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Sometimes, there’s not much you can say. US equity futures are trading limit down right now, but the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) is currently down 6.9%, which is a tenth of a percent from tripping the first 15-minute circuit breaker. As global concerns over the coronavirus weren’t damaging enough to economic activity, this weekend’s move by the Saudis to slash oil prices added just another boot on the neck of the economy. Moves that we are seeing right now in equities and other financial assets don’t come around very often, and while they are the result of developing economic conditions and uncertainty, the moves themselves will ultimately also have their own economic impacts.
Read today’s Bespoke Morning Lineup for a discussion of the moves overnight, the latest updated figures on the coronavirus, the Saudis scorched earth policy regarding oil prices, and how this will all impact the economy.
The price chart of Europe’s STOXX 600 is really something to behold. Less than a month after hitting 52-week highs, the index is now knocking on the door of 52-week lows. It’s rare enough to see this type of a reversal in an individual stock, but for a benchmark equity index of an entire continent, it’s nuts. With a decline of over 3% today, the STOXX 600 is now less than 2% from hitting that level. As we discussed in the Morning Lineup, this is just a further illustration of how before the coronavirus breakout started, the global economy was starting to accelerate.