By Mark DeCambre, MarketWatch
A monthlong bout of coronavirus has ravaged China, claiming hundreds of lives and sickening thousands but the Asian influenza also has infected the stock market and other assets, chilling bullish sentiment for the moment and stoking uncertainty at a period of lofty valuations.
Heightened anxieties around coronavirus comes as the number of people infected world-wide approaches 10,000 and as authorities from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the first quarantine in the U.S. in 50 years, as the U.K. and Russia each announced their first cases of the deadly illness that has drawn comparisons to SARS, severe acute respiratory syndrome.
Here are some of the assets and sectors that the novel Asian illness has impacted so far, since the infection was noticed Dec. 31.
Stocks get slammed Friday
Dow skids 0.7% in January and falls beneath its 50-day moving average at 28,443.30, a short-term line it hasn’t closed below since October, according to Dow Jones Market Data. Moving averages are used by market technicians to help determine bullish and bearish momentum in an asset.
Friday afternoon, the Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA +1.78% was down 587 points, or 2%, to 28,272. The S&P 500 /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +1.59% shed 57 points, or 1.7%, 3,226. The Nasdaq Composite Index /zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime COMP +2.21% retreated 138 points, or 1.5%, to 9,161.
Stocks trading below trend lines
Source: Dow Jones Market Data
The share of S&P 500 components trading above their 50-day MA has dropped below 50% for the first time since Oct. 10, according to Dow Jones Market Data.
Oil is on the verge of a bear market
Dow Jones Market Data
Coronavirus could hurt demand for crude because China is among the biggest importers of the commodity, putting oil prices on the verge of a bear market. Entry into a bear market is defined by a price drop of at least 20% from a recent high.
West Texas Intermediate crude for March delivery was set for a 5.3% weekly skid and is off 18.9% off its recent peak of $63.27 hit on Jan. 6. A settlement below $50.62 would push it into a bear market, according to Dow Jones Market Data. WTI oil prices are down nearly 16% in January, according to FactSet data.