Updated Mar 9, 2020 - Economy

Stocks plunge 7% at close of Wall Street's brutal day

Trader at stock exchange

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

U.S. stocks closed more than 7% lower on Monday, after a wild day for the stock market that saw a rare halt in trading.

Why it matters: The sell-off reflects serious fears that the oil price drop and the coronavirus could throw the economy into a recession.

By the numbers: Wall Street saw its most dramatic day since the depths of the financial crisis.

  • The S&P 500 closed down 7.6%, while the Nasdaq Composite sank 7.3%. The Dow Jones Industrials Average closed down 7.8% (or more than 2,000 points).
  • Oil prices dropped over 20%.
Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Investors are fleeing to safe-haven assets. In a sign of the high demand for government bonds, the yield on the U.S. 10-year note — the benchmark government bond — fell to new lows.

Between the lines: Wall Street is on the brink of ending its decade-long bull market run. As of Monday's close, the S&P 500 is 18% below its record high. (A 20% decline from record levels would technically end the bull market.)

  • Of note: Today is the 11th anniversary of the stock market's bottom.

The bottom line: Investors aren't confident in the fate of the global economy. There are more and more calls that a recession is inevitable.

  • "You have coronavirus fears underway, which were already threatening a global recession," Seema Shah, a strategist at Principal Global Investors, which oversees nearly $500 billion in assets, tells Axios.
  • "Against that backdrop, to then have the oil price shock is something global markets and the global economy weren't even close to prepared for."
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