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Trading Halted As Stocks Nosedive Over Coronavirus Fears

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Jason Hopkins on March 16, 2020

The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) paused trading Monday after stocks plummeted more than 10% over coronavirus concerns, triggering a 15-minute pause in trading.

The coronavirus pandemic is still wreaking havoc on the stock market, despite major action by the Federal Reserve to improve investor confidence. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq fell about 9%, and the Dow fell by as much as 2,100 points, or 9%, triggering markets to temporarily close Monday morning.

The massive sell-off came even after the Federal Reserve, in an attempt to boost the U.S. economy, slashed interest rates to nearly zero on Sunday. The Federal Reserve had also announced it would purchase $700 billion worth of Treasury and mortgage-backed securities via quantitive easing, an action that was taken during the Great Recession.

However, stocks opened Monday morning in a free fall, unable to get past concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Unfortunately this is the new reality. This report is a harbinger of what is to come,” economic analysts with the investment bank Jefferies in New York wrote Monday, according to The New York Times.

Coronavirus deaths worldwide have surpassed 6,500 according to an estimate from Johns Hopkins University. As for the U.S, the number of cases continues to surge. There are at least 3,602 individuals in the country who have tested positive for the disease as of Monday morning, and at least 66 people have died from the virus.

While the Federal Reserve is doing what it can to mitigate the economic impact, experts have noted there’s only so much that can be done given the nature of a viral outbreak.

“They can only make sure the fallout and economic impact are softened,” Yousef Abbasi, a global market strategist at INTL FCStone, said of the situation to TheNYT.

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