Wall Street extends recent selloff, puts Dow on course to erase 'Trump-bump'
By Caroline Valetkevitch NEW YORK (Reuters) - The selloff in U.S. stocks deepened on Wednesday and the Dow was set to erase the last of its gains since U.S.
By Caroline Valetkevitch
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The selloff in U.S. stocks deepened on Wednesday and the Dow was set to erase the last of its gains since U.S. President Donald Trump's 2017 inauguration, as the coronavirus pandemic threatened to bring U.S. economic activity to a halt.
The benchmark S&P 500 index was last down 7.3% after triggering a 15-minute trading cutout at a 7% decline, extending the recent plunge that ended Wall Street's longest-ever bull run. The S&P 500 is now down more than 30% since its Feb. 19 record closing high.
With airports and hotels emptying and airlines asking staff to take unpaid leave to stem losses, the S&P 1500 airlines index <.SPCOMAIR> sank more than 20%. Shares in Hilton
"This market went from a position of where we were fearless back at the beginning of February to some days like today where you feel hopeless about what's going on in the market," said Wayne Wicker, chief investment officer of Vantagepoint Investment Advisers.
Trump's request for Congress to approve $500 billion in cash payments to taxpayers along with $50 billion in loans for airlines did little to stem the rout.
Shares in Boeing Co
The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> fell 1,682.15 points, or 7.92%, to 19,555.23, the S&P 500 <.SPX> lost 185.33 points, or 7.33%, to 2,343.86 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> dropped 476.87 points, or 6.5%, to 6,857.91.
Wall Street's main indexes bounced on Tuesday from a massive selloff a day earlier, as the Trump administration pressed for a $1 trillion stimulus package and the Federal Reserve relaunched a plan to buy short-term corporate debt.
But dramatic stimulus measures have only provided short-lived bounces in equities with investors factoring in a global recession and worrying about the duration of the damage extending into the summer.
"There are two things the market is awaiting - a stimulus and it needs to be bigger than a trillion dollars for sure to help all the workers who are going to be out of work for a month or two," said Thomas Hayes, managing member at Great Hill Capital LLC in New York.
"And a little hope in colour on some drug approvals for treatment."
Worries about mass debt defaults or writedowns pressured U.S. lenders, sending the S&P 500 banking subsector <.SPXBK> down sharply.
The S&P 500 has fallen by around a third, or around $7 trillion in value, since scaling record highs in mid-February. Its collapse into a bear market, among the fastest in history, has spurred some calls for a pause in trading.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin late on Tuesday suggested shortening of trading hours at some point, but that drew opposition from several leading investors and exchange managers, who said it would harm the market's credibility.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 16.50-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 10.13-to-1 ratio favoured decliners.
The S&P 500 posted 5 new 52-week highs and 292 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 9 new highs and 1,095 new lows.
(Additional reporting by Medha Singh and Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Chizu Nomiyama)
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.