Dow futures suggested a brutal opening for the US stock market on Monday, and they were exactly right. The Dow plummeted more than 1,800 points at the open, more than 7%, and the benchmark S&P 500 also fell 7%, per MarketWatch. The steep decline triggered an automatic, 15-minute halt in trading at 9:35am, reports CNBC. When trading resumed, things stabilized, relatively speaking, with the Dow and S&P both down about 6% at 10am (roughly 1,600 points and 175, respectively). This brutal start comes after markets around the world plunged as well amid worsening coronavirus fears and a chaotic oil market.
Monday's selloff was fueled in particular by plunging world oil prices, the result of a breakdown in negotiations between Saudia Arabia and Russia to prop them up amid weakening demand. The result is a "shocking all-out price war," per CNBC. "The fear today is about a global recession," Thomas Hayes of the Great Hill Capital hedge-management fund tells the Wall Street Journal. "If Russia does not come back to the table soon, investors worry the default risk and credit spreads widening will lead to tighter credit and even a recession." (Read more COVID-19 stories.)