Trump Warns of "Very Painful" 2 Wks, Stocks Tumble

Stocks fell sharply on Wednesday as Wall Street begins the second quarter on a sour note amid mounting concerns over the coronavirus outbreak.

The Dow Jones Industrials stumbled 640.28 points, or 2.9%, to 22,276.88. Boeing, Dow Inc and American Express all fell more than 5% to lead the Dow Industrials lower.

The broader S&P 500 fell 79.04 points, or 3.1%, to 2,505.55. The S&P 500 was led lower by the real estate, energy and financial sectors.

The NASDAQ Composite let go of 194.15 points, or 2.5%, to 7,505.95.

President Donald Trump said Tuesday evening the U.S. should prepare for a “very, very painful two weeks” from the rampant coronavirus. White House officials are projecting between 100,000 and 240,000 virus deaths in the U.S.

More than 874,000 cases have been confirmed around the world, according to Johns Hopkins University. Of those cases, over 189,000 are in the U.S. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told the media that he is starting to see “glimmers” that social distancing is helping to lessen the spread of the coronavirus.

Data from ADP and Moody’s Analytics showed U.S. companies cut 27,000 jobs through March 12. Actual losses for the month were far worse, as shown by the record number of jobless claims in the week or March 20. Meanwhile, the Institute for Supply Management manufacturing index fell to 49.1 in March from 50.1 in February, signaling a contraction in U.S. manufacturing activity amid the pandemic.

Prices for the 10-Year U.S. Treasury hiked, lowering yields to 0.59% from Tuesday’s 0.67%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices faded six cents to $20.42 U.S. a barrel. Gold prices lost $2.50 to $1,594.10 U.S. an ounce.

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