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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