U.S. stocks went into freefall Thursday amid growing fear of the impacts of the new coronavirus on the global economy and daily life, with the Dow skidding almost 10 percent in its largest drop since the Black Monday stock market crash in 1987.
The 30-issue Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 2,352.60 points, or 9.99 percent, to end at 21,200.62. The tech-laden Nasdaq Composite Index shed 750.25 points, or 9.43 percent, to 7,201.80.
Stocks were battered at the outset and trading was soon suspended for the second time this week following a 7 percent plunge in the S&P 500 index.
The so-called circuit breaker mechanism, designed to prevent panic selling, halted trading for 15 minutes. It was also triggered Monday by sharp selling amid fears of the ongoing pandemic.
But the market went even lower as investors dumped their shares in apparent disappointment over the countermeasures against the virus unveiled the previous day by U.S. President Donald Trump.
European stock markets also tumbled, with key indexes falling by 10.9 percent to 16.6 percent.