The seemingly optimistic start to February turned sour in the last week of the month as investing in stocks grew into a nightmare. Global equity markets slumped into a correction as it became clearer that the coronavirus disease would have more than a passing effect on people and the global economy.
Investing in stocks became a story of being more defensive or finding refuge in safer alternatives such as U.S. Treasury and other bond funds. The stock market correction caused enough concern that the Federal Reserve cut its key interest rate in early March.
Equities posted the deepest declines since the 2008 financial crisis, while Treasury bond prices soared as interest rates tanked to unseen levels.