HomeLive updates: U.S. markets recoil on new coronavirus, oil price threatsTechLive updates: U.S. markets recoil on new coronavirus, oil price threats

Live updates: U.S. markets recoil on new coronavirus, oil price threats

The New York Stock Exchange tripped the so-called “circuit breaker” at a time of relentless volatility for global markets, which have been battered for weeks as the deadly outbreak continues to unfold. The forced 15-minute brake initially appeared to have a stabilizing effect, but by mid-afternoon, the Dow had skidded more than 2,100 points, or nearly 8 percent. The S&P 500 was down 7.4 percent and the Nasdaq off 6.8 percent.

“The uncertain economic impact of coronavirus continues to grip markets, with stocks, commodities and interest rates all dropping sharply,” Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at Bankrate.com, wrote in a commentary on Monday. “Markets hate uncertainty and there is a ton of it currently in play.”

Oil prices tumbled into the $30s, after Saudi Arabia and Russia deadlocked over production. The Saudis had been pushing for a cut in output to prop up prices, but reversed course when Russia balked and decided, instead, to flood the market with hundreds of thousands of additional barrels per day — a move analysts fear may trigger a price war.

“Cheap oil is one thing. Super cheap oil is another,” said John Kilduff of Again Capital. “The stock market is looking at the oil price plunge as a canary in the coal mine of a disinflationary one-two punch, driven partly by cratering demand for transportation fuels and a wanton price war among the major oil producers” that will result in big losses for U.S. and Canadian producers.

Global markets were apoplectic. Japan’s Nikkei closed down more than 5 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index shed more than 4.2 percent. European markets tumbled more than 7 percent across the board.

Panic pushed the yield on the U.S. 10-year Treasury below 0.4 percent for the first time in history Monday as investors fled for safe havens. The trajectory could be an ominous sign of a weakening economy, because a low yield can indicate a lack of confidence in economic growth. Yields decline as bond prices rise.

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