- The Washington Times - Monday, February 24, 2020

U.S. stocks plummeted Monday amid fears about the coronavirus from China, underscoring the economic drag of the global outbreak.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled 900 to 1,000 points around lunchtime, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 also slid by over 3%.

Airline and technology stocks were hit hard, as travel restrictions and limits on China’s output begin to catch up to key sectors.

Chipmaker and resort operators also slid, as did U.S. casino operators, some of which do business in Macau — the Chinese gambling mecca that shut down for two weeks because of fears around the virus.

Wall Street appears to be coming to terms with the virus, which has brought the world’s No. 2 economy to a standstill. China’s communist government imposed strict quarantine rules and told workers to delay their return from the Lunar New Year holiday.

Yet China plays a pivotal role in the global supply chain. Also, its nearly 1.5 billion people serve as a major consumer market for global brands.

Shares of Apple, Inc., which relies on Chinese manufacturing for its iPhone and had to close its Chinese stores or trim hours, were down 4% on the NASDAQ Composite at midday.

The coronavirus causes a disease known as COVID-19 that can lead to several respiratory distress and organ failure. It has killed over 2,000 people within China and nearly two dozen people elsewhere.

Although centered in Hubei Province, China, the outbreak is grabbing a foothold in Italy and surging in South Korea, which has seen the most cases outside of China.

Stocks in South Korea’s market ended nearly 4 points lower on Monday, and European markets also suffered.

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