President Donald Trump took to the Oval Office in his second ever address to the nation, in order to announce a 30-day travel ban from European countries to the States, apart from the UK. However this long awaited television address, as well as the fact that the World Health Organisation had now classified the coronavirus as a pandemic did little to assure investors, as the Dow Jones continued to drop, closing the day down 1465 points, or 5.86%.
The historic 11-year bull run of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) has now officially ended, as it is now down 23.75% from the previous month. For a market to officially be classified to switch from a bull market to bear market, it must have more than a 20% drop over the course of a month, or vice versa.
The other two major stock indices, the NASDAQ Composite Index and S&P 500, both narrowly avoided entering bear markets of their own on the market close. However, the writing is on the wall, and it is expected for them to follow the Dow sooner or later.
Likewise, other stock indices across the globe followed suit, with the Japanese Nikkei dropping 4.4% for the trading day and entering a bear market as well, and the Australian ASX 200, which had already entered a bear market on Wednesday, falling a shocking 7.4%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index and South Korea’s Kospi Index are both also nearing bear territory.
In his 10-minute address, Trump did not make any mention of how the administration would have any sort of economic stimulus plan to address the unavoidable impact the coronavirus would have on the nation, although he did take the time to impress that the US had the greatest economy in the world and that this was not a financial crisis. While Trump said that he was ready to take emergency action to provide financial relief for infected workers that could not work, he stopped short of actually providing any concrete plans for details regarding economic stimulus to combat the effects of the coronavirus.
In fact, after meeting with executives from Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street CEOs, Trump said that an economic stimulus would not be needed if “everything quickly solves itself”.
The World Health Organisation has now officially declared the coronavirus as a pandemic, as the number of cases across the world cross one hundred thousand.
In the US, there are now more than 1,100 confirmed cases, with 38 deaths. 24 of that number have been in the state of Washington alone. The NBA have suspended all games for the rest of the season, after one player tested positive for the virus.