Stocks close in the red despite Fed's rescue efforts: March 23, 2020

By CNN Business

Updated 5:14 p.m. ET, March 23, 2020
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7:37 a.m. ET, March 23, 2020

Dollar General is hiring 50,000 workers

From CNN Business' Jordan Valinsky

The "heightened demand for household essentials" sparked by the coronavirus pandemic is forcing Dollar General (DG) to hire 50,000 workers.

The retailer said in a release Monday that a "majority" of those roles will be temporary. Dollar General has 143,000 employees working at its nearly 17,000 US stores and 17 distribution centers.

Last week, Dollar Tree (DLTR), which also owns Family Dollar, announced it was hiring 25,000 workers.

7:14 a.m. ET, March 23, 2020

McDonald's shuts down all of their UK restaurants, even for takeout

From CNN Business' Hanna Ziady

McDonald's (MCD) will close their restaurants in the United Kingdom and Ireland starting Monday, including for takeout, to help limit the spread of the coronavirus.

Paul Pomroy, CEO of McDonald's UK and Ireland, said in a statement Sunday that the decision had been taken because it was "increasingly difficult" to maintain safe social distancing while operating "busy takeaway and drive thru restaurants."

McDonald's employs over 125,000 people across 1,280 restaurants in the United Kingdom, 86% of which were run by franchisees as of March 2019.

The company closed dining areas at its stores in the United States last week and urged franchisees to do the same. In several states, restaurants have been forced to do takeaway only.

Read more here.

7:05 a.m. ET, March 23, 2020

Honeywell is expanding face mask production to include N95 masks

From CNN Business' Jordan Valinsky and Adam Levine

Manufacturing giant Honeywell (HON) says it is expanding its production to make N95 face masks, a type of mask in short supply and highly requested by doctors and nurses.

"We are honored to support the U.S. government’s efforts to protect Americans with personal protective equipment made right here in the United States," said Darius Adamczyk, Honeywell chairman and chief executive officer, in a press release.

The new face mask production line will create at least 500 new jobs, the company said.

President Donald Trump praised Honeywell, saying "the outpouring from the private sectors are also extraordinary."

6:48 a.m. ET, March 23, 2020

US futures point to another rough week for stocks

From CNN Business' Jordan Valinsky

US stock futures fell on Monday because the massive stimulus package, which is meant to help Americans handle the coronavirus pandemic, is struggling to be agreed upon between Democratic and Republican lawmakers.

Dow (INDU) futures fell more than 900 points on Sunday evening, hitting a 5% decline that triggered a maximum allowable limit, or "limit down." That halted futures from falling further. They rebounded and were last down around 600 points.

S&P 500 (SPX) and Nasdaq (COMP) futures were down as much as 5%, but also recovered and are down 3.15% and 2.74%, respectively.

3:12 p.m. ET, March 23, 2020

Asian markets are mostly lower

Asian Pacific markets fell on Monday as governments worldwide continued to move to lock down their cities:

  • Australia's S&P/ASX 200 closed down 5.6%, clawing back from as much as an 8.6% drop
  • South Korea's Kospi (KOSPI) ended down 5.3%
  • Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index (HSI) was last down 4.3% 
  • China's Shanghai Composite (SHCOMPlost 2.4%
  • Japan's Nikkei 225 (N225) was the outlier, last trading up 2%. The International Olympic Committee's executive board said it was considering postponing — but not canceling — this summer's Olympic Games in Tokyo because of the pandemic.
6:25 a.m. ET, March 23, 2020

All of Bed Bath and Beyond stores are closing April 3

From CNN Business' Nathaniel Meyersohn

Bed Bath and Beyond (BBBY) announced Sunday it plans to close all Bed Bath and Beyond brand stores in the United States and Canada until April 3, as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

The company indicated its buybuy Baby and Harmon Face Value stores are not included in the updated closure. It said it will provide pay and benefits to affected employees during this time.

Previously, Bed Bath and Beyond planned to temporarily close around 800 of its stores, with another 700 stores continuing to operate under shortened hours.

Bed Bath & Beyond has struggled to remain competitive against Amazon (AMZN) and Target (TGT)  posting a string of weak sales, including during last year's holiday season.

Read more here.