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Stock trading temporarily halted as plunge triggers 'circuit breaker'

Stock trading was halted Monday after the S&P 500 index fell 7 percent after the market opened, triggering an automatic freeze.

Trading was paused for 15 minutes after the S&P slipped below a “circuit breaker” level designed to prevent broader stock market crash in times of high volatility.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted by 1,884 points as trading opened, a 7.29 percent drop, and the Nasdaq composite sank 7.1 percent.

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Trading resumed before 10 a.m. ET.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpPennsylvania Supreme Court strikes down GOP bid to stop election certification Biden looks to career officials to restore trust, morale in government agencies Sunday shows preview: US health officials brace for post-holiday COVID-19 surge MORE later downplayed the market decline, saying in a tweet: “Good for the consumer, gasoline prices coming down!"

"Saudi Arabia and Russia are arguing over the price and flow of oil. That, and the Fake News, is the reason for the market drop!” he said in a separate tweet.

Updated at 12:21 p.m.