Stock tumble gives brutal reminder of pandemic fear

By Saqib Iqbal Ahmed and Noel Randewich (Reuters) - A stock market that shook off the coronavirus pandemic, economic devastation and sky-high equity valuations was reminded of all three on Thursday, as Wall Street took its biggest dive in three months. The S&P 500 slumped 5.9% in its steepest one-session loss since March 16, following renewed fears of a coronavirus resurgence as U.S. states gradually reopen their economies after a nearly countrywide shutdown. Investors also bought stocks on expectations that, following trillions of dollars of economic stimulus, the government and Federal Reserve would step in again to protect the economy if necessary. Still, following Wall Street's recent climb, the S&P 500 is trading at 22 times expected earnings, its most expensive level since the dot-com boom. (GRAPHIC: S&P 500's PE revisits dot-com highs - Increased savings, stimulus checks from the government, and ultra-low interest rates have led to a flood of money into the markets from first-time traders, leading to chaotic trades via mobile phone apps.