The crisis has so far knocked $7.4 trillion off the value of S&P 500 companies and without any clarity on how long it will take to quell the outbreak, Wall Street's main indicators of future volatility remain at high levels. The Dow notched losses and gains of 1,000 points to as many as 3,000 points in a day in reaction to the coronavirus pandemic and its economic toll.
Some of Monday's sharpest action was in the oil market, where benchmark USA crude fell 6.6% to $20.09 a barrel after touching its lowest price since 2002.
But benchmark US crude oil dropped by roughly two thirds this quarter on expectations that a weakened economy will need less fuel.
At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 1.9 per cent at 21,914.37, more than 400 points.
The hope is that massive aid coming from the Federal Reserve and Capitol Hill can help prop up the economy in the meantime. He noted that stocks have rallied from their lows last week but are still well below their record highs.
"We're kind of on this little milestone journey with markets", said Brent Schutte, chief investment strategist at Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co.
On Tuesday afternoon, the Dow was down 250 points, or 1%.
"Granted, this bear is like no other", he said.
However, many on Wall Street are calling for even more selling before the market can hit a bottom.
Still, the 17.4% surge for stocks since last Monday has the first green shoots of optimism appearing.
Most investors say they expect markets to remain extremely volatile until the virus slows its spread.
'The shape of the inevitable economic recovery is unknown and will be for weeks or months'.
U.S. Treasury prices ended mostly higher, pushing the two-year yield down 2 bps to 0.21% and the 10-year yield 8 bps lower at 0.67%.
Among the next milestones for investors is Friday's jobs report, which is expected to show a sharp drop in payrolls.
The number of known coronavirus cases keeps rising, and the worldwide tally has topped 800,000, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The United States now has more cases of coronavirus than any other country in the world, with more 136,000 cases confirmed on Sunday.
Most people who contract COVID-19 have mild or moderate symptoms, which can include fever and cough.