Coronavirus live updates: The Masters is postponed, Buffett moves shareholder meeting online

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 135,000, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
  • Global deaths: At least 4,977, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
  • US cases: At least 1,701, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
  • US deaths: At least 40, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Mexico would consider mechanisms to control the flow of people entering Mexico from the United States in an effort to limit coronavirus, if necessary, deputy health secretary Hugo Lopez-Gatell said on Thursday.

Mexico has so far confirmed 15 cases of coronavirus with no deaths, a fraction of the more than 1,000 cases in the United States, where dozens of people have died. That has led some in Mexico to see contagion from the United States as a threat.

“The possible flow of coronavirus would come from the north to the south. If it were technically necessary, we would consider mechanisms of restriction or stronger surveillance,” Lopez-Gatell told a news conference. “Mexico wouldn’t bring the virus to the United States, rather the United States would bring it here.” —Reuters

President Donald Trump angrily demanded that the Federal Reserve lower a key interest rate in response to the coronavirus crisis, a day after the Fed announced it would make up to a massive $1.5 trillion worth of short-term loans to support credit markets and assure liquidity.

“The Federal Reserve must FINALLY lower the Fed Rate to something comparable to their competitor Central Banks,” Trump wrote in a tweet that called out Fed Chair Jerome Powell by name.

“Jay Powell and group are putting us at a decided economic & physiological disadvantage. Should never have been this way. Also, STIMULATE!” —Dan Mangan

Wall Street is increasingly expecting the Fed to use more firepower next week and take interest rates back to near zero.

Bank of America Global Research said it now expects a reduction of 1 percentage point from the fed funds target range, currently at 1% to 1.25% after the March 3 emergency rate cut. The firm based its call on its new view that the economy will see negative growth and be on the brink of recession in the coming months.

Goldman Sachs on Thursday issued its own call for a 1 percentage point cut.

“In light of the continued growth in coronavirus cases in the US and globally, the sharp further tightening in financial conditions, and rising risks to the economic outlook, we now expect the FOMC to cut the funds rate 100bp on March 18, a faster return to the crisis-era 0-0.25% rate than under our previous call for two 50bp steps in March and April,” Goldman economists wrote. —Patti Domm

The 2020 Masters golf tournament has been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak, Augusta National Golf Club chairman Fred Ridley announced on Friday.

“Considering the latest information and expert analysis, we have decided at this time to postpone the Masters Tournament, the Augusta National Women’s Amateur and the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals,” Ridley said in a statement.

The announcement of suspending the PGA Tour’s first major event is the latest blow to the sports world that suffered massive suspensions and cancellations due to the coronavirus outbreak. —Jabari Young


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