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Stocks closed down about 1% on Friday, ending the worst week for Wall Street since the financial crisis.
Why it matters: The stretch of declines came after a spike in coronavirus cases around the world earlier this week. The steep losses prompted questions about the fate of the record-long economic expansion, as well as a rare statement from the Federal Reserve.
Go deeper: The growing coronavirus recession threat
Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell took the rare move Friday of issuing a statement meant to reassure investors, one that opened the door to a possible interest rate cut.
Why it matters: The Fed rarely issues statements like this outside of policy meetings and scheduled public appearances. It came as the stock market continues its steep decline this week. Stocks briefly pared some losses after the 2:30 p.m. EST statement came out.
Guggenheim Partners global CIO Scott Minerd tells Axios the fallout from the coronavirus outbreak could be "worse than the financial crisis."
Why it matters: Minerd called out the "cognitive dissonance" in markets as stock prices hit new all-time highs in mid-February, saying in an open letter that he had never "seen anything as crazy as what’s going on right now."
In one week, futures traders have gone from seeing virtually no chance of a rate cut at the Fed's next policy meeting to a more than three-quarters likelihood.
Why it matters: Economists aren't sure a rate cut would be effective at offsetting the damage from the coronavirus outbreak, and would put the Fed in a weaker position to bolster the economy should the U.S. fall into a recession.
Fears about the coronavirus haven't shattered every stock. Look at the telehealth firm Teladoc.
Driving the news: Teladoc's stock price has soared 19% this week and is now valued at almost $10 billion, because apparently Wall Street believes we will only see doctors on our iPads or on the phone as we avoid the outside world.
Stocks fell more than 4% on Thursday, extending the market’s worst week since the financial crisis in 2008 following a spike in coronavirus cases around the world.
The big picture: All three indices are in correction, down over 10% from recent record-highs, amid a global market rout. It's the S&P 500's quickest decline into correction territory in the index's history, per Deutsche Bank.
February saw one of the most effective ways of destroying wealth, thanks to the gyrations in the stock market. More broadly, institutions and individuals around the world have been getting better and better at vacuuming up money and keeping it from doing useful things in the economy as a whole.
Driving the news: Stocks went up this month and then they went down. The rise in stocks coincided with sustained buying pressure — a lot of money entered the market as it was going up. Then the fall came suddenly, not so much as a result of selling pressure, more as a result of the market reacting to coronavirus news by simply marking down the valuation of most stocks.
The bond market set a significant milestone on Thursday, with bond yields — as measured by the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note — dropping below 1.3% for the first time in history.
By the numbers: The yield was above 3% as recently as November 2018.
Karma says that if something bad happens to you now, you probably did something to deserve it. So what did Credit Karma do to deserve being bought by Intuit?
Driving the news: Credit Karma is the most successful of the apps built around giving people their credit score for free. It had about $1 billion in revenue in 2019, and served some 37 million monthly active users. Now it's being bought by Intuit for $7.1 billion.
When you give something away, people are likely to consume far too much of it. That's true of food, it's true of drink, and it's true of options trades.
Why it matters: The best thing that an investor can do is nothing. People who actively trade the market are effectively trying to time it — to buy low and sell high. Voluminous literature has shown that it just doesn't work, and that doing nothing is superior to doing something a significant majority of the time.