Giving up on 2020. Marriott International announced the withdrawal of its financial outlook for 2020 in the face of increasing cancellations due to the spread of the coronavirus.
Dashed hope. Abbvie's pill containing a mixture of two anti-HIV drugs cited as a potential treatment for the disease caused by the new coronavirus, COVID-19, has proved ineffective, according to a study published by the New England Journal of Medicine.
Get off the floor. The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) will temporarily close its trading rooms to switch to 100% electronic trading from March 23.
Viridor operates in the private sector. KKR will buy Viridor, Pennon's waste division, for £4.2 billion. This operation has received the unanimous support of the board of directors, and will enable the company to reduce its debt. Net cash proceeds are expected to be around £3.7 billion.
Other coronavirus announcements: General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler have announced the suspension of car production in North America. Burberry announces that its in-store sales have plummeted 40-50% due to the coronavirus over the last 6 weeks. Harley-Davidson is also halting production in the United States. The CEO of Starbucks, Kevin Johnson, wants to reassure the investors by explaining to them to have some experience of the coronavirus for the United States after the situation managed in China. ENI abandons its 2020 and 2021 share buybacks. Qantas stops all its international flights. Accenture abandons its targets.
Share plunge. Softbank collapses on the Tokyo stock exchange, amid fears about the company's financial strength. The stock lost 17% at the close, the biggest drop in the share price since it went public in 1994.
Junk bonds. Occidental Petroleum's debt goes into junk at Moody's. The debt went from Baa3 to Ba1, the first notch in the speculative junk category. "Occidental Petroleum's acquisition of Anadarko Petroleum Corporation in August 2019 continues to weigh on the company's balance sheet with more than $35 billion in debt and $10 billion in preferred shares, severely compromising its financial flexibility to deal with the collapse in oil prices," Moody's said.
In other news. Alimentation Couche-Tard remains interested in Caltex Australia despite falling markets. Valora postpones its general meeting. Roche launches an advanced clinical trial of Actemra (tocilizumab) in patients severely affected by covid-19-induced pneumonia. Lufthansa will ground 700 of its 763 devices. Credit Suisse did rather well in the first quarter despite the coronavirus, the bank says.