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

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. EST: 32,135,220 — Total deaths: 981,660 — Total recoveries: 22,149,441Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m EST: 6,975,980 — Total deaths: 202,738 — Total recoveries: 2,710,183 — Total tests: 98,481,026Map.
  3. Politics: House Democrats prepare new $2.4 trillion coronavirus relief package.
  4. Health: Cases are surging again in 22 states — New York will conduct its own review of coronavirus vaccine.
  5. Business: America is closing out its strongest quarter of economic growth.
  6. Technology: 2020 tech solutions may be sapping our resolve to beat the pandemic.
  7. Sports: Pac-12 will play this fall despite ongoing pandemic — Here's what college basketball will look like this season.
  8. Science: Global coronavirus vaccine initiative launches without U.S. or China — During COVID-19 shutdown, a common sparrow changed its song.
9 hours ago - Sports

Pac-12 will play football this fall, reversing course

A view of Levi's Stadium during the 2019 Pac-12 Championship football game. Photo: Alika Jenner/Getty Images

The Pac-12, which includes universities in Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon, Utah and Washington state, will play football starting Nov. 6, reversing its earlier decision to postpone the season because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: The conference's about-face follows a similar move by the Big Ten last week and comes as President Trump has publicly pressured sports to resume despite the ongoing pandemic. The Pac-12 will play a seven-game conference football season, according to ESPN.

Dave Lawler, author of World
10 hours ago - World

Global coronavirus vaccine initiative launches without U.S. or China

Data: Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance; Map: Naema Ahmed/Axios

A global initiative to ensure equitable distribution of coronavirus vaccines now includes most of the world — but not the U.S., China or Russia.

Why it matters: Assuming one or more vaccines ultimately gain approval, there will be a period of months or even years in which supply lags far behind global demand. The COVAX initiative is an attempt to ensure doses go where they're most needed, rather than simply to countries that can produce or buy them at scale.

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