Trump suspends travel from Europe to U.S. for 30 days
President Donald Trump says he is suspending travel from over two dozen European countries to the U.S. for 30 days beginning Friday as he seeks to combat a viral pandemic. Trump made the announcement Wednesday in an Oval Office address to the nation, blaming the European Union for not acting quickly enough to address the novel coronavirus and saying U.S. clusters were “seeded” by European travelers.
Trump says the restrictions won’t apply to the United Kingdom, and the U.S. will monitor the situation to determine if travel can be reopened earlier. The White House has also canceled a planned trip by the president to Nevada and Colorado this week, “out of an abundance of caution.”
Stock futures are pointing to more losses in U.S. stock markets Thursday with Trump’s speech appearing to disappoint investors. Shares tumbled in Europe and Asia after the World Health Organization declared a coronavirus pandemic and the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell into bear market territory. Thailand’s exchange halted trading for a half-hour after the benchmark hit its 10% limit down. Benchmarks in Paris, London and Frankfurt all opened more than 5% lower.
Futures for the S&P 500 moved from a loss of 0.4% just before Trump spoke from the Oval Office at 9 p.m. EST to a loss of 3.3% an hour later. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were showing a drop of 3.5%.
The declines in the futures markets follow steep losses in regular trading Wednesday as investors become increasingly worried that responses from government and central banks will be insufficient to prevent the outbreak from severely impacting the global economy. The Dow’s drop of 1,464 points dragged it 20% below the record set last month.
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