Financial Daily Dose 3.13.2020 | Top Story: COVID-19 Fears Push Wall Street to Worst Losses Since Black Monday

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It’s been a week or so, and we’re running out of ways to say that this is bad. But it certainly is. Your bear market stats for the day: the biggest daily drop by percentage for both the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average since Black Monday in 1987. The Dow lost 10%, the S&P 9.51%, and the Nasdaq 9.43%–all despite the Fed’s move midday to “offer at least $1.5 trillion worth of loans to banks to help smooth out the functioning of the financial markets” – NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg and MarketWatch and Marketplace

Here’s hoping that climbing futures this morning are a sign of better things to come, even as the VIX reaches a 30-year high – NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg

The Upshot tries to make sense of global financial markets that have gone “haywire,” especially the signs that “something is breaking down in the workings of the financial system, even if it’s not totally clear what that is just yet” – NYTimes

Meanwhile, Wednesday night’s White House address announcing a 30-day ban on most travelers from Europe seems only to have further complicated an already-devastating outlook for the travel and airline industry, with smaller carriers announcing temporary layoffs in coming weeks and air cargo transport between the continents facing major questions – NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg

Oh yeah, and coming intra-US travel advisories won’t help the cause – MarketWatch

Other companies are out with updated policies that will “grant paid leave or other compensation to workers who contract the new coronavirus or are quarantined by order of the government or their companies”—changes that could have a significant impact on “hourly and gig-economy workers in the service industry who do not normally receive paid time off” – NYTimes and Marketplace

Businesses are also struggling to strike a balance between protecting public safety and respecting worker privacy as they deal with the outbreak – Law360

Across the pond, the ECB expanded stimulus measures but did not change its key interest rate (already at the sub-zero -.05%), despite its American and English counterparts making “aggressive cuts in recent days.” ECB president instead called for Eurozone governments to “take on more of the burden of supporting growth” – WSJ and NYTimes and MarketWatch

Boeing’s adding new, separate wire bundles in an attempt to appease regulators that its 737Max aircraft are flight-worthy. Though the bundles have not been implicated in last year’s crashes, some have raised concerns about the existing bundles short circuiting and potentially leading to a “catastrophic failure” – NYTimes

Juul co-founder James Monsees will step down from the company’s board as Juul faces “regulatory crackdowns, lawsuits and investigations into whether its marketing targeted underage users” – WSJ

Get ready for some nastiness ahead for Airbnb. New figures show that the home-sharing company near double losses for Q4 as compared to a year earlier—“even before the coronavirus pandemic caused global travel to nearly grind to a halt” – Bloomberg

A pressure campaign from Elliott Management (who’s been busy these days) appears to have pushed SoftBank to move forward with $4.8 billion in share buybacks, the company’s “second major buyback in as many years” – WSJ

In what appears to be a quiet initial win for Bezos & Co., the DOD revealed in a court filing this week that it would “re-evaluate the awarding of a $10 billion cloud computing contract to Microsoft after sustained protest from Amazon, which had contended that it lost the deal because of potential interference” from the White House – NYTimes

SDNY Judge Louis Stanton has axed several claims in a “long-running” FDIC suit against RBS Securities over the sale of mortgage backed securities to “now-defunct Colonial Bank, saying RBS didn’t underwrite the securities at issue” – Law360

We could all use a little calm right now, right? How about Claire just nailing Bagel Bites on Gourmet Makes. That’ll help, no? – BonAppetit

Have a good weekend and stay safe out there,
MDR

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