The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell nearly 3,000 points, or 12.94%, at the close of Monday's trading session as the novel coronavirus outbreak continues to upend business and travel across the world.
The S&P 500 dropped 11.99% and the Nasdaq was down 12.32%.
Monday's bloodbath was the worst day for stocks since the "Black Friday" crash in 1987. At one point during late intraday trading, the Dow was down more than 3,000 points.
Trading on Wall Street was temporarily halted after markets plunged early into the trading session. The Dow plummeted more than 2,250 points or 9.7% just after trading began. The S&P 500 fell more than 8%, triggering a "circuit-breaker" halt of 15 minutes. Trading resumed just before 10 a.m. but the losses continued.
The major sell-off comes even after the Federal Reserve made a surprise announcement on Sunday that it's slashing interest rates to near zero and spending $700 billion to buy Treasury and mortgage bonds to help buoy the economy during the coronavirus pandemic.
The intervention did not appear to be enough to quell investors' worries about the economic impacts of the outbreak on businesses. Local governments including in New York and Los Angeles announced over the weekend they were shuttering businesses such as bars and entertainment venues.
Analysts say investors need more than just Fed action to assuage uncertainty.
"The Federal Reserve’s emergency rate cut to zero, announcement of quantitative easing to the tune of $700 billion and swap arrangements to shore up dollar liquidity in global financial markets, are significant policy moves," Moody’s Investor Services associate managing director Elena Duggar and vice president Madhavi Bokil said in a joint statement to ABC News. "This decision, taken together with announcements by other central banks, indicates that global monetary authorities will try to do everything in their power to arrest financial stress."
Liz Ann Sonders, chief investment strategist at Charles Schwab, told ABC News late last week that there is a limit to what the Fed can offer.
"Even if the Fed lowers rates, it doesn’t get more tests out there, it doesn’t create a vaccine -- there is a limit to what central banks can do," she said. "This is not a financial crisis like what 2008 was -- this is a human and health crisis."
Among the worst performers Monday were Boeing, the Travelers Companies and the Home Depot, which all saw double-digit losses. Even the "best performer" on Monday, Walgreens Boots Alliance, was in the red.
Over the past few weeks, U.S. financial markets have witnessed massive volatility amid the global COVID-19 pandemic.
The Dow has seesawed by more than 1,000 points since the outbreak and entered a bear market for the first time in 11 years last week. The S&P 500 index is also in bear market territory.
This report was featured in the Tuesday, March 17, 2020, episode of “Start Here,” ABC News’ daily news podcast.
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