Mnuchin said Sunday that he spoke with the heads of six major banks -- Bank of America, Citi, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo -- and reported that they had "ample liquidity."

He also said he would convene a call with the president's working group on financial markets and a group of key regulators.

But the unusual message may have backfired, with analysts noting that the group Mnuchin was calling together was the same as the "Plunge Protection Team" that met at the height of the 2009 financial crisis.

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