Stocks plunged on Wall Street as investors feared that a virus outbreak that originated in China will dent the global economy, the AP reports. Technology companies, which do a lot of business with China, led the losses. Airlines fell after Delta and American suspended flights to and from China. The sell-off erased the S&P 500's gains for January and gave the benchmark index its biggest weekly loss since August. The S&P 500 sank 58, or 1.8%, to 3,225. The Dow Jones industrials fell 603, or 2.1% to 28,256. The Nasdaq dropped 148, or 1.6%, to 9,150. Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 1.51%.
The virus has infected almost 10,000 people globally in just two months, a troublesome sign of its spread that prompted the World Health Organization to declare the outbreak a global emergency. That designation signals that the virus is now a significant risk to other countries and requires a global response. Cases have spiked in China, along with deaths there, and the US is now advising against all travel to the world’s second-largest economy. "The economic and market impact now are becoming much more significant and those two sectors are probably the most important to keep an eye on," said a global market strategist. "If you're going to restrict travel and you're going to restrict movement, you're by default going to hit energy prices."
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