Circuit Breaker Triggered As Markets Plummet, Driving Inverse ETFs Gains

In what has become a commonplace event over the last couple of weeks, stocks plummeted again on Wednesday, triggering another trading break as the markets attempt to adjust to the extremely high levels of volatility, with the government response to the outbreak still developing.

 The S&P 500 cratered 7% around 1 p.m. ET, initiating a marketwide “circuit breaker” trading freeze. The other indices were affected as well, with the Nasdaq Composite slipping 6.3% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average tanking an additional 1,660 points, which is over 7%. The circuit breaker halts trading across the U.S. exchanges for 15 minutes and is designed to put traders on notice that things are getting too out of control, an effort to generate more regulated market behavior. Wednesday was the fourth time inside of a week that a circuit breaker was triggered, as stocks plunged to fresh lows.
Benchmark stock index ETFs are following the dump in markets today with the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) down over 7.25%, the SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA) nearing a 9% decline, and the Invesco QQQ Trust (QQQ) faring the best, down roughly 6.5%.

Wednesday’s drop also erased all the Dow’s gains since President Donald Trump’s inauguration on January 2017, and with the S&P 500 widely ranging as much as 4% or more in either direction for the seven consecutive sessions through Tuesday’s close, this exceeds the prior record of six days which harkens back to November 1929, according to LPL Financial.

Along with the coronavirus panic, crude oil is driving much the market down as well, as West Texas Intermediate seems to be headed for $10 a barrel, trading at near $22 and dropping rapidly along with stocks.

Bill Ackman, billionaire investor and founder of Pershing Square Capital Management, said the ideal solution for the market free-fall and the outbreak in the U.S. is for President Donald Trump to shut down the country.

“Mr. President, the only answer is to shut down the country for the next 30 days and close the borders. Tell all Americans that you are putting us on an extended Spring Break at home with family,” Ackman said on Twitter. “The moment you send everyone home for Spring Break and close the borders, the infection rate will plummet, the stock market will soar, and the clouds will lift.”

With all the carnage, as of 1:30 p.m. EST, however, markets continue to plummet, propping up inverse ETFs like ProShares Short QQQ (PSQ) or the Direxion Daily S&P 500 Bear 1X Shares (SPDN) which are up over 7% and 9% respectively today, and continue to be a place to look to invest in trying to stay in the market during a downturn.

For more market trends, visit  ETF Trends.