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U.S. markets crater as coronavirus, oil prices trigger brief halt in trading

Yvette Arrington, with the New York Stock Exchange reacts as traders gather Monday before the opening bell. (Timothy A. Clary/Afp Via Getty Images)

Read the latest live updates on the markets here

The stock markets suffered stunning declines Monday — with the Dow Jones industrial average losing 2014 points — as the threat of a coronavirus-fueled oil war and ongoing panic about the spreading disease grew and triggered a rare forced halt to trading early in the session.

The Dow Jones industrial average cratered 7.8 percent to close at 23,851. The S&P 500, a broader measure of stocks, shed 7.6 percent by the close and the tech-heavy Nasdaq tumbled 7.3 percent.

The New York Stock Exchange tripped the so-called “circuit breaker” at a time of relentless volatility for global markets, which have been battered for weeks as the coronavirus outbreak continues to unfold. The forced 15-minute break initially appeared to have a stabilizing effect, but selling resumed before the end of the regular trading.

Coronavirus: What you need to know

Vaccines: The CDC recommends that everyone age 5 and older get an updated covid booster shot. New federal data shows adults who received the updated shots cut their risk of being hospitalized with covid-19 by 50 percent. Here’s guidance on when you should get the omicron booster and how vaccine efficacy could be affected by your prior infections.

New covid variant: The XBB.1.5 variant is a highly transmissible descendant of omicron that is now estimated to cause about half of new infections in the country. We answered some frequently asked questions about the bivalent booster shots.

Guidance: CDC guidelines have been confusing — if you get covid, here’s how to tell when you’re no longer contagious. We’ve also created a guide to help you decide when to keep wearing face coverings.

Where do things stand? See the latest coronavirus numbers in the U.S. and across the world. In the U.S., pandemic trends have shifted and now White people are more likely to die from covid than Black people. Nearly nine out of 10 covid deaths are people over the age 65.

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