Wall Street closed sharply in the red Monday as virus fears gripped investors amid worries that an accelerated outbreak will hit China’s economy and slow global growth.
The S&P 500 lost 1.58%, while the Nasdaq Composite fell 1.89% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average slumped 1.58%, more than 450 points.
A sea of red washed over the broader market, paced by steep declines in energy and travel stocks on worries of slowing tourism amid signs that the spread of the virus is gathering pace.
American Airlines and United Airlines fell more than 5%, while Royal Caribbean Cruises fell more than 7%.
Health authorities in the U.S., however, have downplayed the risk of contagion, with the centres for Disease Control & Prevention on Monday claiming that “the immediate health risk from the coronavirus in the U.S. is currently considered low.”
With as many as 48 cities in China reported to be in lockdown, concerns over lower jet fuel demand continued to drive oil prices lower, keeping energy stocks in the red.
The selloff in casino stocks with exposure to Macau, China’s gambling capital, continued, with Wynn Resorts and Las Vegas Sands down 8% and 7% respectively.
The number of mainland Chinese visitors to the gambling-rich region of Macau fell 80% on Sunday, from a year ago, according to Bloomberg.
Chip stocks, meanwhile, racked up losses, triggering a broader decline in tech stocks ahead of key earnings from stalwarts like Microsoft and Facebook expected later this week.
Micron Technology, Intel and Qualcomm ended the day sharply lower.