The stock market dive continues as the number of confirmed U.S. coronavirus cases nears 10,000.
U.S. markets opened down again Thursday as investors tried to absorb the latest sobering financial impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. As trading began, the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged down nearly 700 points, or 3.5%, and the S&P 500 index was down more than 3%.
That followed Wednesday’s fall, when the Dow plunged 6.3% and the S&P 500 lost more than 5%.
The Federal Reserve announced a new lending facility to help ease the flow of credit and ensure that the nearly $4 trillion money market industry can weather sudden redemptions.
New claims for unemployment benefits climbed by 70,000 to 281,000 last week as the coronavirus pandemic shuttered businesses and left people out of work, the Labor Department said Thursday. It was the highest level since Sept. 2, 2017, when they totaled 299,000.
The claims numbers are expected to jump even more this week as several states reported that their unemployment claims websites had crashed with so many people trying to file at the same time.
Ford — which along with General Motors and Fiat Chrysler are shutting their North American plants for the rest of the month — announced that it was suspending its dividend and giving customers more time to pay for their cars.