Stocks plunge into bear market territory: March 12, 2020

By CNN Business

Updated 6:55 p.m. ET, March 12, 2020
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4:18 p.m. ET, March 12, 2020

The longest bull market in American history is over after 11 years

From CNN Business' Tal Yellin

Less than a month after hitting a high of 3,386 on February 19, the S&P 500 sold off sharply, falling more than 25% as novel coronavirus spreads around the world. An oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia also emerged, threatening US shale producers and exacerbating selling over the past week.

The S&P 500 closed below 2,708.92, officially marking the end of the bull rally and the start of the new bear market. Here are the previous 13 bear markets since 1929.

4:19 p.m. ET, March 12, 2020

Extreme fear has consumed the stock market

From CNN Business' David Goldman

CNN Business' Fear and Greed Index sits at "2" out of 100. That's just about as fearful as the market can get.

The VIX volatility index soared 39.5% Thursday to its highest level since October 2008 during one of the scariest moments of the global financial crisis.

5:00 p.m. ET, March 12, 2020

Wall Street's 11-year bull market comes to a screeching halt: Stocks plummet

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

US stocks recorded their worst day since 1987 Thursday as worries about the coronavirus pandemic mounted.

Wall Street officially fell into a bear market with the S&P 500 dropping more than 20% from its February 19 peak. The Dow, a smaller index than the S&P, fell into a bear market Wednesday.

That officially ended the 11-year bull market -- the longest in history -- which started in March 2009.

On Thursday, the S&P 500 closed down 9.5%. It was its worst day since October 19, 1987, also known as “Black Monday”.

The index dropped 7% in the first minutes of trading, which triggered a circuit breaker and led the New York Stocks Exchange to suspend trading for 15 minutes.

The Dow was down 2,353 points, nearly 10% lower, in its biggest one-day percentage drop since “Black Monday." The index is at its lowest level since the summer of 2017.

The Nasdaq Composite closed down 9.4%. It is now also in a bear market.

3:53 p.m. ET, March 12, 2020

Wall Street is on track for a bear market

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

With only minutes left in the trading day, Wall Street is on course to close in a bear market.

Only the Dow slipped into a bear market Wednesday, but now the S&P 500 -- the broadest measure of the US stock market -- is squarely in bear territory as well. A bear market is defined at 20% below the most recent peak, which for the major US indexes was in February. The pace at which the market has gone from record highs to a bear is remarkably fast.

The S&P 500 was down 7.7%, while the Dow was 8.3%, or 1,945 points, lower with just minutes remaining in the session.

4:01 p.m. ET, March 12, 2020

Uber, JCPenney, Kraft Heinz top long list of stock hitting new all-time lows

From CNN Business' Paul R. La Monica

The stock market was at an all-time high just a month ago and many blue chip companies were hitting records constantly. What a difference the novel coronavirus makes.

Today, there are many blue chip companies plunging to new all-time lows. And the list could keep growing. There seems to be no end in sight to the sell-off, despite more moves by the Federal Reserve to try and prop up the market.

Here are just a few of the most well-known stocks that fell to their lowest point ever today -- courtesy of Barchart.

2:56 p.m. ET, March 12, 2020

Small Business Administration to provide disaster assistance loans

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

The Small Business Administration announced it would provide disaster assistance loans to businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

These loans offer up to $2 million per small business and "can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing," the SBA said in a statement.

The loans are intended to pay debts, accounts payable and bills, as well as payroll, that can't be paid because of coronavirus. They will carry an interest rate of 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for non-profit organizations.

2:18 p.m. ET, March 12, 2020

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon leaves hospital after heart surgery

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

JPMorgan (JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon has left the hospital and is recovering at home, according to a statement from the bank's co-presidents Daniel Pinto and Gordon Smith.

Dimon had emergency heart surgery last week.

Even though the bank isn't planning regular updates on Dimon's recovery, "we want you to know that his doctors said he is doing very well in all aspects of his recovery," Pinto and Smith said in the statement.

1:55 p.m. ET, March 12, 2020

Another stock is up: Tupperware

From CNN Business' Jordan Valinsky

New leadership for Tupperware (TUP) is sending shares soaring 25%.

The 74-year-old container company has named a CEO after four months operating without one. Miguel Fernandez, a former president of Avon, is taking the top job on April 6.

The company said in a release that Fernandez brings "global direct-selling industry experience and a strong record of implementing positive global transformations."

It's a much-needed change for Tupperware. The company has faced declining sales as customers buy cheaper alternatives and has seen its glory days of fervent customers hosting Tupperware parties fade away.

With today's gains, the stock is now only down 70% for the year.

2:08 p.m. ET, March 12, 2020

Stocks are rebounding as Fed steps up

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

US stocks rebounded from their lows in the early afternoon after the New York Fed gears up for a more than $1 trillion capital injection.

While stocks are still sharply in the red, they have come off their lowest points.

The S&P 500 was last down 5.7%. At its lowest, it was down 8.7%. The Dow is down 1,500 points, or 6.2%. The index was down more than 2,200 points at its low point today.