- The U.S. stock market fell again on Friday after the WHO raised its threat level on the coronavirus (COVID-19) to “very high” and flirted with “pandemic” terminology.
- Briefly boosting a shaky Dow Jones, Fed Chair Jerome Powell spoke this afternoon.
- A cataclysmic drop in Boeing shares did much of the damage to the Dow 30.
The Dow Jones tumbled toward another ugly loss on Friday, even after a surprise message from Jerome Powell raised hopes that the Federal Reserve will intervene to support a fragile stock market.
Powell’s comments sparked a brief relief rally, but the Fed chair’s statement failed to calm a market rocked by coronavirus-related commentary from the World Health Organization (WHO).
Dow Jones Teeters Beneath 25,000
Among the major U.S. stock market indices, the Dow Jones was easily the worst performer.
- The Dow slid 938.31 points or 3.64% to 24,828.33.
- The S&P 500 fell 3.14% to 2,885.2.
- The Nasdaq dipped 2.28% to 8,371.58.
In the commodity sector, fears over global demand conjured a horrific day for crude oil, which fell 4.5% to just under $45.
The price of gold suffered an awful 3.5% drop. Silver’s 6.3% pullback was even uglier.
Powell’s Remarks Fail to Calm Investors
Robust consumer sentiment data did little for markets, as the VIX ballooned to its highest level since 2011.
Fed Chair Jerome Powell clearly heard Wall Street crying out for intervention, and he issued a surprise statement:
The fundamentals of the U.S. economy remain strong. However, the coronavirus poses evolving risks to economic activity. The Federal Reserve is closely monitoring developments and their implications for the economic outlook. We will use our tools and act as appropriate to support the economy.
WHO Spooks Stock Market With ‘Pandemic’ Commentary
It was no surprise to see the Dow…