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Here’s how far the S&P has to fall Monday for the dreaded circuit breaker to kick in

March 16, 2020, 12:27 PM UTC

Despite the Federal Reserve dropping interest rates to near zero Sunday, stocks are poised for another brutal fall Monday morning. Circuit breakers, once exceedingly rare, are likely to kick in for the third time in a week as investors continue to panic about the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Dow futures were limit down by early Sunday evening, halting pre-trading at a 5% drop. So now, all eyes turn to the S&P 500. Here’s how far the index will need to drop for circuit breakers to be instituted:

Level I

A 7% drop Monday would be -198.77 points, taking the S&P to 2,521.25. That would result in a 15-minute halt to trading. If last week is any judge, the time-out would come within minutes of the opening bell.

Level II

The 13% threshold is hit if the S&P 500 drops -352.43 points to 2,358.59. That, too, would result in a 15-minute pause if it’s before 3:25 p.m. ET. (If it’s later, trading will continue until market close at 4:00 p.m. ET.)

Level III

Should the S&P fall -542.20 points (to 2,168.82), that would constitute a 20% drop and would result in the immediate cessation of trading for the day, regardless of the time.

The expected drop comes after Friday’s monster rally that saw stocks climb 9%.

Donald Trump, on Friday, declared the pandemic a national emergency. And over the weekend, things got worse, with the White House extending the travel ban to the U.K. and Ireland, Georgia postponing its presidential primaries and many states closing schools for several weeks.

Global markets were sharply lower Monday morning as well.

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