The novel coronavirus outbreak has transformed the world's bullish stock markets into a seemingly unending and nauseating roller coaster ride, which has proved hard for many investors to stomach.
From the Dow Jones experiencing its worst drop in history on February 27 to enjoying its best day since 1933 on Tuesday, violent stock market swings of an unprecedented scale look set to continue - at least until confidence is restored in global measures to contain the outbreak.
Analysts have been quick to warn that recent rallies, including the Wall Street rebound witnessed on Tuesday as US lawmakers moved toward a $2 trillion stimulus deal, should be seen within the wider downward trend.
"Why are markets fluctuating dramatically? Markets always look forward and, as we all know, there is tremendous uncertainty regarding the coronavirus that is certainly dampening market enthusiasm," Leader Capital Markets macroeconomist Yonatan Katz told The Jerusalem Post.
"Markets would really like to see a more concrete sign, or any concrete sign, that the number of newly infected people is stabilizing, and not a geometrical increase."
Temporary bear market corrections, Katz said, are likely reflections of excitement caused by major central bank activity or new fiscal strategies, including governments announcing huge expenditure increases to support the economy.
"Markets are now more focused on Europe and the United States," Katz said. "The big question is whether the United States goes towards an Italian scenario, which would be pessimistic for the market, or manages to get the outbreak under control."
At times of sharp market fluctuations, global markets tend to move in sync, with the Israeli market particularly impacted by international trends. Mirroring the previous day's gains on Wall Street, the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange's benchmark TA-35 index also enjoyed a positive start on Wednesday before closing down 0.85%. The TA-125 index closed up 0.25%.
Wall Street rose in choppy trading on Wednesday, building on the previous session's gains. After seesawing in early trading, the blue-chip index added 5%, boosted by a 30.4% jump in Boeing Co as sources said the planemaker may restart production of 737 MAX jet by May, setting up the stock for its best day since 1981.
But with fears of a global recession and corporate defaults running high amid a breakdown in business activity, traders said one of the biggest routs on Wall Street may not halt without evidence of a peaking in new coronavirus cases.
On Tuesday, S&P Global Ratings chief economist Paul Gruenwald said measures to contain the coronavirus have "pushed the global economy into recession" and emphasized the need for governments to lay the groundwork for economic recovery. The focus of policymakers and the public, Gruenwald said, has rightly shifted to fiscal policy.
"What is noticeable about these specific stock index rises is the fact that the stocks experiencing the sharpest gains are the ones that experienced the sharpest falls," said Eyal Debi, head of the analysis desk at Leumi Capital Markets.
"We do not think that this is a trend shift, but something more pointed. So long as there is no decline in the infection rate or other optimistic news from the front-line of the fight against the virus, stock markets will find it difficult to maintain the positive trend over time."
While investors may be hoping for a V-shaped recovery, Debi said, continuing economic restrictions and lockdowns will likely see a U-shaped recovery instead.
Reuters contributed to this report.