Reuters / Jianan Yu
- US stocks plummeted Wednesday after President Donald Trump told the country to prepare for “two very, very painful weeks” amid the coronavirus pandemic.
- The White House has predicted that the United States could see 100,000 to 240,000 deaths from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
- The losses came after the worst first quarter in the history of the Dow Jones industrial average.
- Learn more about Business Insider.
U.S. stocks plummeted Wednesday after President Donald Trump issued another terrible warning about the coming pain due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Trump told the Americans to prepare for “two very, very painful weeks” at a press briefing on Tuesday evening, adding “it is going to be three weeks like we have never seen before.”
The White House now predicts that the United States could see between 100,000 and 240,000 deaths from the coronavirus pandemic, peaking in the next two weeks. The United States currently has 189,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, currently the largest epidemic in the world. As of April 1, 4,000 people have died from a coronavirus in the United States.
Here is where the main American indices were at 4 p.m. AND market closed Wednesday:
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Investor sentiment is waning as the impact of the coronavirus pandemic “may be starting to reach people hoping for better news,” Liz Ann Sonders, chief investment strategist at Charles Schwab, told Markets Insider.
The losses came after the Dow Jones industry average released its worst quarterly performance on Tuesday, slipping more than 23%. The Dow Jones and the S&P 500 also posted their worst monthly returns since the depth of the financial crisis in October 2008, falling 14% and 13% in March.
Oil soared on Wednesday after capping its worst quarter ever. The resource fell 66% in the first three months of 2020. The declines were caused by the dual impact of a drop in demand due to coronaviruses and an escalation of the price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia.
In economic news, the March manufacturing survey by the Institute for Supply Management released Wednesday came higher than expected, plunging to just 49.1 from 50.1 in February. But part of what increased the number was a surge in supplier deliveries, helped by the coronavirus pandemic.
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“It gave a boost to the total number, not for the right reasons,” said Sonders.
Elsewhere, US private sector companies cut 27,000 jobs in the month ending March 12, according to a report released Wednesday by ADP. It was the first time since 2017 that the report had shown job losses, noting that layoffs caused by coronaviruses had started before state closures and widespread social distancing measures increased from mid-March to the end of March.
Some experts see more pain coming. Bond king Jeffrey Gundlach told investors on Tuesday that the market would fall even more in April, prolonging the coronavirus rout.
“With the global recession now the main theme of the year, investors will face a bumpy ride before they can hope for a possible recovery,” Han Tan, market analyst at FXTM, told Business Insider.
Investors will also be watching the jobless claims data on Thursday and the March job report on Friday for further indications of economic benefits. Economists expect Thursday’s jobless claims report to report another record peak in jobless claims amid the coronavirus pandemic.
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