Morning Brief

What to watch today: Dow to tank as wild market swings continue on coronavirus concerns


Dow futures this morning were pointing to an opening loss that would give back much of Tuesday's 1,100-point snap-back rally. The Dow Jones Industrial Average tanked over 2,000 points or nearly 7.8% on Monday after last week's wild swings on coronavirus concerns. (CNBC)

As of Tuesday's close, the Dow was down 15% from last month's record highs, well below correction levels of at least 10% down from recent 52-week highs. A bear market would start if the market were to drop another 5%. (CNBC)

* Goldman says the bull market will end soon with stocks dropping another 15% from here (CNBC)
* Cramer on coronavirus-driven turmoil: Stocks to hold and 'still not too late to own some gold' (CNBC)

Bond yields, which move inversely to prices, were moving lower Wednesday. The 10-year Treasury yield edged back below 0.7% in early trading after Monday's incredible record low just above 0.3%. (CNBC)

* Oil falls after Saudi Aramco asked to raise output capacity (CNBC)

Following a similar move last week by the U.S. Federal Reserve, the Bank of England announced Wednesday an emergency interest rate cut in an attempt to limit the economic damage in the U.K. from the coronavirus. (CNBC)

Another major drop in mortgage rates caused a massive jump in borrowers applying to refinance their home loans. Refi applications rose a whopping 79% last week. Total mortgage application volume soared 55.4%. (CNBC)

The government said this morning that February consumer prices rose 0.1%. Forecasts had been calling for an unchanged headline number. Core consumer inflation, excluding the volatile food and energy sectors, increased 0.2%, matching estimates. (AP)


Coronavirus cases surpassed 1,000 in the United States, according to Johns Hopkins University data, with 29 deaths. Almost half of all U.S. cases are in Washington state, New York and California. (CNBC)

* NYC councilman: Coronavirus closure decisions weigh 'major costs' against public health risks (CNBC)

President Donald Trump plans to meet Wednesday with Wall Street executives to discuss an economic response to the coronavirus fallout. Trump, in a meeting with Republican lawmakers Tuesday on Capitol Hill, pitched a 0% payroll tax rate.

Global confirmed cases rose to nearly 121,000 with 4,368 deaths. More than half the people infected around the world have recovered. Most of the cases are still in China, where the outbreak originated. Italy, Iran and South Korea are the top hot-spots outside China. (CNBC)

* Germany's Merkel says most people will get infected (CNBC)

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN) and Sanofi (SNY) are reportedly readying tests of their Kevzara rheumatoid arthritis drug as a possible treatment for symptoms of the coronavirus.  (WSJ)

* Fiat Chrysler temporarily halts some Italian plants to battle the coronavirus (Reuters)
* JetBlue CEO says demand for flights has fallen more due to coronavirus than after 9/11 (CNBC)

Joe Biden will win Tuesday's nominating contests Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri and Idaho, NBC News projected, in a crushing blow to his last serious Democratic presidential rival, Bernie Sanders. Sanders will win North Dakota. Washington state was still too early to call. (CNBC)

Tesla (TSLA) manufacturing director Jatinder Dhillon has left the company, according to people who worked with him in the company's Fremont, California, plant. Dhillon helped Tesla start up its own seat manufacturing operations, and ramp production of its most popular car to-date, the Model 3. (CNBC)

PepsiCo (PEP) announced a deal to buy energy drink maker Rockstar Energy for $3.85 billion, expanding its presence in the energy drink segment. Pepsi has had a distribution agreement with privately-held Rockstar in North America since 2009. (CNBC)


Bank of America Securities cut its price target on Apple (AAPL) stock to $320 per share from $350, as it lowers earnings estimates. BofA predicts supply constraints for Apple to last until April or May due to virus-related labor shortages.

Express (EXPR) reported adjusted quarterly earnings of 19 cents per share, a penny above estimates, with revenue also beating forecasts. However, comparable store sales did fall by 3%, more than the 2.7% drop predicted by analysts who were surveyed by Refinitiv, and the company is forecasting a larger-than-expected current quarter loss.

DXC Technology (DXC) will sell its Medicaid services unit to private equity firm Veritas Capital for $5 billion in cash. DXC had said in November it would consider alternatives for the unit, so it could focus on enterprise technology solutions.

Bank of America (BAC) chief technology officer Howard Boville has left the bank, according to a source who spoke to Reuters. He will not be replaced, with his duties split across the bank's various business segments.


For many millennials, the recent stock market troubles don't mean much. Fewer than a third of young people are saving in a 401(k) retirement plan. Not even 1 in 5 millennials has an investment account. (CNBC)