Stocks begin the week on down note, with Asia shares mixed.
Asian stocks were mixed midday on Monday, as news of the coronavirus outbreak’s relentless spread overcame signs of progress in some of the hardest-hit countries.
Shares in Japan were down 1.1 percent in the middle of the trading day, failing to carry over a big stock rally in the United States on Friday. Futures markets were sending mixed messages, suggesting a positive opening for Europe but a mild slump on Wall Street.
The United States appeared to make progress in stabilizing its response. Lawmakers said they were nearing a deal for a new support package for small businesses, and President Trump said authorities would step up testing. But protests in some states against the lockdowns underscored the economic damage that is falling on many households, in the United States and around the world.
Underscoring the unease, prices for U.S. Treasury bonds rose, suggesting investors were putting their money in safer havens. Oil prices whipsawed, as futures contracts expired at a time of weakening demand for oil.
In other markets, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was 0.2 percent higher. Shares in mainland China, where authorities on Monday extended interest rate cuts to more parts of the economy, the Shanghai Composite index rose 0.3 percent.
In South Korea, the Kospi index was up 0.2 percent. In Australia, the S&P/AS 200 index was down 1.2 percent.
Most Americans agree on the economic outlook: It’s bleak.
The coronavirus pandemic has united Americans of different races and income levels in deep pessimism about the economy, in contrast to the widely divergent views that prevailed before the crisis.
Highly paid or less so, black or white, investors in the stock market or not, Americans largely expect a poor or mixed performance from the economy in the coming year and prolonged damage over the next five years, according to a poll for The New York Times by the online research firm SurveyMonkey.
Those groups also roundly support the stringent limits on economic activity that state and local officials have imposed to slow the spread of the virus and minimize its death toll.
Many who have lost low-income jobs doubt that they will regain employment anytime soon. But those with high incomes also expect economic troubles to persist, even though they are far less likely to have lost jobs or hours, or to be worried about losing them.
One group remains a relative holdout in expressing faith that the economy will experience continuous good times over the next five years and that their own families will be better off a year from now: conservative Republicans. They are also far more likely to oppose the restrictions on activity that public officials have put in place, saying they have gone too far.
Those divides hint at what could be an important chasm as President Trump continues to pressure local officials to get back to business more quickly, with the presidential election approaching in the fall.
Reporting was contributed by Carlos Tejada, Ron Lieber, Ben Casselman and Jim Tankersley.