Stocks plunged around the world, oil tumbled and the stress in U.S. credit markets deepened after the World Health Organization called the virus spread a pandemic and the Trump administration remained unable to detail any stimulus measures to combat the economic fallout.
The latest bout of virus-fomented turmoil tipped Dow Jones Industrial Average into a bear market, ending the longest bull run in the history of American equities. The blue-chip slumped 5.9 per cent Wednesday and ended 20 per cent below its February closing record. The S&P 500 dipped into bear territory before closing 19 per cent below its high.
Canada’s stock market has gone from a bull market to bear in just 14 trading days, wiping out $454.2 billion (US$330.6 billion) in value on the escalating spread of the coronavirus and plunging oil prices.
The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index slumped 20 per cent from its Feb. 20 closing peak,