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  • Falling crude oil prices weigh heavily on energy shares.
  • CBOE Volatility Index is up 16% on Thursday.
  • Nasdaq Composite is losing more than 200 points.

Wall Street’s main indexes failed to build on Wednesday’s recovery gains and opened deep in the negative territory on Thursday pressured by the intense flight-to-safety. As of writing, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 2.23% on the day, the S&P 500 was erasing 2.55% and the Nasdaq Composite was losing 270 points, or 3%.

Risk aversion takes a toll on stocks

Heightened fears over the coronavirus epidemic causing a global recession continue to ramp up the demand for safe-haven assets. Reflecting the dismal market mood, the 10-year US Treasury bond yield is at fresh record lows, losing more than 6%, and the CBOE Volatility Index is 16.6%.

Among the 11 major S&P 500 sectors, the S&P 500 Energy Index is down 4% pressured by a 5% slump in crude oil prices. Moreover, the risk-sensitive Technology Index is erasing 3%, and the rate-sensitive Financials Index is down 2.3%.