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US cases continue to rise faster than other countries



This is CNBC’s live blog covering all the latest news on the coronavirus outbreak. All times below are in Eastern time. This blog will be updated throughout the day as the news breaks. 

  • Global cases: At least 1,139,207
  • Global deaths: At least 60,874
  • US cases: At least 278,458
  • US deaths: At least 7,159

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

12:30 pm: Canada’s Trudeau won’t retaliate over US blocking mask imports

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his country was not planning to retaliate over U.S. President Donald Trump’s move to block 3M Co‘s exports of N95 respirator masks for use by doctors and nurses.

Trudeau said during his daily address that he expected to speak with Trump in the coming days and that Canadian officials were having “very constructive” discussions with the U.S. administration. —Reuters

11:55 am: How to protect yourself while grocery shopping

11:45 am: China donates 1,000 ventilators to help New York

The Chinese government has facilitated the donation of 1,000 ventilators to New York set to arrive at JFK Airport today, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Saturday. 

“This is a big deal and it’s going to make a significant difference for us,” Cuomo said during a press briefing. The state of Oregon is also sending 140 ventilators to New York, which has become an epicenter of the coronavirus. —Emma Newburger

11:40 am: The lights are dark in Las Vegas

Most of the exterior building lights at Paris Las Vegas, including on its 50-story replica Eiffel Tower, are turned off except for the marquee as parts of the Las Vegas Strip go dark as a result of the statewide shutdown on March 19, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Ethan Miller | Getty Images

Las Vegas has been one of the hardest hit cities after Nevada ordered all hotels, casinos, bars and restaurants closed and canceled all conventions, conferences and sporting events in an effort stop the spread of the virus. 

The coronavirus doused most of the lights along the Vegas Strip, leaving thousands of workers across these industries unemployed or furloughed. Check out a slide show of the impact that coronavirus is having on Sin City as it grapples with the economic fallout from this pandemic. —Adam Jeffery

11:00 ET: CDC director says coronavirus won’t be a one-time foe

The coronavirus represents a “potential global catastrophe” on its way to the Southern Hemisphere, according to Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In an interview with Stat News, he discusses whether the virus will prove to be seasonal and what that could mean for the global response.

He also touches on why the CDC has been largely absent from public briefings over the past month and warns that COVID-19 will be around longer than the next few weeks. “But I would say [if] we’re lucky enough to have that we need to get very prepared because next late fall and early winter, like most respiratory viruses, coronavirus 19 will be an enemy that we’re going to have to face again,” he said. —Will Feuer

10:35 am: NYC mayor pleads for more doctors and nurses: ‘The worst is actually ahead’

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Saturday continued his calls for a national enlistment program for doctors and nurses to handle a surge in coronavirus cases in strained healthcare systems in New York and across the country.

New York City confirmed 305 new deaths on Friday, marking the biggest one-day jump so far and bringing the city’s death toll to at least 1,867. The city has at least 57,159 cases, comprising nearly a quarter of confirmed cases in the U.S.

“We still don’t have the support we need, particularly from the federal government,” de Blasio said on MSNBC. “The worst is actually ahead.”

The FDNY released data earlier in the week showing that approximately one in four of its EMS workers is out sick. The city on Friday evening sent out a wireless emergency alert asking for medical workers to volunteer to support health facilities fighting the virus.

De Blasio emphasized that states need to pressure the Trump administration into enlisting more medical personnel to work in overwhelmed hospitals. He urged states in the meantime to create their own enlistment structures to move medical workers into emergency rooms as quickly as possible. —Emma Newburger

9:50 am: Clocking in for a shift? The boss wants to know your temperature

9:35 am: JPMorgan reportedly pressured traders to come to work; 20 have tested positive

Since early March, when New York began to close nonessential business and encourage social distancing, JPMorgan has pressured traders at its New York City headquarters to report for duty as the coronavirus spreads throughout the ranks, The Wall Street Journal reported. Traders and salespeople told the Journal they feel pressure to come in and managers have reminded them that their compensation is tied to performance.

In the past three weeks, about 20 employees on the trading floor have tested positive, and another 65 are in quarantine, according to the Journal. The Journal reported that a JPMorgan spokesperson said more than 80% of the firm’s traders are working remotely and those in the office are spaced six feet apart.

“We recognize how stressful this is for those employees on the front lines who are supporting global markets,” a spokesman said, according to the Journal. JPMorgan declined to comment on the report. —Will Feuer

9:03 am: US cases continue to rise faster than other countries

8:58 am: These ‘disease hunters’ developed a novel technique for tracking pandemics after 9/11, but lost funding right before COVID-19

When Dr. Farzad Mostashari was the assistant commissioner for the New York City Department of Health in the early 2000s, he did something unprecedented.

To keep tabs on the spread of disease in the region, Mostashari asked New York hospitals for access to a feed of their data, including the symptoms reported by some of the sickest patients. His team put together a website that collected anonymized information from emergency rooms across the state, and made it open for anyone to query.

Nearly two decades later, on March 11, 2020, his work suddenly gained new relevance. The World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus a global pandemic, and predicted that the SARS-CoV-2 virus could kill more than a million people worldwide.

In early March, Mostashari started looking for incidents of patients complaining of flu-like symptoms that were outside the normal range for early spring. On March 4, he saw a spike in the data from New York that concerned him. For the next three days, he checked and rechecked the website to make sure it wasn’t a blip. By the fourth day, he knew something was wrong.

“Holy s—,” he recalled thinking. “Flu was going down, but patients were starting to come into the emergency department with a ferocity I hadn’t seen in 15 or 20 years.”  —Christina Farr

6:16 am: Spain’s daily coronavirus death toll falls for second day in row

Spain’s death toll from the coronavirus rose to 11,744 Saturday from 10,935 the previous day, the Health Ministry said on Saturday.

It is the second day in a row that the number of new deaths has fallen. A total of 809 people died from the disease over the past 24 hours, down from 932 the previous day, the figures showed.  

Spain now has 124,736 confirmed cases, up from 117,710 on Friday (that’s a n increase of 7,026). — Holly Ellyatt

6:10 am: Iran’s coronavirus death toll rises to 3,452, health ministry says

Iran’s death toll from the coronavirus outbreak climbed to 3,452 on Saturday, with 158 more deaths recorded over the past 24 hours, Health Ministry Spokesman Kianoush Jahanpur said, Reuters reported.

The total number of cases diagnosed with the disease reached 55,743, of whom 4,103 are in critical condition, he said on state TV. Iran is the country worst affected by the pandemic in the Middle East. — Reuters

5:12 am: France overtakes China as number of confirmed cases rises above 83,000

France now has more cases of the coronavirus than China, as the number of confirmed cases reached 83,029, according to data from Johns Hopkins University on Saturday.

China, where the outbreak was first identified in December, has 82,526 confirmed cases, although the actual figure could be far higher. — Holly Ellyatt

3:57 am: UK unlikely to relax lockdown measures till end May, top epidemiologist says

The United Kingdom won’t be able to lift its stringent social-distancing rules until the end of May, according to a British epidemiologist, Neil Ferguson, who is also a leading government advisor, Reuters reported Saturday.

“We want to move to a situation where at least by the end of May that we’re able to substitute some less intensive measures, more based on technology and testing, for the complete lockdown we have now,” Ferguson reportedly told BBC Radio. Ferguson is a professor at the faculty of medicine in the School of Public Health at Imperial College London.

“There is a great deal of work underway to look at how we can substitute some of the very intense social distancing currently in place with a regime more based on intensive testing, very rapid access to testing, contact tracing of contracts,” he said, according to Reuters. “But in order to substitute that regime for what we’re doing now, we need to get case numbers down.”

The United Kingdom currently has 38,690 reported cases of COVID-19, and the death toll has surpassed 3,600, according to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University. The government has put the country under virtual lockdown since March 23. All nonessential public buildings and places are closed, and all social events including weddings and baptisms have been stopped.—Joanna Tan

2:32 am: Xi leads national day of mourning as China honors those killed during pandemic

Chinese President Xi Jinping led his country and its leaders in mourning on Saturday, as the nation observed three minutes of silence in honor of those killed during the pandemic, according to state news agency Xinhua. 

Xi stood with leaders of the country, including Premier Li Keqiang and members of the Communist Party of China, at the Zhongnanhai leadership compound in Beijing at 10 a.m. local time, Xinhua reported.

State-owned Global Times, a tabloid run by the ruling Communist Party’s official People’s Daily, posted footage of Xi and the leaders standing together with their heads bowed in silence. Each wore a white flower pinned to their chest pockets and were facing the Chinese flag that flew at half-mast. Across the nation, people could be seen standing in public squares, while air defense sirens blared and horns on cars, trains and ships were sounded.

Read CNBC’s coverage from CNBC’s Asia-Pacific and Europe teams overnight here: France has more cases than China now, but Spain’s daily death toll has fallen.

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Trump hints at US withdrawal from Afghanistan as election looms



U.S. Marines conduct a security patrol in Southern Shorsurak, Helmand province, Afghanistan, during Operation New Dawn, June 20, 2010.

U.S. Marine Corps photo

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is evaluating a range of options for the eventual withdrawal of all U.S. forces from Afghanistan.

It would be a colossal effort that could occur as soon as the November presidential election, according to The New York Times.

President Donald Trump, who campaigned on removing the U.S. presence in Afghanistan, took to Twitter on Wednesday to say that America’s role in the war-torn country has been reduced to a “police force” and not a “fighting force.”

“After 19 years, it is time for them to police their own Country. Bring our soldiers back home but closely watch what is going on and strike with a thunder like never before, if necessary!” wrote Trump, who is facing a challenge from former vice president Joe Biden, the apparent Democratic nominee. 

The Pentagon would not give specifics on how many U.S. service members were currently serving in Afghanistan nor the options under consideration by the White House.

“I think it’s been clear for some time that the U.S. has been looking at different options and how we are going to continue with our presence in Afghanistan,” Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman told reporters at the Pentagon. “I would not share with you what potential options that we would be discussing with the president though,” he added.

“The bottom line is, we have said for many, many months and years now that the future of Afghanistan is going to be best suited for peace when there is an agreement between the inter-Afghan parties,” Hoffman said.

When asked by reporters during a White House event, Trump said Tuesday that the U.S. could go back to Afghanistan if needed.

“We can always go back if we have to. If we have to go back, we’ll go back, and we’ll go back raging,” he said.

U.S. Marines and Georgian Army soldiers run to the extraction point during Operation Northern Lion II in Helmand province, Afghanistan, July 3, 2013.

U.S. Marine Corps photo

Earlier this year, the United States brokered a peace deal with the Taliban that would usher in a permanent cease-fire and reduce the U.S. military’s footprint from approximately 13,000 to 8,600 by mid-July.

The collective wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria have cost U.S. taxpayers more than $1.57 trillion since Sept. 11, 2001, according to a Defense Department report.

The current U.S. military operations, designated Operation Freedom’s Sentinel in Afghanistan, Operation Inherent Resolve in Syria and Iraq, and Operation Noble Eagle, have accounted for $266 billion of that sum.

Of the three current operations, Freedom’s Sentinel takes the lion’s share of costs at $193 billion.

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Market closes above a key milestone, setting up stocks for more gains



The Wall Street Bull (The Charging Bull) is seen during Covid-19 pandemic in New York, on May 26, 2020.

Tayfun Coskun | Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The stock market closed above a key milestone and looks set to keep moving higher for now.

The S&P 500 broke above its 200-day moving average for a second day, but this time succeeded in closing above it. The S&P 500 surged 44 points to 3,036 on Wednesday, after trading weaker early in the day. Before this week, the S&P was last above the 200-day on March 5.

The 200-day happened to be at 3,000, a level that is also seen as psychologically important.

The market was helped Wednesday by a steadying in momentum names, like Netflix and Tesla that touched their lows of the day just before 11 a.m. ET.  The S&P 500 hit its low at about the same time, as the group which includes the FAANG names, Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google parent Alphabet, all started to turn higher.  

Those big tech names that have been drivers of the market took a rest this week, as traders focused on names that will benefit from a reopening economy, like airlines, banks and industrials. The S&P financial sector is up more than 9.6% this week so far, and industrials are up more than 7.%. Communications services, which includes internet names, was up just 0.8%.

“Another feather in the hat of the market for reclaiming the 200-day. We’ll see where it takes us,” said Scott Redler, partner with “Tech had one more washout recovery to relieve some pressure and got back in line. I wouldn’t be surprised if tech acts better and the reopening trade takes a rest, like banks and the airlines.”

The 200-day is simply the average of the closing prices for the last 200 days for an index or even individual stock. In the case of the S&P 500, some investors view the 200-day as a line in the sand, where they will go long above  that level but not below it. That can generate interest in the market and help pull it higher.

Redler said the S&P 500 could face new resistance when the index reaches 3,080, a zone where the market broke down in March.

Paul Christopher, head of global market strategy at Wells Fargo Investment Institute, said the broadening out of the rally has been important and should help propel stocks. “The market has to figure out there’s more than one story to price,” he said, noting it would be hard to have a sustained rally without FAANG.

“In order to have a sustained rally, you needed broader participation. We still worry their fundamentals are not consistent with … gains we are seeing, especially in a lot of those smaller regional banks,” he said. Christopher said it’s unclear what kind of loan losses they could face in real estate, and from businesses like restaurants. 

“The rotation we’re seeing is a rotation to value, to small caps. It’s as if everything that got beaten up was getting a bid,” he said.

Christopher said there are headwinds for the market, including the rising tensions between the U.S. and China. That could come into focus later in the year, as the presidential election gets closer and candidates discuss China relations. For now, however, the V-shaped recovery is being seen as possible by some investors who see progress in the reopenings, he said.

“I don’t think this has registered yet,” Christopher said. “The market is still paying all of its attention to the accumulation of recent hopeful signs, not to cold hard facts, about a vaccine, a successful opening and a V-shaped recovery, which had been dismissed before.”

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Asia Pacific stocks set to jump as U.S.-China tensions ramp up



U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Congress on Wednesday that Hong Kong was no longer autonomous from China, raising questions over the special administrative region’s favorable trade relationship with the U.S.

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