Stock Market Mayhem
CBJ — At the conclusion of the most tumultuous week in the history of the international stock markets, there was another large selloff on Friday in both Toronto and New York.
There had been hopes for a rebound after a positive day on Thursday and a relatively strong run on Friday morning. But investor jitters took over in the afternoon and it sunk the markets even further. The S&P/TSX composite was down 319 points to 11,852. In New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 913 points to close the terrible week at 19,174.
Investors have been panicked due to the uncertainty about the size and duration of the impact of COVID-19 and the spreading of business slowdowns and shutdowns in an effort to contain it.
West Texas Intermediate oil was off $3.28 to $22.63 while Brent crude lost $1.30 to finish trading at an even $29.
Air Canada has announced the temporary layoffs of 5,000 workers at Air Canada due to the drastic decline in passengers. Some flights will continue in conjunction with recommendations from the federal government in an effort to bring as many Canadians abroad back home as soon as possible.
New York Governor Cuomo has just mandated that all businesses must send their employees home if they are not deemed to be providing an essential service.
California’s governor imposed a lockdown of all 40 million people. State residents can only leave their homes for the absolute essentials, such as grocery shopping, or going to the pharmacy or the bank. It seems as if Canada is trending in that same direction, although Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he his happy to see that the vast majority of Canadians have adhered to the edict of social distancing and self-isolation.
At Sobey’s, plexiglass shields are being installed at cashier counters to keep the distance between employees and customers.
Grocery stores have restocked. There are no food shortages and people are asked to buy only what is needed for the short-term. There is no need for hoarding. Some grocery stores have now placed limits on certain foods and products that can be purchased by one family to ensure everyone gets what they need.
More than 10,000 people have died worldwide. There are more than 246,000 confirmed cases worldwide, including nearly 85,000 people who have fully recovered.