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Dow Plummets 710 Points as US Experiences Spike in COVID-19 Cases

US stocks took a massive plunge on Wednesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average index falling more than 700 points amid a new uptick in COVID-19 coronavirus cases emerging across several US states.

At closing bell, the Dow was down by 710.16 points, and the S&P 500 slid by 80.96 points. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite fared no better and wound up closing the day’s trading with a 222.20-point dip into red territory.

Elsewhere, European markets underwent similar losses, as investor confidence plunged while new COVID-19 cases were recorded worldwide. In fact, Germany, whose Dax Performance index fell by more than 400 points earlier Wednesday, shuttered some of its districts following a new outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

Although Tuesday’s trading saw US stocks close out with gains, Wednesday’s fall from green territory came as a result of new coronavirus cases popping up in US states such as Arizona, Texas, California and Florida – not to mention new cases turning up abroad.

Chris Rupkey, a chief financial economist with the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, told CNBC that the latest news regarding COVID-19 figures wasn’t exactly “positive,” since stock market insiders had been “betting the worst of the pandemic recession was behind us.”

“All the hopes of investors looking for a better economy to improve the bottom lines of companies shut down in the recession have been dashed,” he told the finance-focused outlet. “Forget about the fears of the virus coming back in the fall, the number of new cases and hospitalizations in states like Arizona, Texas and Florida says the threat is happening right now.”

The Texas Department of State Health Services reported Tuesday that 5,489 new COVID-19 cases had been confirmed that day, and that 4,092 patients had been hospitalized with COVID-19 – an increase of 381 cases that led to hospitalizations when compared to Monday’s figures. 

California’s COVID-19 spike isn’t far off from Texas’ figures. The Golden State’s Department of Public Health reported that it had confirmed 5,019 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday and recorded over 3,800 hospitalizations – 1,225 of which were cases in which patients were placed in an intensive care unit.

State officials have promised to impose stricter measures in an effort to lessen the amount of new cases; however, investors fear that the new spikes mean that some officials may soon reimpose statewide shutdowns.

In a note seen by CNBC, Gregory Faranello, of financial brokerage company AmeriVet Securities, warned, “We have entered a new phase of this crisis.”