Bloomberg | Mar 19, 2020 15:05
(Bloomberg) -- U.S. stocks struggled to hold onto gains as investors digested a battery of economic and financial measures from global policy makers aimed at easing the market turmoil. Treasuries climbed and the dollar extended its rally.
The Nasdaq advanced as bargain hunters sorted through technology companies, with the S&P 500 fluctuating between small gains and losses. Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) Inc., Netflix Inc (NASDAQ:NFLX). and Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB). all rose at least 7%. Still, data showed U.S. jobless claims came in higher than expected as traders weighed the growing likelihood of a global recession and corporate defaults triggered by lockdowns and supply-chain disruption.
“There’s a lot of panic, but there are buyers on Wall Street looking for opportunities,” said Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist for the Leuthold Group. “The issue is we don’t know where this is going to be in two months.”
Stocks gained in Europe after falling across most of Asia. In the euro zone, sovereign bonds soared from France and Italy to Greece after the region’s central bank boosted its efforts to stabilize the economy and capital markets. The yen, so often a haven amid market stress, slumped in a sign of the extraordinary demand for the greenback, which strengthened for an eighth day versus a basket of its major peers to its highest in at least 15 years. WTI oil rebounded from a plunge that had taken it to almost $20 a barrel on Wednesday.
Investors are trying to guess at whether the unprecedented policy actions taken to fight the effects of the coronavirus pandemic would be enough, even as Donald Trump dubbed himself a “wartime president” ready to do whatever it takes. The rush into cash and havens has battered risk assets almost everywhere, particularly equities, high-yield bonds and non-dollar currencies.
The latest developments include the European Central Bank launching a 750 billion euro ($815 billion) debt-buying program to keep borrowing costs in check, and the Federal Reserve’s debut of a program to support money-market mutual funds. South Africa cut interest rates and Germany may authorize emergency debt issuance. But looming over everything is question of how long the economic downturn will last.
“It’s a good start and a step in the right direction with the tools that they have available, but they can still do more,” Sue Trinh, global macro strategist at Manulife Asset Management in Hong Kong, told Bloomberg TV. “There’s much more need for U.S. dollar liquidity to get to where it’s needed the most,” she said. “At the moment the markets are screaming it’s not enough -- we need to see more of that.”
Meanwhile, the U.S. Senate cleared the second major bill responding to the coronavirus pandemic and White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said the government might take equity positions as part of corporate rescues.
Here are the main moves in markets:
©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Written By: Bloomberg
Trading in financial instruments and/or cryptocurrencies involves high risks including the risk of losing some, or all, of your investment amount, and may not be suitable for all investors. Prices of cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile and may be affected by external factors such as financial, regulatory or political events. Trading on margin increases the financial risks.
Before deciding to trade in financial instrument or cryptocurrencies you should be fully informed of the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite, and seek professional advice where needed.
Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. The data and prices on the website are not necessarily provided by any market or exchange, but may be provided by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual price at any given market, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Fusion Media and any provider of the data contained in this website will not accept liability for any loss or damage as a result of your trading, or your reliance on the information contained within this website.
It is prohibited to use, store, reproduce, display, modify, transmit or distribute the data contained in this website without the explicit prior written permission of Fusion Media and/or the data provider. All intellectual property rights are reserved by the providers and/or the exchange providing the data contained in this website.
Fusion Media may be compensated by the advertisers that appear on the website, based on your interaction with the advertisements or advertisers.
Get free real time quotes, charts and alerts on stocks, indices, currencies, commodities and bonds. Get free top of the line technical analysis/predictors.
More content, faster quotes and charts, and a smoother experience is available only on the App.