"The Federal Reserve cut interest rates by a full percentage point and launched a package of programs in an unscheduled move Sunday evening to help address problems on Wall Street that have emerged in the aftermath of COVID-19, the infectious disease that has infected nearly 160,000 people globally and claimed nearly 6,000 lives. The Fed cited the pandemic as the reason for a $700 billion quantitative easing program , indicating that the "the coronavirus outbreak has harmed communities and disrupted economic activity in many countries, including the U.S." Fed Chairman Jerome Powell was expected to hold a news conference at 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time to detail the central bank's strategy. The moves come just days ahead of the Fed's two-day policy meeting, scheduled to begin March 17. The action's taken by the Fed marks the second emergency action in about two weeks after the central bank cut interest rates by a half-a-percentage point on March 3, then representing its first emergency rate cut since the 2008 financial crisis. The Fed policy move highlights a tumultuous week for equities, one in which the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +9.36%, the S&P 500 index SPX, +9.28% and the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +9.34% all plunged by 20% from their recent peaks, meeting the commonly accepted definition of a bear market. President Donald Trump during a speech Sunday evening said he was "very happy" with the Fed's moves. As recently as Saturday, Trump had expressed displeasure with the central bank, saying he had the right to demote or fire Chairman Jerome Powell. The Fed also slashed the rate of emergency lending at the discount window for banks by 125 bps to 0.25%, and lengthened the term of loans to 90 days. The central bank also launched a dollar-swap plan in coordination with the Bank of Canada, the Bank of England, the Bank of Japan, the European Central Bank and the Swiss National Bank, intended to enhance liquidity in the U.S. dollar DXY, -0.05%, which had been weakening over the viral outbreak in the past 30 days, down 0.4%. "
Sunday’s joint move by the world’s top six central banks to increase access to U.S. dollars will help to improve liquidity and ease strains in global funding markets, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said.
Earlier, the U.S. Federal Reserve slashed interest rates to near zero, restarted its bond-buying and launched other measures from its crisis-era toolkit to try to help the global economy which has been hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
“Today’s coordinated action by major central banks will improve global liquidity by lowering the price and extending the maximum term of U.S. dollar lending operations,” Carney said in a joint statement with Andrew Bailey, who succeeds him as BoE Governor on Monday.
UPDATE 7:52 PM EST: U.S. stock futures tumble after big Fed rate cut, virus fallout
U.S. stock index futures tumbled after resuming trading on Sunday after the U.S. Federal Reserve slashed rates back to near zero to help the global economy and investors digested the latest fallout from the escalating coronavirus pandemic.
S&P 500 e-minis EScv1 were down 115.75 points, or 4.29%, with 33,056 contracts changing hands. Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQcv1 were down 326 points, or 4.12%, in volume of 4,176 contracts. Dow e-minis 1YMcv1 were down 842 points, or 3.66%, with 987 contracts changing hands.
This unusual course of action will lend itself to what sort of reaction?
Does it suggest a grabbing of the bull by the horns?