Contracts on the S&P 500, Dow and Nasdaq tumbled during pre-market trading, suggesting the volatility of the past couple weeks was set to continue.
Stock futures slumped after the White House failed to offer further details on a stimulus package President Donald Trump earlier this week had characterized as “very major.” The measures reportedly in consideration included a payroll tax cut and expanded worker protections, to help counteract any economic fall-out from the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
While further fiscal stimulus in the U.S. remains a point of uncertainty, overseas, central bankers have unleashed further monetary stimulus aimed at counteracting the economic hit from Covid-19.
The Bank of England on Wednesday announced a surprise half-point interest rate cut at the conclusion of a special meeting, following a similar move from the U.S. Federal Reserve last week.
“Following the spread of Covid-19, risky asset and commodity prices have fallen sharply, and government bond yields reached all-time lows, consistent with a marked deterioration in risk appetite and in the outlooks for global and UK growth,” the BOE said in a statement Wednesday, “Indicators of financial market uncertainty have reached extreme levels.”
The BOE’s move brought the main bank rate down to 0.25%, and was decided unanimously by the bank’s officials.
“Temporary, but significant, disruptions to supply chains and weaker activity could challenge cash flows and increase demand for short-term credit from households and for working capital from companies,” the BBOE said. “This economic shock will affect both demand and supply in the economy.”
7:48 a.m. ET: Stock futures tumble as coronavirus fears linger
Stock futures sank again Wednesday morning, continuing a run of volatility that has sent risk assets into a tailspin.
Here were the main moves in markets, as of 7:49 a.m. ET:
S&P 500 futures (ES=F): 2,793.50, down 72.25 points or -2.52%
Dow futures (YM=F): 24,260.00, down 589 points or -2.37%
Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): 8,143, down 188.5 points or -2.26%
Crude oil (CL=F): $33.30 per barrel, down 3.08%
Ten-year Treasury note: yielding 0.707%, down 4.5 basis points
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