The outbreak of COVID-19 has greatly impacted the U.S. economy, bringing with it investor uncertainty.
Stocks closed in the red with the Dow down 3.1 percent, Nasdaq down point 3 percent and S&P 500 down 3 percent.
While some experts are still hopeful for a bounce back before second quarter trading, some say this could mark the early days of recession.
In a matter of weeks, many financial experts say the debate on recession has shifted from "if" to "how long it will last."
"We are going into a recession," said Eugene Graner, with Heartland Investor Services.
Recession is defined by two economic quarters of slowing Gross Domestic Product, rising unemployment and slowing manufacturing.
"The unknown part is how long, if we do go into recession, is it going to last and nobody really knows that answer because we're still dealing with how to get this virus under control," said Securian Financial Advisor David Wald.
Experts agree the unknown is contributing to a volatile market, with many investors trading on emotion. This, despite government efforts to quell the economic slowdown.
"Concerns are, going into depression with 30% unemployment. Because depression is marked by multiple years of slowed activity. That might not be the case with the actions of the Federal Reserve and the Treasury," said Graner.
With the threat of the worst of the virus still to come, Wald and Graner say the government's efforts will hopefully encourage economic stimulus and pull the U.S. out of a possible recession quickly.
Experts anticipate the economic decline in March will bring down the first quarter average below last year's fourth quarter.
Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and JPMorgan report an expected drop in second quarter GDP by percents in the double digits.