Coronavirus live updates: Senate finalizing stimulus ahead of vote; Apple, Facebook donate wildfire masks to health workers

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 428,400
  • Global deaths: At least 19,120
  • US cases: At least 55,225
  • US deaths: At least 802

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose following a historic rally in the previous session in anticipation of a coronavirus stimulus deal by Congress. The White House and Senate reached an agreement overnight.

The 30-stock average climbed more than 1,000 points, or 5%. The S&P 500 was up by about 3.3%. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 1.7%. Boeing shares rallied 30% to lead the Dow higher. A 10.3% gain in Nike also boosted the Dow. —Fred Imbert, Yun Li, Eustance Huang

When large tech companies including Apple and Facebook announced this week that they’d be donating stockpiles of protective masks to health workers around the world, some people may have wondered why they had them in the first place.

Executives said they had them in storage because of the recent spate of wildfires in California. They were required to have them by law. 

In 2019, the state of California’s Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board adopted regulation forcing employers to provide respiratory equipment, including N95 masks, for workers when the Air Quality Index (AQI) reaches unhealthy levels. —Ari Levy

A group of 33 state attorneys general called on Amazon, Ebay, Facebook, Walmart and Craigslist to prevent price gouging on coronavirus-related products.

The coalition, led by Pennsylvania’s Democratic Attorney General Josh Shapiro, sent a letter to the companies saying they “have an ethical obligation and patriotic duty to help your fellow citizens in this time of need by doing everything in your power to stop price gouging in real-time.” Attorneys general from California, Colorado and the District of Columbia were among those involved in the effort.

The letters acknowledge that platforms have already taken steps to remove some of the price-gouged products on their sites, but says consumers were already harmed by their presence. The attorneys general urge the companies to take proactive measures to prevent price-gouging on their sites, “[r]ather than playing whack-a-mole.” —Lauren Feiner, Scott Zamost

The White House and Senate leaders reached a deal early Wednesday on a massive $2 trillion relief bill — said to be the largest rescue package in American history — to combat the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

As of Wednesday morning, though, the Senate was still drafting the final details of the text. A senior Democratic aide told CNBC that due to procedural reasons, including how long it is taking the Senate to send over a draft of the bill, it is unlikely the House will vote on it Wednesday. The House needs to pass the bill before it can reach President Donald Trump’s desk. —Lauren Hirsch, Leslie Josephs

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/25/coronavirus-latest-updates.html

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