US stocks opened lower Monday and European markets stayed stuck in reverse even after the US Federal Reserve committed itself to creating an unlimited amount of money to prevent the world's largest economy from plunging into a deep recession.
The decision to buy unlimited amounts of government bonds was part of a much bigger package of extraordinary measures announced by the Fed, which also included a promise to launch a Main Street lending program.
US stocks were poised to open dramatically lower prior to the announcement from the central bank, which briefly lifted European stocks and oil prices. The Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq pulled back some of their losses, but still started the trading session in negative territory.
"It has become clear that our economy will face severe disruptions," the Federal Reserve said in a statement. "Aggressive efforts must be taken across the public and private sectors to limit the losses to jobs and incomes and to promote a swift recovery once the disruptions abate."
Global stock markets were hammered earlier on Monday after US lawmakers failed to reach agreement on a massive stimulus package meant to help Americans handle the coronavirus pandemic and as authorities around the world took ever more draconian measures to restrict movement and public gatherings.
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