The New York Stock Exchange ended in red Tuesday the worst quarter since 1987 for the Dow Jones and since 2008 for the S&P 500, while the coronavirus pandemic continues to haunt investors.
Read also: Wall Street opens lower after a rebound movement
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.84% to end at 21,917.16 points, which represents a drop of 13.7% over the month and 23% since the beginning of the year. The broader S&P 500 Index, which represents the 500 largest companies on Wall Street, fell 1.60% on Tuesday to close at 2584.69 points. It is thus down 12.5% in March, 20% since the beginning of 2020. The Nasdaq, with strong technological coloring, fell Tuesday by 0.95% to 7700.10 points. Its decline, of 10% over the month, of 14% over the quarter, is less pronounced.
However, the clues had started the session in the green before hesitating, then sinking as the closing approached. For Karl Haeling of LBBW, no specific news a priori justified this jagged development, except that investors were perhaps expecting more pronounced portfolio adjustments at the end of the quarter. " The trend will probably be dominated in the coming days by estimates of the duration of the pandemic, " he said. " We could, it seems, see the economy really resume its activity two weeks after a substantial drop in new cases. All of this is open to interpretation, ”notes Karl Haeling.
What seems to be in no doubt in the eyes of investors, however, is the fact that the American economy has entered a recession. The question is to what extent the actions taken by the government and the central bank will help mitigate their effects and limit their duration. Worldwide, more than 3.6 billion people, or 46.5% of the population, are called or forced by their authorities to remain confined to their homes, according to an AFP count.
More than 820,000 cases of infection have been diagnosed in 185 countries and territories since the virus appeared in December in China, and the disease has killed more than 40,000. Positive signs, however, were that China announced an unexpected recovery in manufacturing and services in March, and oil prices stabilized after hitting their lowest level in 18 years on Monday. On the bond market, the 10-year rate on the US debt fell slightly, and moved to 0.663% against 0.726% Monday at the close.