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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

News about the coronavirus outbreak got worse on Monday, but stock traders saw a stimulus bat-signal in the sky and sent the Dow to its biggest points gain on record — 1,294 points.

Why it happened: Stock prices jumped after it was confirmed that finance ministers and central bank governors from each of the G7 countries would hold a conference call Tuesday morning, presumably to announce coordinated stimulus measures to deal with the coronavirus outbreak.

  • The IMF and World Bank also released a joint statement saying both institutions "stand ready to help" and would "use our available instruments to the fullest extent possible, including emergency financing, policy advice, and technical assistance."
  • However, while G7 finance ministers and central bankers confirmed that they "stand ready to cooperate further," they ultimately stopped short of committing to a specific stimulus package, per the Wall Street Journal.

The state of play: Other major indexes posted their biggest one-day percentage gains since December 2018, with the S&P 500 rising 4.6% and the Nasdaq gaining 4.5%.

  • As of Monday's close, the Dow had climbed 8.2% from Friday’s intraday low, WSJ reported.

Yes, but: Expectations of the damage from the outbreak foreseen by the world's top economists are getting worse, not better.

  • Other markets weren't buying the boost from the stimulus, and traders piled into safe-haven assets like gold and the Japanese yen, and sent U.S. 10-year Treasury yields to a record low of 1.03%.

What they're saying: Deutsche Bank Securities chief economist Torsten Slok says he expects global growth to turn outright negative in the first quarter of this year, falling to -2% in Q1 but bouncing back to around 5% in Q3 and Q4, quarter over quarter.

  • He also sees U.S. growth turning negative in Q2, dropping to -0.5% before rebounding in Q3 and Q4.

OECD chief economist Laurence Boone released an outlook that showed global growth "possibly even being negative in the first quarter of 2020."

  • Her economic assessment sees the world's growth rate falling to 2.4% — below the 2.5% level identified as the measure for global recession, and well below the 2.9% growth in 2019 that was the weakest since the global financial crisis.
  • And even that forecast is a rosy one, "on the assumption that the epidemic peaks in China in the first quarter of 2020 and outbreaks in other countries prove mild and contained."

The bottom line: “If the central banks intervene, that is great and I appreciate that, but will this fix the problem?” Andrea Carzana, an equity fund manager for Columbia Threadneedle Investments, told WSJ.

  • "If companies need to shut down because of the virus, it doesn’t really matter how much liquidity you put into the system."

Go deeper: Don't panic about the stock market

Go deeper

Neera Tanden withdraws nomination for Office of Management and Budget director

Neera Tanden testifying before the Senate Budget Committee in Washington, D.C., in February 2021. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Neera Tanden withdrew her name from nomination to lead the Office of Management and Budget after several senators voiced opposition and concern about her qualifications and past combative tweets, President Biden announced Tuesday.

Why it matters: Tanden’s decision to pull her nomination marks Biden's first setback in filling out his Cabinet with a thin Democratic majority in the Senate.

What's ahead for the newest female CEOs

Jane Fraser (L) and Rosalind Brewer. Photos: Jason Redmond/AFP via Getty Images; Rodrigo Capote/Bloomberg via Getty Images.

The number of women at the helm of America’s biggest companies pales in comparison to men, but is newly growing — and their tasks are huge.

What's going on: Jane Fraser took over at Citigroup this week, the first woman to ever lead a major U.S. bank. Rosalind Brewer will take the reins at Walgreens in the coming weeks (March 15) — a company that's been run by white men for more than a century.

3 hours ago - Health

Biden says U.S. will have enough vaccines for 300 million adults by end of May

President Biden. Photo: Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty Images

President Biden on Tuesday said that ramped-up coronavirus vaccine production will provide enough doses for 300 million Americans by the end May.

Why it matters: That's two months sooner than Biden's previous promise of enough vaccines for all American adults by the end of July.