U.S. stocks plunge as stimulus high fades


Wall Street's main indexes slumped early on Wednesday as the coronavirus disease and fears still spread across the globe.
About an hour into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average returned to over 20,000 points, standing at 20,232.82 points, but still down over 1,000 points or 4.6 percent. It was down over 1,200 point at the opening bell.
The broad-based S&P 500 slumped 4.2 percent to 2,422.79, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index tumbled 3.36 percent to 7095.67.

The dreary open puts at risk nearly all of the gains from Tuesday, a rare up day in a month that has seen U.S. stocks suffer some of their worst sessions in history and ended the 11-year "bull market."
Officials in Washington are discussing massive stimulus packages of a trillion U.S. dollars or more, including immediate cash funds sent to American taxpayers. 

But there are still grave doubts about the significant hit to U.S. employment in the coming months following significant shutdowns in the retail, hospitality and airline industry.
As of now, all 50 states in the United States have reported cases of coronavirus, with death toll tops 100. And the tally of confirmed cases in the COVID-19 pandemic has surpassed 200,000, according to the latest statistics of the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.


Screenshot of the data from the website of the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University, March 18, 2020. /CGTN
U.S. stock index futures tumbled earlier, pointing to another volatile session for Wall Street on fears that even dramatic stimulus measures would not be able to avert a deep coronavirus-driven recession.
S&P 500 Futures were down 92 points, or 3.69 percent, at their daily down trading limit, while the SPDR S&P 500 ETFs tumbled 5.6 percent.
World oil prices spiraled lower on energy demand woes, with New York's WTI crude plunging 12 percent to an 18-year low and Brent tumbling six percent. from AFP and Reuters