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Situational Awareness: Today's jobs report will be especially watched after the Fed's emergency 50 basis point rate cut and seismic stock market volatility. Economists expect the U.S. added around 175,000 jobs last month. (Reuters)
🎙"There is no such thing as a little freedom. Either you are all free, or you are not free.” - See who said it and why it matters at the bottom.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
Having already hit supply chains and led to the widespread cancellation of large gatherings and events, the COVID-19 outbreak is now causing a repricing on tourism and travel globally, as airlines, hotels and travel operators see major declines in bookings and revenue.
Driving the news: Southwest, United and JetBlue have all warned that the virus will have a serious impact on profits as tourists cut back travel and companies cancel events.
State of play: "This is not a drill," the World Health Organization said Thursday. "This is a time for pulling out all the stops,"
Scientists are still trying to determine how the virus is spreading and the best ways to combat it, Maria Van Kerkhove, head of WHO’s emerging diseases and zoonoses unit, said.
Between the lines: The worst-hit industry may be hotels, which are marking down prices and facing what may be the worst year since the financial crisis, WSJ reports.
On the bright side: The number of new cases confirmed in China has consistently declined in recent days to zero outside of the Hubei province, and the country's lowest levels since the start of the outbreak. Stocks have climbed all the way back from their lows in a matter of weeks.
Yes, but: There is increasing doubt about the accuracy of China's reporting.
Hotel bookings in Italy and Milan have fallen off a cliff as travelers cancel trips en masse, data from STR showed.
The details: The country has canceled major events, including Milan's fashion week and its carnival celebration. The festival was also canceled in Athens, leading to substantial hotel declines there as well.
Also: Travel analytics company ForwardKeys found that flight bookings to Italy fell by nearly 139% in the final week of February, compared with a year ago, the Washington Post reported. The company said that means the number of cancellations exceeded the number of new bookings.
Benchmark U.S. Treasury yields fell below 0.8% as traders continue to price in worsening outcomes for the coronavirus outbreak. (WSJ)
Local Chinese companies and officials are fraudulently increasing work resumption metrics in order to meet tough new targets as the spread of COVID-19 in China declines. (Nikkei)
OPEC reached an agreement to cut oil production by 1.5 million barrels per day to fight the decline in oil prices, which already have fallen into a bear market this year. However, Russia's participation is uncertain. (Bloomberg)
The dollar is buckling under the weight of expected rate cuts from the Fed and record-low U.S. Treasury yields.
Why it matters: Multinational companies prefer a weak dollar because it makes U.S. exports cheaper overseas, but it also makes imported goods more expensive for American consumers and can push inflation higher.
What's happening: As Treasury yields sink further into record low territory the so-called carry trade, in which traders buy dollars to benefit from U.S. yields being higher than in other industrialized countries like the eurozone and Japan, is starting to decline.
Watch this space: Yields on benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury notes again hit a record low, touching 0.92% on Thursday, less than 160 basis points above comparable German government debt, the European standard.
Breaking it down: "There’s a belief that [U.S. and European rates] can converge or get pretty close to convergence pretty quickly because the Fed has suddenly become quite aggressive," Kathy Jones, chief fixed income strategist at Charles Schwab, tells Axios.
The latest bank in the crosshairs of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is Fifth Third Bancorp, which disclosed in a securities filing this week that the CFPB is targeting the bank for “alleged unauthorized account openings,” American Banker's Kate Berry reported.
Why it matters: Wells Fargo has faced billions in fines and penalties and had been held up as a singular example of corporate wrongdoing for its account fraud scandal.
Flashback: Wells Fargo’s account fraud scandal also began with a CFPB enforcement action.
Quote: "There is no such thing as a little freedom. Either you are all free, or you are not free."
Why it matters: Those were the words of the legendary Walter Cronkite, who had his final broadcast, ending with the pithy, "And that's the way it is..." for the last time on March 6, 1981.