U.S. stocks plunge as traders fear coronavirus will cause deep recession

U.S. stocks plunge as traders fear coronavirus will cause deep recession

Despite opening gains and optimism, stocks on the US markets ended the week on a down note, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average losing almost 1,000 points in the final minutes of trading.

President Donald Trump called on USA health regulators to expedite potential therapies aimed at treating COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the virus, and the White House sounded upbeat on the chances of passage of hundreds of billions of dollars of aid in Congress.

The Dow was down more than 17 percent for the week, its biggest weekly decrease since October 2008, when it dropped 18.2 percent.

While the S&P 500 added 94 billion US dollars in market capitalization on Thursday, it is down 8.09 trillion USA dollars since its February 19 record close, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices' analyst Howard Silverblatt.

Coronavirus fears have wiped off nearly 32 percent, or about US$9 trillion, from the value of the benchmark S&P index since its record closing high on February 19.

Governors in NY and California have ordered all nonessential employees to work from home, and a similar order for IL is set to take effect Saturday.

The moves by two of the most populous U.S. states affects some 40 million people.

Also, federal authorities this week moved to close the borders with Canada and Mexico, with more than 12,000 cases having been confirmed in the U.S. as of Friday.

Most Americans would get direct payments under the Senate's current Phase III stimulus proposal, worth about $1 trillion, though individuals and families making above a certain amount of income would receive nothing.

USA equities ended lower in wild trading on Friday as fears of economic slowdown driven by the coronavirus outbreak continued to grip investors.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average erased an early gain of 444 points and was little changed at midday. Investors were hoping that was the bottom and that the stock market can recover as virus cases peak in the coming months and government stimulus kicks in. "It's nearly like we're going to continue to be in these volatile swings until we get a little more clarity on how large that plan is", said Ryan Detrick, senior market strategist at LPL Financial Holdings Inc in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Fears over the severity of the outbreak have wiped off almost 30% - or more than US$8 trillion - from the value of the benchmark S&P index since its record closing high on Feb 19, as the rapid spread of COVID-19 shuts down large cities and upends business activity. The wild swings continued Friday on a day called "quadruple witching", when stock futures and options expire. The S&P 500 lost more than 13% week to date after dropping another 11.5% last week.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.27-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.55-to-1 ratio favoured decliners.

The S&P 500, which drives movements for most 401 (k) accounts more than other indexes, is down roughly 29 per cent since its record exactly a month ago and close to its lowest point since late 2018.

Related Articles

  • Three deaths from COVID-19 announced in MI

    Three deaths from COVID-19 announced in MI

    A tweet from Beaumont Health . "We're proud to have developed a mechanism to process tests within our health system". He reportedly died early Wednesday morning at Beaumont Hospital in Wayne County, according to health officials.
    New Overwatch Hero Echo Gameplay

    New Overwatch Hero Echo Gameplay

    Are you excited for Echo? As of the time of this writing, there is no statement whether Echo will be a tank, support, or DPS. This hasn't been shared by Blizzard yet, and there's no guarantee we will get much in the way of warning.
    Confirmed COVID-19 Cases in BC Surpasses 230

    Confirmed COVID-19 Cases in BC Surpasses 230

    One of B.C.'s new cases is a resident of the Haro Centre , a long-term care facility in Vancouver's West End. As of Wednesday morning, there were 186 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in B.C., and seven people have died.
  • Cruise Ship with COVID-19 Passengers

    Cruise Ship with COVID-19 Passengers

    The ship is now far off the coast of Sydney with the 1,100 crew aboard, including the one member of staff who tested positive. At least some of the passengers - many of them from the cruise ship Costa Luminosa - were being taken a hangar for screening.
    NYC Mayor: 'All New Yorkers Should Prepare for Shelter-In-Place'

    NYC Mayor: 'All New Yorkers Should Prepare for Shelter-In-Place'

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has some basic guidelines for sheltering in place . Commuters walk in a near-empty Grand Central Station Terminal on Monday morning in New York City.
    F1 supremo Chase Carey says ‘soz about Oz’

    F1 supremo Chase Carey says ‘soz about Oz’

    Former Formula 1 CEO Chase Carey penned a letter to all Formula 1 fans in the wake of the outbreak and the effect it has had on a global level.
  • Zarif calls on Japan to ramp up efforts against anti-Iran sanctions

    Zarif calls on Japan to ramp up efforts against anti-Iran sanctions

    Most people who come down with the COVID-19 illness caused by the virus experience only minor symptoms and recover within weeks. That anxious health officials, who for weeks ordered Iran's Shi'ite clergy to close them. "We had no delay", Rouhani said.
    Some spring breakers are still hitting beaches amid the coronavirus pandemic

    Some spring breakers are still hitting beaches amid the coronavirus pandemic

    The Clearwater City Council voted to close down Clearwater Beach for two weeks, starting March 23 at 6 a.m. The "party's over" for spring breakers, Florida Gov.
    Amazon Suspends Many Shipments Until At Least April

    Amazon Suspends Many Shipments Until At Least April

    So it's possible Amazon's own supplies of laptops, PC parts, and video games could thin out, depending on the supply and demand. The limits apply to large vendors and third-party sellers, who list items to sell on Amazon .com directly.
  • Tucker Carlson torches Sen. Burr for dumping stocks ahead of coronavirus outbreak

    Tucker Carlson torches Sen. Burr for dumping stocks ahead of coronavirus outbreak

    On Feb. 13, Burr purportedly sold between $580,000 and $1.56 million worth of stock in almost 30 transactions. As Intelligence Committee chairman, Burr has been receiving regular classified updates on the outbreak. "Sen.
    Trump says he would support gov't taking stake in certain companies

    Trump says he would support gov't taking stake in certain companies

    It said with the raw materials on hand it can make 50 million tablets to potentially treat more than 1.5 million patients. He said chloroquine would have to be tested in "a large pragmatic clinical trial to actually gather that information".
    Joe Biden, nominee-in-waiting, with a long wait

    Joe Biden, nominee-in-waiting, with a long wait

    The congresswoman was never a serious contender to win the nomination, but qualified to appear in several Democrat debates. Kamala Harris in July 2019, when Gabbard criticized the former prosecutor's record on marijuana and the death penalty.