Wall St. slides as pandemic tag, gag order report rattle investors
By Medha Singh and Sanjana Shivdas (Reuters) - U.S. stock indexes extended their declines on Wednesday after the World Health Organization classified the coronavirus outbreak as a pandemic.
By Medha Singh and Sanjana Shivdas
(Reuters) - U.S. stock indexes extended their declines on Wednesday after the World Health Organization classified the coronavirus outbreak as a pandemic.
A Reuters report that the White House has ordered federal health officials to treat top-level coronavirus meetings as classified in an unusual step compounded the skittish sentiment on trading floors.
"If you feel the need to embargo information, a lot of people don't like that, because that makes you think they're concerned that the numbers are getting increasingly worse, so bad that they feel they need to shield the American public from that information," said Sal Arnuk, partner and cofounder, Themis Trading in Chatham, New Jersey.
Expectations that President Donald Trump would announce "major" support measures helped Wall Street claw back losses on Tuesday from a bruising sell-off at the start of the week on the back of a collapse in oil prices.
But there have been no announcements, even as the administration discusses measures ranging from tax relief, loan guarantees, reimbursing workers for lost pay and support for the hard hit industries.
The benchmark S&P 500 <.SPX> index is nearly 19% below its all-time peak hit on Feb. 19. If it ends 20% below its record closing high from just three weeks ago, the index would confirm a bear market.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 4.94%, the biggest decliner among the major indexes, also weighed down by a 13.5% tumble in shares of Boeing Co
The stock is set for its biggest three day drop since the 9/11 attacks.
Rate-sensitive U.S. lenders tumbled, with the banks index <.SPXBK> down 4.3%. The U.S. Federal Reserve is widely expected to cut rates for the second time this month when it meets next week.
The utilities sector <.SPLRCU> dropped about 5.4% while other major S&P sectors shed at least 3.6%.
At 1:17 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> was down 1,235.69 points, or 4.94%, at 23,782.47 and the S&P 500 <.SPX> was down 131.09 points, or 4.55%, at 2,751.14. The Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> was down 357.38 points, or 4.28%, at 7,986.87.
DXC Technology Co
Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 12.61-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and for a 6.83-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded no new 52-week high and 79 new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded five new highs and 541 new lows.
(Reporting by Medha Singh and Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru; Additional reporting to April Joyner in New York; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Sriraj Kalluvila)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.