Markets fall as North America braces for COVID-19 to peak
At a Tuesday briefing, Trump warned Americans of a “painful two weeks” ahead as scientific data points to COVID-19 peaking in the States with New York state bearing the brunt. Analysis by some researchers, including Forbes, corroborates this projection, predicting that the number of new cases in the U.S. will peak in the next few days, but decline through the rest of April. These findings are based on trends from German and Italy. In the latter country, cases have been declining since March 25. In Canada, new cases levelled off on March 29 and 30, but it’s too soon to declare a trend of any sort.
The somber news pressured the Dow, S&P and Nasdaq all down 4.4%, the biggest single-day sell-off in two weeks. The VIX spiked to 54.54 (it hit 80 in the depths of the 2008-9 recession). Unsurprisingly, the travel and tourism sector plunged. Carnival sold off 33% and American Airlines dove 12.31%. Even tech giant, Apple, took a 5.26%.
In Canada, the TSX fared slightly better, shedding 3.76%. Though weighed down by the ongoing oil war, energy wasn’t the worst-performing sector Tuesday, but real estate and financials, both falling over 5%. Market stalwart, TD Bank, lost 5%. Meanwhile, quarterly reports continue to warn investors that serious corporate losses lie ahead. BlackBerry suffered a Q4 loss and plunged nearly nearly 18%.