Markets are plunging
Global stocks are falling and bond yields are sinking worldwide. Markets had been in dire straits due to fears surrounding the spread of the novel coronavirus, but Saudi Arabia's decision Sunday to slash oil prices and start a price war with Russia appears to have caused a massive global stock selloff.
Australia's S&P/ASX 200 dropped 7.3% on Monday, its biggest plunge since October 2008. Markets in Asia are faring only a bit better — Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 3.5% by noon, setting the index up for its biggest decline in more than a year. South Korea's Kospi also fell 4%.
In US markets, the S&P 500 futures plunged by as much as 5% Sunday evening, triggering a limit that prevents futures from trading below that mark. Dow futures fell more than 1,200 points, or about 4.9%, and Nasdaq Composite futures were down 4.8%.
The infection rate in the US continues to rise
There are 565 people in the United States who have contracted the novel coronavirus, according to the state and local health agencies and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Forty-nine of those cases have been repatriated from abroad, according to the CDC — three from Wuhan, the epicenter of the global outbreak, and 46 who were aboard the Diamond Princess, a cruise ship in Japan where hundreds were infected.
Twenty-one cases were identified aboard another cruise ship currently off the California coast, the Grand Princess.
Two legislators, Republican Rep. Paul Gosar and Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, announced Sunday that they are both self-quarantining after coming into contact with an individual at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) who later tested positive for the virus.
Washington state in the Pacific Northwest remains the hardest-hit region. Leaders there are grappling with an outbreak at Life Care Center nursing home in suburban Seattle, where at least 16 people have died, the county health department said.
In total, 22 people have died nationwide.
The outbreak in Europe is worsening
Italy, the hardest-hit country in Europe with more than 7,300 coronavirus patients and 366 fatalities, has locked down much of the country's north to stop the virus from spreading further. Nearly 15 million people have been affected by the travel restrictions.
While the lockdown only applies to northern Italy, other measures will be applied to the entire country. These include the suspension of schools, university classes, theaters and cinemas, as well as bars, nightclubs, and sports events. Religious ceremonies, including funerals, will also be suspended.
In neighboring France, the number of cases has grown to over 1,100, with at least 19 deaths, as fears of a Europe-wide epidemic continue to grow. Germany has reported 847 cases, Spain has reported 647 cases and 17 fatalities and the United Kingdom has reported 273 cases and 3 fatalities.