U.S. stock futures were pointing to an over 800-point decline for the Dow Jones Industrial Average at Friday's open, in a wild week of that saw blue chips come out of correction and then back in. The Dow lost nearly 1,000 points Thursday, but was tracking before Friday's session for weekly gains.
Investors have been selling stocks and buying bonds on concerns about the global spread of the coronavirus. The 10-year Treasury yield, which moves inversely to the price, continued its incredible march lower, plummeting to a new all-time low early Friday below 0.7% before recovering a bit. The 10-year yield broke under 1% for the first time ever Tuesday after the ill-received emergency Federal Reserve 0.5% interest rate cut designed to help blunt the virus' economic drag.
In another safety trade, gold is having its best week in over a decade. Oil prices were plunging about 4% Friday morning, pushing them further into a bear market. OPEC is trying to persuade noncartel ally Russia to go along with a production cut to support crude prices.
The U.S. economy added 273,000 nonfarm jobs in February, the government said Friday morning. Economists were looking for payroll gains of 175,000. Officials said there was no coronavirus impact seen in these numbers. The unemployment rate last month dipped back down to 3.5%, as expected, matching its lowest level in more than 50 years.
Average hourly earnings grew by 3% over the past year, in line with estimates, while the average work week, considered a key measure of productivity, nudge up to 34.4 hours. Despite the strong numbers, Wall Street was still heading for a negative open.
Facebook is telling employees in the San Francisco Bay Area — including its Menlo Park headquarters — to work from home. The social network is scrapping all Bay Area events and telling workers to cancel all travel in and out of the region. Earlier this week, a Facebook worker based in one of the Seattle offices tested positive, and the company told employees in the area to work from home. Two Microsoft employees in Washington state have contracted the coronavirus. Earlier this week, the company instructed employees in Puget Sound and California's Bay Area to work from home and limit travel.
Global coronavirus cases increased to more than 100,000 with at least 3,280 deaths. The vast majority of cases are still in China, where the virus originated in December. However, in the three biggest hot-spots outside China, South Korea has nearly 6,600 with 42 deaths; Italy has more than 3,800 cases with 148 deaths; and Iran has more than 3,500 with 124 deaths.
The coronavirus death toll in the U.S. rose to 12, with more than 225 cases reported around the country. California and Washington state have the largest number of the cases. Washington state has seen 11 of the fatalities. The other was in California. Global coronavirus cases increased to more than 95,000 with at least 3,280 deaths.
JPMorgan Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon, 63, is recuperating after having emergency heart surgery. Co-presidents Daniel Pinto and Gordon Smith sent a memo to employees and shareholders, which said Dimon underwent a successful procedure to repair an acute aortic dissection and was alert and doing well. CNBC's Wilfred Frost reports that Dimon woke up with chest pains Thursday morning and went to the hospital. Pinto and Smith will be jointly leading the company as Dimon recovers. Dimon was treated for throat cancer in 2014. While at the time he underwent eight weeks of chemotherapy, Dimon still led the New York-based bank. He recovered completely.