- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 12, 2020

Trading was halted on Wall Street Thursday for the second time this week as the steep sell-off continued over concerns about the coronavirus outbreak.

The stock exchange’s “circuit breaker” automatically halted trading for 15 minutes after markets fell more than 7%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1,696 points, or about 7.2%, after the opening bell.

The losses continued after trading resumed, with the Dow’s plunge extending to more than 1,900 points before noon. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq also were down about 7% in early trading.

President Trump urged calm.

“The markets are going to be just fine, just fine,” he told reporters at the White House during a meeting with the prime minister of Ireland.

The president canceled a trip to Nevada and Colorado that was to begin Thursday, and his campaign has postponed a “Catholics for Trump” rally that was slated for next week in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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“We need some separation until such time as this goes away. It’s going to go away,” the president said.

Mr. Trump had hoped to calm markets by announcing a 30-day ban on most travelers from Europe on Wednesday night to slow the spread of the virus in the U.S. The president also pledged aid to businesses and workers. hurt by the outbreak.

The Dow has now lost about one-quarter of its value since reaching a high of 29,551 points on Feb. 12.

• Dave Boyer can be reached at dboyer@washingtontimes.com.

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