Stock market live updates: Futures tumble, hit limit down halt, S&P 500 ETF down 6%, virus cases jump

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Shares of biotechnology company Regeneron rose nearly 2% in premarket trading on Wednesday, the day after the company said it aims to have doses of a potential drug for COVID-19 ready to start human clinical trials by early summer. The antibody is believed to be a treatment for the virus, as well as a preventative drug. Shares of Regeneron rose more than 11% on Tuesday. – Fitzgerald

A spike in coronavirus cases continues to worry investors, who are hoping for government stimulus to offset the economic impacts of the virus. Worldwide coronavirus cases top 200,000 for the first time, according to data compiled by John Hopkins University. Italy has more than 2,500 virus related deaths as of Tuesday evening, the country’s health ministry said. Iran’s death toll from the coronavirus climbed to 1,135 with 147 new deaths in the past 24 hours, a health ministry official told state TV on Wednesday. The total number of infected people across the country has reached 17,361. Plus, European leaders agreed Tuesday to close the European Union’s external borders for 30 days in a new effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan also reported a rise in cases. France, which has seen a sharp spike in cases in recent weeks, said it could start seeing a slowdown of coronavirus infections in about eight to 12 days following the government’s decision to lock down the country, Health Minister Olivier Veran said Wednesday. —Fitzgerald

DoubleLine Capital CEO Jeffrey Gundlach believes there’s a 90% chance the United States will enter a recession this year. The “Bond King” said that last week his odds stood at 80%, but that as the coronavirus outbreak continues to halt travel and shutter businesses worldwide, he now places the odds at 90%. Still, Gundlach added that he was incrementally less negative on the market’s outlook given the magnitude of the federal government’s response. “I think you’re supposed to be staying liquid, I think you’re supposed to be waiting for opportunities,” he said. “We all know that the stock market is down a lot. We know the junk bond market’s down a lot. … Will the market snap back? Of course it will.” —Stevens

U.S. stock futures tumbled on Wednesday, reaching their so-called limit down level, indicating declines of about 5% for the major averages. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were down 821 points, indicating a loss of 1,031 points at the open. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures were also at their downside limit. Investors turned their eyes to the ETFs that track the major averages for a better indication of what the open will look like. The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) was down 6.4% in the premarket. The SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF Trust (DIA) traded 6.7% lower while the Invesco QQQ Trust dropped 6.3%. Those losses come after a sharp reversal in Treasury yields unnerved traders as they weighed a potential $1 trillion stimulus package.

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Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/18/stock-market-today-live.html

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