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The Market Wrap for March 20: More Coronavirus-Induced Volatility

Aaron Levitt Mar 20, 2020

Volatility continued this week, as panic from COVID-19 hit a fevered level. Traders continue to assess the economic fallout from the quarantines, new cases and spread of the outbreak. And this week, a variety of troubling news hit the airwaves. Beginning Sunday night with an emergency Federal Reserve meeting, traders were hit on a variety of fronts about the severity of the outbreak. Numerous states clamped down on the efforts to contain the virus, yet no official Federal action plan has been enforced.

Data began rolling in this week showing that the virus is starting to have a significant effect on economic activity. From manufacturing to the health of the labor economy, data grew ugly this week as the impact of the virus has started to seriously hit the U.S. economy.

Overseas, the news wasn’t much better. While China reported that their number of cases has started to decline, nations like Italy, France and Spain have started to see a quick increase in the number of patients contracting the virus. This prompted more lockdowns, including the significant measure of closing the border between Canada and the U.S. – two countries economically dependent on their trading relationship.

With such negatives on the week, the stock market plunged and trended lower throughout much of the week. All in all, the major averages basically erased all of the gains occurring during Trump’s presidency and set up another volatile period for the markets.

Be sure to check out our previous Wrap here, when stocks continued to sell-off.

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