Stocks tumble as coronavirus spreads

Jonathan Garber

Stocks fell from record highs Friday after a second case of the coronavirus was discovered in the United States.

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite did climb into record territory early in the session while the Dow Jones Industrial Average just missed its own peak.

The Centers for Disease Controls said a patient in Chicago contracted the virus, which originated in Wuhan, China. The CDC said 63 patients from 22 states are being investigated for the virus. So far only two cases have confirmed positive while 22 have confirmed negative.

The coronavirus has sickened 830 and killed 26 in China, according to the country's National Health Commission. The virus has also been found in Japan, Korea, Singapore, Thailand and Nepal.

Drugmakers Novavax, NanoViricides and Gilead Sciences continued to gain ground amid hopes they’ll discover a treatment for the coronavirus. Medical mask makers Lakeland Industries and Alpha Pro Technology were also higher.

Meanwhile, Walt Disney Co. slipped after shutting its Shanghai amusement park indefinitely to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Intel spiked after the company said strong demand for PCs boosted its fourth-quarter results. Rival chipmakers AMD, Nvidia and Micron Technology were also higher. Shares returned to levels not seen since the dot-com bubble.

Intel stock jumps to highest price since dot-com bubble

American Express shares hit an all-time high after the credit card giant reported better-than-expected top and bottom-line results.

Elsewhere, Broadcom reached two multi-year agreements to provide Apple with wireless components for its products.

Commodities were mixed with West Texas Intermediate crude oil down 1.2 percent at $54.38 a barrel and gold stronger by 0.4 percent at $1,577 an ounce.

U.S. Treasurys gained pushing the yield on the 10-year note down 5.2 basis points to 1.687 percent.

Germany's DAX led the gains in Europe, up 1.4 percent, while Britain's FTSE and France’s CAC gained 1.1 percent and 0.9 percent, respectively.

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In Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.2 percent and Japan’s Nikkei was higher by 0.1 percent. China’s Shanghai Composite was closed in observance of the Lunar New Year and will remain shuttered through Jan. 30.

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