The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell into a bear market on Wednesday after dropping nearly 6%, as World Health Organization officials declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic. The S&P 500 narrowly missed ending its more than decade-long bull market run.
The bull market that began after the 2008-2009 recession ended as the Dow plunged 1,465 points, or 5.9% to 23,552. A bear market is a drop of at least 20% from its recent high, which was set on Feb. 12.
Its the largest drop for the Dow since the financial crisis.
The S&P 500 and Nasdaq both dropped sharply but recovered from their lows of the session to close above where they would need to be to officially be in bear territory.
The S&P was down 4.6% to 2741 and the Nasdaq Composite lost 4.7%.
"There is still a tremendous amount of uncertainty surrounding the impact from coronavirus, and jittery investors continue to digest the information flow as it becomes available," Charlie Ripley, senior investment strategist for Allianz Investment Management said Wednesday. "The gloomy tone in the market today displays disappointment from investors regarding the delayed fiscal response from the government."
The losses were felt across the market as 29 of the 30 stocks in the Dow lost ground on Wednesday, and all 11 sectors of the S&P fell by at least 3%.
The long bull run began on March 9, 2009 as the United States exited the Great Recession.
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