The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 7.8%, its steepest drop since the financial crisis of 2008, as a free-fall in oil prices and worsening fears of fallout from the spreading coronavirus outbreak seize markets.

The Dow finished down 2,014 points to 23,851.02. The S&P 500 lost 225.81 to end at 2,746.56.

The sharp drops triggered the first automatic halts in trading in two decades.

The price of oil plunged nearly 25% after Saudi Arabia indicated it would ramp up production after Russia refused to production cutbacks in response to falling demand.

Europe fell into a bear market.

U.S. stocks are now down 19% from the peak they reached last month.

Bond yields plumbed new lows as investors sought safety.

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