Stocks on Wall Street dropped for the sixth day in a row after a press conference by President Donald Trump after the markets closed on Wednesday failed to calm fears amid concerns of a massive coronavirus outbreak.
There have been reports of the virus in 47 countries and now the United States and Germany reported cases where the patient had no known connections to others with the illness.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 431.59 points as soon as the markets opened and then quickly plunged by as much as 500 points. The S&P 500 opened down 1.73 per cent and the Nasdaq Composite was down 2.64 percent.
Markets have entered corrections several times since the Great Recession in 2009, though not as rapidly as this week’s plunge.
A five-day view of the Dow Jones Industrial Average shows the cumulative declines this week
Stocks reflect declines on monitors as the market dropped the sixth day in a row
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange as investors brace for a possible market correction
The massive self-offs could push the market into a correction, which happens when the index is down more than 10 per cent from its most recent high. Before opening bell on Thursday, the S&P 500 was down almost 8 per cent and the Dow Jones industrial average was down about 9.6 per cent.
President Trump tried to calm the markets and public fears with a rare briefing in the White House press room on Wednesday, where he blamed the sudden stock market sell-off slide on a comments by Democratic candidates at a debate rather than the risk of a looming coronavirus pandemic.
Trump, who encouraged Americans to buy stocks even after a 1,000 point drop in the Dow during his trip to India earlier this week, was asked how the disease might affect markets and the economy, with millions quarantined in China and the illness spreading to Italy and the Middle East.
Trump pointed a finger at his Democratic presidential opponents – not the illness that caused him to summon top officials to the White House for his first briefing with reporters from the White House briefing room.
President Donald Trump blamed a sudden market slide on ‘Democrat candidates standing on that stage making fools out of themselves’ – not on fears of a coronavirus pandemic
‘I think the financial markets are very upset when they look at the Democrat candidates standing on that stage making fools out of themselves and they say if we have a president like this – and there’s always a possibility – it’s an election, who knows what happens,’ Trump said.
Trump added that he thought ‘we’re going to win’ and ‘by a lot.’
He spoke hours after seven Democrats squared off for a debate in Charleston, with democratic socialist Bernie Sanders drawing fire due to his strong performance and polling.
‘But when they look at the statements made by the people standing behind those podiums, I think that has a huge effect, yeah,’ Trump said.
He doubled down when asked if he didn’t think the drop – a 7 per cent sell-off – had to do with coronavirus.
Trump attacked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and said ‘quite a bit’ of the market sell-off came from people watching his Democratic rivals debating. The first Democratic debate was back in June, and the market started tanking the day before the Charleston debate
”I think the financial markets are very upset when they look at the Democrat candidates standing on that stage making fools out of themselves,’ said Trump
People wear face masks as a precaution to the outbreak of Coronavirus in Italy, during the weekly General Audience at St. Peter’s Square. The General Audience is held every Wednesday, in Saint Peter’s Square, which can accommodate around 80,000 people