U.S. Futures Drop, Yen Gains, Bond Yields Rise: Markets Wrap

Bloomberg

Bloomberg

In Asia-Pacific, Sydney's stock market had its worst daily drop on record, falling 9.7%.

The Dow ended the trading day down 2,998.97 points, or 12.93%, also sliding were the two other major USA benchmarks, the S&P 500 dropped by 324.86 points, or 11.98%, and the Nasdaq Composite fell by 970.28 points, or 12.32%. The S&P 500 dropped 12%, marking its worst day since December 2018, while the Nasdaq Composite also faced its worst day ever as it fell 12.3%.

The S&P 500 has shed almost 30 percent since setting a record less than a month ago, and its at its lowest point since the end of 2018.

The S&P 500 plunged 8% at the open to trigger an automatic 15-minute trading halt on the three main USA stock indexes, marking the third emergency pause on Wall Street in six days. The world's brightest spot may have been Japan, where the central bank announced more stimulus for the economy, and stocks still lost 2.5%.

US stock indexes fell sharply Monday, a day after the Federal Reserve aggressively cut interest rates to near zero in a bid to stop the economy from crashing.

The S&P fell sharply enough to trigger market circuit-breakers and briefly halt trading three times in six trading days. "If we do a really good job, we'll not only hold the death down to a level that is much lower than the other way, had we not done a good job, but people are talking about July, August, something like that", Trump told reporters during a White House briefing Monday afternoon.

Joel Prakken, chief U.S. economist at IHS Markit, projects the economy will shrink at a 5.4% annualized rate during the quarter, which would be its worst performance since the depths of the Great Recession.

The G7 emergency leaders meeting was a sign of global cooperation but there was little in the way of specifics offered, unlike the actions taken during the 2008 global financial crisis. Airline stocks are also crashing amid forecasts that many will be bankrupt by May.

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The week's trading halted before it even started, with the S&P 500 triggering a "limit down" threshold in premarket activity.

Investors anxious that the central bank actions may be insufficient for companies facing a sharp slide in demand.

The Fed action came as major economies expanded travel curbs and closed more public facilities, raising the cost of efforts to contain the outbreak that has infected about 175,000 people worldwide.

Trump also said the United States may be heading into a recession. "Closing the markets would not change the underlying causes of the market decline, would remove transparency into investor sentiment, and reduce investors' access to their money".

Despite the intense volatility, the markets should stay open, the head of the US securities regulator said, quashing speculation that the government might shut down the country's exchanges to stop the plunge in stock prices.

"Clearly no one knows how bad things could get and when stocks will ultimately might bottom, but we feel we are getting close", said Ryan Detrick, senior market strategist for LPL Financial.

Lower interest rates following the Fed's moves will help them borrow cash at more affordable prices, but they'll need more direct help. "This is going to be playing out in the markets for many more weeks than two weeks".

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