March 9, 2020 / 10:50 PM / a month ago

US STOCKS-Wall Street clobbered as crude plummets, virus crisis deepens

 (Updates with drop in S&P 500 futures)
    * S&P 500 posts its worst day since December 2008
    * Crude prices in biggest drop since 1991 Gulf War
    * Energy shares post largest-ever one-day drop
    * Indexes down: Dow 7.74%, S&P 7.59%, Nasdaq 7.29%

    By Stephen Culp
    NEW YORK, March 9 (Reuters) - Wall Street suffered its
biggest one-day loss since the 2008 financial crisis on Monday
and recession worries loomed large as tumbling oil prices and
ongoing coronavirus fears prompted investor panic on the
anniversary of the U.S. stock market's longest-ever bull run.
    All three major U.S. stock averages plunged sharply at the
opening bell, triggering trading halts put in place in the wake
of 1987's "Black Monday" crash. The Dow plummeted a record 2,000
points out of the starting gate on a day that marked the current
bull market's 11th year. 
    S&P 500 futures declined about 1% after the bell, briefly
extending their loss to just over 20% from their record high on
Feb. 19 and suggesting the bull market may have ended. Investors
generally consider a drop of 20% from a recent high to signify a
bear market, raising the expectations of a drawn out period of
negative sentiment. 
    "There's a lot of fear in the market and if the price of oil
continues to move lower it's an indication that a global
recession is not far away," said Peter Cardillo, chief market
economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York.
    The CBOE Volatility index, a gauge of investor
anxiety, touched its highest level since December 2008.
    Benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yields briefly sank to
0.318%, a record low.
    The sell-off began over the weekend when an oil supply pact
between Saudi Arabia and Russia collapsed and both countries
vowed to hike production amid weakening global demand due to 
the coronavirus and signs of an economic slowdown.
    Oil prices registered their biggest one-day fall since the
1991 Gulf war, with Brent crude futures closing down
23.88% and front-month WTI falling 25.1%. That sent the S&P
Energy index sliding 20.1%, its largest one-day drop on
    Global markets were already on edge as worldwide confirmed
cases of COVID-19 surged past 110,000, causing widespread supply
disruption and large-scale quarantine measures as governments
scramble to contain the outbreak.   
    The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 2,013.76
points, or 7.79%, to 23,851.02, the S&P 500 lost 225.81
points, or 7.60%, to 2,746.56 and the Nasdaq Composite
dropped 624.94 points, or 7.29%, to 7,950.68.
    All 11 major sectors of S&P 500 ended the session deep in
red territory, with energy and interest rate-sensitive financial
 stocks suffering the largest percentage losses.
    Boeing Co was the biggest drag on the Dow, tumbling
13.4% following the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA)
rejection of the planemaker's proposal regarding wiring systems
in place on its grounded 737 MAX aircraft.
    Apple Inc shares fell 7.9% after data showed the
company sold fewer than 500,000 smartphones in China in February
amid the coronavirus crisis.
    Chipmakers registered their largest drop since October 2008,
with the Philadelphia SE Semiconductor index falling
    Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a
17.86-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 19.11-to-1 ratio favored
    The S&P 500 posted one new 52-week high and 229 new lows;
the Nasdaq Composite recorded nine new highs and 1,049 new lows.
    Volume on U.S. exchanges was 17.22 billion shares, compared
with the 11.05 billion average over the last 20 trading days.   

 (Reporting by Stephen Culp, additional reporting by Noel
Randewich in San Francisco, editing by Dan Grebler)
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