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Dow plunges almost 7% amid concerns of second COVID-19 wave

iStock/lucadp(NEW YORK) -- As states across the country are working on reopening, COVID-19 cases are back on the rise -- which is rattling the volatile stock market once more.

COVID-19 cases are up in about 20 states, with hospitalizations on the rise in at least eight.  The new trend has health officials concerned that the long-predicted second wave, which was originally anticipated this fall, is now underway.

Dr. Lawrence Kleinman, MD MPH of Rutgers University, offered, "I think people mistake the idea of society reopening with the idea that society is safer, but things are no safer today than they were weeks ago when we were in full lockdown."

In addition to rising coronavirus cases, an additional 1.542 million Americans applied for unemployment in the week ending May 30, according to numbers released this morning by the Department of Labor. More than 40 million Americans have lost their jobs since the start of the pandemic, a level that hasn't been seen since the Great Depression.

Federal Reserve officials on Wednesday said they expect total unemployment to be around 9.3% by year’s end, with the U.S. economy shrinking by some 6%.

Due to this news, paired with the recent unemployment reports, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gave up more than 6.9 percent on Thursday, roughly 1,860 points due to investor concerns that a second wave of COVID-19 could cause another round of shutdowns.   Both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq saw significant losses on Thursday, with the S&P tumbling by 5.9 percent and the Nasdaq shedding 5.3 percent.

This is now the worst day seen in the stock market since March 16. 

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