(Thursday Market Open) A correction appears imminent. Major indices are set to start out 10% below their recent highs, the first time that’s happened since late 2018.
Fear still has a tight grip today, and unlike fear around something financial like a trade war or rate hikes, it’s hard to say when this anxiety will let up. Stock futures slipped after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed the first U.S. coronavirus case of unknown origin in Northern California, indicating possible “community spread” of the disease.
That’s probably not all that surprising, but does raise a red flag around the U.S. consumer. One consistent theme over the last year is U.S. consumer health. If people start getting scared and staying home due to the virus, that could have a chilling impact on the economy after it weathered the trade war last year. Online shopping could ease the pain, but it still represents just a small percentage of consumer activity overall.
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