Stocks finished lower on Tuesday amid news of a respiratory virus outbreak in central China. Market participants assessed the threat of contagion as a single case was reportedly confirmed in the United States. The S&P 500 lost 0.3%, while the Dow dropped 152 points to snap a five-day winning streak. The Nasdaq Composite fell from a fresh record high reached earlier in the session, ending the day down 0.2%.
Seven of 11 S&P 500 sectors closed in negative territory with Energy shares leading decliners. The traditionally defensive Real Estate, Utilities, and Consumer Staples groups outperformed. In earnings, UBS slid 4.8% after the Swiss lender disappointed key profitability metrics and cut its financial targets across the board. Meanwhile, Halliburton declined 0.8% despite posting positive quarterly results. In other corporate news, Boeing fell 3.3% after setting expectations that its 737-MAX aircraft would be unlikely to gain regulatory approval to return to service until June or July. Elsewhere, Amazon gained 1.5% on news the e-commerce giant filed trademarks for “Amazon Pharmacy” in several countries. Intel climbed 1.6% following an analyst upgrade.
Treasuries strengthened with the yield on the benchmark 10-year note down five basis points to 1.77%. In commodities, WTI crude dipped 0.3% to $58.34/barrel as market participants seemingly shrugged off Libyan supply disruptions. There were no notable economic releases today.
This follows Friday’s session in which the S&P 500 capped a 2% weekly advance, its best since August. The benchmark index has risen 13 of the past 15 weeks.