Coronavirus economic updates: US financial markets plunge as Trump warns of ‘painful’ weeks to come

(NEW YORK) — The coronavirus pandemic has quickly evolved from a health crisis to a financial one, shuttering businesses, upending entire industries and sending financial markets reeling.

Here’s the latest news on how the COVID-19 crisis is affecting the economy:

Markets plunge early Wednesday

U.S. financial markets plummeted Wednesday morning, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling more than 750 points or 3.6%.

The S&P 500 fell more than 3.7% and the Nasdaq dropped nearly 3%.

The steep fall comes after President Donald Trump abruptly shifted his messaging on the outbreak late Tuesday, saying the extension of the White House social distancing guidelines through April represents “a matter of life and death.”

The president added that the next few weeks will be “painful,” but that “it’s going to be like a burst of light” as things get better.

“Hopefully as the experts are predicting, a lot of us are predicting having studied it so hard, going to start seeing some real light at the end of the tunnel, but this is going to be a very painful two weeks,” Trump said, appearing to refer to the peak of the death toll, which some models have signaled will hit mid-April.

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