The continuing spread of coronavirus coupled with an oil-price plunge over the weekend sent markets into a panic Monday morning, with the Dow losing up to 7% and trading on the New York Stock Exchange temporarily halted to stop the bleeding.
Five minutes into trading, the S&P 500’s losses hit 7 percent, causing an automatic stop to trading that lasted 15 minutes. After trading resumed, the markets began regaining some of what they’d lost. As of this publication, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 5%, or nearly 1,400 points.
The panic is rooted in fears about the coronavirus, as well as a crash in the oil market — set off over the weekend by a price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia — which subsequently tanked global stock markets earlier in the day.
President Donald Trump attempted to assuage fears with a tweet comparing coronavirus to the flu:
The CDC, by contrast, has warned Americans that they shouldn’t travel by cruise ship and should avoid long plane rides for the time being, and that the elderly should stay home as often as possible.
If the stocks don’t rebound, it would be the fifth time overall — and third in as many weeks — that the Dow lost over 1,000 points in the course of a single day. Oil prices in particular dove as much as 30%, their worst crash since the Gulf War nearly 30 years ago.
In an effort to stave off the panic, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York announced Monday that it would increase the amounts offered in short-term loans it makes to banks. The bank said that the changes were meant “to ensure that the supply of reserves remains ample and to mitigate the risk of money market pressures that could adversely affect policy implementation” in a statement.
Cover: Trader Michael Gallucci prepares for the day's activity on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Monday, March 9, 2020. Trading in Wall Street futures has been halted after they fell by more than the daily limit of 5%. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)