Markets plunged Wednesday morning following news that retail sales suffered a record drop in March and President TrumpDonald John TrumpPompeo says WHO needs ‘to do its job’ as Trump moves to halt funding Trump campaign fundraising pitch seeks donations to ‘hold China accountable’ Schumer: Trump thinks coronavirus crisis ‘revolves around him’ MORE announced plans to defund the World Health Organization (WHO).
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 500 points, or 2.1 percent, while the S&P 500 was down 62 points, or 2.2 percent.
On Tuesday, Trump said he would withhold funding from the WHO pending a review of the organization as the world deals with the worst pandemic in a century. The move faced significant pushback from a slew of health experts.
The pandemic and efforts to contain it have battered the economy. The Commerce Department on Wednesday reported an 8.7 percent drop in March retail sales, the largest one-month drop since tracking began 28 years ago.
As earnings season kicked off, a series of banks posted major declines in profits, including Goldman Sachs, which saw its profits drop 46 percent, and Bank of America, which saw a 45 percent drop. On Tuesday, JPMorgan Chase said its profits fell 69 percent, and Wells Fargo’s profits were down 89 percent as they prepared for waves of defaults.