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US stocks continue downward spiral as coronavirus fears shock markets in WORST WEEK since 2008 meltdown

US stocks continue downward spiral as coronavirus fears shock markets in WORST WEEK since 2008 meltdown
All three major US stock market indices continued their free-fall amid growing panic over the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, each seeing their worst week since the global financial crisis in 2008.

The Dow Jones Industrial average dropped more than 350 points after trading closed on Friday, falling by over 1.3 percent and capping off a week of dramatic decline which saw it plummet more than 3,500 points.

Meanwhile, the S&P 500 shed nearly 25 points, adding to a precipitous drop of some 300 points throughout the week for a loss of 11.5 percent. While the Nasdaq ended Friday up by less than a point, the index has fallen by 10.5 percent this week.

Though Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell reiterated that US economic fundamentals “remain strong” despite the rapid drop in stocks, he said the Fed would closely monitor developments and would “use our tools and act as appropriate to support the economy.”

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President Donald Trump, a frequent critic of the Fed, demanded earlier this week that the central bank push down interest rates further to stimulate growth, but acknowledged the COVID-19 outbreak would likely prevent the US economy from hitting his three-percent growth target set for this year.

With markets taking a beating all week, netizens have launched a #StockMarketCrash2020 hashtag to mark the occasion – some pouncing on the numbers and taking an opportunity to bash the Trump administration, blaming him for single-handedly triggering the collapse.

Supporters of the president also soon weighed in, insisting Trump’s policies have only bolstered the economy and that markets would quickly bounce back after the virus panic wanes.

Since the outbreak began in China last December, the coronavirus has spread to more than 84,000 people worldwide, killing just shy of 2,900.

With new flare-ups in South Korea, Iran and Italy in recent days, fear of the virus has tanked markets well beyond the US, with stocks taking major hits across Asia and Europe as well.

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