Dow Jones slumps 800 points after Donald Trump warns of 'painful' times and a 'shocking' coronavirus death toll

Dow Jones slumps 800 points after Donald Trump warns of 'painful' times and a 'shocking' coronavirus death toll
FILE - This July 16, 2013 file photo shows a street sign for Wall Street outside the New York Stock Exchange in New York. Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
  • Here's where the major US indexes stood shortly after market open at 9:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday:
  • S&P 500: 2,491.49, down 3.6%
  • Dow Jones industrial average: 21,116.13, down 3.7% (801 points)
  • Nasdaq composite: 7,483.72, down 2.8%
US stocks fell Wednesday after President Donald Trump issued a dire new warning about pain ahead due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Trump told Americans to brace for a "very, very painful two weeks" during a press briefing Tuesday evening, adding "this is going to be three weeks like we've never seen before."

The White House is now projecting that the US could see between 100,000 and 240,000 deaths from the coronavirus pandemic, peaking over the next two weeks. Right now, the US has 189,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, currently the largest outbreak in the world. As of April 1, 4,000 have died of coronavirus in the US.

The losses come after the Dow Jones industrial average capped of its worst-ever first-quarter performance on Monday, slipping 23% over the three-month period. Both the Dow and the S&P 500 also posted their worst monthly returns since the depth of the financial crisis in October 2008. They fell 14% and 13% in March, respectively.

Oil also had its worst quarter ever, falling 66%. The losses were due to the the dual impact of a coronavirus-driven drop in demand and an escalating price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia.


Some experts see more pain ahead. On Tuesday, bond king Jeffrey Gundlach told investors that the market will fall even further in April, extending the coronavirus-driven rout.

On Wednesday, the Institute for Supply Management's March manufacturing survey will show how business activity in the US has been impacted by the coronavirus. Investors will also be watching for jobless claims data Thursday, and the March jobs report Friday for further clues of economic fallout.

"With a global recession now being the overarching theme for the year, investors are expected to endure a bumpy ride before they can place firm hopes on the eventual recovery," Han Tan, market analyst at FXTM, told Business Insider.

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