Dow plunges 454 points as fears grow

Dow plunges 454 points as fears grow

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U.S. stocks posted their worst day since October on Monday, as fears over the spread of a deadly outbreak of coronavirus rattled Wall Street.

Investor fears grew on the potential economic fallout from the outbreak. The death toll in China has climbed to 81, according to Chinese officials. More than 100 people in 26 states are being monitored for the virus, a U.S. health official said Monday.

The National Health Commission said more than 2,700 people are infected. More than 40 of those cases have been confirmed in a dozen other countries, including five in the U.S. 

The latest developments sent stocks tumbling worldwide, hitting everything from airlines to resort operators.

“The coronavirus is the number one threat to financial markets currently as global investors are becoming jittery on the uncertainty,” Nigel Green, chief executive and founder of financial consultancy deVere Group, said in a note.

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Fear about the effects of a new virus found in China is spreading faster through financial markets around the world than the sickness itself.

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 453.93 points, or 1.6%, to close at 28,535.80. The Standard & Poor’s 500 slid 1.6% to end at 3,243.63. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite shed 1.9% to finish at 9,139.31. 

The Dow and S&P 500 recorded their worst one-day drop since October while the Nasdaq logged its biggest fall since August. 

Casino, airline and retail stocks slump

Casino companies with resorts in China came under pressure. Shares of Wynn Resorts, Las Vegas Sands and MGM Resorts International dropped 8.1%, 6.8% and 3.9%, respectively. Travel-related stocks including Carnival, Expedia and Marriott International each dropped at least 2.1%. 

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