Stocks resume trading after halt as recession fears grow

A dizzying drop on Wall Street Wednesday erased all of the Dow's gains made since President Trump's inauguration.

The selling pace was so intense - circuit breakers were triggered for the fourth time in eight sessions.

The temporary halt in trading comes when the S&P 500 falls at least 7 percent in daily trading action.

A White House plan for massive stimulus failed to calm investor anxiety.

The selling exacerbated after investors learned Detroit's Big Three will shut down all U.S. factories because of the coronavirus threat until March 30th.

Automakers have been under pressure by the United Auto Workers to close factories to prevent the virus from spreading to roughly 150,000 employees.

General Motors tumbled to its lowest level since new shares started trading after emerging from bankruptcy due to the financial crisis. Ford shares hit an 11-year low. Shares of Fiat Chrysler were slammed as well.

Investors are fleeing stocks in fear that with every passing moment Washington will not be able to do enough to offset the lost economic activity caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Boeing was of particular concern. The planemaker called for a $60 billion government lifeline.

Boeing is facing a cash crunch as traditional sources of lending dry up and so it is asking the government for loan guarantees and other assistance.

It is unclear how much of the requested aid would go to Boeing and how much would go for suppliers - also hard-hit by the steep drop-off in air travel.

Boeing was the biggest drag on the Dow Wednesday - falling 22 percent - dropping to a 7-year low.

The stock is down 70% year-to-date.

The slowdown in economic activity is also wreaking havoc in the oil market.

With the projected loss of demand from shuttered businesses - crude oil prices tumbled below $22 a barrel. Oil hasn't been that low in 18 years.