Reuters / Cheryl Ravelo-Gagalac
- The S&P 500 plunged as much as 8% on Monday — its biggest intraday drop since 2010 — before closing 7.6% lower.
- The benchmark index saw such sharp immediate selling at the open that it was temporarily halted minutes after 9:30 a.m. ET.
- The Dow Jones industrial average declined 2,014 points, or 7.8%, its biggest single-day loss since October 2008.
- Equities pared some of the downturn throughout the morning before falling to intraday lows in the afternoon.
- The decline came amid a raging global oil-price war and continued fallout from the coronavirus outbreak.
- The rising death toll from the virus in the US prompted new fears of an economic slowdown. The virus has killed 21 people and infected more than 500 people throughout the US.
- Watch major indexes update here.
The benchmark S&P 500 plummeted as much as 8% on Monday, its biggest intraday drop since 2010, before closing 7.6% lower. The index’s sharp losses at the open prompted the first marketwide trading halt since the depths of the financial crisis in December 2008.
The Dow Jones industrial average declined 2,014 points, or 7.8%, its biggest single-day loss since October 2008.
The losses came as an oil-price war and the escalating coronavirus outbreak hammered risk assets from all sides. Equities initially gained after the halt before resuming their downward spiral.
The three major US indexes declined as investors digested the weekend’s oil-market turmoil. The commodity tanked the most since 1991 on Monday morning after Saudi Arabia’s surprise price cuts kicked off a production war with Russia. The move followed Russia’s refusal on Friday to curb oil production and prop up the coronavirus-rattled market.
Concerns about the coronavirus outbreak continued to weigh on investors as cases increased in New York, California, and Florida, among other states, to more than 500 people. The US death toll stood at 21 people, and the recent surge in confirmed cases could stifle economic activity by weakening consumer spending behavior.
The coronavirus has so far killed nearly 3,900 people and infected more than 111,000 people.
Here’s where major US indexes stood as of Monday’s market close:
- S&P 500: 2,746.56, down 7.6%
- Dow Jones industrial average: 23,851.02, down 7.8% (2,013.76 points)
- Nasdaq composite: 7,950.68, down 7.3%
The negative open extended the stock-market sell-off into its third week. Equities tanked for seven days in a row to close out February as fears about the coronavirus outbreak’s economic toll caught up with stocks’ lofty valuations. Risk assets recovered in March’s first trading session before intense price swings saw the market close Friday having erased nearly all month-to-date gains.
Central banks around the world have issued emergency stimulus to counteract an economic hit caused by the outbreak. Though the Federal Reserve cut its benchmark interest rate by 50 basis points on March 3, Wall Street now expects the central bank to push its rate to 0% to further protect from a virus-fueled contraction.
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