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Coronavirus, FOMC minutes: What to know in markets Wednesday

Heidi Chung

Fears surrounding the rapid spread of COVID-19 and rising death toll will continue to weigh on sentiment Wednesday.

As of Tuesday afternoon, there were more than 1.4 million confirmed cases and 80,759 deaths around the world, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The U.S. currently has the most infections in the world with more than 383,000 confirmed cases and 12,021 deaths. After a brief glimmer of hope, the situation in New York City took a turn for the worst Tuesday when the city announced its largest number of new cases in one day and its worst day in terms of fatalities.

Volatility creeped back into the market Tuesday, when after surging as much as 900 points, the Dow rapidly pared gains and ended the session in negative territory.

Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell speaks during a press conference following the January 28-29 Federal Open Market Committee meeting, in Washington, DC on January 29, 2020 (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

The Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) meeting minutes from its scheduled March meeting and emergency meetings will be released Wednesday afternoon. “The minutes of the emergency FOMC meeting in early March, and the mid-March meeting which was held two days earlier than scheduled, may not contain many new insights given how rapidly the economic landscape has been changing over the past couple of weeks,” Capital Economics said in a note April 3.

While the minutes will unlikely reveal many new insights, it will provide more context, according to Nomura. “Given the number of actions taken during March after the 15 March meeting, and the rapidly deteriorating outlook over the month, the minutes may be somewhat stale. However, they may provide more context for how much the Fed is willing to utilize its existing authority or whether any participants suggested seeking an expansion of that authority,” the firm said in a note April 3.

Heidi Chung is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @heidi_chung.

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