March 12, 2020 / 2:42 AM / 5 months ago

US stock futures tumble as Trump's virus response disappoints

SINGAPORE, March 12 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures tumbled on Thursday and were close to hitting their daily down limit after President Donald Trump's speech outlining the administration's response to the coronavirus epidemic disappointed investors.

S&P 500 futures fell as much as 4.7% to 2,610 points, near the daily downlimit of 2,601 points.

"The market is not applauding the president's address," said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial in Newark.

"Investors were expecting perhaps a more detailed outline of targeted stimulus and I think, according to the futures market at least, it left investors wanting. We could have this going through all the night, but the knee-jerk reaction showed a market that could have a difficult opening if we don't pare some of those early futures losses."

Trump said the United States will suspend all travel from Europe to the United States for 30 days. The restrictions do not apply to the United Kingdom. He also outlined steps to help small businesses and workers affected by the virus.

The travel ban spooked markets, deepening worries about the economic slowdown.

The collapse in futures in Asian trade portends a further drop in the main U.S. stock indexes on Thursday, after their already deep falls on Wednesday that saw the Dow confirming a bear market for the first time since the financial crisis. (Reporting by Tom Westbrook; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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