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Dow nearly wipes out Trump gains despite promises for coronavirus aid

U.S. stocks collapsed Wednesday, with the Dow Jones industrial average nearly erasing all of its gains since President Donald Trump took office as coronavirus anxiety gripped financial markets.

The Dow tumbled more than 1,300 points to close at 19,898.92, marking the first time the blue-chip average has closed below 20,000 since Feb. 2, 2017.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 sank 5.2% to finish at 2,398.10. Wednesday’s losses briefly triggered an automatic shock absorber for 15 minutes in afternoon trading, the fourth time in eight trading sessions that circuit breakers were set off. 

Both averages have nearly erased all of their gains since President Donald Trump’s inauguration. The Dow is up less than 1% since then. The broader S&P 500 index had soared roughly 50% in that span when it hit records in mid-February and is now up just 6%. 

Global markets have seen a wave of unprecedented volatility in recent weeks as investors grapple with border closures that have caused transportation chaos and imperiled economies. The border between Canada and the U.S. will close for non-essential travel, Trump confirmed Wednesday. 

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