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Stocks falter as death toll from coronavirus tops 4,000

U.S. stocks tumbled Wednesday at the start of a new quarter, as rising numbers of coronavirus cases from the pandemic dampened the outlook for the global economy.

The Dow Jones industrial average shed 700 points, a day after the blue-chip index posted its worst first quarter ever. The Standard & Poor’s 500 sank 3%. Ten of the 11 sectors in the broad index were lower, led by declines in financial, real estate and utility shares. 

The losses come as President Donald Trump warned Americans to brace for a “hell of a bad two weeks” ahead as the White House projected there could be 100,000 to 240,000 deaths in the U.S. 

The U.S. coronavirus death toll surpassed 4,000 early Wednesday. Worldwide, there are more than 42,000 deaths and 860,000 confirmed cases. The U.S., which has now surpassed China’s official death toll, is closing in on 200,000 confirmed cases, according to the Johns Hopkins University data dashboard.

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