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
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 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
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
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
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.