Dow, S&P 500 would enter bear market with a close below these levels

S&P 500 would score fastest fall from record to bear territory in history if it closes below 2,708.92.

  • By William Watts,
  • MarketWatch
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Major U.S. stock indexes were under renewed pressure Wednesday, taking back most of a Tuesday bounce and moving closer to the thresholds that would mark the start of a bear market.

Stocks suffered their largest one-day plunge since 2008 on Monday, coinciding with the 11th anniversary of the start of the longest bull market in history. A bear market is widely defined as a drop of 20% from a recent peak. Stocks had dropped into correction mode — defined as a pullback of 10% — late last month as fears over the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak began to rise.

Key indexes would need to close at or below these levels to enter bear territory, according to Dow Jones Market Data:

  • S&P 500 (.SPX), — 2,708.92
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI), — 23,641.14
  • Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC), — 7,853.74

The Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq were all down 3% or more in midmorning trade on Wednesday. Tuesday’s bounce had left the Dow down 15.3% from its all-time closing high, while the S&P 500 ended 14.9% below its record. The Nasdaq Composite finished 15% below its record close. All three indexes had traded at record highs just last month, with the S&P 500 notching a record close on Feb. 19.

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