Starbucks China sales drop, US coronavirus cases jump to 197

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  • Global cases: More than 97,800, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
  • Global deaths: At least 3,347, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
  • US cases: At least 197, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
  • US deaths: At least 12, according to the CDC and state health officials.

All times below are in Eastern time. 

Ebay said it would block new listings and begin to remove listings for face respirator masks, hand sanitizer/gel and disinfecting wipes because of regulatory restrictions in the U.S. Ebay’s mask ban includes N95/N100 and surgical masks.

“We will continue to monitor the evolving situation and quickly remove any listing that mentions COVID-19, coronavirus, 2019nCoV (except books) in the title or description,” the company said in a statement. — Miller

Millennials are being called the “worried” generation and are changing their spending habits more than others amid the new coronavirus outbreak, a new study shows.

Fifty-four percent of millennials say the new coronavirus has already significantly or somewhat impacted their purchase decisions, First Insight found in surveying 500 people on Feb. 28. That’s compared with 33% of baby boomers, 42% of Gen X, and 49% of Gen Z, it said.”

Generally, everyone is concerned about it, everyone believes there will be a financial impact,” First Insight CEO Greg Petro told CNBC. “But millennials’ behavior is changing more dramatically than any other generation. Members of this generation were children when 9/11 happened. And many of them were trying to get jobs in 2008, in the midst of the Great Recession, he said. —Thomas

Costco reported stronger sales than analysts were expecting Thursday, thanks, in part, to a boost the company received from consumers stocking up at its stores to prepare for a more widespread outbreak of a new coronavirus.

“February sales benefited from an uptick in consumer demand in the fourth week of the reporting period,” the company said. “We attribute this to concerns over the coronavirus.”

Costco said the impact boosted its monthly same-store sales for February by roughly 3%. For the month ended March 1, same-store sales were up 12.1%. —Thomas

 In January, with cafes across China closing, Starbucks predicted a big blow to its fiscal second-quarter earnings.

In an SEC filing, Starbucks warned its same-store sales in China during the quarter are likely to be down 50%. For the entire fiscal year, the shuttered stores will cut revenue by between $400 million and $430 million. However, more than 90% of the company’s stores in China, where the outbreak began, are open again.

“In short, we see encouraging signs of recovery in China, our U.S. business momentum continues, and we are prepared to respond to implications of COVID-19 in every market around the world,” Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson said. —Higgins-Dunn


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