Stock Market Tumbles, Global Coronavirus Cases Reach New Climax
History’s greatest stories have all had an entertaining climax, where every plot piece comes to a head and the entire story unfolds. The legend of 2020 is one of those stories. For US citizens, the stage was set in March, with major domestic outbreaks of coronavirus leading to nationwide shutdowns and a halt to life as we know it. With the coronavirus as the antagonist and President Trump as the leading male, the script was leading to events of epic proportions. Here in November, a day for the election, a yearlong pandemic is finally giving us the climax we deserve.
As of Halloween, the US sits at 9 million confirmed cases, leading the world in infections. Unfortunately, a slowly approaching presidential election has kept the government from taking any considerable action. Any shutdowns could interfere with an already controversial voting system and would create serious losses in an already volatile stock market. Stimulus hopes kept stock prices at an inflated state for much longer than many thought possible, but that goodwill has since faded.
Last week, the S&P 500 and Dow Jones fell 5.6% and 6.5% respectively, their greatest loss since March. Large tech stocks led the tumble although reporting outstanding Q3 earnings. Investors are left with little options as risk and volatility become commonplace, even in foreign markets.
In Europe, increased daily cases have led to another session of shutdowns. While Europe only has 10% of the global population, as a continent it accounts for over 20% of confirmed cases. Although their death rate has been marginal in comparison to the summer months, the recent uptick just before winter is a major cause for concern. Officials are concerned that as the weather gets colder, flu season will coincide with a rampant virus creating the perfect storm for infection. Additionally, as more people will gather indoors, restaurants, travel, and entertainment industries will struggle to facilitate business with limited outdoor resources. All conditions considered, European officials have begun to shut down businesses and work-related travel and have urged other world leaders to follow suit.