The move came as the S&P 500 index, which measures the performance of the 500 largest companies in America, plummeted by seven percent. This triggered a market-wide circuit breaker which caused chaos for traders. After trading resumed, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost more than nine percent.
The Dow sunk to 19,230 – meaning the index has now lost all gains since President Trump took office on January 20, 2017.
Markets have been severely affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
As World Health Organisation officials declared Europe as the virus’ epicentre, European stock markets tumbled.
President Trump previously boasted about stock market gains since his election
In his February State of the Union address, he said: “Since my election, US stock markets have soared 70 percent.”
He also stated the market was ““transcending anything anyone believed was possible.”
But Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin urged traders and businesses not to panic.
In a phone interview, he said: “There will be an end in sight.
“We’re going to make sure that companies have money so they can continue to pay their employees.”
The Government had put into place a series of measures to counteract the economic damage predicted as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
This included a trillion-dollar stimulus package which sought to give the market a well-needed boost.
There was also unprecedented action from the Federal Reserve which issued two emergency rate cuts and a credit measure for households and businesses.
All 50 states in the USA now have confirmed cases of covid-19.
There have thus far been 7,253 confirmed cases of coronavirus across the country so far, but, like other nations the true number is likely to be much higher.
And it is the task of Mike Pence, the vice president, to oversee the country’s response to the outbreak and attempt to curb the spread.