Coronavirus whacks Dow but lifts disease fighting stocks

Airlines, cruise operators and casinos were among the hardest hit

Stocks were slammed Monday as the number of people affected by the coronavirus surged over the weekend.

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All three of the major averages fell at least 1.6 percent, finishing just off their worst levels of the day. The Dow, which dropped 454 points, is now slightly negative for the 2020 year.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
SP500S&P 5002978.76-137.63-4.42%
I:DJIDOW JONES AVERAGES25766.64-1,190.95-4.42%
I:COMPNASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX8566.479823-414.29-4.61%

By midnight Sunday, there were 2,744 confirmed cases of the virus and 80 deaths, according to China’s National Health Commission. There have been five confirmed cases in the U.S., health officials said.

President Trump tweeted that the U.S. is "in very close communication with China concerning the virus."

"Very few cases reported in USA, but strongly on watch," Trump wrote. "We have offered China and President Xi any help that is necessary. Our experts are extraordinary!"

Travel-related names remained under pressure as the number of coronavirus cases continued to climb.

Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, American Airlines and Southwest Airlines were all lower, as were cruise operators Royal Caribbean and Carnival Cruise Lines.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
DALDELTA AIR LINES INC.48.19-1.40-2.82%
UALUNITED AIRLINES HLDG.64.94-1.59-2.39%
AALAMERICAN AIRLINES GROUP INC.20.60-1.71-7.66%
RCLROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISES77.00-5.34-6.49%
CCLCARNIVAL CORP.31.85-1.29-3.89%

Casino giants Wynn Resorts and Las Vegas Sands, which have exposure to Macau's Cotai Strip, were also weaker. An estimate from Deutsche Bank showed total visitation for Macau on Jan. 24 and Jan. 25 was down 50 percent from a year ago.

Starbucks shares fell after the coffee giant said it all of its locations in China's Hubei province, where the outbreak occurred, will be closed through the week-long Lunar New Year. Last week, McDonald’s closed locations in the area and Disney announced its Shanghai and Hong Kong theme parks would be shuttered.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
WYNNWYNN RESORTS LIMITED111.16+0.41+0.37%
LVSLAS VEGAS SANDS CORP58.43-0.73-1.23%
SBUXSTARBUCKS CORPORATION78.29-2.38-2.95%
MCDMCDONALD'S CORP.201.00-9.10-4.33%
DISWALT DISNEY COMPANY118.04-5.32-4.31%

Medical mask makers Lakeland Industries and Alpha Pro Technology continued to surge. The diagnostic test kit producer Meridian Bioscience and drugmakers Novavax and NanoViricides also soared.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
LAKELAKELAND INDS19.97+3.67+22.52%
APTALPHA PRO TECH25.25+12.86+103.79%
VIVOMERIDIAN BIOSCIENCE8.16+0.69+9.24%
NVAXNOVAVAX INC.11.80+2.58+27.98%
NNVCNANOVIRICIDES INC10.32+1.15+12.54%

On the earnings front, homebuilder D.R. Horton reported top and bottom-line results that outpaced Wall Street estimates and raised the upper end of its full-year home sales forecast.

Wireless communications provider Sprint reported mixed results as its postpaid phone churn rate climbed.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
DHID.R. HORTON INC.55.86-0.71-1.26%
SSPRINT CORP.9.30-0.25-2.62%

Brent crude oil, the international benchmark, and West Texas Intermediate crude oil, the U.S. benchmark, were both trading lower by 3 percent near $52.55 and $58.85 a barrel, respectively.

Meanwhile, gold climbed 0.5 percent to $1,586.60 an ounce, closing at its highest level in nearly seven years.

U.S. Treasurys rallied, pushing the yield on the 10-year note down 7.9 basis points to 1.601 percent.

Markets were lower across Europe with Britain’s FTSE losing 2.3 percent while Germany's DAX and France's CAC both lost 2.7 percent.

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In Asia, Japan's Nikkei shed 2 percent. China's Shanghai Composite and Hong Kong's Hang Seng were closed for the Lunar New Year holiday.