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Drastic intervention by the Federal Reserve sent investors into panic mode Monday, with the Dow Jones industrial average plunging 2,250 points at the open and trading suspended almost immediately.

It was the third time in two weeks the New York Stock Exchange triggered the so-called circuit breaker, a rarely used lever, to stop stocks from free-fall and give traders time to get their bearings. It’s activated when the S&P 500 falls 7 percent; on Monday the index skidded more than 8.1 percent before trading stopped for 15 minutes.

There was some recovery in the Dow by early afternoon, with the blue-chip index paring its losses to 1,935 points, or 8.4 percent. But by mid-afternoon all gains were gone. Shortly before 2:30, the Dow was down more than 2,350 points, or 10.1 percent. The S&P 500 and tech-heavy sank 9.6 percent and the Nasdaq declined 9.8 percent.

The Dow erased most of the nearly 2,000-point jolt it got Friday after President Trump issued an emergency declaration over the coronavirus pandemic, which has disrupted nearly every aspect of American life and threatens to catapult the United States into recession. On Saturday, the House passed legislation, backed by Trump, that would spend billions of dollars on medical tests, paid sick leave for affected workers and unemployment insurance.

After an emergency meeting Sunday, the Federal Reserve announced that it would slash the benchmark interest rate to between zero and 0.25 percent (down from a range of 1 to 1.25 percent) and buy $700 billion in Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities. The Fed also said it would revive the crisis-era program of bond purchases known as “quantitative easing,” in which the central bank buys hundreds of billions of dollars in bonds to further push down rates and keep markets flowing freely.

The Fed intervention was its most dramatic since the 2008 financial crisis, and it comes as central banks around the world are making dramatic moves to keep the global economy running as travel grinds to halt, businesses shut their doors and people stay home to limit the spread of the virus that has killed thousands of people worldwide and been detected in dozens of countries and nearly every state. But the steep declines suggest that investors are scared the central bank might now be out of tools to guard against a recession.

“There can be no denying the Fed’s commitment to action but its dramatic move will initially stoke further debate as to whether the monetary medicine will work, on the economy or markets or both,” Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, wrote in commentary Monday.

7:19 p.m.
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Event that was to bring nearly 1,000 to Mar-a-Lago canceled, organizer says

Another large event planned at President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club — a car show with up to 1,000 guests — has been canceled because of warnings about the novel coronavirus, the show’s organizer said Monday.

The car show, called The Palm Event, was supposed to bring more than 100 vintage cars, and up to 1,000 people, on the club’s vast lawn on Saturday. Tickets were $350 each. The show was supposed to begin Friday with a smaller display at another venue in Palm Beach.

Event President Scott Shrader said he had decided to postpone the event to November or December. He cited the recent guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, which recommended canceling or postponing an events with more than 50 attendees for the next eight weeks." It’s just not prudent," Shrader said in a phone interview. “There’s just no way that I can ethically go on with it.”

He said he had discussed the postponement with the club, but declined to give details of that conversation. The Mar-a-Lago Club has already had several large events, including a charity brunch and a Republican Party dinner, postponed by their organizers in recent days. Most of the club is closed on Monday, for what Trump’s company called a “thorough deep cleaning,” following reports that at least four recent visitors have tested positive for the coronavirus. But the club has told members it plans to reopen fully on Tuesday, and offer lunch and dinner service as usual.

6:31 p.m.
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Airline industry seeks $50 billion aid package as it grapples with steep coronavirus losses

U.S. airlines are asking for more than $50 billion in federal assistance as they grapple with a dramatic drop in traffic due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The request includes nearly $30 billion in grants for passenger and cargo carriers, according to a document from Airlines for America, the industry’s leading trade group. They’re also seeking $25 billion in loans and temporary tax relief via the repeal of all federal excise taxes on tickets, fuel and cargo through the end of 2021.

6:14 p.m.
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New York is shuttering bars and restaurants. What does that mean for service workers?

The somber announcement from came late Sunday night: New York Mayor Bill de Blasio would sign an executive order limiting restaurants, bars and cafes to food takeout and delivery. “Nightclubs, movie theaters, small theater houses, and concert venues must all close,” the Democrat said in a statement, citing the necessity to protect the city’s roughly 8.3 million residents from the virus that has infected thousands across the United States.

Though de Blasio’s effort to restrict access to public spaces was praised as “the right decision,” the move also raised alarm about the effect it would have on city residents — namely the scores of service workers and small-business owners whose livelihoods are likely to be upended by the order.

Of the industries that make up the city’s leisure and hospitality sector, restaurants and bars employ the most people, according to a 2019 report from the New York State Labor Department. The 10 most common occupations within the industry include waiters and waitresses, bartenders, and “counter attendants” at coffee shops — jobs that would not be essential for establishments restricted to takeout and delivery orders.

5:02 p.m.
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Video conferencing becomes the new norm as people work from home

The millions of employees and students being asked to work and study from home this month are rediscovering one of the more consistently maddening kinds of modern technology: video conferencing software.

In the comfort of their own homes, from couches, recliners, beds and kitchen tables, people across the United States are firing up video chats and conferences to replace the meetings and classes that are not happening in person because of the coronavirus. These social distancing measures are meant to keep us from physically coming into contact with other humans — and creating the need for virtual connection.

But the reality of video conferencing is a mix of confusing software, subpar hardware and the awkwardness of still-developing social norms. For people thrust into the work-from-home life for the first time, learning how to act on video conferences can be as much of a struggle as figuring out how to dial in.

3:37 p.m.
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School closures expose Internet inequality among U.S. students

Every year, Anthony Angelini surveys his seventh-grade students at New Oxford Middle School in rural Pennsylvania, asking whether they have access to a computer and a reliable way to get online. Every year, some portion of them say they don’t.

His annual query has taken on new urgency in recent days, as schools nationwide shutter in response to the fast-spreading coronavirus outbreak. Though some are migrating their daily lessons and homework assignments onto the Web, many administrators and teachers lack that digital luxury — illustrating how a public health crisis has brought to light a technological one.

In states like Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Washington, educators say they are feeling firsthand the sting of the digital divide — the historically hard-to-erase gap between those who have speedy, modern-day Web connections and those who do not. Even in the time of TikTok, an era when every song, movie and book seem a mere click away, millions of Americans lack basic broadband or simply cannot afford it.

Last week, the FCC sought to offer a digital lifeline, shoring up commitments from AT&T, Verizon and dozens of Internet providers to help people stay online, even if they fall behind on their bills. Companies like Comcast, meanwhile, also announced they would offer broadband to some low-income families for free.

“I think that’s how you start changing things,” said Joshua Edmonds, a digital inclusion policy fellow for the city of Detroit. He said he’s long operated under a working assumption that “approximately 60 percent of Detroit public school students don’t have high-speed Internet.”

2:56 p.m.
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Perspective: If you’re panicked about your retirement account, maybe it’s best not to look

With the constant four-digit drops in the Dow Jones industrial average, it’s tempting to want to know what damage was done to your 401(k) retirement account — at least on paper. But if you’re not planning to make any changes, there’s no reason to check how it’s doing.

Some things are better left unseen. If you have a good long-term investment plan in place and you’re years away from having to tap your retirement funds, don’t keep checking on how the daily stock swings are affecting your retirement account. It’s like when you ride a roller coaster: Close your eyes if you don’t want to see the fall. And remember that, eventually, the wild ride ends.

2:27 p.m.
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Big banks suspending stock buybacks until summer

The big banks are suspending their stock buybacks until midyear so that they have enough cash on hand as the economy deteriorates. Bank of America, Bank of New York Mellon, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, State Street, and Wells Fargo will not purchase their own shares on the public market, according to Financial Services Forum, the advocacy group for big banks.

Public companies repurchase their shares, known as a buyback, to reduce the number and drive up the stock price or prevent an activist from buying stock and taking over the company.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented challenge for the world and the global economy and the largest U.S. banks have an unquestioned ability and commitment to supporting our customers, clients and the nation,” the organization said in a statement. Buybacks have been criticized as a tool that companies use to increase the compensation of executives who are paid in company shares.

Proponents say buybacks are a way to reward shareholders and wise use of capital if there are no better investment options. “This is a necessary, smart move and a far better use of cash on hand than pumping up share price,” said Jared Bernstein, senior fellow at the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

1:45 p.m.
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Airlines brace for plunging revenue and deeper cuts that will likely last through summer travel

United Airlines disclosed some of the airline industry’s most dire projections yet, as coronavirus and heightened fears of a worldwide recession have increasingly shut down enormous swaths of global travel.

On Sunday, the carrier said it flew 1 million fewer customers in the first two weeks of March compared with the same period last year. The airline is projecting that revenue in March — typically the busiest month of the year — will be $1.5 billion lower last this month in 2019.

“The bad news is that it’s getting worse,” United’s CEO, Oscar Munoz, and president, J. Scott Kirby, wrote in a message to their nearly 100,000 employees. “We expect both the number of customers and revenue to decline sharply in the days and weeks ahead.”

The airline announced a roughly 50 percent cut in capacity for April and May, with the expectations that the cuts will extend into summer travel. Even with those cuts, United expects load factors to drop into the 20 to 30 percent range, at the least.

United said it is talking with union leadership about how to reduce payroll expenses. The airline’s corporate officers will have their salaries cut by 50 percent.

“We took early, aggressive action because we have been determined to do everything possible to avoid painful steps that affect your paycheck," Munoz and Kirby wrote. "But, based on the severity of the situation, that no longer appears realistic.”

Well before Sunday’s brutal projections, United had cut flight schedules, imposed a hiring freeze, rolled out a voluntary leave program and cut Munoz’s base salary by 100 percent. Other airlines may only have so long before following suit.

On Monday, the owner of British Airways said it will cut capacity by at least 75 percent in April and May. The International Consolidated Airlines Group said it will be grounding flights, cutting hours, suspending employment contracts and halting discretionary spending. The company’s leader, Willie Walsh, is deferring his retirement because of the crisis.

Last week, Delta announced a 40 percent schedule reduction and 100 percent salary cut for its CEO. American Airlines is reducing its international capacity by 75 percent.

12:48 p.m.
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Wall Street drubbing has left no sector unscathed

Investors looking for places to hide from the stock market carnage are finding few options.

Energy and utilities, both historic refuges, are feeling the pain of the sell-off that tipped the Dow Jones industrial average into a bear market last week after the swiftest 20 percent plunge in Wall Street history.

Oil company shares have been whacked by the dual hits of the coronavirus fallout and an oversupplied market thanks to the standoff between Russia and Saudi Arabia. The oil heavyweights seem intent on settling scores despite the imploding world economy, and they are flooding the oil market to see who blinks first. As a result, crude prices are plunging, making it difficult for companies to make money.

Energy is the worst performing sector in the Standard & Poor’s 500 index, falling more than 47 percent in 2020, according to S&P Dow Jones indexes.

Utilities are one of the S&P’s stalwarts — but even they’ve plunged 12 percent this year as of Friday’s close. Gold, silver, copper, Treasury yields and money markets are all feeling the pain.

“The scary thing is last week the utility sector of the S&P was down 14.3 percent, which is supposed to be defensive,” said Dan Niles of AlphaOne Capital Partners, a San Francisco hedge fund. “Ten-year Treasury bonds were also selling off, which are also supposed to be defensive, sending yields up. Finally gold was down 9 percent another asset class that is supposed to be defensive and rallying in times like last week.

“There are some funds last week that went essentially out of business in my view,” Niles said. “We will find out in due course which ones.”

12:00 p.m.
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Paid sick leave: Who gets it during the coronavirus outbreak

There’s growing consensus that Americans need to stay home to help prevent the spread of covid-19, especially if they feel sick or have a suspected or confirmed case of the coronavirus. The health of the nation comes first, experts say, but there’s broad concern that many workers might be forced to choose between staying home or getting paid if they feel under the weather or need to care for a sick relative.

On Saturday, the House passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act after negotiations with the White House. The bill, supported by President Trump and headed to the Senate, aims to provide money to most American workers stuck at home due to the outbreak. If the bill is approved by the Senate and signed by Trump, it would grant two weeks of paid sick leave to most workers at 100 percent of their normal salary. It would also provide as much as 12 weeks of paid family leave at 67 percent of the person’s normal pay for most workers.

But there’s a catch: It doesn’t cover everyone. Small and midsize companies are required to provide these benefits. “Gig” workers and those who are self-employed also get them. But large companies with more than 500 employees are not mentioned in the bill. Experts say that’s a significant loophole. In a worst-case scenario, 6.7 million U.S. workers could be left without any sick pay at all, according to a calculation by the Center for American Progress, a liberal-leaning think tank. That’s less than 5 percent of the nation’s nearly 159 million workers.

To find out who qualifies for sick and paid leave according to the legislation, read more here.

11:57 a.m.
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Apple, Patagonia, Abercrombie & Fitch on growing list of retailers announcing temporary store closures

The number of major retailers that have or will shut their doors through March to contain the coronavirus jumped over the weekend, a roster that includes Apple, Patagonia and Abercrombie & Fitch. And though store closures could be crucial to slowing the speed of transmission, it also blunts consumer spending, which powers 70 percent of the U.S. economy.

“What we’ve learned together (in China) has helped us all develop the best practices that are assisting enormously in our global response,” Apple said in a statement Friday announcing closures of all its stores outside Greater China. “One of those lessons is that the most effective way to minimize risk of the virus’s transmission is to reduce density and maximize social distance.”

Everlane, Nike, Glossier, REI, Urban Outfitters and Lululemon have also announced closures, and several major U.S. cities, including New York, have ordered bars and restaurants to close in last-ditch efforts to stem the spread of the virus. The companies have emphasized that they’ll keep their online operations running, but some are warning of possible shipment delays. Some companies in the hardest-hit industries have already begun laying off employees.

“Consumer spending will go down as people stay home because of the coronavirus. That will hit a number of industries particularly hard, such as the service industry, travel providers, live entertainment venues, movie theaters, and more,” WalletHub CEO Odysseas Papadimitriou said in comments emailed to The Post. “That in turn could lead to a domino effect, with turmoil in one industry spilling over to another. For example, if a restaurant owner can no longer pay rent, the property owner might not be able to pay its loan, and the bank that made the loan might end up suffering as well.”

In China, the origin of the pandemic, retail spending fell 20.5 percent in January and February as stores shuttered and consumers were forced into lockdown — a possible sign of what’s to come for other countries.