Trading Halted on Wall Street for Second Time This Week


Trading on Wall Street was halted for the second time this week after the S&P 500 tripped a circuit breaker by losing seven percent minutes after the opening bell.

Stocks plummeted Thursday following President Donald Trump's announcement of new travel restrictions for people flying from Europe, scheduled to begin Friday at midnight. The New York Stock Exchange paused trading for 15 minutes after the S&P 500 fell 7% at the opening bell.

The Dow dropped more than 1,700 points at the opening bell, or 7.4%. The S&P 500 didn't fair any better, as it opened down 6%. The Nasdaq composite also dropped 6.9%.

The NYSE has three 'circuit breakers' in place, where trading is halted if the index sees a drop of 7% and again if it loses 13%. If the index falls below 20%, trading is suspended for the remainder of the day. Circuit breakers were installed to avoid a repeat of 'Black Monday' when the Dow lost 22.6% in a single day.

It was the second time this week that the NYSE has paused trading as investors weigh the impact of the rapidly spreading novel coronavirus known as COVID-19. Markets also had to absorb the news about new travel restrictions being implemented by the Trump administration between the U.S. and Europe. In an address from the Oval Office, Trump said he would be "suspending all travel from Europe to the U.S. for the next 30 days" as part of his administration's efforts to limit the spread of the virus.

This week marks the worst for the markets since the 2008 financial crisis. Trading was previously suspended on Monday after an oil price war broke out between OPEC member Saudi Arabia and Russia. Both countries promised to up the production of oil in their countries, which caused the price of oil to plummet with the largest drop since the 1991 Gulf War.

In a clarification following his address from the White House, Trump said that the travel restrictions would only apply to people, not cargo.

"The restriction stops people not goods," Trump tweeted after his speech.

On Wednesday, the Dow closed in a bear market, marking the end of an 11-year bull run for the index.

The market was offered some relief on Thursday after the New York Federal Reserve announced it would inject $500 billion of liquidity with a three-month repo operation. The NY Fed said the capital injections were being made because of the "highly unusual disruptions in Treasury financing markets associated with the coronavirus outbreak."

Photo: Getty Images


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