Dow enters bear market territory amid coronavirus fears

Stocks plunged on Wall Street Wednesday, with the Dow falling into bear market territory for the first time since the 2008 financial crisis, bringing to an end an extraordinary, 11-year bull market - the longest bull run in Wall Street history for blue chip stocks.

The Dow fell nearly 6% on the day the World Health Organization officially designated the coronavirus a global pandemic.

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq also took massive hits, each dropping almost 5%.

Since hitting a record high last month, the Dow has dropped more than 20%. The S&P and Nasdaq are down 19%.

A bear market is confirmed when an index closes 20% or more below its most recent closing high.

Despite all the selling, Amy Kong of Barrett Asset Management says benchmark S&P has more to fall.


"I think the market is baking in a scenario where earnings growth is probably 0 for the rest of the year and if we start to see data points suggesting its going to be more dire than that. It's very likely we'll see another 5 to 10% run, which probably puts the S&P closer roughly to that 2500 mark."

All 11 major sectors of the S&P fell as investors grappled with a lack of details from the Trump administration regarding its plans for an economic stimulus package.

Market participants Wednesday were further rattled following a Reuters report that the White House had ordered top-level coronavirus meetings to be classified.

Concerns over the fast-spreading virus have ravaged markets and hobbled supply chains as countries around the world grapple with how to contain both the virus and its economic impact.

As part of those efforts, the U.S. Federal Reserve is widely expected to cut interest rates for a second time this month at the conclusion of a two-day monetary policy meeting next week.

Wednesday's biggest loser among the blue chips: Boeing. Shares sank 18% on Wednesday after its chief executive said the company is freezing new hiring and some overtime to preserve cash amid the coronavirus outbreak

The planemaker suffering its biggest ever three-day fall, surpassing the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks.