Landlords offer retailers some relief amid the coronavirus outbreak

Retailers fear that temporary closures to slow the spread of COVID-19 might turn permanent, if a drop in sales mean they cannot pay their bills. 

Most national retailers have already sent letters to their landlords requesting a deferral of rent until June 30, and with razor-thin profit margins, small retailers may be even more at risk, said Katy Welsh, senior director of retail services at Colliers international, a Canada-based global commercial real estate services firm.

In response, many landlords are granting temporary moratoriums on rent, a move that could help businesses survive economic disruption. Landlords are largely responding to tenants with flexibility, knowing that this is a no-fault situation, said major landlords and real estate advisers. 

“Landlord groups are all having meetings trying to determine how to handle this,” said Welsh. “More than likely, the landlords are going to go along with it. They will have to in some fashion

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Thursday will offer investors a first look at a sharply weakening labor market

The global economy is shutting down.

And while we’ve chronicled both the pre-coronavirus state of the economy and some early indications on how much activity is likely to slow, Thursday will offer an early glimpse at the state of the U.S. labor market.

And it’s not going to be good.

At 8:30 a.m. ET Thursday morning, the Bureau of Labor Statistics will release its weekly report on initial filings for unemployment insurance. In recent weeks, initial claims have still been fairly stable and haven’t yet reflected any notable stress due to the coronavirus.

But recent data flagged by the teams at Renaissance Macro and Bespoke Investment Group suggests a sharp rise in claims is likely in the weeks ahead.

“Two key data points we found today are making us nervous about the national labor markets,” said Bespoke Investment Group in a note to clients published Tuesday night.

For one, the

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