Stock markets closed Tuesday after suffering their worst months since the 2008 financial crisis, per The Wall Street Journal. The S&P 500, which tracks the performance of the world’s 500 most valuable companies, fell 20 percent since the beginning of the year, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average, a similar metric for 30 large companies, was down 23 percent. The coronavirus outbreak that has confined hundreds of millions to their homes has all but stalled the world economy, with oil and gas companies particularly hard hit due to a pricing war between Saudi Arabia and Russia. The decline was the worst since the 2008 collapse of the housing market that triggered a global recession, and regulators stopped trading more than once this year to prevent an outright crash. A $2 trillion stimulus package passed in the final week of March appeared to slow the pace of the losses.
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