Global Markets: over 700,000 COVID-19 cases worldwide

WINNIPEG, March 30 (MarketsFarm) – The following is a glance at the news moving markets in Canada and globally.
Global cases of COVID-19 have topped over 700,000, with the United States leading the way with 143,055 cases, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. U.S. President Donald Trump has extended the federal mandate to socially distance until April 30, despite earlier claims that the country would be back to normal by Easter. Nearly 2,500 Americans have died of COVID-19.
North Atlantic Refining Ltd. in Come By Chance, Nfld., is the first refinery in North America to shut its doors in light of stifled demand due to COVID-29. Glenn Nolan, president of the United Steelworkers Local 9316, said the plant could be closed from two to five months. The refinery typically produced 130,000 barrels of fuel per day to the Canadian and U.S. East Coast.

As of Friday’s market close, the Dow Jones is off about 26 per cent from record highs on February 12. Similarly, the S&P 500 is down 25 per cent from record highs hit on February 19. The NASDAQ has declined by more than 23 per cent from recent highs. With no end in sight to social distancing initiatives in order to quell the spread of COVID-19, market participants are bracing for more bad news. “Tactically, however, we believe it is likely that the market will turn lower in coming weeks, and caution short-term investors against chasing this rally,” said David Kostin a strategist for Goldman Sachs, published Friday. “From a historical perspective, if the worst is indeed behind us, it would mark the fastest and most volatile bear market decline on record.”

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