Coronavirus live updates: Apple and Amazon urge work-from-home, market volatility continues

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. 

All times below are in Eastern time.

  • Global cases: At least 101,587, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
  • Global deaths: At least 3,460, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
  • US cases: At least 245, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
  • US deaths: At least 14, according to the CDC and state health officials.

Investors just witnessed the equity benchmark swinging up or down 2% for five days straight in the face of a coronavirus panic, and Wall Street strategists say get used to it. 

In the index’s history dating back to 1927, this is the first time the S&P 500 had a week of alternating gains and losses of more than 2% from Monday through Thursday, according to Bespoke Investment Group.

“The message to all investors is that they should expect this volatility to continue. This should be considered the new normal going forward,” said Mike Loewengart, managing director of investment strategy at E-Trade. —Li

Amazon and Apple are asking San Francisco-area employees to work from home amid the coronavirus outbreak if they can, company spokespeople confirmed to CNBC.

The update comes one day after Amazon told employees at its Seattle and Bellevue, Washington offices to work from home, and after the Santa Clara Public Health Department, where Apple is based, issued guidance for companies to make it easier to “work in ways that minimize close contact with large numbers of people.” Apple stores in the area remain open. 

Amazon is headquartered in Seattle and has offices in Bellevue, where it employs more than 2,000 people.

Earlier this week, Amazon confirmed that an employee who works in one of its Seattle offices tested positive for COVID-19. Apple has not yet reported any COVID-19 cases among its employees. —Palmer, Leswing

Colombia confirmed its first case of coronavirus on Friday, joining other South American countries which have reported cases of the fast-spreading disease. According to the World Health Organization, the disease has been reported in some 90 countries, leading to about 3,400 deaths. —Reuters

Delivery drivers shouldn’t be eating customers’ fries, but as the number of virus cases rises in the U.S., restaurants are trying even harder to make sure that doesn’t happen. CapitalSpring, a restaurant investment firm with about 4,000 locations nationwide in its portfolio, is deploying tamper-proof packaging for food delivery orders for its restaurants.

Nationwide, restaurants are responding to the outbreak. McDonald’s, Dunkin’ and Starbucks are among the chains stepping up their in-store cleanliness efforts and creating crisis teams. In a time when labor costs have put pressure on profit margins, restaurants are adding more staff or extending hours to ensure that employees can keep up with increased cleaning efforts.

February same-store sales, which grew by 0.3% nationally, did not show a hit from the virus, but consumer fears could mean lower restaurant traffic in March, according to industry tracker Black Box Intelligence. —Lucas 

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/06/coronavirus-latest-updates-outbreak.html

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