Stocks sink after historic three-day rally

Stocks sink after historic three-day rally
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Stocks sunk sharply Friday after a historic three-day rally helped Wall Street recover from a panicked month of steep losses due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 836 points Friday morning, falling 3.7 percent after spiking 6.4 percent on Thursday. The S&P 500 opened with a loss of 3.3 percent following a 6.2 percent Thursday rise, and the Nasdaq composite fell 2.9 percent after rising 5.6 percent the day before.

Friday’s losses come after a three-day surge, the best in nearly 90 years, that helped stocks recover 20 percent of their losses since the market crashed over fears that the coronavirus pandemic would derail the global economy.

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There are more than 86,000 confirmed U.S. cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, resulting in at least 1,300 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University as of Friday morning. The U.S. became the country with the most known COVID-19 cases Thursday night, and experts have warned that the nation's hospitals could be overwhelmed by early April.

The coronavirus pandemic and the measures needed to mitigate it have taken a serious toll on the U.S. economy, forcing thousands of businesses to shutter and lay off workers. More than 3.3 million Americans have applied for unemployment insurance in the past two weeks, with substantially more believed to have lost their jobs as social distancing takes hold across the U.S.

Markets rallied throughout the week as the Trump administration and lawmakers closed in on a $2.2 trillion economic rescue package. The measure passed the Senate late Wednesday night and is expected to pass the House on Friday morning. 

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell also gave a rare TV interview Thursday morning, praising Congress's efforts to boost the economy and pledging to use the central bank's full power to keep credit flowing to U.S. households and businesses.

Updated at 9:54 a.m.