Stock futures drop —; S&P 500 ETF down 9%

New York (CNBC, Mar 16th,20): Stock futures were down sharply on Monday even after the Federal Reserve embarked on a massive monetary stimulus campaign to curb slower economic growth amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Stock market futures hit “limit down” levels of 5% lower, a move made by the CME futures exchange to reduce panic in markets. No prices can trade below that threshold, only at higher prices than that down 5% limit.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were off by more than 1,000 points, triggering the limit down level. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures were also at their downside limits.

This led traders to look at the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) — which tracks the S&P 500 — for a better indication of how the market will open. The SPY ETF plummeted 9% in the premarket, signaling that a “circuit breaker” will be triggered shortly after the regular session starts. ETFs that track the Dow and Nasdaq 100 — the SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF Trust (DIA) and Invesco QQQ Trust — were also down more than 8%.

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