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Coronavirus

US stocks fall 600 points on coronavirus worries

Market braces for reopening of China market on Monday

Investors are increasingly worried about the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on global growth.   © Reuters

NEW YORK -- U.S. equities lost ground Friday as investors grew concerned about the coronavirus outbreak's impact on the global economy, sending the benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average down more than 600 points in afternoon trading.

The Dow closed at 28,256.03, a drop of 2.1%, or 603 points, from the previous day.

Selling affected a wide range of shares as risk aversion mode took hold on Wall Street. The S&P 500 closed 1.8% lower at 3,225.52.

Chinese stock markets will reopen Monday for the first time since Jan. 23, resuming trading after the Lunar New Year holiday break. As a massive sell-off in China is expected to further push down U.S. stocks, speculators appeared to be shorting index futures.

The contagion has shown no signs of slowing, with the U.K. confirming its first case Friday. Some U.S. companies are now banning employees from visiting China, while the State Department issued a travel advisory Thursday urging Americans not to travel to mainland China.

Delta Air Lines announced Friday that it will suspend all flights to and from China between Feb. 6 and the end of April, with American Airlines and United Airlines taking similar steps.

Investor sentiment is cooling amid growing concerns over the outbreak's impact on the global economy. The inverted yield curve, considered a precursor to a recession, is widening in the U.S. as yields on short-term government bonds soar above benchmark 10-year yields.

Hon Hai Precision Industry went limit-down in Taiwan when stock trading resumed there Thursday. Investors across neighboring countries also pummeled high-tech stocks as concerns deepened over delays in resuming Chinese operations and disruptions to the supply chain.

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