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* Airlines, cruise liners tank on Europe travel ban
* Lack of public health measures in Trump’s address spooks market
* Futures down: Dow 5.22%, S&P 5.08%, Nasdaq 5.02% (Adds comment, details; updates prices)
By Medha Singh
March 12 (Reuters) - Wall Street was set to sink into a bear market on Thursday, with airline stocks in a tailspin after President Donald Trump’s shock move to suspend travel from Europe.
The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq, which closed 19% below their record close on Feb. 19, were set to plunge at the open after futures hit a 5% daily down trading limit for the second time this week.
The Dow Jones Industrials already confirmed a bear market at the close on Wednesday as it fell more than 20% from its Feb. 12 closing high, halting the longest bull run in U.S. history.
American Airlines and United Airlines cratered more than 15% in premarket trading, while cruise liners Carnival Corp and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd tumbled more than 12%.
Boeing slumped another 14.8% after J.P.Morgan gave up on its long-term “overweight” rating on the planemaker’s shares. The stock, already under pressure from the grounded 737 MAX jets, has lost 42% this year on the added hit from the coronavirus to the travel sector.
“It’s not just the fear of the economy going weak but basically being on the brink of shutting down,” said Dennis Dick, proprietary trader at Bright Trading LLC in Las Vegas.
“It’s mass selling across the board ... We are pricing in a potential to go into another financial crisis.”
Online travel agents Expedia Group Inc and Booking Holdings Inc as well as hotel operator Marriott International and casino operator Wynn Resorts shed more than 10%.
Investors were also distressed about the absence of targeted stimulus measures and the lack of details about the public health response after Trump made no mention of widely expected payroll tax cuts.
However, Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives are expected to pass a bill that would grant workers 14 days of paid sick leave and up to three months of paid family and medical leave.
The CBOE Volatility index, a gauge of investor anxiety, rose about 9 points to 62.81, its highest levels since the 2008 financial crisis as the death toll from the virus rose to over 4,600 worldwide.
At 8:50 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 1,231 points, or 5.22%. S&P 500 e-minis were down 139.25 points, or 5.08% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 402 points, or 5.02%. (Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Tom Westbrook in Singapore and Noah Sin in Hong Kong; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)