Traders and financial professionals work during the opening bell on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), May 14, 2019 in New York City.
Drew Angerer | Getty Images
Stock futures opened higher on Monday night after Wall Street suffered massive losses earlier in the day amid concerns over the economic blow from the coronavirus outbreak.
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose by 36 points, or about 0.2%. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures were also higher.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 had their worst day since the “Black Monday” crash of 1987, falling 12.9% and 12%, respectively. It was also the Dow’s third-worst day ever. The Nasdaq Composite had its biggest one-day plunge ever, tumbling 12.3%.
The Cboe Volatility Index — Wall Street’s preferred fear gauge — posted its highest-ever close at 82.69. That tops the financial crisis’ peak of 80.74.
Wall Street’s drop came even after the Federal Reserve slashed interest rates to near-zero on Sunday and announced a $750 billion asset-purchasing program. It also came as the number of coronavirus cases jumped in the U.S.
At least 4,281 cases have been confirmed in the U.S. along with more than 70 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. President Donald Trump also said the crisis could stretch into August, adding the administration may look at locking down “certain areas.”
“Although the contemporary crisis is loaded with bad news, this has not been its primary problem. It’s the ‘unknown,'” said Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist at The Leuthold Group, in a note. “Not even health experts understand what this is or where it is headed, and that is the worst possible outcome for investors.”
“Give me bad news any day over complete uncertainty,” he said.
The S&P 500 closed Monday at its lowest level since December 2018. The Dow ended the session at its levels not seen since early 2017.
“For now until there is improvement in the trend … it’s tough to consider being long and it’s right to be in Cash on the sidelines,” Mark Newton, managing member at Newton Advisors, said in a note to clients.
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