PROFIT WARNINGS: AB Inbev, the world's biggest brewer, reported a significant drop in demand in China, leading to an estimated loss of $285 million in revenue so far. Paypal says the outbreak means it now expects 2020 revenue toward the lower end of its range of $4.78 billion - $4.84 billion. Frankfurt Airport is offering staff unpaid leave or temporary reductions in work hours as a way to manage the costs of a sharp drop in air traffic.
BUSINESS TRAVEL: Swiss food giant Nestle, the maker of Nespresso, Kit Kat and San Pellegrino, told its 291,000 employees worldwide not to travel internationally for business until March 15, while domestic travel should be replaced by “alternative methods of communication where possible." French cosmetics maker L’Oréal, which employs 86,000 people and owns the Maybelline and Lancome brands, issued a similar ban until March 31.
CHINA: Small, mostly private companies that are the engine of China’s economy are back to operating at one-third of normal levels after anti-virus controls shut factories, shops and restaurants, regulators said Thursday. The ruling Communist Part expressed confidence that China's 18 million small and medium-size enterprises are recovering quickly. The category includes most of the privately owned restaurants, factories, stores and other companies that generate China's new jobs and wealth.
TECH CONCERNS: The virus is expected to weigh on the global personal computer market, according to tech research firm IDC, which forecasts shipments of desktops, notebooks and tablets will fall 9 percent in 2020. Chinese factories making critical PC components have been hit by an extended shutdown that will cause a supply crunch in the second quarter, IDC said. It said the virus is also leading to reduced demand.