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Photo: Bryan R. Smith/AFP via Getty Images

Stocks plunged more than 9% on Thursday, with the S&P 500 26% below its February all-time high.

Why it matters: The potential economic impact from the coronavirus ended Wall Street's longest bull run in history while roiling stock markets around the globe.

Data: FactSet; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

By the numbers: The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite fell 9.5%.

  • The Dow fell 10% — its worst single-day percentage decline since the 1987 market crash.
  • The VIX, a measure of stock market volatility, spiked to the highest level since 2008.

Between the lines: U.S. stock declines were so steep at market open that it tripped the New York Stock Exchange's circuit breaker for the second time this week.

  • Stocks rebounded sharply in the middle of the day after the Federal Reserve said it would make an eye-popping $1.5 trillion in funding available to the financial system. It said it would also widen its bond-buying program, and continue to offer billions in the overnight loans.
  • The stock gains soon faded.

What they're saying: The moves were made "to address highly unusual disruptions in Treasury financing markets associated with the coronavirus outbreak," the New York Fed said in a press release. The announcement followed instruction from Fed chair Jerome Powell, who was consulted by the rate-setting committee.

  • "This is extremely rare ... and an unusually aggressive response," Lou Crandall, chief economist at research firm Wrightson ICAP, told Axios in response to the Fed's announcement. Crandall noted the scale of the Fed's intervention was "reminiscent of the financial crisis."

The bottom line: Wall Street's tumultuous stretch continued after President Trump said Wednesday night that the U.S. would ban some European travelers from entering the country for 30 days. Plans for economic stimulus are still up in the air.

Go deeper

Right-wingers making McCarthy sweat for future Speaker post

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy stands with his Republican colleagues outside the House on Nov. 17. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Right-wing elements in the Republican Party are complicating House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's attempts to become the next speaker of the House should the GOP take back the majority in 2022.

Why it matters: While McCarthy has worked carefully to build trust among the conservatives who tanked his chances at clinching the speakership in 2015, they're still circling ahead of the next Speaker vote in January 2023.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Congress sprints to meet crush of deadlines

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Congressional leaders have been pushing off vital action for months — and a lot of it will catch up with them in December, which begins Wednesday.

Driving the news: Funding for the federal government is set to expire at midnight on Friday. There are also consequential deadlines related to the debt limit, President Biden's agenda and annual actions like voting on the National Defense Authorization Act.

3 hours ago - World

U.S. fears Iran won’t scale back to 2015 nuclear deal

Officials gather in Vienna on Sept. 29 for the first day of renewed nuclear talks with Iran. Photo: EU Vienna Delegation/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

U.S. officials have extremely low expectations as world powers resume negotiations with Iran to curb its nuclear program, believing the Iranians aren't yet ready to negotiate seriously, Axios is told.

Driving the news: Senior officials in the U.S. intelligence community have assessed the new Iranian president, Ebrahim Raisi, thinks of his predecessor, Hassan Rouhani, as a weak accommodationist who negotiated a bad deal with the U.S. and other world powers in 2015.