In one day's worth of trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 7.8 percent, its steepest drop since the financial crisis of 2008. The drop triggered the first automatic halts in trading in two decades.
The 2,000-point plummet cost five of the wealthiest people in the world $23.7 billion collectively, with Jeff Bezos, who currently holds the title of the richest man alive, taking one of the biggest hits, according to Forbes, which tracks the daily ups and downs of the world's richest people.
Bezos' worth took a $5.6 billion nosedive Monday as shares of the shopping giant dipped around 4.7 percent, according to estimates. His worth now hovers just above $111 billion.
Likewise, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, once the richest man in the world before being dethroned by Bezos, saw his fortune decline $3.8 billion, pushing his net worth down to about $104.4 billion. Gates holds the title of the second richest person alive.
CEO of French luxury conglomerate LVMH, Bernard Arnault, currently named the third wealthiest in the world, had an estimated $6 billion loss, dragging his fortune down to around $92.6 billion. Meanwhile, Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett saw a $5.4 billion dip bringing his fortune to about $76.2.
Fifth on the list, Amancio Ortega, founder and former chairman of Inditex fashion group, known for fashion chain Zara, also saw his fortune dip $2.9 billion. His worth now hovers around 67.4 billion.
|LVMUY||LVMH MOËT HENNESSY LOUIS VUITTON SE||154.77||+0.45||+0.29%|
|IDEXY||INDUSTRIA DE DISEÑO TEXTIL SA||18.7||-0.11||-0.60%|
Another major player in the tech industry, Mark Zuckerberg, also felt the impact. When Facebook's stock fell roughly 6.26 percent during Monday's trading, his net worth took a $4.2 billion nose dive. His estimated worth currently hovers around $62.8 billion.
Comparatively, Elon Musk, who sits at the helm of Tesla and SpaceX, weathered a $3.4 billion loss when shares of Tesla dipped 9.18 percent.
The mounting losses and a flight by investors into the safe haven of bonds have fueled warnings the global economy, which already was showing signs of cooling, might be headed into a recession.
However, President Trump said he would ask Congress for a tax cut and other measures to ease the pain of the spreading coronavirus outbreak. But Trump's comment that he will seek relief for workers as ripple effects of the outbreak spread gave some investors an excuse to resume buying.
Worldwide, there are at least 113,672 individual confirmed cases of the virus and at least 4,012 people have died, most deaths occurring in China.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.