Stocks log worst week since 2008: March 20, 2020

By CNN Business

Updated 4:22 p.m. ET, March 20, 2020
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10:27 a.m. ET, March 20, 2020

Disney and Pixar's "Onward" is heading to streaming early

By CNN Business' Frank Pallotta

Disney and Pixar's "Onward" is heading to streaming early.

The animated film, which hit theaters on March 6, will be available to buy digitally starting Friday at 8PM ET. It'll premiere on Disney+, the company's new streaming service, on April 3.

"Onward's" early arrival comes after other studios like Universal Pictures announced that some of its films, which were currently in theaters, would be available to rent or buy early.

Disney itself moved "Frozen 2," one of its biggest titles from last year, to streaming early, so to capture the attention of families who are stuck at home as the coronavirus spreads through much of the world.

Studios have been grappling with theaters for years over how long a movie should be available in theaters before being offered on other platforms. However, the coronavirus pandemic has changed all of that.

The outbreak has decimated the global movie theater industry by delaying major films such as Disney's own "Mulan" and "Black Widow" and closing theaters around the world.

9:18 a.m. ET, March 20, 2020

Coca-Cola doesn't expect shortages just yet

From CNN Business' Jordan Valinsky

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Relax, Coke drinkers: Coca-Cola (KO) doesn't expect any shortages of its drinks in the near future.

In a regulatory filing Friday, the company said it's "working closely with our bottling partners on contingency planning for continuous supply and, at this stage, we do not foresee any near-term disruptions in concentrate or beverage base production."

However, the restaurant closures, event cancellations and reduction in travel sparked by the growing coronavirus pandemic will have a "negative impact" on Coke's bottom line.

The company said its "operating results cannot be reasonably estimated at this time, but the impact could be material." It withdrew its previously released full-year financial guidance.

8:55 a.m. ET, March 20, 2020

Altria's CEO has the coronavirus

From CNN Business' Jordan Valinsky

Mario Tama/Getty Images
Mario Tama/Getty Images

Altria (MO) CEO Howard Williard has contracted the novel coronavirus. He is taking a temporary leave of absence from the Marlboro maker, according to a statement.

Altria's Chief Financial Officer Billy Gifford will take over Willard's position while he's in his two-week self quarantine.

Roughly more than 244,500 people have contracted the virus worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University, which is tracking cases reported by the World Health Organization and additional sources. 

9:13 a.m. ET, March 20, 2020

Holiday Inn's owner is cutting $150 million in costs as demand hits record lows

From CNN Business' Jordan Valinsky

Holiday Inn hotel in Ocean City, Maryland
Holiday Inn hotel in Ocean City, Maryland Shutterstock

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), which owns Holiday Inn and several other brands, is cutting $150 million in costs as demand continues to decline across its 5,900 global hotels.

Demand for hotels is currently at the lowest levels we’ve ever seen, IHG CEO Keith Barr said in a release.

The company is reducing salaries and incentives for its board and executive committee members to achieve the savings. IHG expects its hotel revenue per room to decline 60% with "steeper declines in those markets most impacted by restrictions."

Like other hotel companies, IHG's stock has been absolutely battered this year and is down 60%.

8:42 a.m. ET, March 20, 2020

Senate Intel chairman sold off stock ahead of coronavirus economic downturn

From CNN's Jeremy Herb

Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr and his wife sold as much as $1.7 million in stock last month ahead of the sharp market decline that's resulted from the novel coronavirus global pandemic, according to Senate documents.

Two weeks later, the North Carolina Republican sounded a blunt warning in February about the dire impact of the novel coronavirus during a private event in Washington, according to audio obtained by NPR, which contrasted with President Donald Trump's public statements at the time that suggested the virus would disappear.

Burr's committee has received periodic briefings on coronavirus as the outbreak has spread, but the committee did not receive briefings on the virus the week of Burr's stock sales, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Read more about this story here.

8:42 a.m. ET, March 20, 2020

When will the market bottom out?

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

US stock futures are pointing to a higher open after the market ended in the green on Thursday. Is this the end of the brutal coronavirus selloff?

The S&P 500 has fallen nearly 29% since its latest peak on February 19 as investors grappled with what the pandemic would mean for the economy.

Things certainly seem to have calmed down at the end of this week, helped by the Trump administration's $1 trillion economic relief package, promises to bail out battered airlines and clearer messaging on how to fight the virus.

Still, this might not be the end to investors' nervousness.

Three conditions need to be met for the market to settle down, according to the BlackRock Investment Institute.

  1. Visibility on the scale of the outbreak and evidence that infection rates have peaked
  2. Coordinated and credible policy packages
  3. Confidence that financial markets are functioning properly.

Progress has been made on #2 and depending on how next week goes, #3 could be in the cards. But the first, and most important point, is still a big question mark.

7:05 a.m. ET, March 20, 2020

American Airlines will fly cargo-only flights to Germany

From CNN Business' Chris Isidore

American Airlines (AAL) will fly its first all-cargo flights in 36 years starting Friday, carrying medical supplies, mail for active US military stationed in Europe, telecommunications equipment and electronics that will support people working from home.

The first flight will leave Friday night from Dallas-Fort Worth and arrive Saturday in Frankfurt, Germany. The airline will fly two round-trip flights over the next four days.

Most passenger aircraft carry cargo shipments. American received $863 million in cargo revenue last year, though that was down 15% from a year earlier in the face of trade tensions.

These cargo flights will be using a 777-300 widebody passenger jet. It has 14 cargo positions for large pallets and can carry more than 100,000 pounds. American said it expects the flights will be sold out. These will be its first all cargo flights since it retired its last 747 freighter in 1984.

6:22 a.m. ET, March 20, 2020

US markets set to soar

  • Dow (INDU) futures increased 900 points, or 4.60% 
  • Nasdaq (COMP) futures were up 4.89%
  • S&P 500 (SPX) futures gained 4.41%

The dollar has eased since Thursday, pulling back from its highest level in three years.

The New York Federal Reserve continued its effort to create liquidity in the strained financial markets by announcing it would purchase another $10 billion of mortgage-backed securities, part of a larger package of $200 billion in mortgage bonds the Fed promised on Sunday to buy as it relaunched quantitative easing.

The US central bank has also taken steps to ease an acute shortage of dollars that was destabilizing markets.

6:19 a.m. ET, March 20, 2020

Global markets rally as central banks go all-in

Global stock markets surged higher Friday after central banks and governments around the world unleashed a torrent of stimulus measures designed to cushion the shock from coronavirus.

Asian stocks closed with gains, while European markets were on track for their second positive session in a row.

The rally comes after central banks around the world including the US Federal Reserve, European Central Bank and the Bank of England announced huge new injections of funds into financial markets.

They've been backed by governments, which have committed trillions of dollars worth of new spending and credit guarantees to help support their economies.

  • South Korea's Kospi (KOSPI) shot up by 7.4%, recording its first gains since March 10. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index (HSI) increased 5%
  • Shanghai Composite rose 1.6%

Europe followed suit:

  • FTSE 100 (UKXadding 2% in early trading in London
  • Germany's DAX (DAXsurged 5%
  • France's CAC 40 (CAC40added 4.5%