Banks led a slide in US stocks Tuesday as a virus outbreak in China rattled global markets, prompting investors to shift assets into bonds and defensive sector companies, the AP reports. The sell-off snapped a three-day winning streak by the S&P 500. The benchmark index ended last week at an all-time high. The selling in US stocks followed losses in Asian and European markets as investors worried that the new coronavirus spreading in the world’s second-largest economy could hurt tourism and ultimately economic growth and corporate profits.
Within the S&P 500, stocks of US companies that cater to Chinese tourists had some of the biggest losses, along with general travel companies, such as casinos and airlines. Along with banks, industrial and energy stocks accounted for a big share of the selling. Those losses outweighed gains in real estate stocks, utilities and household goods makers. Traders also shifted money into US government bonds, sending yields lower. The S&P 500 fell 8.83 points, or 0.3%, to 3,320.70. It had been down as much as 0.4% earlier in the day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 152.06 points, or 0.5%, to 29,196.04. The Nasdaq composite slid 18.14 points, or 0.2%, to 9,370.81. Smaller-company stocks took the brunt of the selling. The Russell 2000 index lost 13.74 points, or 0.8%, to 1,685.90.
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