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Coronavirus Outbreak, Apple, JetBlue, Marvell and Costco - 5 Things You Must Know Thursday

Stock futures tumble after coronavirus infections in the U.S. rise and California declares a medical state of emergency after the state's first death from the virus; Apple and Netflix pull out of the SXSW festival; JetBlue joins United in cutting U.S. flights because of the virus outbreak.

Here are five things you must know for Thursday, March 5:

1. -- Stock Futures Tumble as U.S. Coronavirus Cases Rise

Stock futures were tumbling Thursday after coronavirus infections in the U.S. rose and California declared a medical state of emergency after the state's first death from the virus.

U.S. cases of the virus have risen to just under 160, according to Johns Hopkins CSSE. At least 11 people in the United States have died from Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. Most of the deaths were in Washington state, while the death of an elderly California woman took place just outside Sacramento. 

Congress on Wednesday reached agreement on an $8.3 billion spending measure to battle the spread of the virus that could become a major threat to the economy.

Global cases of Covid-19 have risen to 95,748, according to Johns Hopkins, with the death toll nearly at 3,300.

Meanwhile, the broader economic impact continues to be assessed, with the International Monetary Fund trimming its global growth forecast by 0.4 percentage points to 2.9%, a level that would be the slowest pace of growth since 2009.

IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva also cautioned the virus-related pullback could intensify in the coming months, but added that "how far it will fall and how long the impact will be is still difficult to predict."

Contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which rose 1,173 points on Wednesday, were pulling back sharply Thursday, down 488points, while S&P 500 futures fell 63.45 points and Nasdaq futures slumped 176.75 points. 

2. -- Apple and Netflix Are Latest to Pull Out of SXSW

The spread of the coronavirus is threatening South by Southwest, the annual tech, film and music conference in Austin, Texas, that begins next week.

Apple AAPL announced Wednesday that it wouldn't be attending the festival that begins March 13. 

The tech giant had been set to premiere three new Apple TV+ originals at the festival, including Spike Jonze’s documentary film “Beastie Boys Story,” and also was scheduled to host a discussion of Apple's “Little America” with docuseries creators Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon. Those have now been cancelled, according to Variety.

Netflix NFLX also is pulling out of SXSW, a source familiar with the situation told Variety. The streaming giant has canceled five film screenings and a panel for series "#BlackExcellence."  (AMZN)  and Facebook  (FB)  also have pulled out of SXSW.

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Austin public health officials said Wednesday the festival would go on as planned. There have been about 11 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Texas.

3. -- JetBlue Joins United in Cutting U.S. Flights

JetBlue Airways  (JBLU)  joined United Airlines  (UAL)  in trimming domestic schedules as travel demand slumps during the coronavirus outbreak.

JetBlue plans to trim capacity 5% in the near term and watch booking trends to assess whether additional cuts are needed, Chief Operating Officer Joanna Geraghty said in a message to
employees, Bloomberg reported. The goal is “preserving cash and slowing down the
amount of money we spend every day,” she said.

United said Wednesday it was reducing its U.S. and Canada flights by 10% and international flights by 20% in March because of the virus outbreak.

United also said that it was implementing a hiring freeze, delaying merit-based salary increases and offering employees the option to take an unpaid leave of absence.

4. -- Marvell Rises on Fourth-Quarter Earnings Beat

Marvell Technology  (MRVL)  rose 6.68% in premarket trading Thursday to $24.10 after the semiconductor maker reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings and sales ahead of analysts' expectations and issued a better-than-expected first-quarter forecast.

The company reported fourth-quarter earnings of 17 cents a share on revenue of $718 million. Analysts were expecting the company to report earnings of 16 cents a share on revenue of $713 million.

Marvell said it expects fiscal first-quarter revenue of $680 million, with earnings expected at between 11 cents and 17 cents a share. Analysts forecast the company to report revenue of $674.8 million and earnings of 13 cents a share.

"Marvell delivered fourth-quarter revenue above the mid-point of guidance with solid results from both our networking and storage businesses. Our guidance for the first quarter of fiscal 2021 reflects the reduction of approximately 5% of revenue to account for coronavirus impacts we are aware of so far," said CEO Matthew Murphy.

"Overall, we thought the results here were surprisingly good and the tone of the conference call, from both a management and analyst perspective, was the most upbeat in our recent memory," said Jim Cramer and the Action Alerts PLUS team, which holds Marvell in its portfolio.

The AAP team added, "We believe the outlook remains bright here and management's commentary and recent announcements with Samsung and Nokia are supportive of our long-term 5G-oriented thesis."

5. -- Costco and Kroger Report Earnings

Earnings reports are expected Thursday from Costco  (COST) , BJ's Wholesale Club  (BJ) , Kroger  (KR) , Ciena  (CIEN) , Burlington Stores  (BURL) , American Outdoor Brands  (AOBC) , Okta  (OKTA) , Plug Power  (PLUG) , Tech Data  (TECD)  and Fastenal  (FAST) .

Costco is a holding in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS member club. Want to be alerted before Jim Cramer buys or sells the stock? Learn more now.

The economic calendar in the U.S. Thursday includes weekly Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m. ET, Productivity and Costs for the fourth quarter at 8:30 a.m. and Factory Orders for January at 10 a.m.