NEW YORK - The escalating coronavirus emergency Thursday sent stocks to their worst losses since the Black Monday crash of 1987, extending a sell-off that has now wiped out most of Wall Street's big run-up since President Donald Trump's election.
The S&P 500 plummeted 9.5%, for a total drop of 26.7% from its all-time high, set last month. That puts it way past the 20% threshold to make this a bear market, snapping an unprecedented, nearly 11-year bull-market run. The Dow Jones industrial average sank 10% for its worst day since a nearly 23% drop on October 19, 1987.
European markets lost 12% in one of their worst days ever, even after the European Central Bank pledged to buy more bonds and offer more help for the economy.
The heavy losses came amid a cascade of cancellations and shutdowns across the globe — including Trump's suspension of most travel to the U.S. from Europe — and rising worries that the White House and other authorities around the world can't or won't counter the economic damage from the coronavirus pandemic anytime soon.
`The news just continues to get worse, and the travel ban puts an exclamation point on the weakness we're going to see in global GDP and, in turn, the U.S.,`` said Liz Ann Sonders, chief investment strategist at Charles Schwab. ``We're starting to get a sense of how dire the impact on the economy is going to be. Each day the news doesn't get better, it gets worse. It's now has hit Main Street to a more significant degree.''
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