Wall Street’s main indexes fell more than 1% on Monday as investors worried about the economic fallout of the Wuhan virus outbreak that has compelled China to extend the Lunar New Year holidays and businesses in order to restrict movement by closing some operations.
The benchmark S&P 500 was jolted off record highs last week as China locked down several cities and curbed travel, reminding investors of the deadly SARS virus that killed nearly 800 people in 2002-03 and cost the global economy billions.
Travel-related stocks, including airlines, casinos and hotels, were the worst-hit on Wall Street, while shares of sectors exposed to China’s growth, including technology, materials and energy, pressured the markets.
At 1:13 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.26% to 28,624.77. The S&P 500 dropped 1.28% to 3,253.17 and the Nasdaq Composite declined 1.58% to 9,167.40. The indexes were on track to post their biggest single-day percentage loss since October.
Technology and internet heavyweights that have powered the recent rally including Apple Inc, Microsoft Corp , Alphabet Inc and Amazon.com Inc dropped between 1.6% and 3%.
MacDailyNews Note: The death toll in China rose to 81 on Monday and a small number of cases linked to people who traveled from Wuhan have been confirmed in more than 10 countries, including Thailand, France, Japan and the United States. The New York Post today reports of “a nurse in Wuhan who insists in a shocking online video that close to 90,000 people in China have the disease, far more than the 1,975 reported by officials.”
Apple CEO Tim Cook has pledged the company will donate to help support all of those affected by the Wuhan virus:
As people in China and around the world celebrate the Lunar New Year, we send our love and support to the many impacted by the Coronavirus. Apple will be donating to groups on the ground helping support all of those affected.
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) January 25, 2020