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Record Plunge on Wall Street; Italy Shuts Down, Cases in China Decline; Bernie Sanders Banking on Michigan. Aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired March 10, 2020 - 04:00   ET



CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Wall Street inching dangerously close to a bear market. A year of gains wiped out. Now, the president is pushing stimulus. Can stocks stage a badly needed comeback today?

LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR: Broad impact from the coronavirus spilling around the world this morning. Italy totally shut down, freezing 16 million people in place. But in Asia, numbers appeared to be declining.

ROMANS: And Bernie Sanders faces a pivotal test if he wants to remain viable in the 2020 race. Can lightning strike twice in Michigan?

JARRETT: We are live this morning in Rome, Shanghai and London. Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world.

This is EARLY START. I'm Laura Jarrett.

ROMANS: And I'm Christine Romans. It is Tuesday, March 10th. It is 4:00 a.m. in New York.

And we begin with a historic day on Wall Street after coronavirus fears and an oil crash sparked a huge selloff. The Dow closed down more than 2,000 points. That is the worst point drop ever, the worst day since October 2008. The S&P 500 finished down 7.6 percent. It is so rare to see a move like that. It is now 18 percent below its record high, 20 percent decline would put it in the bear market. It would be the end of the bull market of the past 11 years.

Now, numbers plummeting so quickly, they triggered a circuit breaker put in place after Black Friday. The pause is designed to ease panic among investors. It worked for the most part. Wall Street is on the brink of ending it decade-long bull market.

Now, the president needs these declines to stop. He has used the economy as a barometer for his success, his personal poll since he was sworn in. The White House has invited Wall Street executives to meet this week on the coronavirus. The president outlined new economic measures he is considering.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I am discussing a possible payroll tax cut or relief -- substantial relief -- very substantial relief that's a big -- that's a big number. We're also going to be talking about hourly wage earners getting help.


ROMANS: That paid sick leave. Really important. Payroll tax holiday perhaps.

That appears to have helped for now. U.S. futures are up significantly. It was tone that got a lot of attention after blaming state actors and the media, deflecting and downplaying, he seemed in somber tones to finally take this seriously.

Overnight in Asia, a rebound. European shares have opened mixed. Trump is focusing on hourly employees because they are the most vulnerable, of course. They ferry groceries, passengers, hot meals. They can't just work from home on a laptop.

There are two problems for Trump. One, Senate Republicans are cool to economic stimulus proposals. Two, even with the strong economy, the administration has already done things usually reserved for down economies. He cut taxes in 2017, the federal deficit is already over a trillion dollars.

Remember in India just two weeks ago when he tweeted stock markets starting to look very good for me, since then, stocks are down 14 percent.

JARRETT: The White House says President Trump has not been tested for coronavirus even though he came in close contact with several lawmakers who are self-quarantine this morning. Those lawmakers had contact with someone at a conservative conference recently, CPAC, who tested positive later on.

Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz rode on Air Force One with Trump on Monday as he found out about his own possible exposure to the virus after spending the weekend at Trump's Mar-a-Lago property. He made headlines last week when he wore a gas mask on the House floor.

Congressman Doug Collins also joined Trump during a visit to the CDC on Friday. Photos from that day show the Georgia lawmaker shaking the president's hand in close proximity on the tarmac.

And the incoming White House chief of staff, Congressman Mark Meadows of North Carolina, also in voluntary isolation, though he hasn't had recent close contact with the president.

Later today, the Trump campaign will announce plans to hold a rally in the coming days, insisting its proceeding as normal during the coronavirus pandemic.

ROMANS: And this, all of Italy, all of Italy on lockdown this morning. The prime minister extending travel restrictions to the entire country through April 3rd because of the coronavirus pandemic. The order affects 60 million people, a response far more aggressive than the American approach so far. Let's go to Rome now and bring in CNN's Delia Gallagher.

Delia, this is remarkable.


DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, Christine. You know, the prime minister made this announcement last night around dinner time. And we immediately saw in Rome and Naples, people rushing out, running to the supermarket to try to stock up, the government trying to calm concerns saying that the transport of goods will still continue, so supermarkets should be able to restock.

We also spoke to the coordinator for intensive care units in Lombardi region. That's where Milan is. He said they are seeing a tsunami of patients. They are reaching collapse, he says, putting patients in corridors.

And when I spoke to doctors here in Rome yesterday, they said they were actually hoping for this lockdown because the Lombardi region has one of the best health infrastructures in Italy. And people in Rome saying if those kinds of numbers were to reach other regions that don't have that kind of infrastructure, it would be very difficult indeed.

As if all of this is not enough, we also saw prison riots yesterday in 22 prisons throughout the country. Inmates were protesting the ban on families coming to visit them. Some of them even escape. We are still waiting for official figures on whether all the inmates have returned to prison -- Christine.

ROMANS: An incredible tests for Italy this morning.

All right. Delia Gallagher in Rome -- thank you, Delia.

JARRETT: The coronavirus has now spread to more than 100 countries and territories. Globally, the number of coronavirus cases tops 113,000, more than 4,000 people have died.

In Asia, where the outbreak began, cases appear to be declining. South Korea reporting its lowest daily number in weeks, while China claims 40 new cases, which would be the lowest there since mid-January.

CNN's David Culver is live in Shanghai for us.

And, David, what is the reason we are seeing this decline now after so many weeks? Does it speak to just the package of time or is it about the containment efforts?

DAVID CULVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I think the deposit here would say look what Delia showed you in Italy in a lockdown effort that's under way there. And that's something that sometimes described as a China style lockdown effort, because they have been going for this, Laura, for now seven weeks, nearly that amount of time since the lockdown went in place in Wuhan, and then encompassed surrounding area. So, that's certainly what they're touting as the reason behind this most recent successful indication of numbers going down. It seems to be a pretty drastic drop at that.

However, what we also have to look at are some of the actions that we're seeing. Among them, a visit today by President Xi Jinping to the epicenter of all of this, to Wuhan. This is significant, because a lot of folks looking at this were saying that they didn't feel necessarily that things will be under control until they would see the leader of this country at the epicenter.

And that is happening as we speak. He is meeting with the military medical personnel who have been on site there for several weeks trying to treat the thousands of people infected. And another indication that seems to show some progress is that some of the field hospitals, in fact, all of the field hospitals, all 14 have been closed. The reason for that, they say, they simply don't have the patient demand. There's not enough people are getting sick to be utilizing those facilities.

Now, they still have the two makeshift hospitals that they built in about two weeks time, accommodating a lot of these patients and they have regular hospitals still up and running, but some of the schools, and stadiums and exhibition halls are being shuttered so that they can return to a sense of normal, if you will.

We're also seeing that some of the schools in the northwest province of China are looking to resume going back into the classroom and that's certainly reassuring for people who in other countries potentially have to leave school and go on a long hiatus that folks here in China have been dealing with for the past month plus.

So, all of these indications are reassuring for people on the outside more than anything else. And those of us are here, Laura, are starting to feel this return to normal. It's a new normal, I'll stress that. But restaurants even over the weekend we notice are getting more and more crowded. To get to the restaurants, Laura, you sit in traffic. That may sound like something you don't want to be enjoying too much. But it's kind of a breath of relief to think, OK, maybe we're getting back to normal. .

JARRETT: Yes, that's how you know you're back to normal, when traffic is a good sign.

David, thanks so much. See you soon.


ROMANS: All right. Nine minutes past the hour.

The oil market crashed yesterday, worst day in nearly 30 years since the start of the first Gulf War. So, what happened here? Well, a U.S. production boom has made America the biggest oil producer in the world. Not just a consumer anymore but a powerful producer.

Russian President Vladimir Putin walked away from a deal for the Saudis to cut supply, afraid the U.S. would fill the gap and steal market share. And that's what sparked the runaway selloff.

President Trump spinning it as good for the consumer with gasoline prices coming down. Now, there's no doubt this crash will be far more damaging though to the U.S. economy than past plunges.

CNN's John Defterios joins us live from London.

The president is right, gas prices will probably come down. But because of the way the U.S. has so carefully sought energy independence, it actually makes itself more vulnerable in this position


JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, it's an odd equation, isn't it, Christine. And I think the price at the pump, the lower prices is going to be a little consolation during a pandemic of the coronavirus. It has been an incredible boom, doubling the output in less than a decade, never seen before in the global energy sector.

You can see the prices today, we're calling back about a fifth of what we lost on that washout on a Monday here. But the U.S. energy outlook, after this big rise of 9 percent of output alone in 2019 while the Russians were complaining, was expected to tail off. We have had a 50 percent correction since January 1st in global oil prices. So, this will accelerate the restructuring in the oil patch.

So, look for states like Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and North Dakota losing jobs over the next months to a year. It is not mom-and-pop operations, as you know, Christine. All the majors that gone in to the oil and gas shale business in the United States. They have to be more prudent, they have deeper pockets.

But the benchmark is 15 percent return on capital. You can't do that at $30 a barrel, Christine.

ROMANS: What about potential losses and bankruptcies? I mean, that's a real deal for Texas and Oklahoma, right?

DEFTERIOS: Without a doubt because they mounted up this debt thinking price would stay above $50 a barrel, because of the work by Saudi Arabia and Russia. We have the department of energy in the United States pointing out state actors who are trying to manipulate the market. That's finger pointing to Saudi Arabia and Russia.

And I think what we see is Mohammed bin Salman, he's the young crown, he's only 34-years-old, marking the line in the desert sands of the Arabian peninsula against Vladimir Putin, saying if you're not going to come along with us on this OPEC Plus agreement, I'll show you how strong you are and how strong we are in the game, who is going to blink first here.

And I think this is always a danger, Christine, when you have big players like that, Saudi Arabia, Russia bragging that they can survive at $30 a barrel. They're not going to survive comfortably, but they're willing to test it right now. I call it energy bravado. And the U.S. is the collateral damage, let's put it that way.

ROMANS: All right. Energy bravado.

All right. Thanks so much for that, John Defterios. Great to have you here.

All right. Bernie Sanders needs a big night in Michigan or his campaign will have a tough choice to make. Can you pull off another surprise to slow Joe Biden's momentum?



JARRETT: Some passengers from the coronavirus-stricken Grand Princess cruise ship arrived at Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, California, late last night. They were shuttled there in two buses and a van. All could be seen wearing face masks.

The ship finally pulling into the port of Oakland yesterday with ambulances waiting, 3,500 passengers all getting an initial screening.

ROMANS: All right. People with acute medical needs were first off the ship. Disembarkation resumes this morning.

California residents will head to two Air Force bases in the state, including Travis. Other passengers will go to bases in Texas and Georgia. All be undergo testing and a 14-day quarantine. Passengers from other countries will be flown home. The crew will stay on the ship under a 14-day quarantine.

JARRETT: Biden versus Sanders and Super Tuesday 2. Presidential contests today in six states. Bernie Sanders got a major bump in Michigan in 2016. A surprise win that foreshadowed Democrat struggles to lure working class voters. Today's result could make or break Sanders' 2020 campaign.

CNN's Jeff Zeleny is in Detroit for us.


JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONENT: Christine and Laura, the final rally here for Joe Biden before the Michigan primary. He had a bit of company on stage, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, evidence the Biden bandwagon is indeed growing. He is trying to use that momentum to push into the primary today here in Michigan, as well as Missouri, Washington state, Mississippi, trying to make the case that it's time for Democrats to coalesce around Joe Biden.

Bernie Sanders, of course, is saying not so fast, drawing major distinctions with Joe Biden here in Michigan. Far more is at stake here than when 125 delegates, the biggest prize of all today. It is one of the last best places to make his argument that he is for working people, that he is for younger people across the industrial Midwest.

The calendar does not get easier for Bernie Sanders in the coming weeks after Michigan. In fact, Ohio, Illinois next week. Next month, it's Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. So, clearly, Bernie Sanders, to keep going, knows he needs to show strength here. Joe Biden trying to close out this campaign in Michigan and move onto the matter at hand with Donald Trump.

There's no question the Democrats are eager to coalesce around one candidate. Let's see how Michigan votes today to see how fast the goes -- Christine and Laura.


ROMANS: All right. Jeff Zeleny -- thank you, Jeff.

All right. Eighteen minutes past the hour.

The first U.S. soldiers killed this year in the fight against ISIS.



ROMANS: Two U.S. service members have been killed in Iraq. Their names have not been released pending family notifications. The Pentagon says they were killed while helping Iraqi forces against ISIS. Their bodies have now been recovered. The Islamic State lost all of its territory and its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed by the U.S. in October, but ISIS still manages to recruit new soldiers to its cause.

JARRETT: Prosecutors in New York say Prince Andrew has completely shut the door on cooperating with their Jeffrey Epstein investigation. Andrew publicly offered to help with any probe of the late convicted pedophile. The U.S. attorney for New York's southern district says his office is considering its options. The duke has come under intense pressure to explain his relationship with Epstein and allegations he had sexual encounters with an underage girl.

ROMANS: Twenty-seven people, including trainers and veterinarians, indicted in a race horse doping scheme. Among the defendants is Jason Servis, the trainer of Maximum Security. The colt last year won the Kentucky Derby, only to be disqualified for interference. Prosecutors say Servis, quote, doped virtually all horses under his control, including Maximum Security, who won $10 million last month at the Saudi Cup.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The power of Christ compels you! The power of Christ compels you!


JARRETT: Actor Max Von Sydow has died. He was part of movie history in the 1973 film classic "The Exorcist."


He rose to fame starring in nearly a dozen in a dozen Ingmar Bergman films, including "The Seventh Seal". He received two Oscar nominations, in 1980 and again in 2012. More recently, he appeared in "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" and in TV's "Game of Thrones". Max Von Sydow was 90.

ROMANS: One of those faces of the 20th century, 20th century moviegoers.

JARRETT: Absolutely, yes.

ROMANS: All right. What do Wall Street and Bernie Sanders have in common? Both need comebacks today. big time. The market is looking to rebound from its historic and Sanders needs to win in Michigan to breathe life into his campaign.