken following the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.

Baris Seckins | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Italy’s lockdown is set to be extended beyond the current end-date of April 3, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said as its death toll rises at a record rate. Speaking to Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, Conte said measures taken to close schools and universities and to restrict movement throughout Italy would have to be prolonged.

“The total blockade will go on,” Conte said. “The measures taken, both the closure of [public] activities and the ones concerning schools, can only be extended,” he told the paper. —Holly Ellyatt

6:33 am: Europe’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has coronavirus

Michel Barnier, who leads the EU’s Brexit negotiations, has said he has contracted the virus.
Announcing the news on Twitter, he said he was “doing well and in good spirits.” —Holly Ellyatt

6:20 am: Burberry’s sales plunge 80%

Burberry was already closed inside of Macy’s earlier in the week.

Source: Lauren Thomas, CNBC

Luxury brand Burberry said sales in the final weeks of March would plunge by up to 80% as the impact of coronavirus on consumers, already seen in China, has spread to Europe and the U.S. The British brand said like-for-like sales in the final weeks of its financial year to March 28 would be down 70% to 80%, and as a result fourth-quarter sales would be 30% lower, Reuters reported. —Holly Ellyatt

6:14 am: Medtronic says it has increased ventilator production by 40%

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