U.S. stocks plunged fast on Monday morning, March 9, triggering an automatic temporary halt in trading on the New York Stock Exchange for the first time since December 2008 amid the depths of the financial crisis. 

The severe rout in the market led to a 15-minute trading halt after the S&P 500 Index fell 7% to 2,764.21 as of 9:34 a.m, Bloomberg reported.

An automatic circuit breaker forced the temporary halt to prevent a free fall amid the sell-off.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1,800 points, or more than 7%, at the opening, and the Nasdaq tumbled by more than 6%. When trading resumed, Dow Jones was down more than 5.5%, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq fell more than 5%.

Wall Street plummeted in the first few minutes of trading as a plunge in oil prices fueled uncertainty over the global economy, which has been damaged by the coronavirus outbreak.

Crude oil sank as much as 34% to $27.34 a barrel, the worst day since the Gulf War in 1991, after Russia over the weekend refused to roll back its production in response to falling prices and Saudi Arabia signaled that it will ramp up its output, according to The Associated Press.

In a response, President Donald Trump said in a tweet, “Saudi Arabia and Russia are arguing over the price and flow of oil. That, and the Fake News, is the reason for the market drop!”

The president said that the falling gasoline prices, resulted from oil plunges, would be good for the consumer.

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