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Stock market plunge escalates, S&P 500 enters bear

The bad news just got worse on Wall Street Thursday.

Propelled by fears of the coronavirus, stock losses steepened. The Standard & Poor’s 500 entered a bear market for the first time since the financial crisis and the Dow endured its biggest one-day percentage drop since the 1987 crash.

Adding to the sense of anxiety was the Fed, which only briefly slowed the market’s slide when it injected trillions of dollars into the financial system.

The S&P 500 dropped 9.5% to close at 2,480.64, the day after President Donald Trump banned travel from Europe to stem the economic fallout from the virus. A series of distressing headlines followed late Wednesday and Thursday. The NBA and NHL suspended their seasons. The MLB delayed opening day. New York state, meanwhile, will ban events of 500 people or more and impose restrictions on other gathering venues.

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

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