Stock markets halted for unprecedented third time due to coronavirus scare – TechCrunch
The morning after the Federal Reserve cut its interest rates to near zero at the urging of the President (a move meant to stabilize jittery markets worried about the economic fallout from the global response to the novel coronavirus pandemic), all of the indexes posted major losses. For the third time in the past two weeks, the Dow hit its emergency circuit breaker as the market opened; the S&P also halted trades.
* The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down nearly 10% at the open, falling by 2,250 points to 20,935
* The S&P 500 fell by 8.14%, or 220.55, to open at
The huge drop mirrored movements in international markets — which were all thrown into turmoil by the Fed’s drastic rate cuts. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index, Japan’s Nikkei, London’s FTSE, and the Shanghai Exchange all saw losses for the day (London is still trading).
Meanwhile, the government is beginning to roll out large scale testing for COVID-19 to finally determine exactly how widely the disease has spread. The latest number, tallied by Johns Hopkins, is nearly 170,000 cases globally, with nearly 3,800 in the U. S.
The see-saw of the markets puts everything into unforeseen territory and not even the supposed digital safe haven of bitcoin is immune. Prices of the digital currency fell to $4,644.53 compared to one month ago, when it was hovering around $10,000.
These circuit breakers were put in place by the Securities and Exchange Commission, and are standardized across major U. S. exchanges since 2012.
Circuit breaker trips are more common on individual stocks (where similar rules apply), but market-wide trading halts are relatively rare. Three in just a matter of a bit more than a week is unprecedented in the history of the U. S. markets, barring the exception of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, in which the New York Stock Exchange and other markets were closed for roughly a week.