SEVERE WX : Severe Thunderstorm Watch View Alerts

Good news on US jobs won't stop the stock market bleeding

The Dow suffered another brutal day, closing down more than 900 points as investors question government officials' ability to handle the coronavirus crisis.

Posted: Mar 6, 2020 9:10 AM
Updated: Mar 6, 2020 9:10 AM

A version of this story first appeared in CNN Business' Before the Bell newsletter. Not a subscriber? You can sign up right here.

February's US jobs report isn't giving much support to markets as fears about the economic impact of the coronavirus continue to whip investors into a frenzy.

The US economy added 273,000 jobs in February, much higher than economists had expected. The unemployment rate fell to 3.5%, an all-time low.

The strong data isn't boosting markets, however. Goldman Sachs notes that the survey period in mid-February was "too early to show a meaningful impact of the coronavirus outbreak on hiring." Dow futures are still down 725 points, or 2.9%.

The S&P 500 fell another 3.4% on Thursday, erasing a large chunk of its gains after Joe Biden's victories on Super Tuesday. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury note, which moves opposite prices, touched another record low of 0.695% on Friday. The VIX, a measure of volatility in the stock market, has spiked to its highest level since 2011.

The US jobs market has been a bright spot for investors in recent months, especially those who believe that the fundamentals of America's economy remain solid. But concern is on the rise that employment could be hit by a prolonged slowdown or recession.

"The labor market has been the pillar of strength in the US economy," Morgan Stanley chief US economist Ellen Zentner told clients this week. "However, stock market sell-offs, weakening global demand, strained supply chains, and heightened economic uncertainty will weigh on business sentiment and their ability to weather the storm."

Meanwhile, the prospect of US stocks falling into a bear market is on the rise. The S&P 500 is back in correction territory, down 10.7% from a record high notched in mid-February.

"The viral correction could easily approach bear-market territory within the next few days given the pandemic of fear," Ed Yardeni, president of Yardeni Research, told clients on Friday.

JPMorgan's Jamie Dimon recovering from heart surgery

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon is recovering from emergency heart surgery, the bank said late Thursday.

In a letter to employees, shareholders and clients, Dimon's two deputies — Gordon Smith and Daniel Pinto — said the chief executive experienced an "acute aortic dissection," or a tear in the inner lining of the aorta, that required surgery on Thursday morning.

The board has directed Smith and Pinto to take the reins of the largest US bank while Dimon recovers.

Investor insight: Shares are down nearly 4% in premarket trading. That's in line with other US bank stocks, which have come under severe pressure as the coronavirus spreads around the globe. Investors think the Federal Reserve will need to keep cutting interest rates, which hurts the profit banks make from lending. They're also worried about a US recession that would lead to a spike in loan losses.

On Thursday, the KBW Bank Index fell into a bear market. It's now 23% below its recent peak in early January.

Dimon, who has led JPMorgan since 2005, is one of the most powerful people on Wall Street. "There is no more feared or revered person today in the world of finance," Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, management professor at Yale University, told CNN Business.

OPEC's big bet isn't helping oil prices

OPEC is hoping to slash the supply of crude oil to world markets by 1.5 million barrels per day in an attempt to prop up prices. But the bid, which still needs sign-on from Russia, hasn't reassured markets. Brent crude futures, the global benchmark, plunged deeper into bear market territory on Friday.

The details: On Thursday, the cartel unveiled a plan to reduce output among its 13 members by 1 million barrels per day, and said it would seek an additional 500,000 barrels per day in cuts from longstanding allies, including Russia.

But Russia, the cartel's main partner, still has to agree to the deal, according to Iran's oil minister. The oil producers are meeting Friday in Vienna.

OPEC initially said the new cuts would run through June, but after a series of late night meetings Thursday, the cartel said they should continue until the end of 2020. Existing cuts of 2.1 million barrels per day by OPEC and Russia would also be extended through the end of the year under the plan.

That hasn't calmed jittery investors, who are trying to make sense of a record drop in demand and are worried Russia could scupper the deal entirely. Brent prices have fallen 3.8% to $48.11 a barrel, more than 30% from their peak in early January.

Up next

The US jobs report for February, which includes wage data and the unemployment rate, arrives at 8:30 a.m. ET.

Coming next week: The European Central Bank is expected to follow the Federal Reserve and cut interest rates, a bid to provide markets with extra liquidity amid growing concerns about the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak.

West Lafayette
Clear
83° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 89°
Kokomo
Clear
80° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 85°
Rensselaer
Overcast
81° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 85°
Fowler
Overcast
81° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 85°
Williamsport
Clear
83° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 91°
Crawfordsville
Scattered Clouds
79° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 82°
Frankfort
Clear
78° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 81°
Delphi
Scattered Clouds
81° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 86°
Monticello
Scattered Clouds
81° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 86°
Logansport
Clear
82° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 88°
Active Weather Pattern for the Work Week.
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 74328

Reported Deaths: 3041
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion15860725
Lake7570275
Elkhart484384
Allen3902163
St. Joseph350081
Hamilton2763104
Vanderburgh196313
Hendricks1887108
Cass17959
Johnson1757118
Porter131639
Clark123347
Tippecanoe121111
Madison97965
LaPorte91130
Howard89065
Kosciusko85212
Bartholomew79347
Marshall78422
Floyd77946
Monroe75630
Delaware73052
Dubois69612
Boone67846
Noble67829
Hancock66038
Vigo65110
Jackson5865
Warrick58130
LaGrange55910
Shelby55327
Grant52630
Dearborn50828
Morgan47634
Clinton4343
Henry38320
Wayne37710
White36910
Montgomery35421
Lawrence34627
Harrison33823
Decatur33732
Putnam2888
Miami2742
Daviess27320
Scott26810
Greene25034
Jasper2432
Franklin24214
DeKalb2324
Gibson2254
Jennings22512
Steuben2103
Ripley2087
Carroll1912
Fayette1897
Perry18612
Starke1787
Orange17124
Posey1710
Wabash1693
Fulton1682
Wells1682
Jefferson1632
Knox1540
Whitley1526
Washington1401
Tipton13810
Spencer1363
Sullivan1261
Huntington1223
Randolph1224
Clay1215
Newton11810
Adams1012
Jay910
Owen901
Pulaski831
Rush804
Fountain742
Brown731
Ohio655
Blackford642
Benton610
Pike530
Switzerland520
Vermillion520
Parke511
Crawford450
Martin450
Union410
Warren221
Unassigned0206

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events