The stock market cratered again on Friday, marking the seventh day of a massive sell-off sparked by rising fears about the coronavirus epidemic.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged by another 1,000 points Friday morning, on the heels of Thursday’s historic decline of 1,190, the biggest drop ever for the blue-chip index.
The S&P 500 was down by 3.7 percent in early-morning trading on Friday, and the Nasdaq saw losses averaging 3.5 percent.
The meltdown comes as traders appear to lose any hope that the spread of the highly infectious disease has been staunched, with the number of cases continuing to spiral globally.
A dozen countries have reported their first virus cases over the past 24 hours, including Nigeria, the biggest economy in Africa.
The epidemic has wiped $6 trillion off global stocks in just six days, with multinational companies abandoning or downgrading their forecasts for 2020 due to near-paralysis in their supply chains, production lines and cargo shipping.
Talk has turned to whether or not the Federal Reserve will implement a rate cut at its meeting on March 17-18 in order to steer the U.S. economy through the epidemic.
The economy is currently in a “good position,” said St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard in a statement on Friday, noting that current central bank policy has “cushioned the economy against adverse shocks.”
“Further policy rate cuts are a possibility if a global pandemic actually develops with health effects approaching the scale of ordinary influenza, but this is not the baseline case at this time,” he said.
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All three major averages have fallen into correction this week, down around 13 percent. The Dow has lost a total of 4,000 points, marking the worst performance for Wall Street since the financial crisis.