The Dow Jones average dropped more than 500 points soon after opening today, putting it into a 10% correction if the average closes below the barrier.
The market has been plummeting since Feb. 19, the last high with 29,348 points. As of 10 a.m., the Dow was 26,350, more than a 10% drop. Meanwhile, money is piling into U.S. Treasuries, pushing the 10-year to record low yields. The 10-year Treasury is a staple investment for insurance companies.
President Donald Trump spoke last night in an attempt to calm Americans and the markets amid coronavirus concerns. He said the United States has a firm handle on the situation and named Vice President Mike Pence to be the point man on the issue.
The Centers for Disease Control said earlier Wednesday that the first case of the illness caused by the virus, COVID-19, that was not linked to international travel was spotted in northern California.
Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said the virus has met two of three criteria for declaring a pandemic: sickness and death, and sustained person-to-person contact.
“The world moves closer towards meeting the third criteria – worldwide spread of the new virus,” Messonnier said during a press briefing.
Also on Wednesday, the World Health Organization confirmed that the virus is spreading at a faster rate than it did in China.
Steven A. Morelli is editor-in-chief for InsuranceNewsNet. He has more than 25 years of experience as a reporter and editor for newspapers and magazines. He was also vice president of communications for an insurance agents’ association. Steve can be reached at [email protected]
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