Just a month ago, the Dow looked destined to break through the 30,000 level for the first time ever.
Investors were confident (overly so, in retrospect) that the coronavirus outbreak in China would have just a fleeting impact on the American economy. Reflecting that optimism, the Dow hit a record closing high of 29,551.42 on February 12.
The world has completely changed since then. The coronavirus outbreak is now a pandemic. And it's shut down large parts of the world economy, including in the United States. Investors are bracing for a recession, perhaps a severe one.
Now, the Dow is struggling just to hold the 19,000 level. It plunged to as low as 19,056 on Wednesday following another 15-minute trading halt. That means the Dow has lost more than 10,400 points, or 35%, from its record high.
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