Despite emergency measures taken by the Federal Reserve yesterday, Wall Street had yet another rough trading day, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average sliding by nearly 3,000 points.
The Dow ended the trading day down 2,998.97 points, or 12.93%. The two other major U.S. benchmarks, the S&P 500 dropped by 324.86 points, or 11.98%, and the Nasdaq Composite fell by 970.28 points, or 12.32%.
A 15-minute-long halt in trading occurred shortly after the opening bell this morning, as the S&P fell by more than 7%, sparking an automatic market-wide pause. All three benchmarks have fallen into bear-market territory, having experienced declines of 20% or more from recent highs.
Major retail stocks fell in tandem with the market, with many taking enormous beatings as Wall Street fears over the coronavirus escalate. At market close, Nordstrom Inc. and Steve Madden Ltd. shares fell by just over 20%, Caleres Inc. stock declined by 29.04% and Designer Brands Inc. shares dropped by a whopping 39.9%.
The massive sell-off comes one day after the Federal Reserve slashed interest rates to the range of 0% to 0.25% — the first adjustment of its kind since the Great Recession in 2008. The Fed also launched a $700 billion quantitative easing program amid escalating concerns over the spread of the coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19. In the U.S., almost 4,300 cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed, according to Johns Hopkins University, with more than 70 dead.
Fears of the virus expanded last week after the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a pandemic. Industries across the board have been recording losses, including the import-export industry, which has shouldered port closures and weeks of slowed production overseas. Many governments around the world have imposed restrictions or bans on travel in hopes of stopping the spread of COVID-19, and companies including Under Armour, Steve Madden and Nike have announced temporary store closures across the United States as preemptive measures to prevent the virus from spreading.
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