Stocks Fall Even After The Fed's Latest Move

Mar 23, 2020
Originally published on March 23, 2020 2:10 pm

Updated at 4:10 p.m. ET

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and other U.S. stock indexes fell again Monday as central bankers and lawmakers struggled to deal with the coronavirus pandemic's economic damage.

The Dow closed the day down 582 points, or 3%. The S&P 500 index fell 2.9% and the Nasdaq slipped about 0.3%. The Dow has plunged 37% from its February high.

The latest slide came despite actions announced by the Federal Reserve to help the bond market, companies and consumers — and the central bank's vow to use "its full range of tools."

The Fed had already cut its key interest rate to nearly zero. On Monday, the central bank said it will buy bonds and mortgage-backed securities "in the amounts needed" to keep markets working smoothly. And it said it expects to announce a "Main Street Business Lending Program to support lending to eligible small-and-medium sized businesses."

But a giant stimulus bill with more than $1 trillion to help the economy is stalled in the Senate.

"We've known that the magnitude of help needed has been massive and growing for days now," said Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst for Bankrate. "The Federal Reserve continues to do all it can to keep markets operating. Now, the spotlight is on elected leaders to do their jobs as well."

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