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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

Updated 2 hours ago - World

Myanmar's deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi sentenced to 4 years in prison

An anti-coup protest in Yangon, Myanmar.Photo: Hkun Lat/Getty Images

A Myanmar court sentenced the country's ousted leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, on Monday to four years in prison on charges of "inciting public unrest" and breaking COVID-19 protocols, per the New York Times.

Why it matters: It's the first of several verdicts that could result in the 76-year-old Nobel laureate being imprisoned for the rest of her life. The 11 charges she faces have been widely criticised as politically motivated.

5 hours ago - World

Pope Francis denounces European governments' migrant response

Pope Francis adresses refugees at the Reception and Identification Centre (RIC) in Mytilene on the island of Lesbos on Sunday. Photo: Louisa Gouliamaki/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Pope Francis criticized European countries' response to migrants and asylum seekers during his visit to a refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos Sunday.

Why it matters: The pope said "migration is a humanitarian crisis that concerns everyone," but little had changed in the global response to displaced peoples since his first visit to Lesbos five years ago, per a transcript of his remarks. "Human lives, real people, are at stake. ... let us stop this shipwreck of civilization!"

Chris Cuomo accuser: On-air "hypocrisy" spurred report

Journalist Chris Cuomo. Photo: Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images

A woman who accused fired CNN journalist Chris Cuomo of sexual misconduct said Sunday she decided to come forward after learning of his comments about women who made similar accusations about his brother. He denies her allegations.

Why it matters: Her attorney Debra Katz said in a statement that she heard "the hypocrisy" of his on-air words about his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and was "disgusted by his efforts to try to discredit these women," so "retained counsel to report his serious sexual misconduct against her to CNN."