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Stocks - Dow Suffers Worst First Quarter Ever as Late Selling Hits Wall Street

Published 03/31/2020, 03:53 PM
Updated 03/31/2020, 04:09 PM
© Reuters.

By Yasin Ebrahim – A wave of late selling hit Wall Street Tuesday, leading to the Dow suffering its worst ever first quarter amid worries the widely-expected recession in the U.S. may be worse than feared as the Covid-19 pandemic intensified.

The Dow fell 1.8%, taking its losses for the quarter to 23%, its steepest first-quarter decline on record. The S&P 500 slipped 1.6% and the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.95%.

The U.S. reported nearly 11,000 new Covid-19 cases since Monday, taking the total to about 174,000, with about 3,400 dead so far, following a spike in infections in New York, the epicenter of the outbreak in the U.S.

In New York state, coronavirus infections jumped 14% overnight to 75,795, with Gov. Andrew Cuomo conceding that the virus is more dangerous than expected.

"I’m tired of being behind this virus. We’ve been behind this virus from day one," Cuomo said. "We underestimated this virus. It’s more powerful, it’s more dangerous than we expected."

With little end to sight to the pandemic, Wall Street has warned of an even gloomier economic backdrop despite growing expectations Congress and the Federal Reserve will ensure the well of stimulus remains deep.

"With interest rates for the United States being at ZERO, this is the time to do our decades long awaited Infrastructure Bill,” President Donald Trump tweeted today.

"It should be VERY BIG & BOLD, Two Trillion Dollars, and be focused solely on jobs and rebuilding the once great infrastructure of our Country! Phase 4,” he added.

Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) now expects real U.S. gross domestic product to shrink 9% in the first quarter and 34% in the second three months of the year, on an annualized basis, compared with a previous forecast for falls of 6% and 24% respectively. The investment bank said, however, it expected gradual recovery in output to get underway in May or June.

Against the growing expectation of economic doom, Trump is expected to announce a three-month delay to tariff payments of some imported goods, Bloomberg reported. The order, however, will not include a reprieve on levies imposed on Chinese goods nor on aluminum and steel imports.

"The order, which could come as soon as this week, would give the Treasury Department the authority to direct Customs and Border Protection to delay collecting tariffs on those imports for 90 days," according to the report.

Defensive corners of the market like real estate and utilities led the market lower as investors positioned their portfolio for the quarter-end.

Energy, however, proved an exception to the decline, rising 1.82%, though had been up more than 3% earlier, on growing hopes Saudi Arabia and Russia may call a truce on their price war in an effort to stabilize the market.

Latest comments

President Trump is doing s great job handling this. He’ll definitely do another term
Yes, why not thank "Son Of Mario" for NOT buying thousands of ventilators as he was warned N.Y. was short of these items? Nooo, NOW S.O.M. blamed Trump. SOM didn't want TRUMP to cut off travel to NYC. I heard him and those of his ilk ALL saying this.
Mr. Martin, there's an excellent read in Analysis & Opinion entitled " V-shaped recovery not a given " by Michael Pento
thank god for Trump
As soon as coumo opens his mouth tomorrow the misery will accelerate and trump just ignoring the virus
The Nile Is A River In Egypt, And It Will ********You!
Futures already down close to -300 tomorrow morning ughly
Seems to be a repeating pattern here. Run up while the market is open and liquidate in the evening. Wouldn't be surprised if we're green by 8:00 AM.
knowing little don't help now. Might as well look for Chicken Little -
I think by year end, market will be back and return 20% for the year.
By year end, the "2nd Depression", will be in full swing! Better re-think your plan.
You have a crystal ball right #19?Hope you're right -
You got a crystal ball too?Hope you're wrong-
No! Don't touch your face, you will gonna infected. sir.
So what happend? Job claims? Covid-19? Economy? Come on - get serious. I mean every of this reasons were here also yesterday.So how to explain this drop?Easy. Sharks finally understood that there is nobody but Fed players (themselves) who will buy anything in this days.
lol 😆soo true bro.
lmao wasn't this photo used for another article a few weeks ago? 😂
There he goes again Trump grasping for straws in our pocket book.
All going on charlie -
what about the bag-o- bones that was trying to help the A.O., you know... At least she's keeping the botox market alive.
yes, republicans are the ones known for grasping at people's pocket books... btw trump's approval hit all time highs last week. how is your demented frontrunner doing? oh right he was on CNN coughing into his hand and unable to complete a single coherent thought.
interesting, do you think it could have anything to do with that virus from china? i know it hasnt been talked about much in the news but i think it could be related
So... if China injecting cash into it’s markets is communism, how is Trump injecting cash into our markets capitalism?
Even with the Arabs and everything else connected to oil in mass equity liquidation mode.
Even with the market manipulation the government together with Blackrock did the last week.
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