Dow drops over 800 points as coronavirus prompts CDC warning

U.S. equities remained under pressure Tuesday, a day after suffering their steepest declines in two years.

All three of the major averages opened with modest gains but quickly rolled over into negative territory extending the previous day’s losses that were brought on by the spreading of the coronavirus outside of China. The CDC advised Americans that the disease could spread in the United States.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
SP500 S&P 500 3150.64 -75.25 -2.33%
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 27147.86 -812.94 -2.91%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 9040.774717 -180.51 -1.96%

Selling accelerated in the afternoon with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down over 800 points or nearly 3 percent, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq were off over  2 percent.

As money flowed out of stocks, investors bought U.S. Treasurys. The yield on the 10-year note hit a record low of 1.321 percent, a sign of a flight to safety.


The equity selling follows Monday’s rout as the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 fell more than 3 percent to their biggest losses in two years while the Nasdaq endured its largest decline since December 2018.

Updated figures from the World Health Organization show the coronavirus has infected 79,331 people worldwide while killing 2,618.

Looking at stocks, drugmakers working on treatments for the coronavirus, including Gilead Sciences and Novavax continued to gain ground while airlines and cruise operators recouped some of their losses.

Meanwhile, United Airlines suspended its full-year guidance due to uncertainty caused by the coronavirus.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
GILD GILEAD SCIENCES INC. 69.86 -3.04 -4.17%
NVAX NOVAVAX INC. 7.89 -0.28 -3.39%
UAL UNITED AIRLINES HLDG. 71.43 -4.04 -5.35%
CCL CARNIVAL CORP. 36.20 -1.55 -4.12%

On the earnings front, Home Depot reported better-than-expected top- and bottom-line results and hiked its dividend by 10 percent.

Macy’s fourth-quarter profit fell 54 percent year over year, but its fourth-quarter earnings and sales exceeded estimates.

Elsewhere, Shake Shack posted a fourth-quarter loss of $2.1 million, or 6 cents a share, as same-store sales slid 3.6 percent year over year.

Tupperware Brands was under pressure after warning on its 2019 profit and announcing an investigation into its accounting practices.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
HD THE HOME DEPOT INC. 238.91 -0.79 -0.33%
M MACY’S INC. 14.70 -0.75 -4.85%
SHAK SHAKE SHACK INC 63.97 -9.60 -13.05%
TUP TUPPERWARE BRANDS CORP. 3.21 -2.51 -43.88%

Commodities were lower with West Texas Intermediate crude oil down 3 percent at $49.90 a barrel and gold off 1.5 percent at $1646.90 an ounce.

In Europe, Britain’s FTSE, France’s CAC and Germany’s DAX were all lower by 1.9 percent.


Asian markets were mixed with Japan’s Nikkei tumbling 3.3 percent, China’s Shanghai Composite shedding 0.6 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng up 0.3 percent.

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