US stocks aim to halt coronavirus-related selling

The sell-off to start the week gave the Dow its first 5-day losing streak since early August

U.S. equity futures are pointing to a possible halt in the drastic selling prompted by concerns over the spread of the coronavirus.

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The major futures indexes are indicating a gain of 0.2 percent when Wall Street opens for trading.

A sell-off to start the week gave the Dow its first 5-day losing streak since early August and handed the S&P 500 its worst day since early October. The latest bout of selling on Wall Street came after China announced a sharp rise in cases of the virus.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
I:DJIDOW JONES AVERAGES29219.98-128.05-0.44%
SP500S&P 5003373.23-12.92-0.38%
I:COMPNASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX9750.964579-66.21-0.67%

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 453.93 points, or 1.6 percent, to 28,535.80. The Dow had been down nearly 550 points.

The S&P 500 index dropped 1.6 percent and the Nasdaq lost  1.9 percent.

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In Europe, London's FTSE added 0.1 percent, Germany's DAX slipped 0.3 percent  and France CAC was off 0.1 percent.

Markets in Hong Kong and mainland China were closed Tuesday for Lunar New Year holidays, while Japan's Nikkei  lost 0.6 percent.

China has extended its national holiday by three days so that offices should reopen on Monday. Shanghai's holiday was extended until Feb. 9.

The virus has spread to a dozen countries, including the U.S. Besides the threat to people's lives and health, investors are worried about how much damage the virus will do to profits for companies around the world.

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Resort operators were among the biggest losers in the S&P 500. Wynn Resorts led all company’s in the index lower with an 8.1 percent tumble, while Las Vegas Sands dropped 6.7 percent. The companies get most of their revenue from the Chinese gambling haven of Macao. MGM Resorts fell 3.9 percent.

American Airlines lost 5.5 percent and Delta dropped 3.4 percent as part of a broad slide for airlines because of concerns international travel will decline amid the virus’ spread.

The technology sector, the biggest in the S&P 500, also saw heavy selling. Apple, which relies on China for supplies and sales, fell 2.9 percent. Apple will report financial results on Tuesday.

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Energy stocks fell broadly as U.S. oil prices fell 1.9 percent on worries about reduced demand from China.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.