US stocks plummet on coronavirus fears: March 9, 2020

By CNN Business

Updated 9:15 p.m. ET, March 9, 2020
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10:13 a.m. ET, March 9, 2020

Why the market just stopped trading

From CNN Business' David Goldman

The New York Stock Exchange has a series of "circuit breakers" in place to calm investors' nerves when they're panicked.

A circuit breaker was tripped Monday morning shortly after trading began.

The S&P 500 fell by more than 7%, halting trading for 15 minutes.

The next circuit breaker would be if the market falls by 13%. That would pause trading for another 15 minutes.

If the market plunged 20%, everyone would go home: Trading would stop for the day.

Circuit breakers pause and ultimately halt trading to avoid a repeat of "Black Monday" on October 19, 1987, when the Dow crashed 22.6% in a single day.

10:46 a.m. ET, March 9, 2020

New York Stock Exchange trips circuit breaker. Stock trading has been halted for 15 minutes

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

The New York Stock Exchange has halted stock trading for 15 minutes after the S&P 500 fell 7% on Monday morning.

9:34 a.m. ET, March 9, 2020

Stocks plummet amid coronavirus fears and oil selloff

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

Stocks plummeted on Monday as worries about the growing global coronavirus pandemic and an oil price race to the bottom weighed on global financial markets.

The selloff had begun in overnight futures trading, which was halted after futures contracts dropped nearly 5%.

The Dow opened 1,800 points, or 7%, lower.

The S&P 500 dropped 6.9%.

The Nasdaq Composite dropped 7.1%

All this comes after stocks managed to end the last turbulent week in the green. Despite three steep selloffs, the Dow also recorded its best point-gain on record last week.

9:33 a.m. ET, March 9, 2020

JetBlue withdraws its financial outlook because of the coronavirus

From CNN Business' Jordan Valinsky

JetBlue (JBLU) is the latest airline to feel the effects from the coronavirus pandemic that's ravaging the industry.

The low-cost carrier withdrew its first-quarter and full-year financial guidance because it "did not reflect the impact of the coronavirus," it said in a regulatory filing Monday. Other airlines, like United, have recently done the same.

Shares are down more than 3% in early trading and 28% for the year.

8:59 a.m. ET, March 9, 2020

The market could trip a circuit breaker when it opens

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

US stock futures have already plummeted so much that they can't fall any further, amid coronavirus fears and a selloff in oil. Things could look similar for the major indexes in regular trade once the market opens at 9:30 am ET.

With futures halted at their near-5% declines, it's hard to tell just how much stocks will fall at the opening bell. But the ETFs tracking America's major share benchmarks, such as the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust, are down more than 7% pre-market, suggesting the indexes could hit circuit breakers when the market opens.

According to the New York Stock Exchange, a "cross-market trading halt" can be triggered in three stages:

  • If the S&P 500 drops 7%, trading is stopped for 15 minutes.
  • If it falls 13%, trading is halted for 15 minutes.
  • If it drops 20%, trading is halted for the remainder of the day.
8:27 a.m. ET, March 9, 2020

Oil crash sends energy and airline stocks plunging

From CNN Business' Julia Horowitz

The dramatic crash in oil prices has sent energy stocks nosediving, battering a sector that had already been hit hard by shrinking demand due to the coronavirus outbreak and by cooling investor sentiment because of the climate crisis.

Shares of BP (BP) are down nearly 18% in early trading in Europe, while Royal Dutch Shell (RDSA) has lost 14%.

ExxonMobil (XOM) shares are down more than 11% in premarket trading, while Chevron (CVX) is down nearly 12%.

On Sunday, Saudi Aramco shares fell below their IPO price for the first time since they started trading in December. They've lost more than 15% in the past two days.

No help for airlines: Falling oil prices would typically provide some relief for airlines, which get a boost when fuel costs are low. But evaporating demand for flights as the novel coronavirus spreads means carriers aren't getting a lift.

Shares of Norwegian Air Shuttle dropped another 12% on Monday, while Air France KLM's (AFLYY) stock is off 3%, bringing its year-to-date decline to 44%.

British Airways owner IAG's (ICAGY) shares are 2.7% lower. The stock has dropped more than 32% this year.

8:14 a.m. ET, March 9, 2020

Oil demand will fall for first time since 2009 because of the coronavirus, IEA says

From CNN Business' Hanna Ziady

World oil demand is expected to fall this year for the first time since 2009, as the coronavirus pandemic deals a sharp shock to the global economy.

The International Energy Agency said in a report Monday that in a worst case scenario — if the coronavirus continues to spread globally and China's need for oil remains subdued  global oil demand could fall by as much as 730,000 barrels a day in 2020.

The Paris-based agency, which monitors energy markets for the world's most advanced economies, says its base case is for a slump in demand of around 90,000 barrels a day, assuming that the situation in China improves in the second quarter.

Read more here.

8:41 a.m. ET, March 9, 2020

Two diagnostics companies rush to produce coronavirus testing kits

From CNN Business' Paul R. La Monica

LabCorp (LH) and Quest Diagnostics (DGX) are both racing to produce testing kits for the coronavirus. The two companies each said late last week that they are working to get COVID-19 testing kits ready for use by doctors as soon as possible -- based on emergency guidance issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

"In times of national health crises, quality laboratory testing is absolutely critical to mobilizing effective public health response," said Steve Rusckowski, chairman and CEO of Quest Diagnostics, in a statement.

“We have been intensely focused on making testing for COVID-19 available as soon as possible, working with the government and others to address this public health crisis,” Adam H. Schechter, president and CEO of LabCorp, said in a company statement.

Both stocks outperformed the market last week and they were each trading slightly higher Monday morning -- even as the Dow was set to plunge more than 1,000 points at the open.

9:16 a.m. ET, March 9, 2020

Stock futures have hit their limits

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

With nearly two hours left before the stock exchange opens in New York, stock futures have plummeted so dramatically that they can't fall any further.

Futures for all three major indexes -- the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite -- have hit circuit breakers that prevent it from dropping further. Pinned at their lows, the indexes are down nearly 5%.

This doesn't bode well for the market open, at which the indexes could fall even more.

Dow futures are 1,255 points, or 4.9%, lower. Those for the S&P 500 are off by 4.9%, and Nasdaq futures are down 4.8%.

Read more about the overnight trading session here.