Investors are moving more like a herd than ever before, driven by a lack of faith in extraordinary moves by governments and central banks to shore up economic defenses against the coronavirus pandemic.

A Morgan Stanley index that blends global cross-asset correlations -- like the U.K. versus Japan and stocks compared with bond yields -- has hit its highest-level ever. Stocks tanked globally on Monday despite a massive emergency move by the Federal Reserve to ease lending over the weekend.

“Sharp increases like these are common in market-stress environments where idiosyncratic stories matter less than the overall economic backdrop,” Morgan Stanley research analyst Wanting Low said by e-mail.

The one-way moves out of stocks and into haven assets show how investors are looking beyond traditional factors for pricing to react to headlines on the growing threat of the pandemic, which is now generating more daily virus cases in Europe than in China at its peak.

“Global correlations have now spiked to the highest they have ever been,” Low said. “Within this, both regional and cross-asset correlations have all risen simultaneously.”

The six-month implied correlation on S&P 500 stocks surged to the highest since 2012 as equities move in tandem, another sign of a macro-driven market that makes it harder for stock pickers to outperform.

Underscoring in-tandem moves, global stocks plunged together in Monday trading.

--With assistance from Justina Lee.

This article was provided by Bloomberg News.