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US Stocks Follow Global Markets Lower  01/23 09:49

   Stocks fell on Wall Street in early trading Thursday as investors worried 
that a deadly virus outbreak in China could continue spreading and hurt the 
global economy.

   NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks fell on Wall Street in early trading Thursday as 
investors worried that a deadly virus outbreak in China could continue 
spreading and hurt the global economy.

   The weak opening for U.S. indexes follows a sell-off for global markets as 
authorities worldwide take measures to monitor and contain the virus. The 
central Chinese city of Wuhan, where the virus is concentrated, closed down its 
train station and airport Thursday to prevent people from entering or leaving 
the city.

   The coronavirus has been confirmed in five countries, including China, the 
U.S., Thailand, Japan and South Korea. More than 500 people have fallen sick 
and 17 have died from the illness, which can cause pneumonia and other severe 
respiratory symptoms. A World Health Organization committee was scheduled to 
meet for a second day Thursday as it decides whether to declare China's virus 
outbreak a global health emergency.

   Banks and other financial companies led the losses. The yield on the 10-year 
Treasury fell significantly to 1.72% from 1.77% late Wednesday. Financial 
institutions rely on higher bond yields to set lucrative interest rates on 
mortgages and other loans. Bank of America fell 1.6%.

   Health care stocks also broadly fell. Edwards LifeSciences, which makes 
heart valves, slipped 4.7%.

   Crude oil prices slumped and weighed on energy stocks. Exxon Mobil fell 
1.5%. 

   Utilities and real estate companies held onto slight gains as investors 
shifted money into the safe-play sectors.

   KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index fell 0.3% as of 10:30 a.m. Eastern time. 
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 113 points, or 0.4%, to 29,076. The 
Nasdaq fell 0.1%. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks fell 0.5%.

   OVERSEAS: European and Asian markets fell. The European Central Bank is 
launching its first re-examination of bank policies since the global financial 
crisis as it struggles to meet its inflation target despite massive monetary 
stimulus and record low interest rates.

   Concern about the coronavirus' potential impact weighed heavily on stock 
indexes in China. The outbreak coincides with the annual travel of hundreds of 
millions of Chinese for the Lunar New Year festival, which begins Friday. In 
Hong Kong, the Hang Seng dropped 1.5%, while the Shanghai Composite index 
declined 2.8%.

   FRAYED LACES: V.F. Corp. slid 7.9% after the maker of Vans and Timberland 
shoes cut its profit forecast for the year following weak fiscal third-quarter 
sales.

   EARNINGS ROUNDUP: Investors rewarded and punished several companies as 
earnings reports continued flowing. Software company Citrix Systems jumped 7.6% 
after handily beating Wall Street's profit forecasts. Brokerage Raymond James 
fell 7.9% after falling short of profit forecasts. 


(CZ)

 
 
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