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CNN NEWSROOM

Rough Start for Stocks as Coronavirus Spreads; Biden Closes in on Nomination; Italy's Coronavirus Cases Increase; Coronavirus Impact on March Madness. Aired 9:30-10a

Aired March 11, 2020 - 09:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


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[09:34:15]

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Right now, the Dow, after rallying on Tuesday, is down, off almost 700 points here just after the open.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, volatility one of the words of the day, no question.

HARLOW: Yes.

SCIUTTO: Let's get to CNN's Christine Romans.

Christine, what's happening here? For folks at home who are watching, they're going to be confused about this --

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes.

SCIUTTO: Are they going to be a little bit fearful? They're watching their retirement plans, et cetera. What should they know this morning?

ROMANS: So, for short-term investors, there's this -- there's this saying, you know, if you jump in at a time like this, it's like trying to catch a falling knife. You know, the short-term big guys, they're trading all the time. But it's the long-term investors, what you're seeing here is the same old thing. Over the past 14 days, there have been only three up days. So be wary of those up days because the background story hasn't changed.

[09:35:02]

There are more coronavirus cases. We're all learning about this thing called social distancing. There are mass cancellations. Schools are closed. There's still uncertainty about the availability of testing and what this virus does and how it behaves.

And you have this sense that until this waving caution flag is off the track, you shouldn't be -- you shouldn't be playing this game here, trying to jump in and buy stocks.

Also this morning, something really important, Goldman Sachs basically announced that the end of the bull market is near, saying this, after 11 years, 13 percent earnings growth, 16 percent annualized, you know, bottom to top appreciation in the stock market, we believe the S&P 500 bull market will end soon. And they forecast more losses ahead for the S&P 500, all the way down to 2,450 by the low in the middle of the year. Before -- I should point out, before bouncing back.

The coronavirus is something we can see to the end of. It's not like the financial crisis in 2008 where we didn't know what was going to happen next.

HARLOW: Yes.

ROMANS: We're seeing all this uncertainty right now.

HARLOW: Yes.

ROMANS: But you can see into 2021, and that's where people are look for recovery, into 2021.

HARLOW: Right.

ROMANS: And you can see a snapback. But for right now, for right now, this is where we are.

HARLOW: Yes.

SCIUTTO: Yes.

HARLOW: And that warning though this morning from ECB head Christine Lagarde, we could feel some 2008-like stuff if there's not swift action taken around the globe.

ROMANS: Yes.

HARLOW: That's a scary thought.

Christine, thank you.

ROMANS: You're welcome.

HARLOW: Another staggering Super Tuesday 2.0 surge. Joe Biden closes in on the Democratic nomination. The new Biden coalition, African- Americans, suburban voters, urban voters, turning out in droves. Pressure now growing on the Sanders' campaign as the math gets more daunting.

SCIUTTO: Yes, the sweep of Biden's victory is impressive because he did not just win big, he won every county in states such as Missouri, Mississippi, and the top prize of them all, Michigan. Biden knows he does need to unite Democrats to beat President Trump. He needs to include those Sanders supporters in any run in the general election.

Listen to what he said to them last night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We need you. We want you. And there's a place in our campaign for each of you.

And I want to thank Bernie Sanders and his supporters for their tireless energy and their passion. We share a common goal, and together we'll defeat Donald Trump. We'll defeat him together.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARLOW: Jim Messina is with us, former manager of the 2012 Obama campaign.

Obviously you know Joe Biden incredibly well. I know you were surprised by the surge he's seen in both Super Tuesdays.

Do you think Biden himself is surprised?

JIM MESSINA, FORMER MANAGER, 2012 OBAMA CAMPAIGN: Yes, I think the whole campaign is surprised, right? Two weeks ago he was being counted out. He said this last night. And now he's a presumptive Democratic nominee for president. We haven't seen the kind of consequential movement, momentum like this in modern American political history. So we really are witnessing something no one's ever seen.

And part of it is voters are smarter than people give them credit for, right? Seventy percent of voters, Democratic voters, say the most important issue is who can beat Donald Trump. And Biden is winning that vote all over the place and it's why you're seeing this surge with all these different kinds of groups, that he's uniting older voters, suburban voters, urban voters.

HARLOW: Except younger, but, yes.

MESSINA: Correct. There is that challenge.

HARLOW: Yes.

SCIUTTO: So we don't want to get ahead of ourselves because thing change in elections. We've seen that in the last couple of weeks. But when you look at the next slate of races next Tuesday, Arizona, Ohio, Illinois, Florida, is that group of states one that's likely to solidify his lead and make this all but over come next Tuesday?

MESSINA: Well, Sunday night is really consequential, right? It's the Democratic debate. The first time it's just the two of them. If Bernie's going to make a move, he has to do it at that moment and start to slow down this wave.

But if you look at Tuesday, you know, the states you just mentioned all look pretty good for Joe Biden. They're Midwestern states. They should be OK. Illinois, Ohio, you know, I don't think anyone thinks Bernie can win Florida.

SCIUTTO: Especially after the Castro comments.

MESSINA: Right. Exactly right. And so you start to look at this, right now, Biden has 160 delegate lead. He's likely going to come out of Tuesday with a much bigger lead. And then it becomes mathematically very, very difficult for Bernie to continue.

SCIUTTO: I see.

HARLOW: Also, look at this, guys, if we can pull up that picture, I thought this was striking. It's a wide shot of Biden giving his sort of victory remarks last night. I don't know if we can take the banner down, but you basically can't -- there's no one there.

SCIUTTO: Yes.

HARLOW: And what Bernie Sanders has thrived so much off of is the huge crowds --

MESSINA: Yes.

HARLOW: That he can draw. And with both of them canceling their rallies last night, I wonder how much of an Achilles heel you think that could be for Sanders in the final push.

MESSINA: I think it's a big problem for both he and President Trump, right? Those are two people who really -- their -- their politics --

HARLOW: Yes. The president's still having his, I think.

MESSINA: Yes, I mean he says he is. I wonder how long that's going to continue.

But both of them love their rallies. And if you're -- if you're behind, like Bernie is, you've got to create a wave. We've got to create some momentum. And he's just running out of days to do that. And he's running out of opportunities.

And to your point, Poppy, this is why the rally ban is so difficult for him above Biden.

[09:40:03]

It really starts to blunt what Bernie Sanders is really good at.

You saw this in Michigan. He had 30,000 people, you know, in Michigan, in a county he ended up losing the next night, but he still had 30,000 people. That's his --

HARLOW: It is.

MESSINA: That's his superpower.

SCIUTTO: Yes.

HARLOW: Yes.

SCIUTTO: And you mentioned it, but Trump as well.

Let's talk about the groups because Biden, I mean the support among African-Americans, I mean it really paid off in a place like Mississippi. I mean just, you know, head and shoulders above. But it was notable, rural white voters --

HARLOW: Yes, that's true.

SCIUTTO: They abandoned Sanders for Biden in a state such as Michigan. Again, not to get too ahead of ourselves --

MESSINA: Right.

SCIUTTO: But that's, of course, a key swing group in the general election. Is that -- can Biden look at that as a positive sign for him going forward?

MESSINA: Absolutely, because if you look at why Hillary Clinton underperformed Barack Obama, it was those rural white voters, those rural Democrats who didn't come out in the ways they needed to. And there's an African-American issue as well.

But the Democrats have to kind of get to an Obama level number in rural and urban (ph) voters and there's always been the belief that's Biden's strong suit. And he showed it last night. I mean you just don't win every county in Missouri, every county in Michigan.

SCIUTTO: Those maps were remarkable.

MESSINA: It was remarkable. We haven't seen that in contested primaries in a very long time. And it's because Biden's building this coalition that for the general election has to scare the heck out of President Trump.

SCIUTTO: Jim Messina, always good to have you on. I bet we'll have you on again to talk about the election.

MESSINA: I hope so. Thank you.

SCIUTTO: You're welcome anytime.

HARLOW: So nice to have you. Appreciate it.

SCIUTTO: Of course the other story we're following is the international response to coronavirus and one country hit hard, it is Italy. It's taking extraordinary steps. Some of those steps not working out so well.

HARLOW: Yes.

SCIUTTO: We'll be right back. We'll take you there live.

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[09:46:00]

HARLOW: Well, as you know, Italy is suffering the largest coronavirus outbreak in Europe with more than 10,000 cases confirmed right now. They're now allocating $28 billion in an effort to fight the spread of the virus. The country's total lockdown has become so widespread that a widow has been stuck for two days in her home with the body of her husband who died from coronavirus.

SCIUTTO: Just incredible to imagine.

CNN's Ben Wedeman, he joins us now from Bologna, Italy, where the healthcare system really being pushed to its limits.

And, Ben, of course, this is a country with a national healthcare system.

Tell us how they're being overwhelmed. What's under shortage now?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Really it's a shortage, Jim, of intensive care facilities, that the hospitals in the northern part of the country, which is really the wealthiest part of Italy, with the highest quality of public healthcare, is overwhelmed. We've heard it from officials in that part of the country saying that the hospitals are receiving what they are saying is a tsunami of patients, that the health system is steps away from collapse.

And I stress, this is in a country, in a part of the country, with a very good health system. So imagine those areas -- those countries that don't have that kind of all-inclusive health system. And just imagine this, these are doctors and nurses that are working day after day, long shifts, when they put on those all-encompassing gowns and masks.

They can't take them off until their shift is over. Their losing kilos of sweat every day. They are exhausted. And there is no end in sight for this crisis. So they are truly the unsung heroes of this medical emergency.

Jim, Poppy.

HARLOW: They absolutely are, Ben.

As you're reporting, there are people, not just one, not just two, but a steady flow of people on the street behind you. How is that a lockdown?

WEDEMAN: Well, I think perhaps lockdown isn't quite the right term to use. I think if we just -- my cameraman Mark pans over to that cafe over there, not crowded, but people are still out because this lockdown does not mean that it's a curfew.

People can go out and go about -- go about their business. But they are encouraged to stay a distance of about a yard apart from one another. Schools and universities are closed. There's no sporting events, funerals, baptisms and weddings are banned because they're social gatherings. But there's no prohibition on people simply going out and enjoying the sun on this relatively warm day.

Jim. Poppy.

HARLOW: Ben Wedeman reporting for us from Bologna, Italy.

Thank you. Across the globe, the coronavirus is forcing many top sport teams to cancel games or play in completely empty stadiums. You know, March Madness is only a week away. No decision, it appears, made on whether fans will be able to attend that or not. Much more ahead.

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[09:53:37]

SCIUTTO: So we've been talking a lot about the risks at big gatherings. Here's a big gathering, sporting events, right?

HARLOW: Yes.

SCIUTTO: Will March Madness, for instance, go on as planned or will coronavirus force some big changes?

HARLOW: There's not really a direct word, at least as of yesterday, from the NCAA.

Andy Scholes joins us now.

Do you have an answer, Andy?

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: No, we don't have an answer at all, guys. And in a matter of five hours yesterday, the NCAA sent out two different statements in regards to March Madness, which is set to begin on Tuesday with the first four.

So in the first statement, NCAA President Mark Emmert said the advisory panel of experts they put together, nor the CDC, have advised against holding sporting events, adding that if circumstances change, they would make decisions accordingly.

Then later in the day they sent out another statement saying they are continuing to monitor and will make decisions in the coming days.

The men's and women's NCAA tournament scheduled to take place in dozens of different cities across the country over the next few weeks.

Now, right now, the conference tournaments are all taking place. The Mid-American Conference deciding to play its games without fans in Cleveland. The same goes for the Big West Conference, which is playing their games in Anaheim.

The Ivy League, meanwhile, becoming the first conference to cancel its tournaments altogether. They were going to take place at Harvard. The league says they're following guidance from authorities in trying to limit large public gatherings. So that means Yale's men and Princeton's women get automatic bids to March Madness after winning their regular season titles.

[09:55:08]

All right, the NBA, meanwhile, is considering a wide range of scenarios to deal with coronavirus. According to ESPN, the league is considering moving some games to cities that have yet to suffer outbreaks, playing in empty arenas, or postponing games altogether. Last week, LeBron said he wouldn't play in empty arenas, but he has since had a change of heart.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LEBRON JAMES, LOS ANGELES LAKERS FORWARD: When I was asked the question, would you play without no fans, I had no idea that it was actually a conversation going on behind closed doors about the particular virus. Obviously, I would be very disappointed, you know, not having the fans, because that's what I play for. But, at the same time, you've got to -- you've got listen to, you know, the people that's keeping track on what's going on.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHOLES: Yes, Poppy and Jim, according to reports, the NBA owners and the league holding some conference calls today and tomorrow, so we should -- could get some big news from the NBA pretty soon.

SCIUTTO: Baseball season's a couple weeks away, too.

HARLOW: Yes.

SCIUTTO: Dozens of games a day. And a lot of decisions to be made.

Andy Scholes, thanks very much.

SCHOLES: All right.

SCIUTTO: A sobering warning from one of the nation's top doctors on coronavirus. This virus will change your life, he says, for some time.

HARLOW: That's right. Communities going under containment. One right outside New York City. Large events being cancelled or postponed.

We have a lot ahead. Stay right there.

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