Worst day on Wall Street since 1987 as virus fears spread
NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market had its biggest drop since the Black Monday crash of 1987 as fears of economic fallout from the coronavirus crisis deepened. The Dow industrials plunged more than 2,300 points, or 10%. The sell-off came despite actions from the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank. The steep drops over the last month have wiped out most of the big run-up on Wall Street since President Donald Trump’s inauguration. Markets have turned turbulent amid a cascade of shutdowns across the globe and rising worries that the White House and other authorities around the world can’t or won’t help the weakening economy any time soon.
The mighty bull market falls victim to a tiny virus
NEW YORK (AP) — The longest bull run in U.S. history is officially over after nearly 11 years. The bull market officially ran from March 9, 2009, until Feb. 19, 2020, when it began the 25% dive that has taken it into bear market territory as of Thursday. Investors saw a return of 529% based on the performance of the S&P 500, including dividends. The amazing rally for stocks altered the make-up of the market, elevating technology stocks to a dominating position and lessening the weight of industrial and energy companies. The bull survived a number of challenges but the coronavirus outbreak injected too much uncertainty for investors.
Fed intervenes to try to calm markets but investors shrug
WASHINGTON (AP) — The New York Federal Reserve is stepping up its purchases of Treasurys to try to ease jitters in the financial markets over the coronavirus outbreak. The Fed is also injecting $500 billion into short-term lending markets to address disruptions in the Treasury market. The move caused the stock market to sharply pare its losses.
Trump economic team grasps for credibility with outbreak
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s economic team’s is struggling to provide a credible message that can calm volatile markets now in a free fall caused by the cornoavirus pandemic. Past presidents have looked to academics, business leaders and officials with experience in prior administrations to stock their economic teams. During the biggest economic crisis of his presidency, Trump is relying on top economic adviser Larry Kudlow, a former cable TV commentator, and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, who made a fortune off the housing crisis before financing Hollywood movies. The pandemic could turn an economy that Trump relentlessly showcases to one that leaves Americans struggling and puts the president’s central argument for reelection at risk.
Coronavirus forces small businesses to rethink strategies
NEW YORK (AP) — As the coronavirus spreads, many small business owners are rethinking their strategies and adjusting the way they work. They’re responding to a drop in revenue as customers stay home, cut back on purchases or demand that companies help protect them from the virus that has sickened more than 1,000 people in the U.S. and 120,000 worldwide. And some small manufacturers and retailers, the first to deal with fallout from the virus as it stalled Chinese exports, are still struggling to get product shipments even as China’s factories have been reopening. Businesses are also feeling the impact of the economic uncertainty created by the virus and the ensuing turbulence in the stock market.
Coronavirus brings entertainment world to a standstill
NEW YORK (AP) — The entertainment industry prepared Thursday for an unprecedented shutdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus, canceling upcoming movies, suspending all Broadway performances and scuttling concert tours until it’s safe to welcome crowds back. To accommodate calls for social distancing, Hollywood moved to pause the normal hum of TV productions and the bustle of red-carpet movie premieres. After New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo banned gatherings of more than 500 people, Broadway theaters announced that they would close immediately and remain dark through April 12.
European Central Bank deploys stimulus to ease virus damage
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The European Central Bank is deploying new stimulus measures to cushion the economic pain inflicted by the virus outbreak. The central bank decided Thursday to buy up 120 billion euros more in bonds this year. The money is newly created and injected into the financial system. It is also providing cheap loans to banks to make sure they have the liquidity needed. It’s all aimed at helping businesses get financing and stimulating activity to offset the downturn from all the closings and restrictions due to the virus outbreak. The 19 countries that use the euro is likely facing a recession this year.
The S&P 500 index fell 260.74, or 9.5%, to 2,480.64. The Dow plummeted 2,352.60, or 10%, to 21,200.62. The Nasdaq ended down 750.25, down 9.4%, to 7,201.80. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks fell 141.37, or 11.2%, to 1,122.93.