Stocks & ETFs Start New Quarter In The Red As Coronavirus Continues

Stocks continued the selloff that started on Tuesday, dumping another 3-4% or more overnight to start off the second quarter, amid broadening concerns over the coronavirus outbreak.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped more than 950 points lower, or 4.3%., while the S&P 500 fell 4.1% and the Nasdaq Composite trimmed 3.3%.

Stock index ETFs are also struggling Wednesday, with the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) down 4.28%, the SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA) off 4.01%, and the Invesco QQQ Trust (QQQ) is down 3.35% as of roughly 1230 PM EST.

President Trump warned the public Tuesday evening that the United States should prepare for a “very, very painful two weeks” from the as yet uncontrolled coronavirus. White House officials are projecting between 100,000 and 240,000 virus deaths in the U.S, which is an incredible ramp up from the current roughly 4500 deaths in the country.
Worldwide the coronavirus has now surpassed 900,000 cases and 45,000 deaths and is striking fear and panic in the hearts of investors and the general public.

“This is going to be a rough two-week period,” Trump said at a White House press conference. “When you look at night the kind of death that has been caused by this invisible enemy, it’s incredible.”

Economic data is driving markets lower as well as numbers from ADP and Moody’s Analytics showed U.S. companies cut 27,000 jobs through March 12. Actual losses for the month were much more severe, as shown by the unprecedented number of jobless claims in the week or March 20, which totaled more than 3 million. In addition, the ISM manufacturing index fell to 49.1 in March from 50.1 in February, signaling a contraction in U.S. manufacturing activity amid the pandemic.

“There’s still tremendous uncertainty,” said Patrick Kaser, portfolio manager at Brandywine Global. “we can look at history as a guidepost for the market and the economy, but there’s not a perfect scenario.”

“In situations like this, the best thing for long-term investors is to figure out what they want longer-term,” he said.

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