U.S. markets and stock ETFs continued to suffer through a downward spiral Tuesday after officials claimed the coronavirus epidemic was worsening
On Tuesday, the Invesco QQQ Trust (NASDAQ: QQQ) decreased 1.8%, SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (NYSEArca: DIA) fell 2.5% and SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEArca: SPY) dropped 2.4%. DIA was also briefly testing its long-term support at the 200-day simple moving average.
Hopes that global governments could contain a the coronavirus outbreak and limit the negative economic effects continued to fade on Tuesday on updates of an accelerating contagion that had spread even further around the world, the Wall Street Journal reports.
“The size of this economic shock is looking increasingly large on a global scale,” James Athey, a senior investment manager at Aberdeen Standard Investments, told the WSJ. “What we’re just seeing here is the crack in that sentiment-driven equity rally.”
The resulting risk-off selling has sent equities reeling and safe-haven assets like U.S. Treasuries soaring, with yields on 10-year notes at record lows as investors begin to consider the consequences of a widespread coronavirus contagion that has originated from Wuhan, China.
“I just don’t think we can accept the numbers coming out of China at face value,” Mark Grant, managing director and chief global strategist at B. Riley FBR.
The selling was exacerbated Tuesday on updates that the contagion has spread to new countries, including Spain, Reuters reports. Meanwhile, Iran’s death toll from the virus increased to 16, the highest rate outside of China, while other countries from South Korea and Italy executed emergency measures to stop the spread of the virus.
“A lot of people who have been woken up by the volatility of the stock market will start to get a little panicky,” Tom Plumb president of Plumb Funds, told Reuters.
For instance, bets on the CBOE Volatility Index, or so-called fear index used to hedge bets against the S&P 500, jumped to a 30 reading mid-Tuesday.
On the other hand, some investors are betting on further support from the Federal Reserve to counter any further economic weakness stemming from the virus outbreak.
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