US stock markets continue to plummet over coronavirus uncertainty

The Dow suffered its worst week since the financial crash of 2008.
8:51 | 02/28/20

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Transcript for US stock markets continue to plummet over coronavirus uncertainty
This is an ABC news special room. Now report. David. Good afternoon we're coming up here at this hour with breaking news concerns over the corona virus outbreak and once again they are affecting the stock market look at that break their Wall Street ending one of the worst weeks of trading since the financial crisis in 2008. The closing bell is expected just a short time from now but it's down about 416. Points there as you can see regaining some of the lost territory. This latest plunge on Wall Street today from just 24 hours after posting the biggest one day point loss of history that was yesterday. I've given numbers looking at right there that Dell is down roughly 13%. For the year essentially waking up all teens about the. Last six months from NASDAQ and S. There you see the Dow down 395. Points seemed. Actually in these final seconds of the closing bell somewhat of a relief given how far it was down. Earlier in the day and in a very rare move today the Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. It an effort to calm investors saying quote the fundamentals of the US economy remains strong however the corona virus does pose evolving risks. Two economic activity he went on to promise to quote use our tools to support the US economy. And there you see if the final number on this Friday down 342 points. But somewhat better than what we've seen these last couple of days book sort of a horrific week on Wall Street and in fact one of the worst weeks as I mentioned since the financial crisis. I do want to get to our chief business correspondent Rebecca Jarvis she is live on Wall Street for us and Rebecca you can really see this regardless of just the numbers on the Dow but you can see this around the world in fact. You see factories closing in China global sporting events with no fans in the stadium's Japan. Closing all schools forcing changes in the workplace this ripple effect through the global economy. Has been swift and it's been fast. And that's the concern here on Wall Street David the question that traders here are trying to answer is the same line. Met anyone watching right now is trying to answer how severe. Will the corona virus be and how long we'll its impact the last and as Wall Street has worked through that question this week it has become a historic week of declines. The worst week of decline since 2008 the financial crisis and the most heartening thing about the number that you seat. Trading closing at today is that it wasn't as bad as it looked earlier in the day in fact earlier in today the market was pointing as many as 900 points lower so to see things. A ticking back here. It is heartening but at the same time David we know that there already is an impact on US businesses JPMorgan in Amazon for example have told their employees. To stop traveling by at least here in the United States an Amazon has said internationally as well a number of other companies have banned travel. And as you said earlier there does that ripple effect of companies. That we're doing business in China where things an initially stalled because the corona virus manufacturing shut down. For companies like apple Nike Microsoft. All of those companies fell to. Other counterparts here in the US whether it's the consumer or other companies there's that ripple of fact and of course we've also heard it. From some of the medical companies the health care companies that produce Madison. The ingredients that go in our drugs here in the United States largely come from China and that is a concern as well going forward Dave. And one of the things that really struck me as we've been reporting this out all week long Rebecca is that you've heard not only from the big names apple Microsoft Nike but from small business owners. Across the United States who do make things overseas it when you've got factories are closing in China workers simply not showing up to the factory. The immediate future of many of these small businesses in America is now has now been put at stake. That's right business is that produce everything from bikes to lipstick to handbags. Even at nine shots David. These are companies that rely on China. For their manufactured goods to create products and then sell them here in the US and they've been telling me for the last handful of weeks now. That they're not hearing anything about the Chinese factories they're not getting any word about when those factories might reopen it when the lines might be back on board and the issue is if they can't get those products then they don't have business they don't have seals here in the US and eventually. That becomes an issue for jobs. But put all the retail all of the big economic numbers aside Rebecca the bottom line here too is that folks at home can understand the very real. Impact of fear and alarm if we get to a point where people simply don't want to. You don't go out into their community to restaurants and and and the immediate impact it will have on the local economy. That's. Exactly it is that ripple of facts. I should add to this some contacts here David what we have seen. In previous outbreaks where there has been disease that has hit the US stock market and the US economy is that. Previously and every disease is different but previously. We've seen me in packed initially. But with six months to a year that impact is behind us the market generally bounces back as does the economy here in the US. Important perspective and again it's all relative at this point the down 356 points on this Friday that is better. And what we have seen in previous days this week I do want to bring you up to speed on the numbers. As were on the air global markets as you saw falling throughout the day but we have corona virus now spreading to at least 54 countries. More than 84000. Cases worldwide and at least sixty cases now. Here in the US I want to bring in our chief medical editor doctor Jan asked him has been with us every step of the way a couple of alarming concerning headlines here in the US but we do want to reassure folks at home every step of the way here we've got the case in California the the California woman who is no known. Contacts of anyone who's been in China or in Italy. They're now trying to retrace this invisible line of infection. Right and that's where the disease detectives if you will really important work. Because in that case represents the first known human to human communities spread of corona virus here in the US. So they are following that closely B do expect there may be more of that. Again to reiterate from a clinical standpoint the good news here David and use added we've said it. This virus tends to produce mild symptoms in over 80% of the people who are known to be infected. But still that one California case kind of ramping up the clinical response in a big way this. Reports that she's getting respiratory health at a hospital in California but as you point out that 82% number we've been putting it on every night as we go 82% mild cases. But in the meantime the testing issue a lot of folks are watching us on the evening news have been asking about this after the news. Why are states counties major c.s equipped to test if you come in presenting symptoms similar to the flu right for corona virus is well. It's important question David because again we have to remember the timeline here were almost at the two month mark to put this into some clinical perspective. The PCR test if you will that they are doing on this corona virus we have one for influenza if you came into an emergency room they have the capability a run that test in. One hour and this is a newer test we need to get up to speed on the logistics of that and we have heard some good news. Just in the last 24 hours late last night the CDC revised their testing criteria. Partly in response to that California community case they've now brought wounded. To enable clinicians doctors to test more people including those who are critically Elena hospital setting with pneumonia. Of unexplained ED allergies so that would've triggered a test in that patient that's good news. The other thing is you've said it's different called for states and local health departments to get an active. Timeline here because previously most specimens had to go to the CDC headquarters in Atlanta. We heard the CDC director just hours ago say she acknowledges the testing has not gone as smoothly as they would inflate. And you're gonna ramp that up in a big way in the next coming days wrap it up and hopefully very quickly just a few seconds left China people are out this weekend they should just start gathering extra water supplies and that the storm was coming absolutely and respond based on facts not fear but that means just a couple of extra groceries if you take prescription men's. Medications get some added supplies of those communicate with your children's schools to find out what plans they have in place and your workplace. And again. Preparation is helpful not only logistically but psychologically gives us a greater sense a concurrent. And we'll stick together and try to guide folks through it Jen asked him. Thanks Jim we'll see you shortly on world news we're gonna return not a regular programming for many viewed at your local news with much more on this. Morning ABC news Lott 24/7 streaming channel abcnews.com. Of course the entire team on this a bit later on world news tonight I'm David Muir in new York and I'll see them. This has been a special.

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

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