Wall Street set off again in its downward spiral on Friday, at the end of its worst week since the financial crisis of 2008, the billions put on the table by the authorities to deal with the spread of the coronavirus failing to erase the fear of a recession.
Its flagship index, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, lost 4.55% on Friday and 17.3% on the week to finish at 19,173.98 points.
It had cashed in its worst session on Monday since October 1987, and ends Friday below the level at which it was evolving the day of the coming to power of Donald Trump, January 20, 2017.
Bad news for the White House tenant, who until recently made the good health of the American economy and financial markets one of his main campaign arguments.
The highly technological Nasdaq fell 3.79% on Friday to 6.879.52 points from 12.6% for the week. The broader S&P 500 Index fell 4.34% to 2,304.92 points, from 15% over the week.
After a hesitant start to the session, the clues first lost ground when New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered a halt to all non-essential activities, less than 24 hours after similar decisions were made. in California. What greatly curb the activity of two key areas in the economy of the country.
The clues then widened their losses during a press conference given at the White House during which Donald Trump excluded a total containment of the country.
They finally nosedived at the very end of the session as oil prices plummeted again, the barrel of WTI ultimately losing 11% in New York.
Investors are trying to assess the economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, which has already killed more than 10,000 people worldwide and infected nearly 250,000 people.
“These are tough times in the financial markets. Everything we know, or rather what we think we know, about the economic prospects of the country and the world, and in turn about the outlook for corporate profits, debt of countries, the risks associated with these debts, and all financial products, evolve from day to day “, remarked Christopher Low of FTN Financial.
“The Covid-19 has gone in two weeks from a distant threat to a nearby reality for most Americans,” he adds as schools close, flights are banned, non-essential stores are called to close.
Above all, people and market players alike are beginning to realize that “the economic damage inflicted by the Covid-19 will not be wiped out in a month or two,” says Low.
Governments and central banks, however, promise massive aid programs to try to soften the shock.
The American senators notably started on Friday tough negotiations on a plan of approximately 1.000 billion dollars.
But the proliferation of scattered ads does not really reassure market players.
The American Central Bank (Fed) for its part continues to water the liquidity markets and multiplies the support measures, as on the debt of municipalities on Friday.
“The Fed has pulled out all its artillery and by doing so has prevented the most important bond market from being completely frozen,” said Gregori Volokhine of Meeschaert Financial Services, for whom the institution thus “saved the system from collapsing.” “.
The 10-year rate on the debt of the United States fell on Friday to 0.874%, against 1.12% the day before.
The volatility of the indices was accentuated Friday by the fact that it was a day called, in financial jargon, “of the four witches”, at the end of which expire several contracts on financial products.
The session was also marked by information about a Chicago company, Ronin Capital, which had to close shop for lack of sufficient capital levels to continue operating as a clearinghouse with the stock operator CME. These entities ensure payment and delivery of securities between investors.
CME assured in a press release that its activities had been taken over by one or more other companies and that no customer had been affected. But this episode reflects the pressure currently weighing on certain financial players.