Dow Drops 2,100 Points: Stocks In Meltdown After Temporary Trading Halt
Updated at 10:17 a.m. ET
The stock market continued its relentless, breathtaking drop Thursday — moving deeper into bear territory — with major U.S. indexes sinking as much as 8%. Stocks fell so fast, it triggered a 15-minute halt in trading for the second time this week.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down more than 2,100 points, or 7.8%. The S&P 500 fell 7.5% and the Nasdaq was down 6.5%.
Those indexes are now down more than 25% from record highs set just last month.
The market tumble came hours after President Trump announced a 30-day ban on travel from European countries to the United States.
Trump said it was an effort to stem the spread of the coronavirus, but the move caused confusion on both sides of the Atlantic and drew skepticism from several health experts.
Thursday’s drop followed a nearly 6% percent plunge in the Dow on Wednesday, when the blue chip index entered a bear market, defined as falling 20% from its peak. The S&P 500 is now also in a bear market, ending an 11-year winning streak.
In addition to the travel ban, Trump also announced measures to overcome “temporary economic disruptions” caused by the disease. The proposals include a $50 billion program to provide low-interest loans to small businesses affected by the coronavirus.
Congressional Democrats also unveiled a legislative stimulus package aimed at easing the economic damage. Their plan includes expanded unemployment reimbursement for states, extra money for food security for low-income children and federally funded family and sick leave for people affected by the virus.
The coronavirus pandemic has had far-reaching and quickly developing economic impacts.
Thursday morning, Princess Cruises, which has had several ships hit by coronavirus outbreaks, announced it will pause operations of its 18 cruise ships globally for 60 days. The move is in response “to the unpredictable circumstances evolving from the global spread of COVID-19,” the company said.
The airline industry has also been hard hit by travel cancelations and travel restrictions. “I would say we’re in the middle of a very significant impact, some would say devastating impact, to the airline industry,” JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes told NPR.
Wednesday night, the NBA suspended the rest of its season after a player on the Utah Jazz preliminarily tested positive for the coronavirus.