Coronavirus live updates: Fed slashes rates to shore up economy, US stock futures plunge

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

Stock futures tanked in overnight trading on Sunday, triggering “limit down” levels to reduce panic in markets.

Contracts on the S&P 500 dropped 5%, reaching a “limit down” band made by the CME futures exchange to prevent further losses. No prices can trade below that threshold, only at higher prices than that down 5% limit.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures plunged more than 1,000 points, also triggering the limit down level. The halt occurs during non-U.S. trading hours — that is before the 9:30 a.m. ET open of regular trading.

The brutal sell-off in the futures market came even after the Federal Reserve cut interest rates to near zero in an aggressive bid to save the U.S. economy from the coronavirus fallout. —Yun Li

The Trump administration is leaving “all options” on the table for further travel restrictions, including an outright suspension of domestic air travel, a senior official said Sunday.

Such a drastic measure hasn’t been instated since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, and it would raise questions about U.S. airlines’ chances for survival without government support.

“We continue to look at all options and all options remain on the table,” said Chad Wolf, acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security in a press briefing when asked about the possibility. —Leslie Josephs

Jan Hatzius, Goldman’s chief economist, lowered his first-quarter GDP growth forecast to zero from 0.7%. The economist also sees a 5% contraction in the second quarter.

“We expect US economic activity to contract sharply in the remainder of March and throughout April as virus fears lead consumers and businesses to continue to cut back on spending such as travel, entertainment, and restaurant meals,” Hatzius said in a note to clients Sunday.

The coronavirus has infected more than 156,000 people worldwide, including over 2,900 in the U.S. The rapid spread of the virus has sent stocks tumbling into a bear market, with both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 now trading more than 20% below their record highs set just last month.

“Even with monetary and fiscal policy turning sharply further toward stimulus … these shutdowns and rising public anxiety about the virus are likely to lead to a sharp deterioration in economic activity in the rest of March and throughout April,” Hatzius said. —Fred Imbert, Pippa Stevens

Starting Thursday, Peloton will produce and stream content from its new location, but it will be entirely closed to the public, “until further notice.”

The company, which went public last fall, was scheduled to open a brand new flagship studio on Manhattan’s West Side this coming Thursday but will postpone that and close the current New York studio Sunday.

Peloton will also close its retail showrooms in the U.S. and abroad until March 29. Its online retail business will operate as usual. —Diana Olick

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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