Coronavirus fear and plunging oil price send stock markets reeling

Stock trading was halted for 15 minutes on Monday morning after the S&P 500 plummeted more than 7%.
6:18 | 03/09/20

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Transcript for Coronavirus fear and plunging oil price send stock markets reeling
This is an ABC news special report. Dell reported George step. Good morning we're coming up here now breaking news from Wall Street in the wake of the krona virus crisis stocks have stopped trading on Wall Street after 7% drop. In the Dow Jones in the S&P 500 the first minutes of trading this morning want to go to Rebecca Jarvis on the New York Stock Exchange this morning and and Rebecca. This is continuing the falls we've seen over the last couple weeks as the corona virus cracked. Crisis expands and has exacerbated by an oil war well price war sparked between Saudi Arabia and Russia. That's right George and what we've seen this morning is now a halt the circuit wires as they're called these are like trip wires for the market to keep things from going into the the freefall. We're tripped up within the first few minutes of trading here at the New York Stock Exchange stocks. Falling 7%. Just out of the gate this morning. On those fears about the corona virus and even larger than that over the weekend this new. Price war. As far as all wheel is concerned. Saudi Arabia with OPEC had a meeting over the weekend to try to address the falling oil prices in light of the corona virus. Those talks were meant to be supportive of oil to keep it from falling further but instead Saudi Arabia walked away from the meetings. Cut prices. Instigating a price war specifically with Russia and that price war is now weighing on US oil prices we've seen oil dipped. More than 20% today that is the biggest fall for oil prices here in the US since the gulf war in 1991. And the concern. Is now for oil companies as well. The companies that employee six point seven million Americans they have a lot of debt George and as that debt comes due particularly in a situation like this. It puts a lot of those companies potentially at risk. Children so Rebecca let's walk through what's gonna happen today that this halted trading has triggered. Once the 7% drop was noted in but in the S&P 500. Trading was stopped for about fifteen minutes and I'll start again what's the next trip wire. The next trip wire is 13% George it again. The trip wires follow the S&P 500 we talk a lot about the Dow the Dow is also lower today more than 18100 points lower but the trip wires and and that are enacted those circuit breakers. Are an act database up and beat Aston keep 500 behaviors so when the market reopens. Within fifteen minutes from the halt last for fifteen minutes when that market reopens the next trip wire will be the S&P 500. Down approximately 13%. If it falls 13% the markets will halt again for another fifteen minutes. And give the market were to fall 20%. Then trading would be halted for the rest of the day George and Anna and. Thank you this is all sparked also by fears of a global recession that has been sparked. By then by the current Irish Chris see China manufacturing basically shut down over the weekend Italy lock down the northern part. There country which is the heartland of their economy as well. Absolutely and and Wall Street the biggest question. For Wall Street coming into this morning. Was about the virus itself how significant will this virus be and when will we get data up so much of what Wall Street tradeoff of is uncertainty and we have so much uncertainty surrounding the virus it's spread and what we've seen now. Is that the first wave of this happened in China. All of the Chinese manufacturing that was shut down hit companies large and small. Apple Nike some of the bigger companies that warned that manufacturing they're being shut down because of the rotavirus what impact their results but we've also heard from. How list numbers of small businesses that also manufacture products there they haven't been able to get those products. Then the second wave of this is as the disease comes here to the united sates and spreads and has issues for US businesses. We've heard from so many companies who have told their employees to stay home apple Amazon Microsoft. We've also heard from so many companies that have canceled conferences major offense here in the United States. All of these things have a ripple effect and what economists look at with that ripple effect is how significant will it be. Will it be enough to slow the economy down to something like a recession and that is the biggest question for Wall Street right now. How significant will this slow down beat George. OK Rebecca thanks for much for your doctor Jan ashen as well any aide Rebecca said it right there's so much uncertainty surrounding this fires but what we know right now. It is spreading United States we should expect more community wide measures high. Your percent and we have to go back to the testing process Georgian we've set at the four as we ramp that up and as we test more people. There will be more known cases when Rebecca talks about uncertainty in the financial and economic world. In the medical and scientific world uncertainty is also a big concern we have to put this into timeline. Historical context. This virus is not even three months old. No one has a crystal ball in terms of the clinical manifestations and impact. That it will have here so in the United States we look to Europe we look to Asia we look to other parts of the world to see how people are faring clinically. How many people are showing up in hospitals and then you look to the trickle down effect on the social distancing measures and how that is affected. Not just in protecting vulnerable populations like the elderly or those with preexisting medical conditions. Life if it buys us time and when you talk about curbs not just financial ones in epidemiology in Madison word we're hearing a term. Flatten that curve that means to reduce the number of people exposed infected and sick and that is important not just clinically to protect people's health. But to give us time to get our docs and allowed. Bottom line impact this crisis basically has just begun I think some. Ten edition thanks very much. When the metro regular program right now for many new that is Good Morning America. Coverage of this story continues and ABC nightly news life as well. This has been a special. From the eighties.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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