Wall Street rout continues as containment efforts rise
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Steep losses in the US stock market continued on Thursday, culminating in the worst day for traders since 1987’s “Black Monday” crash. The steep declines come just days after Wall Street suffered its worst day since the 2008 financial crisis, which occurred this Monday, demonstrating a severe lack of positive sentiment in trading markets.
By the end of Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, a leading stock market index, had dropped 10%, a total of 2,352 points. The S&P 500, another popular index, dropped a full 9.5% and is down 26.7% from its all time high, set just last month.
In response, the US Federal Reserve announced that it would inject $1.5 trillion into the banking system to help them buy up Treasury securities in the hope that it would lead to some stability in the markets.
However, the attempt to ward off the intense pressure facing the markets seems, at least initially, to have largely failed, putting additional pressure on the White House to come up with a viable policy in order to prevent an economic freefall.
Trump tries to reassure nation
During his time in office, President Trump has repeatedly claimed strong stock market activity as a sign that his administration’s policies were a success. Now, the markets have wiped out nearly all of the gains that have been made since President Trump took office.
Anxiety surrounding the coronavirus and the potential economic impact are a big factor in the steep losses seen on Wall Street. In an address to the nation on Wednesday, Trump announced that his administration is taking steps to mitigate the spread of the virus.
During the speech, he announced a 30-day suspension on all travel from Europe to the US, except for those with US passports or permanent residency status.
The United Kingdom was the only European country left off of the suspension list.
While the new restrictions are set to enter into force on Friday, the US continues to suffer from a severe shortage in the availability of virus testing kits, leaving many residents worried that they are navigating a health crisis in the dark.
In the US, cancellations and disruptions are becoming more pronounced. Sports leagues are seeing the remainder of their seasons suspended or canceled, and conventions, business meetings and school classes are either being moved online or canceled outright.
In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a state of emergency, telling the public that the coronavirus “could easily be a six-month crisis.”
“The last 24 hours have been very, very sobering,” he declared.