Mar 16, 2020 - Economy & Business

Experts see recession, 26% drop for stock market amid coronavirus panic

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Despite earning praise from Trump, who said it made him "very happy” and that "people in the market should be very thrilled," the Federal Reserves's rate cut was followed by more bloodletting in Asian and European markets overnight Monday, as coronavirus panic continued to grip markets.

What happened: The Australian ASX index fell 9.7%, its largest fall on record; Hong Kong's Hang Seng dropped by 4%; and, benchmark indexes in India and the Philippines saw almost 8% losses. The European Stoxx 600 was down by more than 7%.

  • Bond yields declined and oil prices fell while the dollar strengthened against most currencies, excluding the Japanese yen and Swiss franc, which are seen as safe havens.

Why it happened: "Just as people are hoarding food and supplies, companies and investors are hoarding cash. The Fed is panicked and right to panic and do what they did," Bryce Doty, senior portfolio manager at Sit Fixed Income, said in a note.

  • "Fed actions size up the enormity of the economic challenge but do little to address the spread of the virus."
  • "Nothing the Fed will do can completely stabilize financial markets."

What's next: "With recession looking inevitable due to COVID-19, and inflation likely to fall further below target, the funds rate could be near zero for several years," analysts at TD Securities said in a note to clients Sunday night.

  • "We expect there will also be a lot more than $700 billion more QE. There will likely have to be sizable fiscal stimulus as well."
  • TD analysts also said they expect the yield on the 10-year Treasury to fall to 0.3% and for the dollar to decline broadly in value.

Goldman Sachs research analysts said in a note to clients they expect the S&P 500 to decline by 26% and fall to a "mid-year trough of 2000 before rising to 3200 at year-end."

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