Stocks open sharply lower on Wall Street; Dow sinks 1.8%

29 Février, 2020, 03:30 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Michael Milano on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange

Global companies based in the US have been warning investors that they expect sales in China to plummet and anticipate challenges from supply-chain disruptions as China struggles to get its production back up after the coronavirus devastation and strict quarantines that closed many businesses and kept workers at home.

After the bell, S&P 500 e-mini futures were up about 1% and the Invesco QQQ Trust ETF was up 1.3% in extended trade. The contract lost $1.64 on Thursday to settle at $47.09.

United States crude fell 5.03% to $46.28 per barrel and Brent was last at $51.36, down 3.87% on the day. Carnival's shares climbed 3.3%.

The Trump Administration sought to reassure investors about the market plunge, saying it was unlikely to affect the broader economy. In some, the market came within a breath of falling into a bear market, including a 19.8% fall in late 2018. Now, analysts are anxious that the latest stock swoon could cause consumer spending - which makes up some 70% of the economy and has played a huge role in keeping the USA expansion going - to contract again.

Travel stocks Norwegian Cruise Line and American Airlines are among the worst-performing S&P 500 stocks this week, dropping more than 20% in that time.

"You're nearly fishing blind here, trying to make good decisions", said Jeff Kravetz, regional investment strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Stocks had become expensive, particularly when compared with how much profit companies are producing, leaving them more risky and vulnerable.

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Among individual stocks, Mylan NV dropped 6% after the drugmaker cautioned a financial hit from the coronavirus outbreak and warned of drug shortages in case of continued spread of the virus.

The Geneva auto show was canceled after Swiss authorities banned large public events.

The broad-based S&P 500 also slumped 4.4 per cent to 2,978.76, its first close below 3,000 since October. Brent crude oil, the worldwide standard, dropped $1.66 to close at $50.52 a barrel.

The Japanese yen continued its rally against the U.S. dollar, trading at the 107 level.

The indexes were set for their steepest weekly pullback since the 2008 global financial crisis, as new coronavirus infections reported around the world surpassed those in mainland China. The euro weakened to $1.0967 from $1.0987.

Hopes the epidemic which started in China at the end of past year would be over and global stock markets would return to normal have been shattered as the number of confirmed cases across the world spirals out of control.

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