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Wall Street slumps after three-day rally as virus threat intensifies

Stock MarketsMar 27, 2020 12:27PM ET
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© Reuters. Traders work on the floor of the NYSE in New York

By Uday Sampath Kumar and Medha Singh

(Reuters) - Doubts about the fate of the U.S. economy in the face of the coronavirus hammered Wall Street again on Friday, halting its best three-day bounce in almost a century as the number of cases across the country skyrocketed.

The United States surpassed China as the nation with the most number of COVID-19 cases, putting more pressure on lawmakers to flood the country with cash to support businesses and families.

"We have still not fully understood the degree of the economic impact," said Massud Ghaussy, senior analyst at Nasdaq IR Intelligence in New York.

"Currently, from a policymaker's perspective, it's a relative balance between managing the spread of the virus and opening the economy."

The U.S. House of Representatives is widely expected to clear a $2 trillion economic rescue package after the Senate passed the proposal on Thursday.

The stimulus bill and unprecedented policy easing by the Federal Reserve have set the S&P 500 (SPX) for its best week in over a decade, but it is still down 14% in March and on pace for its worst month since the height of the financial crisis.

The Dow Jones (DJI), briefly establishing a bull market on Thursday, is on course for its biggest weekly gain since 1938, largely helped by a stunning four-day rally for Boeing Co (N:BA).

But with growing fears of a global recession, traders expect more wild swings in financial markets until there are signs of new virus cases peaking and sweeping restrictions placed on entire countries being lifted.

A record 3 million surge in U.S. weekly jobless claims offered the first glimpse of the extent of the economic hit from the outbreak.

"We're not out of the woods yet on the health or economic crisis," said Eddie Perkin, chief equity investment officer at Eaton (NYSE:ETN) Vance in Boston.

"It would seem odd to me if the markets fully stabilize before we get more clarity on the health front."

At 11:18 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) was down 595.76 points, or 2.64%, at 21,956.41, the S&P 500 (SPX) was down 61.81 points, or 2.35%, at 2,568.26 and the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) was down 188.82 points, or 2.42%, at 7,608.72.

Delta Airlines (N:DAL), United Airlines (O:UAL) and American Airlines (O:AAL) fell between 4% and 8% as U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said the aid designated for airlines in the package was not a bailout and that taxpayers would need to be compensated.

Boeing shed 10% after gaining as much as 90% this week, as Mnuchin said the planemaker had no intention of participating in the package.

The banking index <.SPXBK> fell 5%, tracking U.S. Treasury yields, while oil majors Exxon Mobil (N:XOM) and Chevron Corp (N:CVX) fell about 6%, following a drop in oil prices.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 4.58-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and 3.63-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded no new 52-week high and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded four new highs and 19 new lows.

Wall Street slumps after three-day rally as virus threat intensifies
 

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Comments (13)
Kenny Venezia
Kenny Venezia Mar 27, 2020 12:36PM ET
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what really? this pump is the equivalent of letting everyone in the country print their own money at home. should've just closed the markets
Leo Yu
Leo Yu Mar 27, 2020 12:14PM ET
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Its coming again
Varga Róbert
Varga Róbert Mar 27, 2020 12:08PM ET
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I thought markets will celebrate the new deaths and rise as yesterday they did with the unemployment news...........
jemin An
jemin An Mar 27, 2020 11:28AM ET
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US is Big country, not only N.Y. US will get 2,3,4,, new epicenters next few weeks.
Xin Zhang
Xin Zhang Mar 27, 2020 10:24AM ET
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My man, that is not the way you should wear that mask!
Haresh Chandwani
Haresh Chandwani Mar 27, 2020 10:00AM ET
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oh really? where was the virus fear yesterday?
Mark Manley
Mark Manley Mar 27, 2020 9:47AM ET
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The picture says it all. This is not a "market correction", it's mass hysteria fueled by irresponsible media reporting. There's nothing rational about any of this.
Van Doza
Van Doza Mar 27, 2020 8:32AM ET
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The "...as virus fears grow..." line / explanation is beginning to sound more than a bit overused by people who want to sustain the volatility by sustaining the fear. The truth is simply that traders (not investors) are simply TAKING PROFITS...
Silverbug 19
Silverbug 19 Mar 27, 2020 8:27AM ET
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it's called Repo madness.
Kevin Vo
Kevin Vo Mar 27, 2020 8:24AM ET
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I was right yesterday. Bear is king
Ricardo Matsushita
Ricardo Matsushita Mar 27, 2020 7:20AM ET
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SPX - First 2700 then 1700. Take note.
Pro Quincy
Pro Quincy Mar 27, 2020 7:14AM ET
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The US has now surpassed China and Italy -- two countries hit hard by the coronavirus -- with at least 82,100 reported cases, but several health officials and experts say it's still the beginning. We have a market rally??!?!
Joseph Taylor
Joseph Taylor Mar 27, 2020 6:47AM ET
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Fake news. Futures were down yesterday too. Investors are confident in markets.
Ricardo Matsushita
Ricardo Matsushita Mar 27, 2020 6:47AM ET
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That is just a bounce, also a trap.
Caleb Chelstrom
Caleb Chelstrom Mar 27, 2020 6:47AM ET
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"investors" = FED + corporate stock buy back
 
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