5 things to know before the stock market opens March 12, 2020

1. Stock futures sink after Trump’s coronavirus address

President Donald Trump speaks about the U.S response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic during an address to the nation from the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., March 11, 2020.

Doug Mills | Reuters

U.S. stock futures were pointing to about a 1,200-point slide for the Dow Jones Industrial Average at Thursday’s open after President Donald Trump’s address Wednesday night failed to ease concerns about the possible economic fallout from the worldwide spread of the new coronavirus. S&P futures hit their 5% limit-down levels but subsequently traded off that low. An S&P 500 drop of over 7% in the regular session would trigger a 15 minute trading pause, which happened Monday. The temporary halt is the first of three levels of so-called circuit breakers designed to mitigate the downside. The government’s weekly jobless claims numbers could provide insight into the virus impact on U.S. jobs.

2. Dow plunges into a bear market with S&P 500 and Nasdaq set to join

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange during the opening bell on March 10, 2020 in New York.

Timothy A. Clary | AFP | Getty Images

Ahead of Trump’s announcement of a ban on travelers to the U.S. from Europe for the next 30 days, the Dow plunged over 1,450 points, or nearly 5.9%, closing in a bear market Wednesday afternoon. If the indicated losses for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq were to hold by the close on Wall Street, they would join the Dow in bear market territory, which is defined by a decline of at least 20% from recent 52-week highs. The Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq all closed at record highs just about a month ago.

3. Trump travel ban slams European stocks

The president’s travel restrictions were punishing European markets Thursday, with more than 6% drops in stocks from the U.K. to Germany to France. Trump, in a primetime television address Wednesday night, also announced he would ask Congress for legislative action to provide payroll tax relief, as well as other measures for several groups impacted by the virus. House Democrats unveiled their own package of coronavirus relief. Among the broad cancellations in the U.S., tours of the Capitol building were suspended.

4. Coronavirus US cancellations and announcements pour in

A view of the empty AmericanAirlines Arena before the start of an NBA basketball regular season game between the Miami Heat and the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday, March 11, 2020 in Miami.

David Santiago | Miami Herald | Getty Images

5. US cases top 1,300 as Italy tightens nationwide lockdown

The increased precautions in the U.S. come as confirmed coronavirus cases in America top 1,300 with 38 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Global cases, with the vast majority of still in China where the outbreak originated in December, rose to more than 126,000 with 4,641 deaths. Over half the virus patients around the world are listed as recovered. Italy, the biggest hot-spot outside China, tightened its nationwide lockdown, ordering all non-essential shops and services to close. Italy has over 12,400 cases with 827 deaths.

— Reuters contributed to this report.

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