Stocks plunge in largest 1-day drop over coronavirus crisis

Source: Politico | March 16, 2020 | Kellie Mejdrich

After a widening shutdown across the U.S., Trump recommended avoiding gatherings of more than 10 people.

Stocks tumbled nearly 13 percent on Monday as the coronavirus pandemic led to wider shutdowns across the U.S. economy and President Donald Trump called for extreme measures across the nation.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell almost 3,000 points, the biggest one-day plunge ever and the largest drop of the monthlong downturn. It was the highest percentage decline since the infamous “Black Monday” crash of 1987, with the Dow closing 12.9 percent down. The S&P 500 index fell 12 percent.

The plunge came even after governments worldwide expanded calls for containment measures, including mass school closures, and central banks intervened in the markets. The Federal Reserve on Sunday made a surprise announcement that it would slash interest rates to zero and buy hundreds of billions of dollars in bonds, but it wasn’t enough to prevent stock markets from cratering.

Trump released guidelines Monday instructing Americans to avoid social gatherings of more than 10 people for the next 15 days to slow the spread of the pandemic. The guidelines also advise Americans to avoid eating and drinking at bars, restaurants and food courts; going on shopping trips and making social visits; and visiting nursing homes and retirement or long-term care facilities.

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