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US stocks halted after falling 7%. Global stocks plunge as oil crashes and coronavirus fear spreads

The New York Stock Exchange halted stock trading for 15 minutes after the S&P 500 fell 7% on Monday morning.

Posted: Mar 9, 2020 9:17 AM
Updated: Mar 9, 2020 4:00 PM


Global markets are plunging after the implosion of an alliance between OPEC and Russia caused the worst one-day crash in crude prices in nearly 30 years, fueling panic triggered by the escalation of the coronavirus epidemic.

The S&P 500 fell about 6%. The Dow fell as many as 2,046 points. The Nasdaq Composite was down 5.4%. The New York Stock Exchange halted trading for 15 minutes after stocks plunged more than 7%. They retraced some of their losses after the market reopened.

The sell-off carried over into Asia Pacific, where Australia's S&P/ASX 200 ended 7.3% lower on Monday, the index's biggest plunge since October 2008. Japan's Nikkei 225 sank 5.1% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 4.2%, while China's Shanghai Composite shed 3%.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, meanwhile, fell below 0.5%, hitting record lows. The panic began after Saudi Arabia shocked oil markets by launching a price war. The kingdom is trying to retake global market share after Russia refused Friday to go along with OPEC's efforts to rescue the oil market from a plunge in demand caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

Making matters worse, the novel coronavirus continues to weigh heavily on investors as it deals an unexpected shock to the economy. The virus has infected more than 108,000 people and is throwing many countries into turmoil. Italy placed nearly 16 million people under semi-lockdown and the number of confirmed cases in Europe continues to rise.

European stocks plummeted in the opening minutes of trade. The FTSE 100 has plunged 8.5%, putting the index on track for its worst day since the global financial crisis in October 2008. Germany's DAX is down 7.4% and Italy's benchmark index fell 7.1%. Shares in BP crashed 20%.

US oil prices have nosedived 23% and were last trading at $31.84 a barrel, while the global benchmark Brent crude was down nearly 21%, trading at $35.88 a barrel. Both oil contracts are on track for their worst day since 1991, according to Refinitiv.

'Complete pandemonium'

Investors are waking up 'shell shocked,' wrote Stephen Innes, chief market strategist at AxiCorp, in a Monday research note. He described the panic as 'complete pandemonium.'

The one-two punch of Saudi Arabia's oil price war and the deepening coronavirus fears in Europe added 'another level of unwanted panic to a market already thick with fear,' Innes said, noting that investors have begun piling into safe haven assets. The Japanese yen surged against the US dollar to its strongest level in more than three years, while gold briefly traded above $1,700 per ounce and hit its highest levels since 2012.

Wall Street has faced heavy losses for the past several weeks due to fears surrounding the coronavirus. During the last week of February, US stocks had their worst week since the financial crisis, and the economic disruption caused by the virus doesn't appear to be letting up.

Global markets have also been battered in recent days. About $9 trillion was wiped off global stocks in nine days, Bank of America said in a research note after US markets closed deep in the red again on Thursday.

The scale of the coronavirus outbreak spread rapidly in the United States last week. At least 33 states now have cases of the virus, and many major US companies have begun encouraging or allowing employees to work from home.

China's slow recovery

Dismal data out of China is also painting a gloomy picture for the world's second-largest economy. China's exports fell 17% in the January-to-February period compared to a year before, according to data released over the weekend. Imports fell 4%. The government blamed the declines on the Lunar New Year holiday and the coronavirus outbreak.

China also recorded its first trade deficit since its trade war with the United States began two years ago.

'The return to economic normality in China has been very slow since the coronavirus outbreak,' wrote Louis Kuijs, head of Asia Economics at Oxford Economics, in a research note, pointing to the poor trade data and last week's surveys of activity in the country's manufacturing and services sector.

Oxford Economics now expects China's economic growth to contract 2% in the first quarter compared to the prior quarter, though Kuijs wrote that there should be a 'robust recovery' through the rest of the year.

Kuijs wrote that the situation should 'turn the corner' soon as people return to work and companies catch up on lost activity. But others pointed to the spread of the coronavirus overseas as a continued cause for concern.

'China may slowly be returning to work, but manufacturers will now likely be facing an international fall in demand,' wrote Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst for Asia Pacific at Oanda.

-- Matt Egan contributed to this report.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 96677

Reported Deaths: 2911
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7143160
DeSoto559460
Harrison388374
Jackson350570
Madison331089
Rankin330679
Lee273670
Forrest248973
Jones248779
Washington225977
Lafayette219139
Lauderdale2059125
Bolivar184566
Oktibbeha179952
Lamar171635
Lowndes158058
Neshoba1579104
Panola149930
Sunflower147146
Leflore141081
Warren140750
Pontotoc127816
Pike124051
Monroe123568
Copiah119133
Scott117627
Coahoma116329
Marshall110617
Lincoln110253
Holmes109859
Grenada109036
Yazoo106230
Simpson104646
Tate100437
Union99824
Leake96038
Adams94137
Wayne90421
Pearl River89253
Marion86535
Prentiss86217
Covington82722
Itawamba82621
Alcorn82011
George78013
Tallahatchie77321
Newton77224
Winston74219
Tishomingo69038
Chickasaw68424
Tippah67117
Attala66725
Walthall60126
Clarke60046
Clay59518
Hancock58722
Jasper57515
Noxubee55116
Smith53415
Calhoun52112
Tunica49715
Claiborne46516
Montgomery46420
Yalobusha43514
Lawrence43313
Perry42419
Greene38817
Humphreys37715
Quitman3775
Stone37412
Jefferson Davis34211
Webster33813
Amite33210
Carroll31912
Wilkinson30518
Kemper29015
Sharkey26613
Jefferson2439
Benton2273
Franklin1933
Choctaw1866
Issaquena1053
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 134231

Reported Deaths: 2357
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson19676351
Mobile13373292
Montgomery8834184
Tuscaloosa8621118
Madison788178
Shelby597849
Lee589760
Baldwin547750
Marshall394343
Calhoun351544
Etowah349045
Morgan329228
Houston290321
Elmore266748
DeKalb241621
St. Clair232235
Walker231684
Talladega216629
Limestone210120
Cullman189920
Dallas179026
Franklin177129
Autauga176425
Russell17603
Lauderdale171333
Colbert164626
Blount161115
Escambia160824
Chilton158530
Jackson157511
Covington140127
Dale138644
Coffee13486
Pike119810
Chambers116442
Tallapoosa116085
Clarke109116
Marion96429
Butler91239
Barbour8827
Winston74412
Marengo72020
Pickens66214
Bibb65410
Lowndes65327
Randolph64713
Hale63528
Geneva6254
Lawrence62023
Cherokee60813
Bullock60414
Monroe5898
Clay5858
Washington55713
Perry5416
Crenshaw53732
Conecuh53511
Wilcox53111
Henry5055
Macon48018
Fayette4578
Sumter43819
Cleburne3805
Lamar3672
Choctaw34712
Greene30315
Coosa1713
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