Dow Jones plummets more than 1,000 points amid coronavirus uncertainty

Daniel Fowler
February 28, 2020

At its lowest point on Thursday, the Dow had lost about 800 points, but has steadily regained those losses since about 10:35 ET. For the S&P 500, it was the swiftest plunge into correction territory from an all-time high since at least 1980, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The Dow registered a record one-day points drop, which was also its fourth 1,000-point decline in history and the second this week. That puts the index in what market watchers call a "correction".

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Goldman Sachs on Thursday said earnings for companies in the S&P 500 index might not grow at all this year, after predicting earlier that they would grow 5.5%. At its "best" point, it was down 230 points.

All of the 11 S&P sectors were deep in the red with technology losing about 2.9 per cent, while financials, consumer discretionary, energy and real estate sectors dropped more than 2 per cent each.

The Nasdaq Composite gained 45.94 points, or 0.51%, to 9,011.55 at the opening bell. Medical teleconferencing company Teladoc surged 19% and 3M, which counts surgical masks among its many products, rose 2.2%.

The Nasdaq Composite Index declined 1.2 per cent to 8,862.33, the lowest in nearly 10 weeks.

US stocks plummeted on Thursday in a day of chaotic trading as investors sought shelter from potential economic consequences of coronavirus.

MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe shed 1.31%. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan closed 0.05% higher, while Japan's Nikkei lost 2.13% to a 4-1/2-month low.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield also fell below 1.25 percent Thursday.

The iPhone XR Is Still the Most Popular Smartphone on the Planet
With the anticipated launch of more 5G phones expected by year-end, the share of Chinese makers is expected to increase rapidly. Smartphone sales in 2019 were dominated by Apple and Samsung , nine of the top ten devices belong to the two companies.

Global markets have erased much of the gains for 2020 as the impact of the coronavirus takes a toll on stocks.

The Labor Department said initial jobless claims edged up by 8,000 to a one-month high of 219,000 for the week ended February 22. The euro strengthened to $1.0987 from $1.0897.

The dollar fell to 109.95 Japanese yen from 110.22 yen on Wednesday.

Gold, sought as a safe-haven, jumped 1%.

The price of crude oil fell 3.4%. Brent crude oil, the worldwide standard, dropped $1.25 to close at $52.18 a barrel.

Traders are growing increasingly certain that the Federal Reserve will be forced to cut interest rates to protect the economy, and soon. As the virus spread beyond China, markets feared the economic issues in China could escalate globally.

Goldman Sachs said the equity market sell-off would create opportunities to add risk eventually and that it did not expect a deep bear market or USA recession. Strategist David Kostin also cut his growth forecast for earnings next year.

The virus has now spread to 50 countries, with cases confirmed in the last day in the United States and Spain that appeared to be contracted locally.

The safe-haven yen and the Swiss franc gained on Thursday with the Japanese currency heading towards 110 yen to the dollar, up almost 2% so far this week.

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