Notable Stock Market Halts and Closures Throughout History

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Throughout history, the market has halted or closed only a handful of times...here’s a tour through some of the most notable moments:

April 15, 1865

The NYSE shuts down after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. The president’s death leads to a weeklong break from trading.

September 20, 1873

A Philadelphia banking firm, one of the largest underwriters of treasuries, goes under, causing widespread panic. The exchange closes for 10 days as a result of the situation.

July 31, 1914

World War I breaks out and the NYSE halts for 4 months.

October 17, 1997

Circuit breakers shut down the NYSE after the Dow falls 550 points.

September 11, 2001

The morning of the 9/11 attacks, the NYSE and Nasdaq don't open, and the markets remain closed until September 17 over fears that the attacks would lead to massive sell-offs.

December 1, 2008

The NYSE halts due to sell-offs amidst the turmoil of the 2008 housing crisis and recession.

July 8, 2015

Due to a technical glitch, the NYSE goes down for a few hours.

March 9, 2020

The S&P 500 falls more than 7 percent over intensified fears of the coronavirus and its impact on the entire U.S. economy, triggering circuit breakers that temporarily halt all trading.

March 12, 2020

Trading halts again over coronavirus concerns and news that the World Health Organization (WHO) is calling the virus a pandemic.

March 16, 2020

The Dow slides more than 8.1 percent before trading halts for 15 minutes over coronavirus fears.

March 18, 2020

Trading halts at the NYSE for the fourth time in two weeks.

It’s unclear where the markets are headed next due to the coronavirus.

March 16, 2020

The Dow slides more than 8.1 percent before trading halts for 15 minutes over coronavirus fears.

March 18, 2020

Trading halts on the NYSE with the S&P 500 down 7%.

March 23, 2020

The New York Stock Exchange has announced it will shift to all-electronic trading starting Monday, March 23 in response to the coronavirus outbreak. 

Asked about how important that element of human touch is, Jim Cramer said on March 19: "I guess, obviously, it isn't. If they have the capacity to be all machine, then when this is over, I imagine they could easily say, 'Listen, it worked,'" said Cramer. "I think that people are realizing that they can come to the office far less."

It’s unclear where the markets are headed next due to the coronavirus.

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