Tech companies roll out procedures to protect employees amid coronavirus safety concerns

Posted: Updated:

Here is the latest business and technology news courtesy of Cheddar:

A historic market fall on Thursday was followed by a Friday rally as US stocks saw gains accelerate during the final moments of trading this week. In response to the coronavirus, businesses and their employees widely expected President Donald Trump to declare a national emergency. All major averages still ended the week in or near bear market territory, down 20 percent from their all-time highs. The majority of the sell-off this week was triggered by shock following President Trump's travel ban on European countries. A gigantic push from both the Federal Reserve and ECB to boost markets with new funds and stimulus measures was not enough to quell Wall Street's concerns of the coronavirus' economic impact. Thursday was the worst day for markets since the 1987 crash. The declines for this week officially ended a historic 11-year-long bull run.

Airlines saw a run on tickets between the US and the EU, with passengers paying exorbitant fees to come home before the travel ban was enacted. The Trump administration hastily clarified that the ban exempted US citizens and permanent residents, but the damage was done. The travel sector overall is set for painful months ahead, with United Airlines reporting a 70% plunge in bookings.

Tech companies continue to roll out procedures to protect their workers, while simultaneously serving customers that rely on their services to cope with coronavirus. Google is telling upwards of 100,000 of its employees to stay home. Amazon is also expanding a previous policy and telling all its worldwide employees to work from home if they can.

As state and local governments enact social distancing protocols, coronavirus shutdowns are also hitting retail. Some states are banning gatherings above a certain number of people. Disney temporarily closed its California and Florida theme parks and Starbucks says it is rethinking its stores to combat the spread of coronavirus. CEO Kevin Johnson said yesterday, "we may adapt the store experience by limiting seating to improve social distancing."

Continuing the string of closures across the country, it is timeout for sports across the United States. The NBA is suspending its season after a Utah Jazz player tested positive for the coronavirus. Its college counterpart, the NCAA, followed suit by cancelling March Madness. Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League, Major League Soccer, and in golf, the PGA are all cancelling their games or suspending seasons. All of this is set to hit the revenue of sponsors, equipment makers and advertisers.


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