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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

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Updated 3 hours ago - Economy & Business

Our make-believe economy is here to stay

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The Federal Reserve and global central banks are remaking the world's economy in an effort to save it, but have created something of a monster.

Why it matters: The Fed-driven economy relies on the creation of trillions of dollars — literally out of thin air — that are used to purchase bonds and push money into a pandemic-ravaged economy that has long been dependent on free cash and is only growing more addicted.

Mike Allen, author of AM
4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Why Trump may still fire Barr

Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Attorney General Barr may be fired or resign, as President Trump seethes about Barr's statement this week that no widespread voter fraud has been found.

Behind the scenes: A source familiar with the president's thinking tells Axios that Trump remains frustrated with what he sees as the lack of a vigorous investigation into his election conspiracy theories.

Mike Allen, author of AM
4 hours ago - World

Scoop: Trump's spy chief plans dire China warning

Xi Jinping reviews troops during a military parade in Beijing last year. Photo: Thomas Peter/Reuters

Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe on Thursday will publicly warn that China's threat to the U.S. is a defining issue of our time, a senior administration official tells Axios.

Why it matters: It's exceedingly rare for the head of the U.S. intelligence community to make public accusations about a rival power.