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Dow plunges 800 points, enters correction on coronavirus fears

Rising anxiety over the global coronavirus outbreak pushed the stock market into a new zone of fear Thursday.

After falling sharply all week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled as much as 960 points on mounting worries that the virus could spread in the USA as the number of worldwide cases topped 82,000. Thursday’s losses put the blue-chip average on pace to close into a correction – a decline of 10% from a recent high – for the first time since December 2018.

The Dow was recently down 800 points in a day of whipsawed trading. The index swung 778 points from its intraday high to its low.

The sharp declines wiped out the Dow’s gains for the year and trillions of dollars from investors’ portfolios in a matter of days. Heading into Thursday, the average was down 7% this week, on track for its worst weekly percentage performance since the depths of the financial crisis in 2008.

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