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Dow futures plunge 300 points, putting it on the brink of a correction

Stock futures tumbled Thursday as fears mount that the deadly coronavirus could be spreading to the U.S. as the number of worldwide cases top 81,000.

Dow futures dropped 300 points while Standard & Poor’s 500 futures slumped 1%.

Heading into Thursday, both averages were teetering on the brink of a correction, generally defined as a decline of 10% from a recent high. The Dow Jones industrial average is off 8.8% from its Feb. 12 record while the S&P 500 index was just under 8% off its all-time high reached Feb. 19. 

President Donald Trump announced late Thursday the U.S. was stepping up its efforts to combat the virus outbreak. Shortly after Trump spoke, the government announced that another person in the U.S. was infected — someone in California who appears not to have the usual risk factors of having traveled abroad or being exposed to another patient.

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