Stocks tumbled and Treasuries surged in volatile trading on Tuesday as investors worried that an emergency rate cut by the Federal Reserve would not be enough to stem the economic damage of the coronavirus outbreak.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 785.9 points, a loss of 2.94 percent, erasing much of the gains from Monday’s rally in anticipation of a rate cut. The Nasdaq Composite fell by 2.99 percent. The S&P 500 fell 2.91 percent. The Russell 2000, composed of smaller publicly traded businesses, fell 2.13 percent.
U.S. Treasury prices surged as investors sought a safe haven from economic risk, sending yields to new record lows. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury fell below 1 percent for the first time ever in intraday trading and ended at -0.997, slightly above the low point of the day.
Gold popped 2.9 percent to $1,644.40 per ounce.
The sharp declines in stock prices and bond yields came despite the emergency rate cut announced by the Federal Reserve at 10 a.m. Tuesday morning. The market had largely anticipated the 50-basis point cut–although the precise timing on Tuesday morning caught many traders by surprise.