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Wall Street plunges on virus fears

10/28/2020 | 12:58pm

Stocks plunged in Wednesday trading.

The Dow tumbled more than 800 points early in the session. That's a drop of 3 percent.

Investors were running for cover as new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in the U.S. Midwest jump to new records.

Couple that with the possibility of a new national lockdown in France and tighter restrictions in Germany as Europe tries to slow a second wave - investors are growing increasingly worried about the global economic outlook.

The S&P 500 has been down every day this week.

One sector bearing the full brunt of diminished hopes: the already struggling travel and tourism sector.

Airlines were banking on a return of travelers to help dig them out of a massive hole that's led to billions of dollars in losses and tens of thousands of furloughed workers in just the past few months...but that optimism is being dashed by rising new COVID-19 numbers at home and abroad.

All of the big carriers: Delta, United and American Airlines are down anywhere between 4 to 6 percent on the stock market.

Their woes are bad news for Boeing. Its main airline customers are postponing deliveries, and some are slowing or stopping payments on new planes already delivered. The company CEO told investors Wednesday he doesn't see improvement coming anytime soon...predicting it will be a few years beyond 2023 before the industry returns to what he called long-term growth trends.

Boeing, which has problems of its own with its former money-making 737 MAX grounded after two deadly plane crashes, on Wednesday posted its fourth straight quarterly loss.

That's left Boeing with few options and so its slashing more jobs than first planned - the tally now up to 30,000.

Investors fear that with the pandemic gaining new momentum, other companies may tighten their belts with more layoffs, which would cripple an economic recovery -still taking its first steps.

© Reuters 2020
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