Published: Sat, March 21, 2020
Markets | By Otis Pena

Dow drops more than 900 points, ending worst week since 2008

Dow drops more than 900 points, ending worst week since 2008

It followed on the heels of California's statewide "stay at home" order issued late on Thursday.

President Donald Trump called on US 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.

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.

Investors are weighing the likelihood that the global economy is entering a recession because of the massive shutdowns and layoffs caused by the outbreak against steps by central banks and governments to ease the economic pain.

The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq - which, like the Dow, had rallied in the morning on aggressive moves by central banks to contain the coronavirus crisis - also wiped out their opening gains to trade as much as 2.3 and 1 percent lower, respectively.

Normal economic activity in the USA has come to a grinding halt as cities lockdown and people stay indoors to contain the spread of COVID-19.

The Dow Jones industrial average tumbled as much as 355.17, or 1.7 percent, after rising roughly the same amount in early trading, as Gov. That's when the storm is going to come'. USA crude dropped about 21% and moved below $20 a barrel for first time since February 2002. There are more than 244,000 cases worldwide, including almost 85,000 people who have recovered.

Italy Calls In Army To Hardest-Hit Region As Coronavirus Deaths Spike
PHOTO: A general view of a deserted Terminal 1 at Milan - Malpensa airport, March 18, 2020, in Ferno, Italy. Friday's death toll is the highest recorded by the country since the pandemic began.

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

Wall Street's main stock indexes rose more than 1% on Friday, as dramatic intervention by U.S. policymakers halted the worst monthly selloff in USA equities in three decades. The S&P 500 remains down about 29% from the record closing high it hit a month ago after last week confirming its first bear market since the financial crisis, and the Dow erased virtually the last of its gains under Trump's presidency on Wednesday.

Investors continued to seek safety in US government bonds, driving their yields broadly lower. The 10-year Treasury yield, which influences interest rates on mortgages and other consumer loans, slid to 0.88% from 1.12% late Thursday.

Asian markets dropped following the brutal 5.1 per cent loss for United States stocks the prior day.

A stock market ticker screen in the lobby of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, in the center of Tel Aviv, March 15, 2020.

Investors are jumpy due to uncertainty about the size and duration of the impact of the coronavirus outbreak and the spreading wave of business shutdowns meant to help contain it.

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