European Travel Ban Further Rattles Markets

March 12, 2020
462 Views

President Trump made a decisive move in America’s fight to contain Coronavirus when he banned European travel to the United States on Wednesday evening.

Making a rare televised appearance from the Oval Office, Trump said that the European Union “failed to take the same precautions” as American authorities and that travelers into the U.S. could have contributed to the spread of Coronavirus.

The travel ban does not apply to the United Kingdom, and goods shipments will be exempt. The ban will last for 30 days, with the potential for an extension, depending on how the situation develops.

Trump said that the decision was a follow up to a previous ban on Chinese travelers. He told the nation that “We made a life-saving move with early action on China. Now we must take the same action with Europe.”

Travel Ban Comes with Some Exemptions

Goods will still move freely between Europe and the United States, but shipments may be subject to increased scrutiny to ensure that they aren’t contaminated.

U.S. citizens and permanent residents will be exempt from the ban, as will the immediate family members of citizens.

Markets are Still Sliding

Stocks have been in a strong bull market for more than a year. With the latest developments surrounding Coronavirus, they may enter bear territory. As confidence drops, stock prices will fall. Selloffs are already occurring, creating fear in the markets.

Dow Jones industrials fell by 2,200 points after trading resumed this morning. Futures for the Dow Jones industrial average are down -8.20% at the time of writing, and futures for other major indexes are down by similar percentages.

Investors can look at the current slide in one of two ways. For many investors, it will be time to sell to protect some of the gains that have been made in recent months. Investors willing to work against the momentum could see lower stock prices as a buying opportunity.

Anyone who engages in the stock market today should carefully monitor their holdings and look at the long-term picture. Those who are in stocks for retirement or long term gains may be willing to ride the downturn.

President Trump has announced several initiatives in an attempt to stabilize the financial markets, including proposing a payroll tax cut to protect consumers, as well as unlocking funds for temporary business loans to protect small companies.

With America only seeing a real impact from Coronavirus over the last two weeks, investors should be aware that markets could fall much lower before they start to bounce back.

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