Wall Street sinks as virus spread escalates worries

By Caroline Valetkevitch NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wall Street suffered its biggest drop since the coronavirus crisis began, with the S&P 500 closing at the lowest level since December 2018 as investors fear the coronavirus pandemic is proving a tougher opponent than central banks, lawmakers or the White House are capable of battling. The S&P 500 fell about 12% despite the Federal Reserve's surprise move late Sunday to cut interest rates to near zero, which added to the alarm about the rapid spread of the pandemic and how it has paralysed parts of the global economy and squeezed company revenue.

Reuters March 17, 2020 04:05:15 IST
Wall Street sinks as virus spread escalates worries

Wall Street sinks as virus spread escalates worries

By Caroline Valetkevitch

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wall Street suffered its biggest drop since the coronavirus crisis began, with the S&P 500 closing at the lowest level since December 2018 as investors fear the coronavirus pandemic is proving a tougher opponent than central banks, lawmakers or the White House are capable of battling.

The S&P 500 fell about 12% despite the Federal Reserve's surprise move late Sunday to cut interest rates to near zero, which added to the alarm about the rapid spread of the pandemic and how it has paralysed parts of the global economy and squeezed company revenue.

"It's a market adrift with nothing to hold on to. There's nothing that can really give us a sense of when the full extent of the virus' impact will be known," said Jeffrey Kleintop, chief global investment strategist at Charles Schwab.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> fell 2,997.1 points, or 12.93%, to 20,188.52, the S&P 500 <.SPX> lost 324.89 points, or 11.98%, to 2,386.13 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> dropped 970.28 points, or 12.32%, to 6,904.59.

(Additional reporting by Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru and Thyagaraju Adinarayan; Editing by Dan Grebler and Nick Zieminski)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

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