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Coronavirus, Oil Crash Are 'One-Two Punch' To Stock Market, Says Warren Buffett

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The coronavirus outbreak and crash in the oil market are a "one-two punch" to the financial markets, billionaire investor Warren Buffett told Yahoo Finance this week — but it's far from the worst he's seen.

Buffett: Coronavirus Crash Less Severe Than 1987, 2008

The Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-A) (NYSE: BRK-B) CEO said the latest dip in financial markets is "not as bad" as 1987 or 2008.

"If you stick around long enough, you'll see everything in markets," Buffett told Yahoo Finance.

"And it may have taken me to 89 years of age to throw this one into the experience, but the markets, if you have to be open second by second, they react to news in a big time way."

Buffett also announced Friday that Berkshire's May 2 annual meeting will be held without an in-person shareholder audience.

The financial markets may have amassed big losses from the coronavirus, but they're not as scary as the 2008 global financial crisis, he said.

"You had 35 million people on Sept. 1 that weren't worried at all about their money-market accounts. On Sept. 15 or 16, they were all panicked," Buffett told Yahoo Finance.

"Everything had come to a stop. And that was much more scary, by far, than anything that happened [on Monday]."

The Coronavirus Impact

The financial markets in the United States have crashed significantly this week as coronavirus threatens economic activity across the country.

A majority of businesses are taking precautions against COVID-19, with companies including Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) (NASDAQ: GOOG) asking all their American employees to work from home if they are able.

The Dow Jones plummeted nearly 10% on Thursday to 21,200.62, the index's worst single-day drop since the financial crash of Oct. 19, 1987.

Public domain photo via Wikimedia. 

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