NEW YORK: The S&P 500 tumbled 9% at opening on Monday (Mar 16), triggering an automatic 15-minute halt of Wall Street’s three main indexes for the third time in six days, as traders reacted to drastic weekend measures from the Federal Reserve to stave off a global recession.
The halt at the opening was the third emergency pause in Wall Street trading in six days, and followed another series of drastic moves by the US Federal Reserve over the weekend to shore up the US economy.
The second emergency cut in interest rates by the US central bank in a fortnight only added to the sense of panic among investors, worried that the coronavirus pandemic is paralyzing supply chains and squeezing company finances.
Latest economic figures from China earlier on Monday showed factory data plunging at its sharpest pace in three decades, underscoring the damage on the world’s second biggest economy.
At 9:45am, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 2,748.64 points, or 11.85 per cent, at 20,436.98, the S&P 500 was down 264.65 points, or 9.76 per cent, at 2,446.37 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 922.27 points, or 11.71 per cent, at 6,952.60.
If the S&P 500 falls 13 per cent once trading resumes, it will trigger a level-2 circuit breaker and halt trading again for 15 minutes.