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COVID-19 case tally: 615,519 cases and at least 28,717 deathsExternal Link

There are now 615,519 cases of COVID-19 and at least 28,717 people have died, according to aggregated data from Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering's Centers for Systems Science and Engineering. About 135,735 people have recovered from the novel coronavirus that has sickened people in 176 countries. The U.S now has the most number of cases worldwide, with 104,860 cases and 1,711 deaths. China, where the virus was first detected in December, has 81,996 cases and 3,299 deaths. Italy, which is widely considered to be the epicenter of the pandemic in Europe, had 86,498 cases and 9,134 deaths, as of Friday. Spain has 72,248 cases and 5,690 deaths; Germany has 53,340 cases and 399 deaths; and Iran has 35,408 cases and 2,517 deaths.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.


Sat, 28 Mar 2020 12:53:54 GMT
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BlackRock to waive fees for running Federal Reserve bond-buying programExternal Link

BlackRock, the massive asset manager tapped to manage the Federal Reserve's bond purchase stimulus program, will charge no fee, according to a term sheet released late Friday. BlackRock will also credit back the value of all underlying fees and income that it earns on its own exchange-traded funds within the program. "Net fees for BlackRock, including the value of the credit, shall be made public on a regular basis," the term sheet said. The company also pledged to "treat BlackRock-sponsored ETFs on the same neutral footing as third-party ETFs." The terms came after some criticism was directed at the Fed for giving the contract to a well-connected Wall Street firm.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.


Sat, 28 Mar 2020 12:26:58 GMT
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Abbott Labs receives FDA approval for rapid COVID-19 testExternal Link

Abbott Laboratories said late Friday that it received emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for a rapid COVID-19 test. Abbott stock rose 2.1% in the extended session Friday. The company said that the molecular point-of-care test can be run with one of Abbot's portable platforms called ID Now and will detect a positive result for COVID-19 in "as little as five minutes" and determine negative results in 13 minutes. The portable testing platform weighs 6.6 pounds and is about the size of a small toaster, the company said, and is "already the most widely available molecular point-of-care testing platform in the U.S. today." Abbott said that it will make the rapid tests available to healthcare providers involved in urgent care next week and is working with the government to determine where they can have the largest impact. The company said that between this and a separate testing platform it will have the capacity for about five million tests a month.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.


Fri, 27 Mar 2020 22:57:14 GMT
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ViacomCBS announces $2.5 billion debt offeringExternal Link

ViacomCBS Inc. late Friday announced a $2.5 billion debt offering, a day after the media giant said it was withdrawing prior guidance to its fiscal 2020 financial results because of coronavirus. ViacomCBS intends to use net proceeds from the offering for general corporate purposes, which may include repayment of outstanding indebtedness. The joint book-running managers for the offering are B.of A. Securities Inc., Goldman Sachs & Co., JP Morgan Securities, and Morgan Stanley & Co. "While ViacomCBS has experienced production delays, the Company has seen increased viewership across its broadcast and cable properties, and is utilizing its deep library of content to mitigate in part the impact of those delays," it said in a filing Thursday. "The Company is also working proactively to offset a portion of anticipated revenue losses through cost-savings initiatives." ViacomCBS shares have plummeted 73% in the last year. The broader S&P 500 index has fallen 10% in the last year.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.


Fri, 27 Mar 2020 21:39:00 GMT
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COVID-19 case tally: 590,594 cases, 26,943 deathsExternal Link

There are now 590,594 cases of COVID-19 and at least 26,943 people have died, according to aggregated data from Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering's Centers for Systems Science and Engineering. About 130,865 people have recovered from the novel coronavirus that has sickened people in 176 countries. The U.S now has the most number of cases worldwide, with 100,717 cases and 1,475 deaths. China, where the virus was first detected in December, has 81,897 cases and 3,296 deaths. Italy, which is widely considered to be the epicenter of the pandemic in Europe, has 86,498 cases and 9,134 deaths. Spain has 64,059 cases and 4,858 deaths; Germany has 50,178 cases and 321 deaths; and Iran has 32,332 cases and 2,378 deaths.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.


Fri, 27 Mar 2020 21:19:57 GMT
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