U.S. Stock Markets Sink Over Coronavirus Fears, Trading Halted as Dow Drops 7%

Several media companies see their share price take a big hit on Monday

U.S. stock markets sank over coronavirus fears Monday morning, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average sinking 7% and the S&P 500 down 6.6% an hour into trading.

Trading on Wall Street was halted for 15 minutes after they fell more than the daily limit of 5%, triggering circuit breakers. Once trading reopened, the market continued to slide a bit more, but then bounced up about 90 minutes into the trading day, with the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq all down between 5 and 5.6%.

Experts attribute this plunge to fears over the spread of the coronavirus, as similar falls have taken place in Europe markets as the virus has spread; Australia and Chinese markets have also been hit hard. Compounding matters, a price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia over oil prices sent the oil market crashing down more than 30% — marking the largest single-day drop since 1991.

Several tech and media stalwarts were unable to avoid being hit by the market plunge on Monday. Disney shares were down nearly 5%, AT&T shares fell about 4%, Netflix’s stock dropped about 4.5%, and Facebook’s shares dropped 5.5%. AMC Entertainment was hit especially hard, with shares falling 12% to about $4 per share early Monday, as concerns grow the global box office will be dented by coronavirus. Shares of Imax also dropped about 5% on Monday morning.

Worldwide, more than 100,000 coronavirus cases have been confirmed; about 3,800 people have died as a result of the outbreak. In the U.S., there have been 22 deaths as of early Monday morning, according to The New York Times.