Stocks plunged Monday morning as investors prepared for a possible price war among oil exporters that could worsen economic damage from the global coronavirus epidemic.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1,884 points at the start of trade, a drop of 7.29% which would be its 13th biggest daily loss in percentage if it continued. The S&P 500 index fell 7% and the Nasdaq composite fell 7.1%. Trading was halted for 15 minutes after the S&P fell 7%, which automatically triggers a market break.
Equity futures trading predicted significant losses to the market after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries failed to reach an agreement on oil production on Saturday, prompting Saudi Arabia to reduce prices.
Investors fear that a price war among oil exporters will undermine global growth in a likely slowdown caused by the coronavirus and the considerable efforts being made to contain it. There are over 100,000 confirmed cases
Updated at 9:50 a.m.