Stocks give back some of their weekly gains as coronavirus threatens China’s economy.
The Dow and broader U.S. stock market tumbled on Friday, giving back some of their weekly gains over fears that coronavirus would dramatically slow the Chinese economy.
All of Wall Street’s major indices finished sharply lower on the final trading session of the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA) plunged 276.94 points, or 0.9%, to 29,102.83.
The broad S&P 500 Index (SPY) of large-cap stocks declined 0.5% to close at 3,327.69. Most of the 11 major sectors finished in the red, with materials leading the pack. Information technology, energy and health care stocks also under-performed the benchmark average.
Meanwhile, the technology-focused Nasdaq Composite Index (QQQ) closed down 0.5% at 9,520.51.
The CBOE Volatility Index (VXX), commonly known as the VIX, rose to an intraday high of 16.16 on a scale of 1-100 where 20 represents the historic average. The so-called “investor fear index” would eventually settle up 3.3% at 15.46.
In economic data, U.S. employers increased their workforce at a much faster rate than expected last month, offering further evidence of a strong labor market. January nonfarm payrolls increased by 225,000 versus expectations of 160,000, the Department of Labor reported Friday.
However, the unemployment rate increased slightly to 3.6% from 3.5%. Average hourly earnings climbed 0.2% on month and 3.1% annually, official data showed.
The Final Word: The spread of coronavirus could weigh heavily on the Chinese economy this quarter. With more than 31,500 confirmed cases, China has reportedly locked down regions with an estimated 400 million people.