The S&P 500 dropped nearly 3 percent at the start of trading, while the Dow Jones Industrial average fell by more than 900 points and Nasdaq futures decreased by more than 3 percent.
Wall Street stocks took a nosedive on Monday as the continued spread of coronavirus has raised the prospect of long-term damage to the global economy.
The S&P 500 dropped nearly 3% at the start of trading, while the Dow Jones Industrial average fell by more than 900 points and Nasdaq futures decreased by more than 3%. The turmoil in the American market followed significant drops in European and Asian markets.
The sell-off occurred after a weekend that saw the number of coronavirus cases surge to more than 79,000. As of Monday morning, at least 2,623 people have died, all but 30 in mainland China.
The most alarming development over the weekend was the spike in cases outside of China, in places like Iran, Italy, and South Korea. There are now 833 confirmed cases in South Korea and more than 200 in Italy, which has raised concerns that the outbreak could become a pandemic and inflict lasting damage on the world’s economy.
The outbreak has already inflicted economic damage the world over, leading to a loss of $29 billion in airline revenue, a 92% decrease in Chinese auto sales, and continued disruption of China’s manufacturing sector, which plays a key role in the global supply chain.
Those hits kept coming on Monday, as airline and technology stocks suffered particularly steep drops. American Airlines opened down more than 9%, while Delta suffered a 7.48% drop. Apple, which last week announced the outbreak was affecting its ability to manufacture iPhones, is down more than 4%.
Oil prices also plunged by more than 4% amidst the fears of an extended economic slowdown.
In the aftermath of Monday’s sell-off, the Associated Press reported that the White House is preparing an urgent budget request to address the growing outbreak.