Stock futures plunge
after Trump announces suspension of U.S.-Europe travel.
U.S. stock futures
fell late Wednesday after President Donald Trump’s addressed the nation
following another steep selloff on Wall Street that snapped a more-than-decade-long
bull market for the Dow.
The president spoke
live from the Oval Office at 9 p.m. Eastern, and detailed plans on how the
government is addressing the spreading coronavirus outbreak, including economic
stimulus plans. Most notably, Trump said travel between the U.S. and Europe
will be suspended for 30 days, beginning Friday.
What driving markets?
Futures trading was
muted ahead of Trump’s address but started to fall after he announced the
travel suspension. Trump also promised financial relief “for workers who are
ill, quarantined or caring for others due to coronavirus.”
The president also
said the Small Business Administration will make emergency low-interest loans
available to affected businesses, and said the government will defer tax
payments for certain individuals and companies for three months. But those
measures were apparently far less than what traders were expecting, and the
Europe travel suspension could come with a steep economic cost, though Trump
administration officials later clarified that the travel restrictions will
apply mostly to foreign nationals who have been in certain parts of Europe
prior to traveling to the U.S.
Stocks fell Wednesday
after U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said a robust economic stimulus
plan would take a while to get through Congress, while he backed plans to help
small businesses. On Capitol Hill, Trump’s proposal to cut payroll taxes was
met with skepticism from both parties.
Meanwhile, the World
Health Organization on Wednesday declared the coronavirus outbreak a global
pandemic, as governments from Italy to California imposed bans on public
gatherings in an effort to slow the illness’s spread.
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