U.S. equities tumbled Friday as investors grappled with the potential economic fallout resulting from the coronavirus. The White House released a statement about the epidemic calling the virus a public health emergency in the U.S. The Dow slumped 603 points, to cap a weekly decline of 2.5%. The S&P 500 slipped 1.8% and lost 2.1% for the week. The Nasdaq Composite fell 1.6%, ending the week lower by 1.8%. For the month, the S&P 500 dropped 0.2%, its smallest January price change since 1949. The Dow lost 1.0%, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 2.0%.
Ten of 11 S&P 500 sectors finished the session in negative territory. The Energy group led laggards with WTI crude declining 4.7% for the week, adding to a monthly loss of 15.5%. Exxon Mobil declined 4.1% after missing analyst earnings estimates. Consumer Discretionary shares bucked the downward trend with Amazon surging 7.4%, after blowing past Wall Street earnings projections. Additionally, shares of airline companies declined after Delta and American airlines suspended all flights between China and the U.S.
Treasuries strengthened amid the perceived “risk-off” mood. The yield on the 10-year note dipped seven basis points to 1.51%, while the yield on the 30-year bond slipped below 2% for the first time since October. On the data front, the core PCE deflator, which is the Fed’s preferred proxy of inflation, increased 1.6% year-over-year in December, while the monthly core figure rose 0.2%. The MNI Chicago PMI, which serves as a gauge of national manufacturing activity, slipped deeper into contractionary territory in January.