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Reuters Company NewsFeb 21, 2020
GLOBAL MARKETS-Yen regains footing as coronavirus spread knocks stocks
* Graphic: World FX rates in 2020 (Releads; updates prices throughout)

MarketWatch MarketPulseFeb 21, 2020
COVID-19 tally: 76,767 cases, 2,247, 100 new cases in South Korea
The World Health Organization said Friday that there are 76,767 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 2,247 deaths, marking another day in which the number of new cases worldwide has slowed. In early February, the number of new cases reported each day was rising by at least 3,000. There are 1,019 new cases worldwide, 100 of which are in South Korea, which has seen a large uptick in cases in recent days. There are now 204 confirmed cases in South Korea. There are 15 confirmed cases in the U.S. although some U.S. nationals who had been on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which has reported 634 cases and 2 deaths, have been diagnosed with the virus. COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first diagnosed in humans in December in Wuhan, China. The outbreak has largely shut down Hubei Province, home to Wuhan, and slowed or halted factory production and consumer spending in China.

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MarketWatch MarketPulseFeb 21, 2020
Fed's Bullard says high probability coronavirus will be temporary shock
There is a "high probability" the COVID-19 outbreak will be a temporary shock, St. Louis Fed president James Bullard said Friday. In an interview on CNBC, Bullard said that market expectations of more Fed rate cuts are tied to worries about a severe economic shock from the virus. If those fears ease, expectations for Fed rates will also change, and "we will be back to an on-hold scenario," he said. Asked if he was worried about high valuations in equity markets, Bullard replied: "We're ok for now." Bullard has been arguing the U.S. economy will achieve a soft-landing. While stock valuations look high, there is less concern the low level of interest rates are factored in. Bullard has argued that the low-interest-rate environment is likely to persist. Minutes of the FOMC January meeting showed "several" Fed officials thought equity, corporate debt and commercial real estate valuations were "elevated." Bullard is not a voting FOMC member this year.

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MarketWatch MarketPulseFeb 21, 2020
ITT beats earnings expectations and lifts dividend, but gives downbeat outlook on coronavirus outbreak
ITT Inc. reported Friday fourth-quarter earnings that beat expectations and raised its dividend by 15%, but provided a downbeat outlook included an estimated impact from the coronavirus outbreak in China. The stock was still inactive in premarket trading. Net income at the engineered components company rose to $68.4 million, or 77 cents a share, from $51.9 million, or 58 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding non-recurring items, adjusted earnings per share came to 99 cents, above the FactSet consensus of 92 cents. Revenue rose 6% to $719.1 million, topping the FactSet consensus of $716.6 million, as beats in the motion technologies and industrial process segments offset a miss in connect and control technologies. For 2020, the company currently expects adjusted EPS of $3.87, with a wider range of $3.72 to $4.02, compared with the FactSet consensus of $3.99, and revenue to be down 1%, with a range of down 3% to up 1%, while expectations of $2.92 billion implies 2.5% growth. ITT raised its quarterly dividend to 16.9 cents a share from 14.75 cents, with the new dividend payable April 6 to shareholders of record on March 16. Based on Thursday's stock closing price of $68.87, the new annual dividend rate implies a dividend yield of 0.98%, compared with the implied yield for the S&P 500 of 1.80%. ITT's stock has slipped less than 0.1% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 has gained 8.7%.

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Lululemon has closed most if its China stores for some time due to coronavirus outbreak (MarketWatch MarketPulse)

MarketWatch MarketPulseFeb 21, 2020
Fed's Bostic says coronavirus will likely be 'short-time hit' to economy
Business contacts in the Atlanta Fed region expect only a temporary disruption from the COVID-19 outbreak, Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic said Friday. "I think this is going to be like a short-time hit," Bostic said in an interview on CNBC. While that is the baseline expectation, new information on the deadly virus is coming in every day, he noted. Bostic said he expected strong growth and low inflation ahead for the U.S. economy. There is no need for the Fed to cut interest rates, he said. "I have no impulses really to think that we need to do anything with our policy stance different from where we are today," Bostic said. "The economy is strong. It can stand on its own feet and it can grow pretty consistently. And so we should let it do that," he said. The recent fall in bond yields is partly due to safe-haven flows into U.S. markets, Bostic said. The 30-year bond yield hit an all-time low of 1.93% Friday morning.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit for more information on this news.

Europe Markets: European stocks drift lower as virus spread offsets data showing better economy (MarketWatch)

Reuters Company NewsFeb 21, 2020
European shares fall as investors eye data showing virus impact
European shares dropped on Friday as markets awaited a local reading on economic health to gauge the extent of the impact of the coronavirus on business activity in the bloc.

Reuters Company NewsFeb 21, 2020
EMERGING MARKETS-Virus-hit EM assets set to end week in the red
Stocks and currencies in developing economies were set to end the week lower on Friday, as investors avoided riskier assets on fears about the global economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak after China reported a spike in new cases.

Google Business NewsFeb 20, 2020
U.S. dollar, bonds get safe-haven rush as virus spreads -
U.S. dollar, bonds get safe-haven rush as virus spreads  Investing.comUS dollar, bonds get safe-haven rush as virus spreads  msnNOWAsian funds seek a sheltered shore in U.S. assets  ReutersStocks Mixed on Virus Jitters; Dollar Holds Gain: Markets Wrap  BloombergStocks Fall With Tech Leading Losses; Dollar Jumps: Markets Wrap  Investing.comView Full Coverage on Google News
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