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Stock market plunge escalates, S&P 500 enters bear

The stock market rout intensified on Thursday, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 tumbling into a bear market for the first time since the financial crisis as the coronavirus’s threat to the economy escalated.

The S&P 500 dropped more than 7% in early afternoon trade, the day after President Donald Trump banned travel from Europe to stem the economic fallout from the virus. A series of distressing headlines followed, including suspension of the NBA and NHL seasons. 

The U.S. death toll was at 39 Thursday afternoon; there are more than 1,323 confirmed cases. 

The Dow Jones industrial average, which fell into bear market territory Wednesday, was down nearly 2,000 points, or 8%.

Amid the market chaos, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York announced plans to inject $1.5 trillion into short-term funding markets in a move widely viewed as an attempt to help boost investor confidence.

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