Trading was halted Thursday morning for the second time this week after U.S. stocks continued to plummet amid fears about the damage the coronavirus is doing to the global economy.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 7.2 percent just minutes after the opening bell. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite also plunged 7 percent. When trading resumed after a 15 minute halt, the Dow and S&P 500 continued to sink, dropping to 9 percent and 8 percent respectively.
“Just like Monday, we’re giving the market 15 minutes process the down movement,” said New York Stock Exchange President Stacey Cunningham. “It’s working as it’s designed to function so that the market can absorb what news was out overnight, how investors are reacting so they can make decisions and everyone gets a chance to see what’s happening.”
The Dow on Wednesday officially slipped into bear market territory, marking a 20 percent decline from all-time highs, after a historic 11-year recovery.
The steep declines come after President Trump addressed the nation the previous evening regarding the coronavirus outbreak, which was dubbed a pandemic by the World Health Organization on Wednesday. Trump announced that his administration is suspending “all travel from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days.”