Collapsing oil prices and anxieties over the spreading coronavirus pushed the stock market to precipitous losses on Monday.
Within minutes of the opening bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted more than 1,800 points and the S&P 500 lost more than 200 points, or 7%, triggering a circuit breaker that halted trading for 15 minutes.
While stocks seemed to recover some losses by mid-afternoon, they eventually fell further, pushing the major indices toward the first bear market in more than a decade.
At market close, the Dow was down 2,014 points, or 7.8%, marking its worst day since the financial crisis of 2008. Meanwhile, the S&P closed 7.6% lower and the Nasdaq Composite lost 7.3%. The benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury yield also declined to a new all-time low of 0.3%.
Major footwear players saw shares fall as well. Under Armour stock dropped 11% to $9.91, while VF Corp fell 10.42% to $62.39 and Skechers shed 10.65% to $27.77 a share. Other stock hits included Crocs (down 11% to $21.56), Kohl’s (down 6.2% to $32.50) and Nike (down 4.81% to $84.11).
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According to multiple media reports, the White House has invited Wall Street executives to a meeting this week to address the potential economic fallout of the coronavirus, which has sickened roughly 113,500 and led to nearly 4,000 deaths globally. President Donald Trump is meeting with advisers today to discuss the crisis.
Over the weekend, China, where the virus originated in December, reported a 17% drop in exports and a 4% dip in imports for the months of January and February. To minimize the illness’s blow to the U.S. economy, the Federal Reserve last week declared an emergency 0.5% cut in its key lending rate. The cut, which lowers the rate to the range of 1% to 1.25%, is the first of its kind since the 2008 financial crisis.
Hundreds of companies have updated their risk disclosures and have advised employees to take safety precautions, such as working remotely from home or imposing a self-quarantine if they have recently traveled to any of the affected regions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, those with low-risk exposure are not restricted from public places as long as they are asymptomatic.
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