Stock market futures plummet despite Fed intervention

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FILE – In this Friday, March 13, 2020, file photo, a trader walks on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange during President Donald Trump’s televised speech from the White House, in New York. Stock markets are set for another week of turbulent trading as U.S. index futures fell sharply after the Federal Reserve slashed interest rates and more companies and governments took action over the weekend to shut down European and American society. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

Futures on U.S. financial markets plunged early Monday, even after the Federal Reserve said it was slashing rates as the novel coronavirus outbreak continues to upend business and travel across the world.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 both fell approximately 5% Sunday night, triggering a “limit-down” halt in trading.

Dow futures indicated an opening drop of more than 1,000 points. Futures on the S&P and Nasdaq 100 were also at their downside limits.

A trader walks on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange during President Donald Trump’s televised speech from the White House, in New York, March 13, 2020.A trader walks on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange during President Donald Trump’s televised speech from the White House, in New York, March 13, 2020.Mark Lennihan/AP, FILE

The major sell-off comes even after the Fed made a surprise announcement on Sunday that it’s slashing interest rates to near zero and spending $700 billion to buy Treasury and mortgage bonds to help buoy the economy during the coronavirus pandemic.

The intervention did not appear to be enough to quell any investors’ worries about the economic impacts of the outbreak on businesses. Local governments including in New York and Los Angeles announced over the weekend they were shuttering businesses such as bars and entertainment venues.

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