By Douglas Belkin and Melissa Korn
Coronavirus Creates College Uncertainty, Admissions Gets Easier
“Students are going to be getting into schools they never would have been admitted to last year,” said Sara Harberson, an independent college counselor who used to run the admissions office at Franklin & Marshall.
Employees Don Masks, Meet Resistance
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says face masks should be reserved for
Markets Update: Stocks Grow Jittery
Futures linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average wavered between gains and losses, suggesting U.S.
Stocks in Europe gave up gains from earlier in the day, with the pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 edging down 0.2%. U.S.
Coronavirus Lockdown Begins in India, as Global Cases Pass 420,000
Why Dr. Fauci Is in the Middle of Coronavirus Controversies
India implemented the world's most extensive lockdown with a nationwide stay-at-home order that affected 1.3 billion people.
In the U.K., Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, tested positive for the
How the Coronavirus Ravaged a Family
In Wuhan, one woman's world was turned upside down after a family dinner in late January. Li Song and five others in her extended family fell sick after being infected with the virus. Ms. Li's husband was hospitalized and four hours later, the hospital called to tell her he had died.
Governments Prepare for the ‘Long Haul’
Authorities will grapple with a difficult issue in the coming weeks and months: When is it safe to relax the limitations, and by how much without risking a resurgence?
“Life is not going to be back to what we consider normal for years to come,” Kristian Andersen, an infectious-disease researcher at Scripps Research in La Jolla, Calif., said. “We need to figure out how we are going to function as a society for the next three years.”
U.S. Communities Struggle to Deal With Testing Backlogs
A nationwide shortage of swabs and other testing supplies means the turnaround time from lab to lab has varied dramatically, with significant delays in some. And even in places where more testing is being done than a week ago, it still isn't enough, some doctors said.
As Coronavirus Panic Spreads, Living Underground Doesn’t Seem So Strange
Those that have engaged in doomsday preparations—constructing or investing in bunkers and preparing for an isolated life underground—have often been greeted with derision, but spending on shelters has boomed since the pandemic began dominating news headlines.
The options range from single-residence bunkers to luxury communities with gyms, pools and even a dog-walk park.
Global Stocks Surge as U.S. Clinches Stimulus Deal
Futures linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose, suggesting U.S.
Indexes in Europe opened higher, with the pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 gaining 4.2%. Most markets in Asia closed higher.
White House Reaches Deal With Lawmakers on $2 Trillion Coronavirus Stimulus Bill
“Ladies and gentlemen
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) were set to deliver remarks from the Senate floor after a flurry of negotiations on Capitol Hill, with Democrats saying they had secured higher unemployment benefits, among other items.
U.S. Companies in China Expect Business to Return to Normal Soon
In a poll of 119 companies conducted in mid-March by the American Chamber of Commerce in China, 22% of respondents said they have already resumed normal business operations after a prolonged period of shutdown due to the
The epidemic has struck revenue expectations of many companies: 57% said their China revenue would decrease in 2020 if
The latest concern for many companies is how they could face further business disruption as the epidemic center shifts from China to elsewhere in the world, said Greg Gilligan, the business lobby’s chairman. The global nature of the pandemic is likely to hit the technology and service
Global Stocks Follow U.S. Markets Higher
In morning trading in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index rose 2.6%. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 jumped 5.5%, while Australia’s ASX 200 gained 3.4% and South Korea’s Kospi rose 4.5%.
The Latest Virus News We're Following
FEMA Pulls Back from Defense Production Act
The move came despite mounting calls for President Trump to use the law to resolve severe equipment shortages.
Mr. Trump, said Tuesday evening that the Defense Production Act hadn’t been used, saying the government hadn’t “found it to be the case” that the law was needed.
Occidental Petroleum Cuts Salaries Amid Coronavirus Fallout, Oil-Price Plunge
Chief Executive Vicki Hollub’s pay will be cut by 81% and the oil-and-chemical company’s top executives’ pay will be cut by an average of 68%, according to an email viewed by The Wall Street Journal. Employee bonuses and perks, such as gym memberships and commuter subsidies, are set to end in April.
New Mexico Sets Up $100 Million Fund to Aid Businesses
It gave Sun Mountain Capital the job of managing the lending pool. The money comes from funds overseen by the New Mexico State Investment Council.
The pool will be operated as part of the state fund’s private-equity program and will lend to businesses with 40 to 50 employees and at least $10 million in revenue, said Brian Birk, Sun Mountain’s managing partner.
New York Slashes Subway Service as Coronavirus Affects Staff
Transit officials have emphasized that running a full service helps critical workers get to schools, hospitals and grocery stores. But the schedule has become increasingly difficult to maintain as train and bus operators, supervisors and other workers have become infected with the virus or have been quarantined.
American Airlines Blocks Off Middle Seats for Social Distancing
With more empty seats on planes, American said it would block 50% of all middle seats on every flight, spacing passengers in accordance with social distancing recommendations from public health officials. Air travel has slowed to a trickle with the number of passengers flowing through security checkpoints dropping more than 85% from a year ago, according to the Transportation Security Administration.
Gate agents and flight attendants will also be able to reassign seats to create more space between customers and customers can change seats once
The airline also announced several other changes aimed at reducing contact between flight attendants and passengers, including scaling back food and beverage service and shuttering most airport lounges. On flights under four-and-a-half hours, no food will be served and some beverages will be made available only on request.
EU Grapples With How to Support Economies
Governments are considering allowing countries to borrow as much as 2% of their annual economic output.
The European Stability Mechanism, which was one of the region’s strongest responses to the financial crisis, is aimed at assuring markets that
Steven Rattner on Coronavirus Stimulus: ‘Better to Go
"What we learned in the Great Recession was that, as distasteful as it may be, we need to keep the business sector functioning when private markets are unable to do so," Mr. Rattner, chairman and CEO of Willett
Mr. Rattner, who served as the Obama administration’s “car czar” during the financial crisis, said officials shouldn't hold back on intervention.
"It is better to go too quickly and too heavily than to go too slowly and too tentatively. And in retrospect, in 2008 we were a bit late to the party," he said.
However, Mr. Rattner said he didn't see why airlines should get special assistance, adding "the most important priority here is to make sure the taxpayer money is loaned or invested prudently and commercially."
Facebook Usage Soars, But Online Advertising Plunges
In a post on Tuesday afternoon, Facebook said total messaging across the platform’s services has increased 50% in countries hit hard by the virus, with video messaging more than doubling. In Italy, group video calling is up by more than 1000% and use of all Facebook apps is up 70%.
But that doesn't mean much for the bottom line.
“We don’t monetize many of the services where we’re seeing increased engagement, and we’ve seen a weakening in our ads business in countries taking aggressive actions to reduce the spread of Covid-19,” wrote Alex Schultz, Facebook’s vice president of analytics, and Jay Parikh, vice president of engineering.
As companies pull back on ad spending amid growing economic uncertainty, digital and local media companies are more vulnerable in the short-term, ad buyers say. Unlike national television ads, which are often purchased many months in advance and are harder to cancel, most digital ad buys can be canceled within days.
European Governments Take Steps to Keep Workers in Jobs
Governments across the continent have deployed new programs—or extended existing ones—to subsidize the wages of idled workers, allowing employers to keep them in their jobs.
Such programs, according to economists, can not only provide quick relief to businesses and workers in a sudden downturn, but also allow companies to hit the ground running once activity picks up again.
“There are a number of structural features of Western European labor markets
Virus Dampens Payment Volumes at Square
The financial-tech company run by Jack Dorsey said in a securities filing that that slowdown meant its gross profit would be around 6% lower in the first quarter than previously forecast, despite an increase in gross profit of around 50% in both January and February. "Starting in March, the effects of Covid-19 began to impact the
Coronavirus Cybersecurity Fallout Might Not Be Felt for Weeks
"Very well-organized criminal organizations or nation-states--they can wait," says Nicolas Fischbach, chief technology officer of
Nike’s Investors Have Less Reason To Sweat
Investors have known for weeks that the
The apparel giant reported revenues of $10.1 billion and earnings of 53 cents a share for the quarter that ended Feb 29. The virus-related lockdown of large parts of China, which began in late January, meant sales in that country fell 5% from a year earlier after 22 consecutive quarters of growth.
That blow would sting on its own: In the fiscal second quarter, which ended last November, sales in China grew by 20% from a year earlier and accounted for nearly 18% of total company sales. Additionally, professional sports leagues and big-ticket amateur events have shut down operations, effectively thwarting many of Nike’s best marketing opportunities.
Nike’s shares have been punished along with the broad stock market, but the company is in excellent financial condition and can endure a weak period. It ended the quarter with $3.2 billion in cash. It has just over $6 billion in long- term debt and operating lease obligations on its books and doesn’t face significant debt maturities until 2023.
Last Updated: Mar 25, 2020 at 8:07 am ET