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Good morning. These are certainly unusual times. The NBA is suspended, Italy is locked down, Tom Hanks has coronavirus, and many of you are currently reading this in PJs.

We’re gonna get through this.And we want readers to know that now more than ever we are laser-focused on bringing you the most important business news every morning. If there’s ever any way we can be more useful to you, our inbox is always open. 

Have a great day, and remember: When videoconferencing, the mute button is your friend.

NASDAQ

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S&P

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DJIA

23,553.22

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GOLD

1,637.70

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10-YR

0.875%

+ 6.60 bps

OIL

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*As of market close

  • COVID-19: The World Health Organization has officially declared coronavirus a “pandemic.” That sounds alarming, but the agency also said countries can mitigate the impacts if they “detect, test, treat, isolate, trace and mobilize their people in the response.”
  • U.S. economy: Many economists are no longer debating whether we’ll have a recession because of the coronavirus…the questions now are 1) how bad will the recession be and 2) how quickly can we recover.

Trump giving speech in Oval Office

Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

Investors, airlines, cruise operators, and newsletter writers who miss their work sweaters were watching President Trump for any news of a stimulus measure to cushion the economic impact of the coronavirus. 

  • Of course, the most important thing is to contain the virus’s spread. But…that’s for health experts, not economists. 

What Trump said

In a brief Oval Office address last night, President Trump laid out his plan to respond to the crisis: 

  • He’s restricting some travel from Europe (minus the U.K.) for 30 days.
  • The IRS will be instructed to push back the April 15 tax payment deadline.
  • The president also called for low interest loans for small businesses and a payroll tax cut from Congress. 

Investors were…not impressed. Futures tied to major stock indexes tanked after the speech, which did not mention any aggressive actions like infusions for suffering industries or paid sick leave. The White House also had to correct some of Trump’s statements following his address.  

Zoom out: There is precedent for government bailouts in times of crisis. The U.S. government provided $15 billion to airlines after 9/11, $700 billion to banks to army-crawl through the 2008 financial crisis, and $17 billion to automakers just after that. 

  • Those episodes show us that timeliness is key. In 2008, Congress dragged its feet until it was almost too late, friend of the Brew and bailout expert Andrew Ross Sorkin writes. 

Will the administration announce something more?

We just don’t know. Fed Chair Jerome Powell recently met with President Trump and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. Powell has already cut interest rates and indicated he’s willing to keep up the slashing.

But it’s important to remember a pandemic is different from a financial crisis—bargain-basement interest rates can help keep businesses afloat, but the “social distancing” measures recommended by health officials mean canceling events and avoiding crowded places, which will curb spending. Interest rates can’t fix that. 

Looking ahead…the U.S. House will vote on a stimulus package compiled by the Democrats (who hold a majority) today.

Empty basketball stadium

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Yesterday, sports officially stopped being an “escape” from the problems facing the world.

The NBA suspended the seasonafter Rudy Gobert, a Utah Jazz player, reportedly tested positive for coronavirus. In a statement, the league said it “will use this hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic.” 

  • We’re in uncharted territoryhere. The NBA has billions in revenue at stake through TV deals, ticket sales, merch, and more. No one is quite sure what’s going to happen next, including commissioner Adam Silver. 

Basketball couldn’t catch a break

The NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments will be played without public fans this year out of coronavirus concerns. “Only essential staff and limited family attendance” will be allowed, said NCAA President Mark Emmert.

Zoom out: The Division I men’s basketball tournament generates $868 million annually on television and marketing rights alone, the vast majority of the NCAA’s yearly revenue. 

  • CBS and Turner Sports said they support the decision and intend to fully produce and cover the event.

Bottom line, via USA Today: “The decision to move March Madness behind closed doors represents a new frontier of sorts for American sports, which have never seen an event of this size and scope take place without fans present.”

Bear waving

Giphy

After 11 years, the longest-ever bull market in stocks appears to be nearing the end. If coronavirus put it near the edge, fears over long-term economic implicationstipped it over.

Yesterday, the Dow fell 5.9%, putting it in a bear market (down at least 20% from its recent high). The S&P 500 might not be far behind, closing just 33 points away from a bear designation of its own.

How about a little color? Hope you like red. 

  • 29 of the 30 stocks in the Dow ended Wednesday lower. 
  • All 11 sectors of the S&P were at least 10% off their 52-week highs during Wednesday trading. 
  • Since 1915, the average amount of days it’s taken for stocks to go from peak → bear territory is 255. The Dow took 28 this time. We’ve had milk in the fridge for longer.

+ Wondering how else coronavirus is impacting the markets? Morning Brew’s Business Casual podcast just recorded a special episode to break down what’s happening, why it matters, and what comes next—with the Brew’s Kinsey Grant and markets expert Downtown Josh Brown.

Listen here: Apple / Spotify / everywhere else

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EDUCATION 

A Harvard University building

Harvard University

Colleges and universities across the U.S. are deploying measuresto limit the spread of coronavirus. 

  • For many students, spring break starts tomorrow, which means many of them will be traveling both domestically and internationally. Schools are trying to avoid importing COVID-19 via flights back to campus.

On Tuesday, Harvard asked students to move out by this weekend, leaving students pondering how to tell friends they’ve been kicked off campus without sounding obnoxious. Stanford and the University of Washington were among the first to suspend in-person classes. 

  • UW shifted its 50,000 students to online-only courses through March 20, as many schools in Europe and Asia have already done. 

Plus, schools are axing university-sponsored international trips, sending mildly alarming preparedness messages, and preparing for total shutdowns if a student or faculty infection is confirmed.

Bottom line: Muted activity in college towns could take a substantial economic toll. Everything from prospective student visits to athletic tournaments fuels their financial health, Bloomberg notes.

ENTERTAINMENT 

Bong says he's going to drink at the Oscars

Giphy

The global entertainment market, from the box office to in-home streaming, surpassed $100 billion in annual revenue for the first time ever last year, according to the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). 

But like Les Mis, the MPAA report highlights the differences between the haves and the have-nots.

  • Money spent on home and mobile viewing jumped 14% to $58.8 billion. 
  • But the box office barely eked out a 1% gain with $42.2 billion in sales. While overseas moviegoers turned out in record numbers (crossing $30 billion in ticket sales for the first time), sales in the U.S. and Canada fell over 4% to $11.4 billion.

The forecast this year? Another case of red and black. With coronavirus fears spreading across the globe, out-of-home entertainment will likely take a beating—analysts already predict the box office will lose $5 billion in 2020. 

At the same time, in-home entertainment is predicted to skyrocket even further…because we all know “working from home” roughly translates to “rewatching The Sopranos.”

BEVERAGE 

Pepsi can with up arrow

Francis Scialabba

PepsiCo will spend $3.9 billion to buy energy drink brand Rockstarin order to 1) get Nickelback stuck in your head and 2) expand market share in the fast-growing energy beverage space.

This is a familiar strategy for brands that once sponsored games of truth-or-I-dare-you-to-mix-Coke-and-Hi-C. As sodas fall out of favor with sugarphobic consumers, the Pepsis and Cokes of the world are investing in beverage alternatives like teas, waters, and energy drinks.

Big picture: Neither Pepsi nor Coke currently owns a major brand in the energy drink category—which is slated to grow to more than $80 billion over the next five years.

  • Rockstar is the No. 3 contender in the U.S. energy drink market, behind Red Bull, which sold a can for every person on earth last year, and Monster, which counts Coke as an investor.

Pepsi’s distributed Rockstar in North America since 2009, a deal its CFO says limited Pepsi’s abilityto partner with other energy brands. Nearly $4 billion later, it can again target those deals.

WHAT ELSE IS BREWING 

  • Harvey Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison for sexual assault.
  • Amtrak said it would lose hundreds of millions of dollars and that bookings have fallen 50% since the beginning of the outbreak. 
  • Coronavirus has disrupted the supply chains of nearly 75% of U.S. companies, per a new ISM survey.
  • Officials banned large gatherings in San Francisco and the Seattle area in an attempt to control the coronavirus.
  • Numerous TV shows, such as Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!, are now filming without live audiences. 

BREW’S BETS

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  • Re-upping this: Is it canceled yet? 
  • Free WFH Book: Basecamp CEO Jason Fried tweeted that he’s refunding anyone who purchases his book about remote work, REMOTE: Office Not Required. We spoke with the WFH enthusiast about his theories on work on our Business Casual pod

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FROM THE CREW

Picture this: You’re interviewing a promising job candidate on Skype when…your husband walks behind you wearing his boxers. 

The year is 2020, #SocialDistancing is trending on Twitter, and more people are working from home every day. That’s resulted in some strange situations for our friends and colleagues, from finding out your boss has a “Live, laugh, love” poster to realizing your neighbor blasts EDM at 11 in the morning.

Bottom line: If you are working from home and things are getting weird…share your stories here. We’ll pick out a few each day to put in the newsletter.

GUESS THE STOCK CHART 

While most stocks are getting crushed because of the coronavirus, some services are becoming more in demand. Which company’s six-month stock chart is pictured below?

zoom stock chart

zoom stock chart

Google

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GUESS THE STOCK CHART ANSWER 

Zoom, which makes videoconferencing software. With a market cap of ~$30 billion, Zoom is worth about 2.5x United Airlines.

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Deontay Wilder blames Tyson Fury defeat on ring walk COSTUME as he triggers rematch clause

Deontay Wilder blames Tyson Fury defeat on ring walk COSTUME as he triggers rematch clause.

  • Deontay Wilder lost his WBC heavyweight title to Tyson Fury on Saturday night
  • American was outclassed with his team throwing in the towel in round seven
  • He claims his 45-pound ring walk outfit played a significant role in the defeat
  • The former champion has also activated his rematch clause for a summer trilogy 

Deontay Wilder has laughably claimed the weight of his ring walk costume played a big role in his defeat by Tyson Fury – as he confirmed he will be triggering his rematch clause.

The American wore a black and red armoured body suit with a matching mask and crown as he made his way to the squared circle for his second bout with Fury at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Saturday night.

— Read on www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/boxing/article-8040015/amp/Deontay-Wilder-blames-Tyson-Fury-defeat-ring-walk-COSTUME-triggers-rematch-clause.html

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Deontay Wilder disappointed corner threw in towel against Tyson Fury

Deontay Wilder disappointed corner threw in towel against Tyson Fury

Wilder was knocked down twice by Fury (Picture: Getty)Deontay Wilder wished his corner had not thrown in the towel against Tyson Fury.

The Brit dethroned Wilder in devastating fashion to become the new WBC champion and stake his claim as the world’s best heavyweight.Wilder suffered a burst ear drum under a barrage of punches and the American admitted he was disappointed his corner pulled him out of the fight.‘I’m doing good. Things like this happen,’ Wilder said.‘The best man won tonight, but my corner threw in the towel and I was ready to go out on my shield.Fury is now the WBC champion ‘I had a lot of things going on heading into this fight. It is what it is, but I make no excuses tonight.

I just wish my corner would have let me go out on my shield. I’m a warrior.‘He had a great performance and we will be back stronger.‘Even the greatest have lost and came back, that is just part of it. ‘You just take it for what it is. I can make no excuses tonight. I had a lot of complications.‘But we’ll come back stronger next time around.‘This is what big-time boxing is all about, the best must fight the best. I appreciate all the fans that came out and supported the show, and I hope that everyone gets home safely.’[metro-link url=”https://metro.co.uk/2020/02/23/tyson-fury-makes-statement-incredible-knockout-deontay-wilder-las-vegas-12286298/” title=”Tyson Fury stops Deontay Wilder in magnificent performance in Las Vegas”]

— Read on metro.co.uk/2020/02/23/deontay-wilder-disappointed-corner-threw-towel-tyson-fury-12286355/

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Tyson Fury confirms he sustained injury at start of training camp ahead of Deontay Wilder rematch 🇬🇧🥊📰

Tyson Fury V Deontay Wilder update…

Tyson Fury confirms he sustained injury at start of training camp ahead of Deontay Wilder rematch

The Gypsy King is adamant his leg problems will not affect him on Saturday night.

Tyson Fury has confirmed that he did suffer an injury at the start of his training camp ahead of facing Deontay Wilder but insists it will not impact him on fight night.

The Gypsy King takes on WBC heavyweight champion Wilder at the MGM Grand on Saturday night in Las Vegas, though the build-up has been plagued by rumours of issues in Fury’s training camp.

Anthony Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, claimed he had ‘heard a few things in the camp’ that had prompted him to change his prediction for the fight from Fury to Wilder.

Wilder and Fury clashed at their press conference on Wednesday evening (Picture: Reuters)

While the lineal champ has rubbished the speculation, calling Hearn a ‘w*nker’, he has confirmed that he picked up an injury at the start of his camp – which might have been the issue Hearn had alluded to.

Fury was spotted with what appeared to be a limp when he attended Conor McGregor’s UFC fight against Cowboy Cerrone on January 18, and while he did hurt his legs he is adamant it is not a major problem.

Asked about the rumours that he had picked up an injury during his camp, Fury told reporters: ‘Unfortunately I hurt both legs, and both ankles, in the training camp.

‘But it’s not going to affect me in the fight because that was at the beginning of camp. It was an unnecessary accident, but, you know, things happen.’

— Read more on metro.co.uk/2020/02/20/tyson-fury-injury-deontay-wilder-12274840/

MA News

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

USA Business & Sports News

USA Business & Sports News

— Read on usabusinessandsportsnews.wordpress.com

https://mikearmstrongnews.wordpress.com/2019/09/13/usa-business-sports-news/