AP Images / Richard Drew
- US stocks fell on Wednesday, erasing Tuesday’s gains as the coronavirus pandemic continued to spur investor panic.
- S&P 500 futures trading was halted after hitting the so-called limit-down threshold.
- The sell-off reflects worry that emergency actions from the Federal Reserve and a stimulus package from the White House won’t be enough to offset the economic harm of the coronavirus outbreak.
- Read more on Business Insider.
US stocks fell on Wednesday, erasing Tuesday’s gains as volatile trading continued to grip markets. The losses come amid concerns that increased stimulus measures from the White House and additional emergency actions by the Federal Reserve won’t be enough to offset the economic harm of the coronavirus outbreak.
The Trump administration said on Tuesday that it would pursue a massive plan that could total $1 trillion. It’s expected to include help for small businesses and industries most affected by the outbreak. The administration also indicated it could mail checks to Americans within two weeks.
Futures contracts for the S&P 500 again breached so-called limit-down levels in premarket trading. The benchmark slipped more than 5% immediately after the open, veering toward the 7% threshold that would prompt a 15-minute halt.
Here’s where major US indexes stood shortly after the market open at 9:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday:
- S&P 500: 2,403.20, down 5%
- Dow Jones industrial average: 20,003.72, down 5.8% (1,234 points)
- Nasdaq composite: 6,996.44, down 4.7%
“The short-lived gains in global equities of late show that investors remain skeptical about the huge swathes of support measures being rolled out around the world by central banks and governments,” Han Tan, an analyst at FXTM, told Business Insider in an email.
He continued: “Unless the coronavirus outbreak can defy expectations and show it will stabilise in the immediate term, investors fear that the current economic trajectory will only point to a dreaded global recession or even something worse.”
Elsewhere in markets, oil fell to an 18-year low amid a global price war exacerbated by the coronavirus outbreak, which has heavily weighed on demand while OPEC and its allies prepare to boost supply.