Stocks fall on continued coronavirus fears

Economists are expecting 175,000 workers added in February jobs report

U.S. equity futures are pointed to another round of losses on Friday ahead of the February jobs report as fears about the coronavirus outbreak once again dominated financial markets.

The major futures indexes are indicating a decline of 2.3 percent , or more than 550 Dow points.

Markets have endured roller coaster ups and downs for weeks amid uncertainty over how much damage the outbreak of the new coronavirus will do to the global economy.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 34869.37 +71.37 +0.21%
SP500 S&P 500 4443.11 -12.37 -0.28%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 14969.969964 -77.73 -0.52%

On Wall Street on Thursday, major indexes lost roughly 3.5 percent, nearly wiping out the rally from a day before that was fueled by hopes authorities around the world will move to cushion the economic fallout.

These vicious swings are likely to continue, as long as the number of new infections continues to accelerate, many analysts and professional investors say. Thursday was the fourth straight day where the S&P 500 moved at least 2 percent, the longest such stretch since the summer of 2011.


Friday morning, the Labor Department will release the February employment report. Economists are expecting 175,000 workers to be added to non-farm payrolls. The unemployment rate is expected is stay at 3.6 percent.

In Europe, London's FTSE was down 3.2 percent, Germany's DAX fell 3.5 percent and France's CAC dropped 3.6 percent.

In Asia, Japan's Nikkei plunged 2.7 percent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng declined 2.3 percent, while the Shanghai Composite skidded 1.2 percent.


The yield on the 10-year Treasury note went as low as 0.81 percent for the first time in history, according to Tradeweb. Tumbling yields have brought the average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage to a record low of 3.29 percent.

In the U.S., the death toll climbed to 12 due to the virus. California declared a statewide emergency, Facebook is temporarily closing a Seattle office after a worker was diagnosed with the virus and an industry group said the outbreak could cost airlines as much as $113 billion in lost revenue.

U.S. congressional leaders reached a deal on an $8.3 billion bill to battle the outbreak, which the Senate passed Thursday, and the Bank of Canada followed up on the Federal Reserve’s surprise cut to interest rates the day before with its own.


Some economists expect the European Central Bank to take action to support markets before its meeting on March 12.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.