Dow drops 7.8% as free-fall in oil, virus fears slam markets

Coronavirus

(AP) – The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 7.8%, its steepest drop since the financial crisis of 2008, as a free-fall in oil prices and worsening fears of fallout from the spreading coronavirus outbreak seize markets.

The sharp drops triggered the first automatic halts in trading in two decades. The price of oil plunged nearly 25% after Saudi Arabia indicated it would ramp up production after Russia refused to production cutbacks in response to falling demand.

Europe fell into a bear market. U.S. stocks are now down 19% from the peak they reached last month. Bond yields plumbed new lows as investors sought safety. 

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