U.S. markets plunge on virus fears
Volatility continues to rule American markets as coronavirus cases increase in New York, New Jersey and now California. The Dow closed nearly 1,000 points down 3.58%, while the S&P and Nasdaq weren’t far behind. Airlines, hotels and travel stocks were crushed. American Airlines plunged over 13%, while Hyatt Hotels sank 7.74%. Companies on the west coast are telling employees to stay home, including Google, which fell nearly 5%. Thursday’s losses nearly wiped out Wednesday’s huge gains.
Abroad, OPEC is reacting to fears that the virus could wipe out oil demand growth this year by threatening to make its deepest oil production cuts since the recession over a decade ago. The move would hold back 3.6% of global supplies. OPEC will present this plan to OPEC+ (led by Russia) on Friday.
In Canada, the TSX didn’t slide as far, shedding merely 1.34%, but Air Canada plummeted 8.3%. Aside from the virus, headlines were jammed with news. Ottawa is ordered the telcos to slash their data plan prices within two years. As everyone knows, Canadians pay some of the highest cell fees on the planet. In the embattled weed sector, market leader Canopy announced layoffs, a multimillion-dollar writedown and two warehouse closures due to weak demand. Canopy faded by 5.5%.