Coronavirus: stocks tumble as Trump warns of ‘very, very painful two weeks’

North American stock indexes tumbled at the open on Wednesday, as investors fled to safe-haven assets after U.S. President Donald Trump warned of a “very, very painful two weeks” in reference to the U.S. death toll from the coronavirus.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 689.78 points, or 3.15 per cent, at the open to 21,227.38.

The S&P 500 opened lower by 86.51 points, or 3.35 per cent, at 2,498.08, while the Nasdaq Composite dropped 240.60 points, or 3.12 per cent, to 7,459.50 at the opening bell.

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In Toronto, the S&P/TSX composite index was down 352.39 points to 13,026.00 at 9:50 a.m. ET.

The Canadian dollar was trading at 70.55 cents US compared to an average of 70.49 cents US on Tuesday.

— With files from the Canadian Press

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