Stock market halts trading for the second time this week after Dow sinks by more than 1,600 points
A worried stock market trader. (Shutterstock.com)

Stock markets halted trading on Thursday morning within minutes of the opening bell as the Dow Jones Industrial Average crashed by more than 1,600 points, thus triggering circuit breakers that will stop all market activity for 15 minutes.


The halt in trading marks the second time this week that markets have stopped trading amid fears of both the coronavirus pandemic and the crash in oil prices that came after Saudi Arabia and Russia engaged in a price war. Circuit breakers go into effect whenever the market drops below 7 percent of its opening value.

Stock market futures on Wednesday night tumbled after President Donald Trump gave a widely panned speech in which he made little mention of coronavirus testing capacity but instead talked up a new travel ban on European countries.

The stock market on Wednesday had already officially entered into a “bear market,” which means that stocks had lost more than 20 percent from their peak value. That value declined further on Thursday morning, leaving the Dow at under 22,000 points at the time trading stopped.