Stock trading halted again as S&P 500 index drops 7%

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Stock trader Gregory Rowe works at the New York Stock Exchange, Wednesday, March 18, 2020 in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

NEW YORK (AP) — Stock trading was halted for the fourth time this month Wednesday as the S&P 500 dropped 7%.

The automatic circuit-breaker was triggered around 1 p.m. Eastern time as President Donald Trump and other officials were updating reporters on measures to combat the coronavirus.

Markets have been highly volatile in recent weeks as the outbreak seems increasingly likely to cause a global recession.

The price of crude oil dropped another 18% as traders anticipate a sharp pullback in demand for energy.

Even prices for longer-term U.S. Treasurys fell as investors sold what they could to raise cash.

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