Coronavirus live updates: Fed slashes rates, New York governor wants Trump to mobilize the military

This is CNBC’s 24-hour blog covering all the latest news on the coronavirus outbreak. All times below are in Eastern time. This live blog will be updated throughout the day as the news breaks.

  • Global cases: More than 156,000, according to Johns Hopkins University
  • Global deaths: At least 5,833, according to Johns Hopkins University
  • U.S. cases: At least 2,952, according to Johns Hopkins University
  • U.S. deaths: At least 57, according to Johns Hopkins University

The Federal Reserve, saying “the coronavirus outbreak has harmed communities and disrupted economic activity in many countries, including the United States,” cut interest rates to near-zero on Sunday and launched a massive $700 billion quantitative easing program to shelter the economy from the effects of the virus.

Facing highly disrupted financial markets, the Fed also slashed the rate of emergency lending at the discount window for banks by 125 bps to 0.25%, and lengthened the term of loans to 90 days.

The new fed funds rate, used as a benchmark both for short-term lending for financial institutions and as a peg to many consume rates, will now be targeted at 0%-0.25%.  —Steve Liesman

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced the state will close all restaurants and bars starting at 9 p.m. tonight to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Carryout and deliveries will still be allowed, DeWine said. 

Ohio has confirmed 36 cases of coronavirus and 350 people are awaiting test results. —Spencer Kimball

Amazon warned it’s experiencing Prime delivery days and running out of stock of popular household items amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The issues are a result of a “dramatic increase in the rate that people are shopping online,” Amazon said in a blog post that was updated on Saturday. Some popular brands and items in the “household staples” categories were out of stock, while Amazon said some of its “delivery promises are longer than usual.”

“In the short term this is having an impact on how we serve our customers,” Amazon said in the blog post. “We are working around the clock with our selling partners to ensure availability on all of our products, and bring on additional capacity to deliver all of your orders.”

Amazon added a notice to the top of its marketplace this weekend that reads: “Inventory and delivery may be temporarily unavailable due to increased demand. Confirm availability at checkout.” —Annie Palmer

The lobbying group representing some of America’s largest consumer companies sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer urging them to fight global export restrictions on any product used to treat or prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Consumer Brands Association, which represents companies including Lysol-owner Reckitt Benckiser and Clorox, wants Pompeo and Lightizer to determine which products are facing a possible export ban, and what the impact of that ban may be. They also want the leaders to  “take appropriate action” should they determine that any export restriction is in violation of a trade agreement. 

They want them to considering lifting tariffs that may be adding an extra burden to the supply chain. —Lauren Hirsch

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/15/coronavirus-live-updates-nike-closes-all-us-stores-american-airlines-suspends-long-haul-flights.html

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