U.S. stock indexes open sharply lower Wednesday morning to start April and a new quarter, as as President Donald Trump warned on Tuesday that a "very, very painful" two weeks are ahead as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DOW:DJIA) opened down 889 points, or 4%, at 21,053, the S&P 500 index (S&P:SPX) retreated 3.7% at 2,488, while the Nasdaq Composite Index (AMERICAN:COMP) gave up 3.1% to reach 7,469. Markets are coming off of their worst monthly losses since the 2008 financial crisis. And investors appear to be attempting to come to grips with the prospect of a long slog from out of the morass of a viral outbreak that is pushing the domestic and global economy into a recession. The White House on Tuesday released new projections for 100,000 to 240,000 deaths in the U.S. from the coronavirus pandemic even if current social-distancing guidelines are maintained. Meanwhile, the number of COVID-19 cases world-wide rose to 862,234 on Wednesday, while the number of deaths rose to 42,404 according to aggregated data from Johns Hopkins University. In economic news, Automatic Data Processing (NAS:ADP) reported the U.S. economy shed 27,000 private-sector jobs in March, though the data is expected to be of little use in predicting the official unemployment numbers due on Friday due to distortions created by the pandemic.
April 1, 2020, 9:32 a.m. EDT