The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended Monday’s trading session down more than 2,000 points – or 7.8% – amid Coronavirus fears and the steep sell-off in crude oil. The S&P 500 fell 6.63% and the Nasdaq slipped 7.29% by the time trading closed.
Markets plunged early in the trading session, forcing a temporary halt to trading. The 15-minute halt was caused by an automatic circuit breaker safety mechanism that kicked in to prevent a free fall after the S&P 500 plunged by more than 7% within minutes of markets opening.
Monday’s market plunge came after OPEC talks fizzled over the weekend and Saudi Arabia slashed oil prices, triggering a price war and sending U.S. crude oil prices plunging by more than 25% — fanning even more uncertainty among investors. Moody’s Investor Services also issued a revised economic outlook report Monday, warning that “global recession risks have risen” and “several unknowns make for a highly unpredictable environment.”
The yield on the 10-year Treasury note dropped to an unprecedented low of 0.408%, a possible signal that investors are expecting a recession. Among the worst performers Monday were Dow Inc (which fell more than 21%), Chevron Corp (which fell more than 15%) and Caterpillar Inc (which shed more than 14%).