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Feb. 24, 2020, 4:48 p.m. EST

Dow ends more than 1,000 points lower as coronavirus spread sparks fear of global economic hit

Treasury yields plunge, gold surges as investors seek safety

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By Joy Wiltermuth and Sunny Oh

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Chinese officials again reported fewer than 1,000 new cases Sunday, though the overall total in mainland China is nearly 77,000 infected, with more than 2,400 deaths.

“What we’re hearing from China is positive,” Kristina Hooper, chief global market strategist at Invesco told MarketWatch. “Clearly, this is a significant issue, but we know there is a light at the end of the tunnel. We just don’t know how long the tunnel is.”

In the U.S., there are now 53 confirmed cases of COVID-19, as more passengers who returned from the Diamond Princess cruise ship tested positive for the virus, according to an update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Coronavirus update : 79,339 cases, 2,169 deaths, clusters emerge in Iran and Italy

What companies were moving?

  • Shares of Tesla Inc. /zigman2/quotes/203558040/composite TSLA +3.62% slumped 7.5% over coronavirus worries. The company has production facilities in China, and derives more than 10% of its sales from that country.

  • Bank stocks like Bank of America Corp. /zigman2/quotes/200894270/composite BAC -2.98% and JPMorgan Chase & Co . /zigman2/quotes/205971034/composite JPM -2.55% fell as lower long-term Treasury yields threaten to crimp lending profits.

  • Shares of Starbucks Corp. /zigman2/quotes/207508890/composite SBUX -0.70% and Skechers USA Inc. /zigman2/quotes/201784799/composite SKX -0.92%  took a hit as the virus outbreak threatened to disrupt its Chinese operations. Cowen analysts said both companies are among the most exposed to the coronavirus impact.

  • The slump in crude prices took a toll on energy stocks, with shares of Exxon Mobil Corp. /zigman2/quotes/204455864/composite XOM +0.95% and Marathon Oil Corp . /zigman2/quotes/205031829/composite MRO -6.32%  down sharply.

  • UnitedHealth Group Inc . /zigman2/quotes/210453738/composite UNH +0.29% and American Express Co /zigman2/quotes/203805826/composite AXP -3.05% led losses on the Dow Monday, followed by shares of Cisco Systems Inc . /zigman2/quotes/209509471/composite CSCO +4.88% and Visa Inc . /zigman2/quotes/203660239/composite V +0.50%

  • HP Inc . /zigman2/quotes/203461582/composite HPQ +0.87%  executives in a call Monday with reporters and analysts said they may be willing to explore a mergerwith Xerox Holdings Corp /zigman2/quotes/201169674/composite XRX -5.53%

What was on the calendar?

The economic calendar was light Monday. The January reading of the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank’s national activity index rose to -0.25, from -0.51 in the previous month.

How did other markets trade?

European stock benchmarks had their worst session in about four years. The Stoxx Europe 600 /zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed XX:SXXP -1.44%  shed 3.8% to settle at 411.86, its biggest one-day percentage drop since June 27, 2016, according to Dow Jones Market Data.

South Korea’s Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 +0.46% sank 3.9% in Monday trading as the country went on high alert to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO -0.17% closed down 2.3%, and stocks fell 1.6% in Hong Kong /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI -0.74% , though the Shanghai Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP +0.22% lost just 0.2%. Japanese equity markets were closed Monday for a holiday.

Crude-oil prices fell 5%, with West Texas Intermediate crude for April delivery settling 4.9% lower at $50.87 a barrel, while April Brent crude , the global benchmark, lost 5.5% to finish at $55.27 a barrel.

Gold prices surged by $27.80 an ounce, or 1.7%, to settle at $1,676.60, its highest finish in seven years. Other haven assets soared, too, with the 10-year Treasury note yield /zigman2/quotes/211347051/realtime BX:TMUBMUSD10Y -1.11% shedding 9.3 basis points at 1.377%, nearing its all-time low. Bond prices move in the opposite direction of yields.

Mike Murphy and William Watts contributed to this report.

/zigman2/quotes/203558040/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 835.00
+29.19 +3.62%
Volume: 11.81M
May 29, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$154.87 billion
Rev. per Employee
$439,627
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200894270/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 24.12
-0.74 -2.98%
Volume: 113.92M
May 29, 2020 3:59p
P/E Ratio
9.84
Dividend Yield
2.99%
Market Cap
$209.26 billion
Rev. per Employee
$543,289
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/205971034/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 97.31
-2.55 -2.55%
Volume: 26.54M
May 29, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
10.99
Dividend Yield
3.70%
Market Cap
$296.51 billion
Rev. per Employee
$497,647
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/207508890/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 77.99
-0.55 -0.70%
Volume: 10.11M
May 29, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
27.78
Dividend Yield
2.10%
Market Cap
$91.10 billion
Rev. per Employee
$86,863
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201784799/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 31.32
-0.29 -0.92%
Volume: 1.94M
May 29, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
16.83
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$4.94 billion
Rev. per Employee
$368,418
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204455864/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 45.47
+0.43 +0.95%
Volume: 25.89M
May 29, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
17.08
Dividend Yield
7.65%
Market Cap
$192.26 billion
Rev. per Employee
$3.93M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/205031829/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 5.34
-0.36 -6.32%
Volume: 107.58M
May 29, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
16.67
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
$4.22 billion
Rev. per Employee
$2.46M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210453738/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 304.85
+0.88 +0.29%
Volume: 6.25M
May 29, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
21.34
Dividend Yield
1.42%
Market Cap
$289.11 billion
Rev. per Employee
$754,157
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203805826/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 95.07
-2.99 -3.05%
Volume: 7.71M
May 29, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
14.41
Dividend Yield
1.81%
Market Cap
$76.53 billion
Rev. per Employee
$733,559
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/209509471/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 47.82
+2.23 +4.88%
Volume: 43.57M
May 29, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
18.98
Dividend Yield
3.01%
Market Cap
$202.80 billion
Rev. per Employee
$684,933
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203660239/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 195.24
+0.98 +0.50%
Volume: 10.21M
May 29, 2020 3:59p
P/E Ratio
36.09
Dividend Yield
0.61%
Market Cap
$415.67 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.25M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203461582/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 15.14
+0.13 +0.87%
Volume: 29.05M
May 29, 2020 3:59p
P/E Ratio
7.44
Dividend Yield
4.66%
Market Cap
$21.65 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.07M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201169674/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 15.88
-0.93 -5.53%
Volume: 20.76M
May 29, 2020 3:59p
P/E Ratio
6.07
Dividend Yield
6.30%
Market Cap
$3.38 billion
Rev. per Employee
$303,395
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed
XX : STOXX
350.36
-5.11 -1.44%
Volume: 0.00
May 29, 2020 5:50p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed
KR : Korea Exchange
2,039.01
+9.41 +0.46%
Volume: 37,999
June 1, 2020 9:03a
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed
AU : S&P ASX
5,745.70
-10.00 -0.17%
Volume: 14,047
June 1, 2020 10:03a
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed
HK : Hong Kong Exchange
22,961.47
-171.29 -0.74%
Volume: 3.62M
May 29, 2020 4:08p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed
CN : China: Shanghai
2,852.35
+6.13 +0.22%
Volume: 20.68B
May 29, 2020 3:01p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/211347051/realtime
add Add to watchlist BX:TMUBMUSD10Y
BX : Tullett Prebon
0.65
-0.0073 -1.11%
Volume: 0.00
May 31, 2020 8:22p
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Joy Wiltermuth is a MarketWatch markets reporter and editor based in New York. Sunny Oh is a MarketWatch fixed-income reporter based in New York.

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