Reuters / Lucas Jackson
The historically deep sell-off in US stocks showed no signs of recovery on Friday.
All major US stock indexes tanked on Friday as investors continued fleeing highly volatile equities. The S&P 500 sank as much as 4.1%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average tanked as many as 1,000 points for the third day this week.
The S&P 500 ultimately tumbled 11% over five days, its worst weekly drop since the financial crisis in 2008. Further, the benchmark’s seven-day skid marked its longest in more than three years. The Dow absorbed a 12% weekly decline.
Coronavirus fears continue to grip investors and prompt dire warnings from public-health officials. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday that Americans should prepare for the virus to spread further within the US. The outbreak has caused the first drug shortage in the US, the Food and Drug Administration announced Thursday night, signaling new supply-chain disruptions in the increasingly critical healthcare sector.
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell pared losses on Friday afternoon when he said the central bank was closely monitoring the economic fallout of the coronavirus and that it would act as needed to cut interest rates. White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow also attempted to spark optimism by saying investors should “buy the dip.”
Here’s where major US indexes closed on Friday:
S&P 500: 2,954.22, down 0.8%
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 25,409.36, down 1.4% (357 points)
Nasdaq composite: 8,567.37, up 0.01%
Global markets also plummeted Friday as the coronavirus threat intensified. The Stoxx Europe 600 closed 3.5% lower on Friday after entering correction territory the day prior. It slipped 12% for the week.
Other assets experienced similarly wild price swings after Friday’s open. The 10-year Treasury yield sank to a record low as investors piled into government debt. Oil fell deeper into a bear market after West Texas Intermediate crude plunged as much as 6.9% to levels not seen since 2017.
US stocks entered their first correction since December 2018 during Thursday’s session. The S&P 500 fell into correction territory in the quickest amount of time since the Great Recession, tumbling 12% over just six trading days. The Dow notched its biggest decline in history after falling 1,191 points.
The coronavirus has killed 2,867 people and infected more than 83,000 as of Friday morning. China, where the vast majority of the case are, has seen a decline in its rate of new cases, but soaring infection rates in South Korea, Iran, and Italy sparked new concerns about the outbreak becoming a pandemic.
The World Health Organization has strayed from officially declaring the coronavirus a pandemic but has warned the window to contain the outbreak is closing.
Economists across major US banks have adjusted their base-case scenarios to reflect the higher probability of the coronavirus tearing into economic growth around the world. Strategists at Citigroup and RBC Capital Markets have alerted investors that the virus and its economic fallout could end the historically long bull market.
The outbreak could even drag the US into its first recession in 12 years, former Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen said Thursday.
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