March 18 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 index fell on Wednesday when trading resumed after an initial automatic 15-minute cutout, as investors priced in a complete breakdown in business activity and consumer spending from the coronavirus pandemic.
With airports and hotels emptying and airlines asking staff to take unpaid leave to stem losses, the S&P 1500 airlines index sank 27.6%, while shares in Hilton, Marriott and Hyatt hotels fell by 25.5% to 36.5%.
President Trump’s request for Congress to approve $500 billion in cash payments to taxpayers along with $50 billion in loans for airlines did little to stem the bleeding.
At 1:11 p.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 1,713.37 points, or 8.07%, at 19,524.01, the S&P 500 was down 180.39 points, or 7.13%, at 2,348.80 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 474.67 points, or 6.47%, at 6,860.11.
If the S&P 500 falls 13%, it will trigger a level-2 circuit breaker and halt trading again for 15 minutes. (Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)