The fallout from coronavirus continued to impact global business Monday morning, with the S&P index plunging 7% and trading halted for 15 minutes as traders engaged in a frenzied sell-off, according to the Associated Press and other online reports.
An online Washington Post report noted that oil prices fell into the $30s as Saudi Arabia and Russia squabbled over oil production output decisions, and fears of a price war surfaced. Elsewhere, stock market indexes also fell in Europe and the Far East.
The Associated Press report also noted the U.S. Federal Reserve’s emergency 0.5% cut in its key lending rate failed to reverse the downturn. The yield on the 10-year Treasury, already at record lows, dipped under 0.40% from 0.7% late Friday. The 30-year yield fell below 1% for the first time ever, triggering further fears of a recession.
While the massive Monday stock market meltdown had a number of elements, the worsening fears prompted by the spreading coronavirus was arguably the key factor.
Last week, the effects of COVID-19 manifested in a number of ways. This included more companies scaling back their first quarter business forecasts, spot shortages of some consumer products include iPad Pros from Apple, and even Japan’s Sharp announcing it would produce face masks at one of its plants to meet shortages triggered by consumer hoarding of supplies.