Stocks Headed For Losing Week As Coronavirus Fears Dominate

Stock Indexes are sinking once again Friday, capping the worst losses since March this week, as investors fear the coronavirus resurgence may overshadow recent positive economic data, and worry that Fed support may be insufficient.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention official comments on Friday, states may be required to reimplement the strict social distancing measures that were enacted earlier this year if U.S. coronavirus cases climb “dramatically.”

“Right now, communities are experiencing different levels of transmission occurring, as they gradually ease up onto the community mitigation efforts and gradually reopen,” CDC’s Deputy Director for Infectious Diseases Jay Butler told reporters during a press briefing.

“If cases begin to go up again, particularly if they go up dramatically, it’s important to recognize that more mitigation efforts such as what was implemented back in March may be needed again,” Butler said.

He said the decision to reimplement measures will have to be made locally and based on “what is happening within the community regarding disease transmission.”

The “pandemic is not over” and it’s important to recognize that Covid-19 is still making headlines everywhere, he added.

Covid-19 has sickened more than 2 million Americans and killed at least 113,820 since the first confirmed U.S. case less than five months ago, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

It’s unclear what would be considered a “dramatic” rise. Some states are beginning to see a rise in cases after they lifted stay-at-home orders and reopened businesses that were shuttered for weeks due to the virus. Overall, the U.S. is seeing roughly 20,000 new cases a day, according to Hopkins data.

There is a concern by public health experts that some states are opening prematurely as U.S. job losses continue to mount and pressure grows on state leaders to allow people to go back to work.

Stock indexes have continued to react amid the coronavirus fears, with Dow Jones Industrial Average barely treading in green waters Friday after dropping more than 1800 points Thursday, or 7%. The S&P 500 is also barely positive, still battling to stay green after trading higher overnight and posting large losses yesterday, while the Nasdaq Composite is trading down 0.2%. The Dow had rallied more than 800 points earlier in the day, while the S&P 500 had climbed more than 80 points, before relinquishing all of those gains and more.

The  SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA), SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY), and Invesco QQQ Trust (QQQ) are tracking stock indexes as well, showing losses except for the DIA.

 All three major averages are set to notch their first weekly losses in a month, with the Dow and S&P 500 both down more than 5% week to date while the Nasdaq has given back 2.4% after making fresh all-time highs recently.

The CDC published findings today from a survey, which revealed that most Americans would feel unsafe if social distancing measures meant to stem the dissemination of the coronavirus were lifted nationwide.

Of the 2,402 people who completed the surveys, 74.3% reported they would feel unsafe if U.S. restrictions were lifted, in contrast with 81.5% in New York City and 73.4% in Los Angeles, according to the CDC.

CDC Director Robert Redfield told reporters Friday that citizens really need to adhere to CDC guidelines to ensure public safety.

“I know that people are eager to return to normal activities and ways of life, important that we remember this,” he said. “This situation is unprecedented. And that the pandemic has not ended.”

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