U.S. stocks dropped on Friday as a spike in new coronavirus cases in China and other countries and as data showing U.S. business activity stalled in February fueled investors’ fears about the economy. Declines on Friday were led by tech heavyweights Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon for a second straight day.
The S&P technology index dropped 2.4%. Chipmakers, with strong ties to China for revenue, also fell sharply, with the Philadelphia Semiconductor index falling 3%.
China reported a jump in new cases on Friday, while South Korea became the latest hot spot with 100 new cases and more than 80 people tested positive for the virus in Japan.
“It’s creating a wild card,” for companies and others, said Peter Tuz, president of Chase Investment Counsel in Charlottesville, Virginia. “Going into a weekend not so long after the stock market was hitting highs, people are taking some money off the table.”
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 262.56 points, or 0.9%, to 28,957.42, the S&P 500 lost 39.79 points, or 1.18%, to 3,333.44 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 189.39 points, or 1.94%, to 9,561.57.
MacDailyNews Note: According to the latest figures from Caixin, there are 75,572 confirmed cases of COVID-19 coronavirus, with 18,277 recovered, 5,206 suspected cases, and 2,239 deaths in China. There are 1,224 confirmed cases outside of China and 11 deaths is 26 countries.