Stocks declined the most in nearly four months on Monday amid increasing worries surrounding the potential economic impact of the Wuhan coronavirus. The S&P 500 dropped 1.6%, its fifth-consecutive loss and first move of more than 1% since mid-October. The Dow was down 453 points, turning slightly negative for the year, while the Nasdaq Composite shed 1.9%.
The coronavirus originated in China and has since spread to other countries, including the U.S. and France. Chinese authorities have extended the Lunar New Year holiday to February 2 (from January 30) in an effort to contain the epidemic. The number of confirmed cases globally is approaching 3,000, with the death toll reaching more than 80.
Treasuries rallied amid the perceived “risk off” mood. The yield on the 10-year note was down eight basis points to 1.60%. In commodities, WTI crude lost 1.9% $53.14/barrel, its fifth-straight decline and worst closing price since mid-October. COMEX gold rose 0.6% to $1,581.90/ounce.
In earnings, 147 of S&P 500 companies are slated to post profit tallies this week, including some of the world’s largest corporations. D.R. Horton advanced 2% on Monday after the homebuilder easily topped analyst profit estimates and raised its full-year guidance. In other corporate news, travel-related stocks slumped as worries surrounding the virus outbreak in China mounted. Starbucks slid 3.6% following an announcement of temporary store closures in China.
On the data front, a release revealed new home sales unexpectedly dipped 0.4% in December. A separate update showed manufacturing activity in the Dallas Fed region improved more than expected this month.