Dow's 3,000-Point Drop, Coronavirus, Amazon, Boeing, St. Patrick's Day - 5 Things You Must Know Tuesday

Stock futures rise modestly after equities fall the most in 30 years in the previous session; Donald Trump acknowledges U.S. could tip into a recession; Boeing seeks short-term government help.
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Here are five things you must know for Tuesday, March 17:

1. -- Stock Futures Rise After Dow's 3,000-Point Drop

Stock futures rose Tuesday and at one point hit "limit up" after equities fell the most in 30 years Monday after Wall Street's concerns about a recession rose despite intervention by the world's central banks.

Contracts linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 500 points, S&P 500 futures gained 62 points and Nasdaq futures rose 214 points.

The S&P 500 fell 12% and closed at its lowest level since December 2018 - it has dropped 27% from its all-time high in mid-February. The Dow fell nearly 13%, or 2,997 points, and tumbled to the lowest since February 2017.

Microsoft  (MSFT) - Get Report fell 14.7% on Monday, the stock's worst single-day decline in almost 20 years. Shares rose 3.7% in premarket trading Tuesday to $140.43.

The Federal Reserve slashed interest rates on Sunday in an emergency move but the action did little to calm investors' worries that growth in the U.S. and the world would be crimped drastically by the coronavirus that continues to spread and take lives.

Even President Donald Trump - who often touted the stock market's gains during his presidency - said Monday the United States could tip into a recession because of the coronavirus.

"Well it may be," Trump said about the chances of a recession. "We're not thinking in terms of recession, we're thinking in terms of the virus."

Trump suggested the U.S. could be confronting the coronavirus outbreak until August or longer.

Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist at the Leuthold Group, said while the coronavirus crisis is "loaded with bad news," it's the "unknown" that is so troubling.

“Give me bad news any day over complete uncertainty,” he said.

2. -- Coronavirus - The Latest

The number of confirmed global cases of the coronavirus has risen to 182,413, according to the Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering, and deaths increased to 7,154.

The U.S. has 4,661 cases of the virus and deaths have climbed to 88.

President Donald Trump said in a press conference Monday that Americans should avoid gatherings of more than 10 people. He also said people should avoid going to restaurants and bars.

San Francisco required all residents to stay home except for essential needs in an effort to slow the spread of the virus.

Tesla's  (TSLA) - Get Report Fremont plant apparently is planning to defy the shutdown order in the Bay Area, according to Elektrek. Several Tesla employees were told by the electric vehicle company they plan to be in operation Tuesday.

Bars in Houston and Dallas were ordered to be closed and dining in at restaurants was restricted.

Cash handouts to all American households are gaining support in Congress as the best way to shore up an economy brought to a near-standstill by the coronavirus.

Republican Sen. Mitt Romney backed the idea of sending $1,000 checks to every adult American as the economy nears a total shutdown because of the coronavirus. Several House Democrats also supported the idea.

Amazon.com  (AMZN) - Get Report said it would hire 100,000 full- and part-time workers to meet the surge in demand for online products.

"We are seeing a significant increase in demand, which means our labor needs are unprecedented for this time of year," the company wrote in a blog post. Amazon said it welcomed laid-off or furloughed workers, especially in the hospitality, restaurant, and travel businesses, that have lost their jobs to apply for these positions. 

Canada said it would restrict entry of non-residents into the country, except Americans.

McDonald's  (MCD) - Get Report said it would close dining rooms in the U.S. at its company-owned locations. Customers can order food or beverages for takeout or delivery or at drive-through windows. 

NASCAR is postponing all race events through May 3.

3. -- Boeing Seeks Short-Term Help From U.S. Government

Boeing  (BA) - Get Report has asked the White House and officials in Congress for short-term aid for itself, suppliers and airlines as the travel industry takes a serious blow from the coronavirus outbreak, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The U.S. planemaker is seeking to avoid layoffs and damage to hundreds of smaller companies that make parts and systems for its aircraft, the people said. 

The virus outbreak is a double-whammy for Boeing, which has been suffering since its best-selling aircraft - the 737 MAX, was grounded a year ago after two deadly crashes.

Boeing confirmed in a statement that “ongoing, positive discussions continue with government and industry leaders” - including in the Trump administration and Congress. 

“Short-term access to public and private liquidity will be one of the most important ways for airlines, airports, suppliers and manufacturers to bridge to recovery,” Boeing said. “We appreciate how the administration and Congress are engaging with all elements of the aviation industry during this difficult time.”

U.S. airlines, meanwhile, are seeking more than $50 billion in financial assistance from the government, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The exact form and amount of aid is being discussed with Trump administration officials and congressional leaders. A potential aid package could include government-backed loans, cash grants and other measures including relief from taxes and fees, according to an airline trade group and others familiar with the discussions, the Journal reported.

4. -- Retail Sales and FedEx Earnings Highlight Tuesday's Calendar

The economic calendar in the U.S. Tuesday includes Retail Sales for February at 8:30 a.m. ET, Industrial Production for February at 9:15 a.m. and the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey for January at 10 a.m.

The calendar was expected to include the start of the two-day meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, the Federal Reserve's rate-setting committee, but Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said Sunday's emergency action by the central bank to cut interest rates to nearly zero took its place.

Earnings reports are expected Tuesday from FedEx  (FDX) - Get Report, Michael Cos.  (MIK) - Get Report and Designer Brands  (DBI) - Get Report

5. -- St. Patrick's Day - Fast Facts

St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated around the world in observance of the death of Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, who was credited for bringing Christianity to the country. 

Saint Patrick wasn't Irish - he was British.

Saint Patrick has nothing to do with driving snakes out of Ireland. The reptiles have never existed there - Ireland is too cold for them.

The first St. Patrick’s Day parade in America was held in New York in 1766. This year the parade was postponed - the first time that has happened - over concerns about the spread of the coronavirus. The parade will be held at a later date.