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Dow down 400, coronavirus hits Apple & Nike, Clorox rises

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A traveller wearing a mask, sits at Vancouver International Airport (YVR) as Canada’s Public Health Agency added a screening question for visitors and began displaying messages in several airports urging travellers to report flu-like symptoms in efforts to prevent any introduction of coronavirus, in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada January 24, 2020.

Jennifer Gauthier | Reuters

This is a live blog. Check back for updates.

11:20 am: New home sales not helping market sentiment

New home sales took an unexpected dip in December, falling 0.4% from the prior month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 694,000 units, the Commerce Department reported Monday. It was the third-straight monthly drop, and sales for the last three months of 2019 were revised lower. The sales fell well short of the consensus 730,000 expected by economists. —Lewis

11:14 am: Check-in on coronavirus related names

Stocks with exposure to China, travel continue to fall. The spreading coronavirus has led to a sell-off in stocks with heavy exposure to China and in the travel industry. Wynn Resorts is taking one of the largest hits, down nearly 7.5%, while fellow gambling and hotel stocks Las Vegas Sands and MGM Resorts are down about 7% and 4%, respectively. These companies also have big operations on China’s gambling hub, Macau. Shares of airlines and cruise companies are also lower. American Airlines is down more than 5.5%, while United is down 4.8% and Delta is down 4.2%. Royal Caribbean is down 6.9%, with Carnival Cruise Lines and Norwegian Cruise Lines also suffering significant drops. Consumer companies with big business in China are also taking a hit. Nike is down 1.9%, while Estee Lauder is down roughly 5.2%. Apple, which is counting on China to provide iPhone sales growth this year, fell 3%. (See posts below for more info and movers.)

11:11 am: Biotech Inovio soars as it develops coronavirus vaccine

Shares of a small biotech company Inovio Pharmaceuticals skyrocketed 24%, bringing its one-week gain to a whopping 60% after it said it’s in the process of developing a vaccine against the new coronavirus. Trading volumes ballooned to nearly 20 million shares Monday morning, compared to its 30-day average of just 2.6 million shares. The Pennsylvania-based company said last week it was granted $9 million by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations for vaccine development. A word of caution that any vaccine could be a year or years away from commercial production. — Li

11:08 am: Emerging markets ETF on track for worst day in more than 2 years

The iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (EEM) is down 3.9%, on pace for its worst daily performance since Brexit on June 24, 2016 when it fell 6.1%. The ETF has fallen for three days in a row and Monday marks its fourth negative session in five. The EEM is down 5.7% over the past three sessions, and down 7.2% over the past five sessions. If global growth, and China’s economy in particular, is threatened by the coronavirus, emerging markets companies could be among the hardest hit. — Hayes

11:03 am: Cramer sees Apple as a key to where the stock market goes from here

CNBC’s Jim Cramer said Monday that Apple stock, under pressure Monday with the rest of the market, could determine the future direction on Wall Street. “I always said own it, don’t trade it,” Cramer said on “Squawk on the Street.” He added, “Why not wait now if you don’t own it?” Apple is set to report earnings after-the-bell on Tuesday. Shares of Apple, even with Monday’s slide, were still up about 5.5% so far this year after soaring nearly 90% in 2019. The “Mad Money” host also said on CNBC on Monday that investors waiting for the overall market to sink so they could buy stocks at cheaper prices should stay on the sidelines a little longer. — Belvedere

10:55 am: Treasury rate moves greater than SARS

The Treasury market is reacting to the outbreak of the current coronavirus more dramatically than it did to SARS. The 10-year yield has moved more than 20 basis points in the past week, and was at 1.60% Monday, off from 1.83% the Friday before the outbreak began to spook markets. “We and everyone else are comparing this to SARS … so this is a much sharper move,” said Michael Schumacher, director rates at Wells Fargo. He said the first case of SARS confirmed in Hong Kong was Feb. 19, 2003 and between then and March 10, 2003, the 10-year moved to 3.56% from 3.95%. “It seems a little more aggressive this time.” The move in 2003 was about 39 basis points on a much higher yield over three weeks, relative to the current 23 basis points move in the past week. Most of the move in 2003 was before the official World Health Organization issued a global alert on March 12, Schumacher said. “The big move was done by March 19. The 10-year was back to 3.98%. On March 21, it closed above 4%,” he said. —Domm

10:50 am: Clorox jumps while stocks sell-off

While the broader market sold off on coronavirus fears, shares of Clorox ticked up more than 2% on Monday. The consumer goods manufacturer makes Clorox disinfecting wipes, which help fight diseases by killing bacteria. Clorox is a classic defensive stock, less tied to the economic cycle. Clorox also pays a healthy 2.6% dividend yield. –Fitzgerald

10:33 am: Trader anxiety over Sanders tax plan builds as poll momentum rises

Market pros have been getting increasingly nervous about Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders rise in the polls, as the Iowa caucuses approach. A chart by Cornerstone Macro analyzing the tax plans of the Democratic candidates is adding to that angst. The chart was published in The Wall Street Journal. The tax plans of all top Democratic candidates show a sharp jump to an overall marginal rate above 50%, from the current 40.2%. That includes higher contributions to Social Security by higher income tax payers and a higher individual tax rate. Sanders’ proposals is by far the biggest jump, boosting the overall top marginal rate to 69.2%. His top individual tax rate would jump to 52% (from 37%). “With this virus, people have tuned out the U.S. elections, which is a relief. But they’ll be back quickly,” said one strategist. “If Bernie’s the potential front runner, markets get a little spooked by that.” Over the weekend, Doubleline’s Jeff Gundlach tweeted: “Bernie getting close to Joe on Predicit. Here comes Iowa!” —Domm

10:23 am: Health insurers slump as Bernie Sanders sees Iowa support top Biden’s

Top health insurers traded lower as new polls released over the weekend showed Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., surpassing former Vice President Joe Biden in key early states as both vie for Democrats’ support in the 2020 primary. Stocks including Anthem, UnitedHealth, Cigna and Humana all traded down at least 2%. Sanders, a lifelong democratic socialist and avowed opponent of private-sector health care, has been his support among Iowa voters rise in recent days ahead of the state’s critical caucus next week. His support swelled by six points since October and he’s now garnering 25% of the Iowa vote, according to a New York Times/Siena College poll. —Franck

10:03 am: American Express slides as analyst sees strong run ending

Shares of American Express fell 4.4% in after Stephens downgraded the stock to equal-weight from overweight, saying the company’s “excellent performance is now the market expectation.” While Stephens expects American Express to continue to perform well, the firm said it doesn’t see any “material catalysts for 2020” to drive the stock higher. Piper Sandler also called out American Express’ strong execution in a note but highlighted a different risk: The impact of coronavirus on American Express from a potential decrease in travel and tourism spending. Piper Sandler said so far, the coronavirus risk for American Express is small. —Sheetz

10 am: Copper prices sink to their lowest level since October

Copper dropped more than 2% to its lowest level since October as investors fretted over the economic impact of the coronavirus. The metal traded around $2.62 per pound. Earlier in the session, it hit a low of $ 2.612 per pound, its lowest since Oct. 18. Copper is widely considered a bellwether for the global economy since it is used in everything from building houses to consumer goods. Declining copper prices may signal an economic slowdown is ahead. —Imbert, Francolla

9:57 am: Dow briefly turned negative for 2020

The Dow was negative for the year at its session lows shortly after the open. Breakeven for year is 28,538.44. The Dow hadn’t been lower for the year on an intraday basis since January 8. The S&P 500 is still modestly higher for 2020 (breakeven 3.230.78), while the Nasdaq is still solidly higher for the year (breakeven 8,972.61). — Hum

9:31 am: Dow opens down more than 500 points

The Dow Jones Industrial Average open was even worse than futures were signaling. The Dow dropped more than 500 points in the first minute as traders sold first and asked questions later on fears of the coronavirus hitting global business activity. Nike, which has big revenue exposure to the China consumer, was the worst performer in the Dow, losing 3%. It was the worst percentage Dow drop since October with the average off more than 1.5%. The S&P 500 lost 1.5%. Apple shares were off by 3% as well. —Melloy

9:25 am: J&J is ‘pretty confident’ it can create a coronavirus vaccine

9:22 am: ‘Fear gauge’ surges as markets slump on virus fears

The Cboe Market Volatility Index surged above 18 on Monday morning as the broader stock market pointed toward a lower open. The index, often called Wall Street’s ‘fear gauge’, is about 4 points above where it closed on Friday and is at its highest level since October. Volatility has been abnormally low during the latest stretch for this bull market. The index means more investors are buying put options to protect from a market slide. — Pound

9:08 am: Macau visits down 60% from coronavirus

Visits to the Chinese territory Macau, known for its Las Vegas-like casino and gaming businesses, are declining as the Chinese coronavirus continues to spread throughout Asia. Through the third day of the Chinese New Year holiday, Macau visits were down 60% year-over-year, according to Deutsche Bank. Wynn Resorts, Las Vegas Sands and MGM Resorts International all have revenues coming from Macau. Wynn dropped 8%, Las Vegas Sands fell 7% and MGM ticked 5% lower in premarket trading on Monday. –Fitzgerald

9:06 am: 10-year Treasury yield slides to lowest since October

9:02 am: Oil’s slide continues, heads for 5-day losing streak

Oil moved lower again on Monday — pacing for the fifth straight session of losses — as fears over a potential slowdown in crude demand, sparked by the coronavirus outbreak, continued to pressure prices. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude dropped more than 3% to $52.13, its lowest level since Oct. 10. International benchmark Brent crude also hit a more than 3-month low, after posting its worst week since Dec. 2018. “The corona virus has quickly morphed from being a curiosity to a potentially more ominous threat to the global economic and oil demand outlook for 2020,” Simmons Energy analyst Bill Herbert said in a note to clients Sunday. — Stevens

8:34 am: Oppenheimer downgrades Estee Lauder as coronavirus threat looms

Oppenheimer downgraded shares of cosmetic company Estee Lauder to perform from outperform and lowered their price target to $210 per share from $230 per share, as the death toll and infection rate of the Chinese virus continued to rise. In recent years, the Chinese consumer has represented a key driver in Estee Lauder’s business, offsetting weakness in the United States, said Oppenheimer. Credit Suisse estimates the makeup company has about 17% revenue exposure in China. “Although difficult to measure the precise impact and the length at which the coronavirus-related challenges could persist within the Chinese economy, we now expect EL’s higher margin travel-retail segment to be adversely impacted at least in Q3 (Mar.) and potentially longer,” Oppenheimer analyst Rupesh Parikh said in a note. After falling more than 10% last week, Estée Lauder ticked lower again on Monday. –Fitzgerald

8:27 am: Boeing shares under pressure as plane crash details to unfold

Shares of Boeing are down 1.6% in volatile trading as investors grapple with conflicting information about a passenger plane crash in Afghanistan on Monday. It was initially reported to be a plane from the state-owned Ariana Afghan Airlines. However, the airline’s acting CEO Mirwais Mirzakwal has since denied that one of its planes had crashed. It’s still unclear if it was a Boeing plane that went down. —Li

8:21 am: Bank of America downgrades Wynn Resorts on virus fears

Bank of America downgraded shares of hotel and casino chain Wynn Resorts to neutral from buy and lowered its price target to $150 per share from $160 per share as the Chinese coronavirus continues to spread, threatening travel and tourism-related stocks (see below). The deadly virus, which has killed more than 80 people and infected over 2,800 people, is getting stronger, forcing China to restricted travel for at least 35 million people across 15 cities. “Understandably, the Macau focused gaming names have traded off more than the broader market as they are 1) highly exposed to domestic Chinese travel, 2) the timing is concurrent with Chinese New Year,” Bank of America equity analyst Shaun Kelley said in a note to clients Monday. After falling more than 11% last week, Wynn shares dropped once again on Monday. –Fitzgerald

8:11 am: Travel and consumer stocks take a hit amid increasing coronavirus worries

Travel and gaming stocks are leading the broader market lower as fears over the coronavirus escalate. Las Vegas Sands, Wynn Resorts and MGM Resorts, which have big China gaming operations, all dropped at least 4.5% in the premarket. Airline shares such as American, Delta and United each slid at least 3% on fears of a slowdown in global travel because of virus fears. Expedia was off by 4% and Marriott International by 3%. Estee Lauder and Nike, two consumer stocks with high China sales exposure, fell 4.1% and 2.5%, respectively. Disney and Apple both dipped more than 2%. —Imbert

8:10 am: Dow set to drop more than 400 points as coronavirus fears permeate

U.S. stock futures are following global markets lower on Monday amid rising fears of the spreading coronavirus and its potential impact on the global economy. Around 7:50 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures indicated a drop of more than 400 points at the open. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures pointed to a loss of more than 1% each. Fears spread after the death toll in China from the virus rose to 81 over the weekend, with more than 2,800 cases confirmed. —Imbert

—With reporting from Pippa Stevens, Jessica Bursztynsky, John Melloy, Robert Hum, Gina Francolla, Michael Sheetz, Tom Franck, Patti Domm, Matthew Belvedere, Christopher Hayes, Al Lewis



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China coronavirus death toll climbs to 81 with nearly 2,900 cases worldwide

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A novel coronavirus has now taken the lives of at least 81 people in China and sickened more than 2,800 worldwide, including in the U.S. and Europe, as Chinese authorities work to contain the fast-spreading infection.

The total number of people sick stands at 2,884 with roughly 1,900 new cases diagnosed over the weekend, according to data from the World Health Organization and Chinese state media. The majority of the reported cases are in mainland China, where local authorities have quarantined several major cities and canceled Lunar New Year’s events in Beijing and elsewhere.

President Donald Trump addressed the matter in a tweet Monday, saying the U.S. is “in very close communication with China concerning the virus.”

Multiple cases of the virus have been confirmed in Hong Kong, Macau, Taipei, Thailand, Vietnam, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, Australia, France and the United States. Nepal has confirmed one case. Cambodia confirmed its first case on Monday, according to Reuters, citing Health Minister Mam Bunheng.

Several companies, including Walt Disney with its Shanghai Disney, are suspending operations until further notice during the normally festive weeklong Lunar New Year holiday to prevent the outbreak from spreading. Starbucks and McDonald’s also closed stores in Hubei province.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed Sunday a fifth U.S. case of the coronavirus — a patient in Maricopa County, Arizona who recently traveled to Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the disease’s outbreak and where the majority of cases have been reported.

U.S. health officials warned that the flu or other respiratory illnesses could complicate identifying more cases. They recommend that people call a health-care provider before seeking treatment so the appropriate measures can be put in place. The CDC is trying to speed up testing and to get the tests in the hands of state health officials. It currently takes the CDC about four to six hours to make a diagnosis once a sample makes it to its lab.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that usually infect animals but can sometimes evolve and spread to humans. Symptoms in humans include fever, coughing, and shortness of breath, which can progress to pneumonia. Physicians have compared the outbreak to the 2003 outbreak of SARS, which had a short incubation period of two to seven days. U.S. officials said Friday that symptoms from the new virus, temporarily named 2019-nCoV, may take up to 14 days to appear.

WHO’s director-general, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, is traveling to Beijing to meet with government and health officials. According to the organization, more data needs to be collected before the virus, which can spread through human-to-human contact, is declared a global health emergency. WHO declined at two emergency meetings last week to say it was a worldwide emergency.

China stepped up efforts to increase medical supplies to Wuhan that includes transferring 14,000 protective suits and 110,000 pairs of gloves from the central medical reserves, according to the State Council. Emergency supplies of 3 million masks, 100,000 protective suits and 2,180 pairs of goggles were also made available.

More than 1,600 medical staff are said to be sent to the Hubei province to assist in containing the virus. The central government previously said it allocated 1 billion yuan, or $145 million, to support the province — Wuhan is building a 1,000-bed hospital to treat the infected and plans to have the facility operational by the end of the week.

Here are where cases have been reported:

Total Confirmed Cases: 2,884
Deaths: 81

Mainland China: 1,975
Hong Kong: 5
Macao: 2
Taipei: 3
Vietnam: 2
Thailand: 5
Japan: 3
South Korea: 2
Singapore: 4
France: 3
Nepal: 1

Cambodia: 1
Malaysia: 3
Australia: 4
US: 5

—CNBC’s Saheli Roy Choudhury contributed to this report.



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Trump rages after Bolton book reportedly claims president tied Ukraine aid to probes

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National security advisor, John Bolton, right, attends a meeting with President Donald Trump and President of Chile, Sebastian Piñera in the Oval Office of the White House on September 28, 2018 in Washington, DC.

Oliver Contreras | The Washington Post | Getty Images

President Donald Trump vented rage Monday on Twitter, denying his ex-national security advisor John Bolton’s reported claim that the president withheld military aid to Ukraine in order to secure investigation into his political opponents.

The New York Times reported Sunday that Bolton, in his upcoming book “The Room Where It Happened,” wrote that Trump personally tied a nearly $400 million aid package to Kyiv to an investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. CNBC has not seen a copy of Bolton’s manuscript.

But Trump flatly denied the account from Bolton, who left the White House in September amid a public dispute with the president over whether he resigned or was fired.

“I NEVER told John Bolton that the aid to Ukraine was tied to investigations into Democrats, including the Bidens,” Trump tweeted early Monday morning. “In fact, he never complained about this at the time of his very public termination.”

“If John Bolton said this, it was only to sell a book,” Trump claimed.

The Times’ report on Bolton’s book came amid Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate.

Democratic House managers, led by House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., laid out their case last week for Trump’s conviction and removal from office on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, both related to his Ukraine dealings. Trump’s legal team began their defense on Saturday and are set Monday to continue arguing that the president did nothing wrong.

Bolton had been asked to testify during the House impeachment inquiry, but he refused to appear before the Democrat-led committees leading the impeachment investigation.He was not subpoenaed then; the House Intelligence panel said in a Nov. 7 statement that “we have no interest in allowing the Administration to play rope-a-dope with us in the courts for months.”

In early January, however, Bolton said that he would testify in the Senate trial if he was subpoenaed by the Senate.

Trump falsely tweeted Monday that “The Democrat controlled House never even asked John Bolton to testify.”

The Republican-majority Senate will vote on whether to include additional witnesses and documents after both sides have concluded their opening statements.

It’s unclear how likely the chamber is to approve that step; at the start of the trial, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., proposed amendments to the trial rules to issue subpoenas for key witnesses, including Bolton, but each was voted down.

“I think the timing of all of this is very very suspect” White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a Fox News interview earlier Monday. “We stand by exactly what we’ve been saying all along.”

Bolton’s attorney said in a statement Sunday that “It is clear, regrettably, from The New York Times article published today that the prepublication review process has been corrupted and that information has been disclosed by persons other than those properly involved in reviewing the manuscript.”

Trump, meanwhile, asserted in subsequent tweets Monday that the memorandum of his July 25 call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy supported his position. Zelenskiy in that call was asked by Trump to “look into” the Bidens and a debunked conspiracy theory that Ukraine, not Russia, meddled in the 2016 election.

Trump also contrasted his administration with former President Barack Obama’s by noting that Zelenskiy’s government received lethal aid, and bought Javelin anti-tank missiles from the U.S.



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