Stimulus Bill Stalls, Coronavirus Cases Surge, Olympics May Be Postponed - 5 Things You Must Know Monday

Stock futures decline sharply after the Senate fails to advance the vote on an economic rescue package of nearly $2 trillion;the global death toll from the coronavirus surges to more than 341,000; Amazon's delivery delays stretch to as long as a month.
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Here are five things you must know for Monday, March 23:

1. -- Stock Futures Sink After Stimulus Bill Stalls

Stock futures declined sharply Monday after the global death toll from the coronavirus surged to more than 341,000 and the Senate failed to advance the vote on an economic rescue package of nearly $2 trillion.

Contracts linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled 651 points, S&P 500 futures were down 77 points and Nasdaq futures slumped 192 points. S&P 500 stock futures had hit "limit down" earlier in the session.

The Dow declined more than 17% last week, ending Friday at 19,173.98, the lowest level for the index since Oct. 10, 2016.

Another vote on the stimulus plan is expected Monday after Senate Democrats blocked the measure, saying corporations benefited too much from the plan and individuals and healthcare workers wouldn't be protected enough from the economic fallout of the pandemic.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Senate would vote again Monday at 9:45 a.m. ET, “15 minutes after the markets open, and see if there’s a change of heart.”

“We’ll see what happens,” President Donald Trump told reporters after the vote. “I think we’ll get there. To me it’s not very complicated. We have to help the worker, we have to save the companies.”

Meanwhile, U.S. economists at Morgan Stanley wrote in a report Sunday they now see gross domestic product falling 30.1% in April-June, which will drive up unemployment to an average 12.8% over the period, Bloomberg reported.

2. -- Coronavirus - The Latest

The number of confirmed global cases of the coronavirus has risen to 341,365, according to the Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering, and deaths increased to 14,758.

The U.S. has 35,224 cases of the virus and deaths have climbed to more than 400.

Republican Senators Mike Lee and Mitt Romney of Utah will go into self-quarantine after Rand Paul of Kentucky announced that he tested positive for coronavirus Covid-19.

Two other Republicans, Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado and Sen. Rick Scott of Florida, also have been in self-quarantine since they may have been exposed to the virus.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told parliament that Japan must consider postponing the Summer Olympics that were to begin in July but he said canceling the event was "not an option."

The International Olympic Committee said over the weekend it was  stepping up its scenario-planning for the Games.

Louisiana and Ohio joined California, Illinois and New Jersey in mandating that all residents stay at home to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.

President Donald Trump ramped up federal assistance for California, Washington and New York - the three states hit hardest by the outbreak - by issuing disaster declarations that allow the states to deploy the National Guard to help with the crisis.

All non-essential businesses in New York City were closed Sunday evening, with Mayor Bill de Blasio saying city residents "have to change the way we live if we’re going to bend the curve of this epidemic.”

Former Vice President Joe Biden said the presidential election in November should take place as planned.

“We ought to be able to preserve our health and our democracy at the same time,” said Biden, the Democratic front-runner. “You know, we voted in the middle of a civil war, we voted in the middle of World War I and II.”

3. -- Amazon's Delivery Delays of Non-Essential Items as Long as a Month

Amazon.com's  (AMZN) - Get Report customers and merchants have said on social media platforms that certain non-essential items were showing April 21 delivery dates, even though they were listed as in-stock and shipping with Amazon’s Prime express shipping service, Recode reported Sunday. 

Deliveries with Amazon Prime usually arrive in one or two days. But Recode noted how some Prime deliveries for in-stock items were showing five-day delivery promises on the lower end, but waits as long as a month for other items.

The online retailing giant last week said it would begin prioritizing the most in-demand essential items in its warehouses.

An Amazon spokesperson confirmed to Recode that the delivery dates were real.

“To serve our customers in need while also helping to ensure the safety of our associates, we’ve changed our logistics, transportation, supply chain, purchasing, and third-party seller processes to prioritize stocking and delivering items that are a higher priority for our customers,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “This has resulted in some of our delivery promises being longer than usual.”

4. -- Occidental Petroleum Nears a Settlement With Carl Icahn

Occidental Petroleum  (OXY) - Get Report is nearing a settlement with billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The agreement would see two Icahn lieutenants, Andrew Langham and Nicholas Graziano, get seats on the oil producer's board, while Icahn and Occidental Petroleum mutually would agree on a third, independent director.

The agreement, which would end a a nearly yearlong battle, could become official as soon as Monday, people familiar with the matter told the Journal.

As part of the deal, Icahn also would approve the company's plan to bring back Stephen Chazen, its former chief executive, as chairman. Occidental CEO Vicki Hollub, who has come under fire from Icahn, is expected to retain her position, according to the Journal.

5. -- Monday's Calendar Highlights 

The economic calendar in the U.S. Monday includes the Chicago Fed National Activity Index for February at 8:30 a.m. ET.

The earnings calendar is light Monday but reports are expected later in the week from Carnival  (CCL) - Get Report, Nike  (NKE) - Get Report, Micron Technology  (MU) - Get Report, Lululemon  (LULU) - Get Report, KB Home  (KBH) - Get Report and GameStop  (GME) - Get Report.