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UPDATED:Tech Stocks Walloped Fitbit Survives The Carnage

Tech stocks have been walloped after shares around the world had their worst day since the financial crisis at one stage Wall Street came to a standstill as trading was suspended.

Brands such as Lenovo saw their share value fall 7.27% while Hewlett Packard went into double digit territory with a fall of 11.40%, Garmin was down 7.27%, Apple 7.91%, Arlo 11.39%, while Fitbit stood its ground falling just 0.48%.

The Nasdaq closed at 8,738 and the main financial indexes in the US closed down by more than 7%, while London’s index of top shares ended the day nearly 8% lower, the ASX closed down 7.2% with billions wiped off the Australian market.

Shares were already reeling from fears of the impact of coronavirus before an oil war broke out between Russia, Saudi Arabia and the USA.

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Earlier today the ASX hit a 13 month low, then rose sharply after a sharp reversal following a press conference that saw the US President Donald Trump say a stimulus package would be announced tomorrow (US time), and said the measures would include payroll tax relief.

The benchmark ASX 200 index is now 0.4 per cent lower, with energy and IT sectors higher and real estate lagging.

Several listed Companies are now facing equity issues, Westfield shopping centre owner Scentre Group is just one of many retail stocks that will be forced to raise equity, as panic selling continued on the market Tuesday morning in Australia.

As retail tenants fight for survival, valuations of its malls have fallen, leaving Scentre’s balance sheet in need of replenishment, according to some market analysts, who say its debt to equity ratio has narrowed.

Scentre Group, which owns Australian Westfield centres, said its net debt was $12.9bn.

Its market value is now $15.87bn with its share price falling to $2.96 today.

The Australian newspaper reported that Seven West Media shares have sunk to another all time low of 11 cents amid a struggling media environment and further speculation the Olympics will cancelled because of the coronavirus.

Seven has debts of around $550m, more than three times its current market cap.

The Australian reported last week that Seven was making contingency plans for the cancellation of the games, but it was still not clear whether insurance would cover advertising deal worth an estimated $90m – $100m.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank by 7.8% or more than 2,000 points – the biggest points-drop in history and the largest decline in percentage terms since the financial crisis. The S&P 500 fell 7.6%, while the Nasdaq dropped about 7.3%

“There is panic setting into the market right now,” said Andrew Lo, professor of finance at MIT’s Sloan School of Management. “Things are going to get worse before they get better.”

Some analysts claim there has been a massive over reaction to the Coronavirus with more deaths attributed to The Flu.

US President Trump Tweeted, “So last year 37,000 Americans died from the common Flu. It averages between 27,000 and 70,000 per year. Nothing is shut down; life & the economy go on. At this moment there are 546 confirmed cases of Coronavirus, with 22 deaths. Think about that!” the president tweeted, appearing to attempt to calm fears as the global markets plummeted.

On Monday, the price of international oil benchmark Brent fell almost a third in its biggest drop since the Gulf War in 1991 before recovering slightly to trade 20% lower.

The price of oil had already fallen sharply this year as the coronavirus began to spread internationally, with demand for fuel expected to decline.

Overnight trading was halted on the major US stock exchanges after the S&P 500 fell to 7% triggering what are one of the so-called circuit breakers to stop an absolute market rout.

Within seconds of opening stocks fell sharply lower, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 872.42 (or 3.37%) to 24,9992.36, the S&P 500 slipping 193.41 (6.51%) to 2,778.96, and the Nasdaq off 90.16 or 6.96% at 1,205.58 to start the day.

By the time the S&P fell by 7%, trading was halted for 15 minutes. The S&P decline is one of three “circuit breakers” markets pull when things look really dire. The next circuit breaker is triggered should stocks slide by 13% and a final breaker is flipped if things drop to 20%. Within thirty minutes of the opening bells, the Dow fell by 6% or 1,571.87.

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