Updated Mar 9, 2020 - Economy & Business

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

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

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."

Go deeper

America's unfinished business

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The fury over George Floyd's killing is erupting as the U.S. faces a looming wave of business bankruptcies, likely home evictions and a virus pandemic that will all disproportionately hit African Americans.

Why it matters: What these seemingly disparate issues share in common is that they emanate from systemic abuses that calls to action and promised reforms have yet to meaningfully address.

Updated 49 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8 a.m. ET: 5,945,737— Total deaths: 365,368 — Total recoveries — 2,515,675Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8 a.m. ET: 1,747,087 — Total deaths: 102,836 — Total recoveries: 406,446 — Total tested: 16,099,515Map.
  3. Supreme Court: Chief Justice Roberts sides with liberals in denying challenge to California's pandemic worship rules.
  4. Public health: Hydroxychloroquine prescription fills exploded in March.
  5. 2020: North Carolina asks RNC if convention will honor Trump's wish for no masks or social distancing.
  6. Business: Fed chair Powell says coronavirus is "great increaser" of income inequality.

Deaths without consequences

Community organizations and activists demand police accountability at a rally in Grand Central Terminal to commemorate the 5-year anniversary of Mike Brown's death by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson. Photo: Erik McGregor/Getty Images

Seven years after the launch of the Black Lives Matter movement, it's still rare for police officers to be charged in the deaths of African Americans — and even more rare for an officer to go to jail.

The big picture: The Minneapolis police officer who was captured on video kneeling on George Floyd's neck has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter — which is already a step beyond the consequences other police officers have faced. But it's no guarantee that he will face jail time.