Stocks – Dow Nosedives as Virus Jitters Trigger Sea of Red

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By Yasin Ebrahim – A sea of red washed over stocks Friday as the spread of the coronavirus continued to drum up fears about slowing global growth, while a slump in oil major Exxon Mobil (NYSE:) exacerbated selling in energy.

The fell 1.44% and the slumped 1.15%. The slipped 1.73%, or 499 points.

Nearly 10,000 cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed worldwide and the death toll in China rose to 213, threatening to slow growth even more in China, which many fear will spill over into the global economy.

Mizuho Securities estimates that a prolonged spread of the virus threatens to knock full-year growth in China by 0.3% to 5.6%.

Several countries have tightened travel restrictions including the U.K. and the U.S, exacerbating investor concerns about the impact slowing air travel will have airline stocks.

American Airlines (NASDAQ:) and United Airlines (NASDAQ:) fell more than 3%, with Delta Air Lines (NYSE:) down more than 2%.

Energy, already under pressure from falling oil prices, led the decline in the broader market pressured by a slump in Exxon (NYSE:).

Exxon (NYSE:) fell about 4% after the oil major missed quarterly estimates, which it blamed on short-term supply issues in its refining business.

Industrials also played a role in the broader sell off, paced by declines in Caterpillar (NYSE:) and Honeywell (NYSE:) on weak quarterly results and guidance.

Caterpillar fell nearly 3% after reporting mixed quarterly results and offering up a weaker-than-expected outlook on full-year performance, warning that global economic uncertainty would continue to weigh performance.

Honeywell dropped more than 3% as its quarterly revenue missed Wall Street estimates, with the industrial pinning the blame on impact from the grounding of Boeing’s 737 Max.

Consumer discretionary proved an exception to the rout on Wall Street thanks to a pop in shares of Amazon (NASDAQ:) after the e-commerce giant smashed earnings expectations. Shares rose nearly 9%, but were off earlier highs.

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