Stocks plummet as fear, uncertainty surrounds coronavirus

Business News

PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD)– The New York Stock Exchange briefly halted trading Monday morning as stocks plummeted amid Coronavirus fears and crashing oil prices. Oil markets collapsed after Saudi Arabia said it plans to slash prices, escalating a battle with Russia just as the coronavirus’s impact is reducing demand for oil.

After a more than 7% drop in the S&P 500 index, a series of “circuit breakers” automatically kicked in for 15 minutes to try and calm the market.

The S&P 500 has three “circuit breakers” that kick in when stocks decline by 7%, 13% or 20% in a single trading session.

After a 15-minute halt, stocks began trading again shortly before 10 a.m and regained some ground, while remaining deeply in the red. The S&P 500 was down 160 points, or 5.4%, to 2,812.60, while the Dow tumbled 1,361 points, or 5.3%, to 24,503.30. The tech-heavy Nasdaq declined 5%.

Monday’s sharp decline marks the third week of turmoil for U.S. investors, who are weighing the impact of the growing coronavirus outbreak. The new COVID-19 disease was blamed for at least 24 deaths in the U.S. as of Monday, with the number of coronavirus disease cases in the United States topping 500 on Sunday.

A Peoria financial planner said fears about the Coronavirus are to blame for these financial issues.

“If we just stay at home and don’t do anything, we’re not spending money,” said Rockie Zeigler III, who owns his company RP Zeigler Investment Services, Inc. “A huge part of the economy is consumer spending, so if we’re not spending any money the economy could theoretically you go, go down because of this. No one really knows what this is. There’s no vaccine. There’s no treatment. It’s a virus so it just has to run its course. I’m obviously not a medical professional, but I think it’s just we don’t know what it is.”

Some analysts fear the lack of a vaccine could mean the disease could play havoc with wall street for an extended period of time.

Zeigler mentioned if you’re investing in high-risk stocks you should consult with your planner. He suggests having a conversation to see if you’re still comfortable with the risk you are taking.

Here are Monday’s opening numbers:

Dow

25,864.78

-256.50

-0.98%

Nasdaq

8,575.62

-162.98

-1.87%

S&P

2,972.37

-51.57

-1.71%

Stocks resumed trading at 9:49 a.m. EST.

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