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Stocks drop after Senate fails to pass coronavirus aid package

The economic emergency created by coronavirus

Stock markets plunged again Sunday night after the U.S. Senate failed to pass a procedural vote for a trillion-dollar-plus stimulus plan to combat the economic damage from efforts to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus

The drop is reminiscent of a key moment in the 2008 financial crisis when the Dow Jones industrial average tumbled 1,000 points after Congress failed to pass an early plan in September of that year to bail out the financial system. 

Futures markets were indicating the Dow Jones Industrial Average could drop more than 500 points when trading begins on Wall Street Monday. 

In Europe, the benchmark STOXX 600 index was down 4.6% with declines in Germany, London and Paris leading the way, according to the Reuters news agency.

Many Asian markets were sharply lower Monday, with indices down 4.6% in Hong Kong, 5.3% in South Korea and 3.1% in Shanghai. The Australian stock market nosedived more than 8% before recovering to a still-steep loss of 5.6%. 

However, stocks in Japan bucked the trend and closed about 2% higher. Investors there seemed encouraged by growing indications the International Olympic Committee will postpone, rather then cancel, the Tokyo Games.

Former Trump adviser Gary Cohn says massive stimulus needed to fight effects of coronavirus

Wall Street expectations for the economic damage from the coronavirus pandemic have worsened significantly in the past week. Bank of America, for instance, expects a 15% drop in GDP in the next quarter, or three times the worst drop in GDP during the Great Recession.

That's why Wall Street and investors are focused on stimulus efforts out of Washington. Lawmakers seemed to be moving forward on $2 trillion in spending to aid the economy. But that effort stalled Sunday night with a failed vote and Congress going back to negotiations. 

Bank of America analysts, however, expect any coronavirus downturn to be much shorter lived than the one that started in 2008.

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