Dow Plunges as Traders Grow Concerned About COVID-19 Spikes

The Dow had its worst trading day since early March as investor fears of a coronavirus resurgence ignited.

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On Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged more than 1,800 points, its largest one-day loss in three months. The decline was attributed to growing concerns over rising coronavirus cases in many states since reopening from lockdowns. The Dow fell by 1,861.82 points to 25,128.17, a 6.9 percent decline.

The S&P 500 also suffered losses and fell by 5.9 percent, down to 3,002.10. Thursday’s trading losses marked the S&P 500’s first triple day of losses since March. After reaching a record high on Wednesday and closing above 10,000 for the first time, the Nasdaq fell to 9,492.73, a 5.3 percent decline.

Wall Street’s tumultuous day was its worse since March 16, when the three major averages fell by more than 11 percent.

Investors who recently bet on airlines, retailers, and cruise lines recovering on expectations of a quick recovery dumped their stocks amid new fears. United Airlines, American, Delta, and Southwest Airlines each fell by more than 11 percent on Thursday. Norwegian Cruise Lines and Carnival fell by at least 15.3 percent each. And major retailers, Kohl’s and Gap closed 11.2 percent and 8.1 percent lower, respectively.

Oil futures also fell, with West Texas Intermediate falling by 8.2 percent, settling at $36.34 a barrel.

A new wave of rising coronavirus cases in the U.S. has created concerns among traders. Texas is reporting three continuous days of record hospitalizations of COVID-19 patients. Several counties in California are also reporting spikes in the virus.

But Steven Mnuchin, Treasury Secretary, emphasized that another shutdown of the economy can’t happen.

Dennis DeBusschere, a research analyst with Evercore ISI, noted: “With TX, AZ, CA new cases and hospitalizations increasing and investors concerned that recent protests will fuel a wave of infections, the risk of persistently weak economic and earnings growth has increased. S&P fair value estimates are falling as a result.”

According to Johns Hopkins University, coronavirus cases in the U.S. have risen above 2 million.

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