What Moved Global Markets
– Global cases cross 353,000
– Global deaths: At least 15,000
- There is mounting pressure to postpone the Olympics for the first time in their 124-year history. On Sunday, leaders from Canada and Australia announced they made the difficult decision to not send their teams to Tokyo this summer. Monday, leaders from other countries are also speaking out in support of postponing the games.
- Stocks fell sharply Monday even after the Federal Reserve unveiled new measures to keep markets working properly.
- The major averages pared losses at midday after Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said he expects the upper chamber to reach a deal on a massive fiscal stimulus package. However, the package again failed a key procedural vote in the Senate.
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded more than 150 points lower, or 0.9%, after clinching its lowest level in three years earlier in the session. The S&P 500 slid about 0.8% while the Nasdaq Composite outperformed with a 1% gain. Some stocks made quite some moves midday: Zoom Video, Hasbro, Netflix, Boeing etc.
- In Europe, Germany is planning to increase borrowing by as much as 150 billion euros ($160 billion) this year. The Italian government ordered the closure of all industrial production and almost all private and public offices.
What Moved Crypto Markets (i.e. digital assets)
- Crypto exchange Bitfinex is set to further delist 87 trading pairs due to low levels of liquidity. The pairs being removed include several altcoins paired against both bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH), as well as against tether (USDT) and fiat currencies. Some of these pairs include altcoins of notable projects, such as token creation platform Bancor, blockchain-based AI marketplace project SingularityNET and adult industry-oriented blockchain project SpankChain, among others. Bitfinex said the removal, effective March 26, will help improve liquidity and the trading experience for users.
- The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has pressed charges against a former state senator for his role in a $4.3 million token sale that promised outlandishly high returns. The SEC confirmed Friday it had filed a complaint against David Schmidt, a former Republican state senator for Washington State, as well as two other people for their role promoting the sale of “Meta 1 Coins.” They were accused of violating anti-fraud and securities regulations when promising investors returns of nearly 225,000 percent. They also claimed the coin was risk-free and would never lose value. The SEC said defendants made “numerous false and misleading statements,” including that Meta 1 Coin was backed by an art collection valued at $1 billion, or a gold deposit valued at $2 billion, that was regularly audited by an accounting firm.
Fintech: As the coronavirus spreads at an exponential rate and U.S. consumers stay locked in their homes, businesses large and small are hunkering down, many laying off workers as they try to survive a recession. Among financial technology companies, those lending money to average Americans may be facing the biggest risks, as unemployment grows and any stimulus Congress passes replaces only a portion of lost income. WIll lenders like Upstart survive – check out this Forbes article.
Healthtech: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention introduced a bot to help people make decisions about what to do if they have potential symptoms of COVID-19. Called Clara, the “coronavirus self-checker” was created in partnership with CDC Foundation and Microsoft Azure’s Healthcare Bot service.
AI: As coronavirus cases in Israel surge past 1,200, researchers in the country are predicting where it will spread next analyzing responses to questionnaires with AI, building a survey-reading AI that predicts coronavirus outbreaks. After members of the public report their condition, algorithms evaluate their answers to connect symptoms to locations. The results are then displayed on a map showing the clusters of infection where the virus is spreading. Public healthcare officials can use these insights to focus on areas where another outbreak is likely. Governments outside of Israel are already using the system.
Smart cities: The Smart Cities Council has released the COVID – 19 Mitigation Roadmap planning tool in its Smart Cities Activator platform to help cities act faster on tackling the coronavirus pandemic. The Smart Cities Activator platform helps cities understand their needs, assets and stakeholders, and to visualise and centralise planning. Previously, it has been used by cities to manage projects such as smart streetlights, smart parking, climate mitigation, public safety and device and asset management.
NexChangeNOW Pick of the Day
Bitfinex to Delist 87 Trading Pairs