Global markets sink despite Fed's promise of unlimited support for the economy

After a Senate vote failed to advance a stimulus relief package, CNN's Christine Romans discusses the impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on the economy and workers who are facing massive layoffs.

Posted: Mar 23, 2020 1:31 PM
Updated: Mar 23, 2020 1:31 PM

US stocks opened lower Monday and European markets stayed stuck in reverse even after the US Federal Reserve committed itself to creating an unlimited amount of money to prevent the world's largest economy from plunging into a deep recession.

The decision to buy unlimited amounts of government bonds was part of a much bigger package of extraordinary measures announced by the Fed, which also included a promise to launch a Main Street lending program.

US stocks were poised to open dramatically lower prior to the announcement from the central bank, which briefly lifted European stocks and oil prices. The Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq pulled back some of their losses, but still started the trading session in negative territory.

"It has become clear that our economy will face severe disruptions," the Federal Reserve said in a statement. "Aggressive efforts must be taken across the public and private sectors to limit the losses to jobs and incomes and to promote a swift recovery once the disruptions abate."

Global stock markets were hammered earlier on Monday after US lawmakers failed to reach agreement on a massive stimulus package meant to help Americans handle the coronavirus pandemic and as authorities around the world took ever more draconian measures to restrict movement and public gatherings.

Markets in Australia and South Korea's dropped more than 5%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index was down 4.9% while China's Shanghai Composite shed 3.1%.

In Europe, London's FTSE 100 was down 2.7% following the Fed announcement, while Germany's DAX and France's CAC 40 were off by less than 2%.

There are now more than 339,000 coronavirus cases worldwide — forcing further travel restrictions, shut downs and disruptions for businesses.

New measures to combat the virus have been imposed in Australia, New Zealand and India, and the United Kingdom is considering whether further action is needed after pubs and restaurants were told to close on Friday but large numbers of people continued to gather in public spaces.

In Italy, where more people have died from coronavirus than anywhere else, the government ordered all "non essential factories" to close. That restriction applies to any company not involved in producing food or medical equipment. Pharmacies, food stores, financial services and public transportation will remain open.

In the United States, progress on a massive stimulus package was halted Sunday, sparking fresh uncertainty over whether and when lawmakers will reach a bipartisan deal to deliver economic relief.

Senate Democrats said they have "serious issues" with a package being pushed by Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. On Sunday, Democratic sources said they had uncovered numerous problems with provisions dealing with aid to workers and loan assistance to businesses. While negotiations continue in the Senate, Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that the House will introduce its own bill.

"The rapid spread [of the coronavirus] has triggered unprecedented draconian containment measures," Stephen Innes, global chief markets strategist at AxiCorp, wrote in a research note. "All the while Congress, is dilly dallying on an aid plan."

US oil prices, meanwhile, fell again after a 30% plunge last week. WTI crude futures were down 1% at $22.36 a barrel while Brent crude fell 4.5%.

Japan's Nikkei 225 was an outlier among major global stock markets, gaining 2% after the International Olympic Committee said Sunday it is considering postponing — but not canceling — this summer's Olympic Games in Tokyo.

International pressure to delay the event is growing. Canada said it won't be sending teams to the Olympics this summer, and asked for the games to be postponed by one year.

— Jill Disis contributed to this report.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 48201

Reported Deaths: 2693
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11624683
Lake5146242
Elkhart328546
Allen2762129
St. Joseph194366
Cass16389
Hamilton1552101
Hendricks1403100
Johnson1278118
Porter72837
Tippecanoe7158
Madison65864
Clark65144
Bartholomew58544
Howard57557
LaPorte57326
Kosciusko5464
Vanderburgh5226
Marshall4924
Noble47828
Jackson4703
LaGrange4708
Hancock44835
Boone44243
Delaware44250
Shelby42525
Floyd37944
Morgan32931
Grant29426
Monroe29428
Montgomery29420
Clinton2892
Dubois2736
Henry26315
White26310
Decatur25032
Lawrence24425
Dearborn23623
Vigo2348
Warrick21429
Harrison21322
Unassigned193193
Greene18832
Miami1822
Jennings17611
Putnam1698
DeKalb1624
Scott1607
Daviess14317
Wayne1386
Orange13623
Steuben1292
Perry1279
Franklin1248
Jasper1212
Ripley1167
Wabash1122
Carroll1102
Fayette997
Newton9810
Starke933
Whitley925
Huntington812
Gibson802
Randolph794
Jefferson722
Wells721
Fulton701
Jay680
Washington671
Knox640
Pulaski641
Clay604
Rush583
Adams501
Benton480
Owen471
Sullivan441
Brown391
Posey390
Spencer381
Blackford372
Crawford320
Tipton321
Fountain312
Switzerland270
Parke230
Martin220
Ohio170
Vermillion140
Warren141
Union130
Pike110

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 57150

Reported Deaths: 2911
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin10271422
Cuyahoga7724373
Hamilton5924197
Marion273238
Lucas2723302
Pickaway219141
Summit2131206
Montgomery198126
Mahoning1825232
Butler157644
Columbiana130360
Stark1107112
Lorain102167
Trumbull93965
Warren83921
Clark7659
Delaware56815
Fairfield55916
Tuscarawas55210
Belmont54622
Medina51632
Lake49718
Licking47712
Miami46331
Portage44058
Ashtabula43344
Wood42151
Geauga40542
Clermont4006
Wayne36251
Richland3375
Allen31540
Mercer2818
Greene2519
Darke24825
Erie24222
Holmes2313
Huron2152
Madison1958
Ottawa14323
Crawford1355
Sandusky13414
Washington13220
Putnam12815
Ross1243
Hardin12312
Morrow1161
Auglaize1064
Coshocton972
Monroe8917
Jefferson872
Union851
Muskingum831
Hancock781
Hocking788
Preble731
Guernsey703
Lawrence700
Williams702
Clinton680
Shelby684
Logan621
Fulton610
Ashland591
Carroll593
Wyandot586
Athens561
Brown561
Knox511
Defiance503
Fayette460
Highland451
Champaign401
Scioto380
Perry341
Van Wert340
Seneca332
Henry290
Jackson230
Paulding230
Pike230
Adams221
Vinton222
Gallia171
Harrison121
Meigs120
Morgan110
Noble110
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
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Huntington
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Decatur
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Van Wert
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Heat Continues Monday
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