S&P 500 set for worst first quarter since 1938

The S&P 500 on course for its worst first quarter since 1938, even as Wall Street seemed to steady on Tuesday as investors returned to stocks that are likely to weather an economic slump due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic that originated in Wuhan, China in mid-November 2019.

S&P 500 worst quarter. Image: Closeup of COVID-19 coronavirusReuters:

Technology firms, which have been resilient amid a broader selloff that has erased more than $5 trillion from the value of S&P 500 firms, were the biggest boost to the index.

An unprecedented round of fiscal and monetary stimulus had helped equity markets stabilize last week following wild swings in the past month that saw the benchmark S&P 500 rise 9% and slump 12% in two consecutive sessions.

Sliding from the record highs of mid February, the Dow Jones and S&P 500 indexes are now set to end the quarter more than 18% lower from the start of the year. The blue-chip Dow is on course for its biggest quarterly percentage decline since 1987, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq is set for its worst three months since 2018.

On Tuesday, Facebook Inc, Amazon.com, Apple, Netflix Inc, and Google-parent Alphabet Inc – known as the FAANG group of stocks – rose 1% to 2.6%, helping the Nasdaq outperform broader gains… A surprise expansion in China’s March factory activity injected optimism about a potential recovery for U.S. businesses once sweeping stay-at-home orders are lifted and the economy comes back online.

MacDailyNews Take: Hope that was a great bat.


    1. Dear Leader called it no worse than the flu. His blind followers said everyone should go to work. Some still whine that the death rate is too low for them to care. But then a change swept over the capitol. Bone Spurs missed his chance to do his patriotic duty last time around but he’s in campaign mode calling himself a wartime president now. Suddenly what was already under control is huge a panic effort to build ventilaters and masks. Did someone decide to use the crisis to pump his poll numbers? It is hard to believe that Orange Ego finally understands that when he refers to “those numbers”, each one represents an innocent victim dying? No he doesn’t care about that. After all, the flu kills thousands every year and he certainly doesn’t care about that. If he did, he would expand basic preventive health coverage for his people. He conveniently forgot that campaign promise. Now it’s a pound of taxpayer funded cure instead of an ounce of taxpayer funded “socialist” prevention. Prevention would have been cheaper.

      1. The data is pointing to a 0.5% mortality rate, but some stats show it could be as low as 0.1% which is comparable to flu. The key difference is that Sars2 is more contagious than the flu and, we don’t yet have a vaccine.

        As for going to work, that’s what Sweden is doing. And the UK also wanted to try the “herd immunity” approach, so it’s not totally ridiculous.

        As for the flu killing 10s of thousands a year, why blame Trump? Does your average person on the street seem concerned by 60,000 deaths in the US last year? More health coverage is not going to reduce flu deaths. More vaccinations will reduce flu deaths. Currently, less than half of the population is getting the vaccine. Medicare/aid and insurance already pay more than $80 to doctors and pharmacies to give flu shots, which means it’s a moneymaker, so there’s a strong incentive for them to give injections. The low rate is all on the US consumer who can’t be bothered.

        Trump deserves alot of criticism, and he gets it, but to blame him for making mistakes that literally every other person would also make is silly. Even medical specialists disagree on how best to manage the pandemic.

  1. Nobody thinks it went straight to humans from bats. Probably via civet cats or pangolins, who got it from being in unnaturally close proximity to the bats either in the market or due to reduced habitat. Same sort of thing happened with MERS (bats to camels to humans), SARS (bats to civets to humans), Ebola (bats to chimps to humans), plague (rodents to humans via fleas), and measles (cattle to humans). Most new strains of flu cross over from birds or pigs. Crossover is equally likely in North America as in Africa or Asia.

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