Coronavirus live updates: Fed juices the markets, broad testing weeks if not months away

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 343,421
  • Global deaths: At least 14,790
  • US cases: At least 35,224 
  • US deaths: At least 471

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University. 

The Federal Reserve said it will launch a barrage of programs aimed at helping markets function more efficiently in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

Among the initiatives is a commitment to continue its asset purchasing program “in the amounts needed to support smooth market functioning and effective transmission of monetary policy to broader financial conditions and the economy.”

Others include an unspecified lending program for Main Street businesses and the Term Asset-Backed Loan Facility implemented during the financial crisis. There will be a program worth $300 billion “supporting the flow of credit” to employers consumers and businesses and two facilities set up to provide credit to large employers. —Jeff Cox

Broad testing of every American, symptoms or not, could still be “weeks if not months” away, according to Severin Schwan, CEO of Roche, which has developed a coronavirus test being used in the U.S.

Schwan said his company has rolled out about 400,000 test kits over the past week. The kits are being used in every state, he said. Schwan added that U.S. testing capacity is still too low. “Demand continues to be much higher than supply,” he said. —Will Feuer

Cisco is committing $225 million while the rest of Silicon Valley initiates an investment blitz to help combat COVID-19. 

CEO Chuck Robbins recently hosted a call with Silicon Valley business leaders to discuss ways they can use their money and vast resources to fend off the virus. CEOs and executives from Facebook, Apple, the San Francisco 49ers, Twitter, Netflix, Alphabet, and Salesforce were invited to take part. —Brian Schwartz

Spain’s health ministry confirmed 462 deaths overnight, bringing the country’s total number of COVID-19 fatalities nationwide to 2,182.

Spain has reported the fourth-highest number of infections worldwide to date, according to Johns Hopkins University, behind China, Italy and the U.S., respectively. Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced Sunday his intention to extend the country’s state of emergency by 15 days. —Sam Meredith

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/23/coronavirus-live-updates.html

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