1. Dow set for sharp drop after worst first quarter ever

A pedestrian wearing a protective mask walks along Wall Street in front of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S. on Monday, March 30, 2020.

Michael Nagle Bloomberg | Getty Images

Dow futures pointed to a drop of more than 700 points at Wednesday’s open on the first day of April and the second quarter on Wall Street. White House officials are projecting between 100,000 and 240,000 deaths in the U.S. with coronavirus fatalities peaking here over the next two weeks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed out its worst first-quarter ever with a 410-point decline Tuesday. The Dow’s coronavirus-driven plunge in March was the worst of any month since October 2008 during the financial crisis. Amid the Q1 carnage, Amazon stock was a standout, gaining 5.4% as online shopping for household essentials surged as states around the nation put stay-at-home orders in place. Gilead Sciences shares were up 15% in the first quarter as its experimental drug against the coronavirus, remdesivir, showed promise.

2. Coronavirus impact on employment emerges in data

ADP issues its March report on private sector employment at 8:15 a.m. ET

Entrepreneurs think they’ll provide that extra “oomph” to their business. The opposite may often be true.


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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


Shortly after I first moved to San Francisco, I was sitting outside Peet’s Coffee in Palo Alto and speaking with my then-co-founder about accelerator programs. We were eager to get into one of the most prolific accelerators in Silicon Valley because of the instant brand recognition and investor connections it would provide. 

“If we can get into 500 Startups, it can really take us to the next level,” he said. “We can raise at least $1 million at a valuation over $6 million. We just have to give away 7 percent of the company.” 

I responded bluntly: “Is it worth it?” 

“If we get the results, then yes,” he said, before lobbing one more comment, somewhat anticipating my reaction: “It’s going to be worth it. It’s going to work. I think it’s going to work.”

I could not help but investigate further and started to discover that there’s a lot more to accelerator programs than meets the eye.

In the years since, accelerator programs have proliferated around the country and

Good morning.

About 40 chief executives who are members of Fortune’s CEO Initiative gathered virtually yesterday for a discussion of how to respond to the COVID-19 crisis. The meeting was under the Chatham House Rule, so I can’t quote particular participants. But the big takeaway for me was the degree to which this crisis is provoking business innovation. The general sense of the group was not just that we won’t return to normal soon, but that we won’t return to the old normal ever. Some general takeaways:

—Companies that previously had been slow to adopt to digital transformation now find themselves on a “burning platform.”

—The need for community is more important than ever, but the crisis is inspiring new digital methods for nurturing community that won’t go away.

—Responding to a crisis is “not about perfection,” which permits more innovation.

—“Work from home” rules have given everyone a better sense of the challenges working mothers face, and will spark progress in addressing those challenges in the future.

Two bits of wisdom for navigating the path ahead: Every organization should think about “what do we want to be when we come out?” And the emergence from crisis shouldn’t be thought

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Good morning, and welcome to a new quarter. Nobody is sorry to see the backside of Q1.

Let’s take a look to see if the turn-of-the-calendar is improving market sentiment.

Markets update

We begin in Asia where the Hang Sang and Shanghai Composite are both trading lower this morning, erasing yesterday’s gains. HSBC and Standard Chartered dragged down the Hong Kong session after saying they’ll scrap dividends and buybacks. Making matter worse, the region is on alert for a possible second wave of coronavirus, a devastating scenario.

***

Now to Europe. The European bourses finished Q1 on an up note yesterday. Today, they fell at the open. The markets are rattled by the number of companies suspending buybacks and withdrawing full-year outlooks—from automotive parts manufacturer, Continental AG, to Adidas.

Meanwhile, the airlines are on life support as global air travel grinds to a halt. IATA, the industry trade group, warned yesterday that airlines will run out of cash by the summer if lawmakers fail to deliver meaningful aid to the sector. IATA …