Dow tumbles over 1,000 points as coronavirus crisis spirals

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is now negative for the year

U.S. equity markets experienced a sharp selloff on Monday after a surge in the number of coronavirus cases outside of China.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged by as many as 1,080 points, or 3.7 percent, before trimming its losses while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq fell by as much as 3.5 percent and 4 percent, respectively.

The point drop for the Dow and S&P, now in negative territory for 2020, was the largest since February of 2018. For the Nasdaq it was the steepest point decline since December of 2018.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 40287.53 -377.49 -0.93%
SP500 S&P 500 5505 -39.59 -0.71%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 17726.939826 -144.28 -0.81%

The barrage of selling came after South Korea, the country with the third-most cases, reported 161 new cases on Monday, raising its total number of cases to 763 and its death toll by two to seven. Italy and Iran said their number of new cases jumped to 152 and 43, respectively.

After the close of trading, tweeting from his India trip, President Trump insisted the virus is under control and the reaction in the stock market was overblown.

Meanwhile, China’s National Health Commission reported 409 new cases and 150 new deaths on Monday, raising those totals to 77,150 and 2,592, respectively.

The updated figures came after Chinese President Xi Jinping warned the outbreak would deliver a blow to the Chinese economy.

"The outbreak of novel coronavirus pneumonia will inevitably have a relatively big impact on the economy and society,'' Xi said, adding the crisis is a “big test” for Chinese leadership.


Meanwhile, drugmakers working to develop vaccines and treatment for the coronavirus gained. Gilead Sciences, Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Novavax and Nanoviricides were all higher.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
GILD GILEAD SCIENCES INC. 72.56 -0.95 -1.29%
NVAX NOVAVAX INC. 13.84 -1.12 -7.49%
NNVC NANOVIRICIDES 2.12 +0.16 +8.16%

White House Director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy Peter Navarro told FOX Business on Monday that the administration is moving as quickly as possible on treatments, including developing a vaccine.

“We’re moving really fast on that already with four companies,” Navarro said. “I think that we can do this in half the time it usually takes under the president’s leadership.”

Looking at stocks, travel-related names were sharply lower. Delta and United airlines were weaker along with cruise operators Carnival Corp. and Royal Caribbean and casino operators Wynn Resorts and MGM Resorts International.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
DAL DELTA AIR LINES INC. 45.45 +0.54 +1.20%
CCL CARNIVAL CORP. 18.43 +0.18 +0.99%
RCL ROYAL CARIBBEAN GROUP 168.41 +4.18 +2.55%
WYNN WYNN RESORTS LTD. 83.43 -0.05 -0.06%

Big technology names also saw heavy selling with Apple, Facebook and Amazon seeing notable losses.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
AAPL APPLE INC. 224.31 +0.07 +0.03%
FB n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
AMZN AMAZON.COM INC. 183.13 -0.62 -0.34%

Elsewhere, Boeing fell after offering more support for suppliers who have been impacted by the 737 Max production freeze.

Wells Fargo outperformed after reaching a $3 billion settlement with the Department of Justice to resolve its fake account scandal.

Berkshire Hathaway was in focus after reporting its full-year 2019 profit reached $81.4 billion, boosted by a new accounting rule that CEO Warren Buffett vehemently disagrees with. Speaking with CNBC on Monday, Buffett said he doesn't think the coronavirus "should affect what you do in stocks."

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
BA THE BOEING CO. 179.54 -0.74 -0.41%
WFC WELLS FARGO & CO. 59.24 0.00 0.00%
BRK.B BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY INC. 434.62 -6.93 -1.57%

Commodities traded mixed with West Texas Intermediate crude oil down 3.7 percent to $51.43 a barrel and gold up 1.7 percent to $1,672.40 an ounce. The precious metal hit a seven-year high of $1,691.70 earlier Monday.

U.S. Treasurys soared, pushing the yield on the 10-year note down 9.3 basis points to 1.377 percent. The yield finished just over one basis point above its July 5, 2016, record low of 1.376 percent.

European markets were hit hard with Britain’s FTSE, France’s CAC and Germany’s DAX all trading lower by at least 3.6 percent.


In Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng paced the decline, down 1.8 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite and Japan’s Nikkei shed 0.3 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively.