Tech leads Wall St. decline on coronavirus fears

Wall Street suffered a setback Thursday with investors once again fixated on the negative implications of the coronavirus outbreak.

Worries were revived as the number of new cases climbed in South Korea, Japan reported two new deaths and research suggested the virus was spreading faster than previously thought.

The Dow lost more 100 points, while the Nasdaq fell for the first time in four sessions.

The list of companies issuing coronavirus-related warnings grew longer Thursday:

Norwegian Cruise Lines canceled all Asia voyages until the third quarter. As a result, tour cancellations, customer refunds, and ship re-routings will negatively impact full-year earnings. The stock sank to a four-month low taking rivals Carnival and Royal Caribbean down with it.

And Procter and Gamble said sales and profits for the current quarter are in jeopardy because of supply chain and final demand challenges caused by the outbreak.

In other corporate news: Morgan Stanley announced the biggest acquisition for a Wall Street bank since the financial crisis. The button-down old-school Wall Street firm it is buying online broker E*Trade in a $13 billion stock deal.

Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at Bankrate, explains what's behind this mega-deal deal.


"What we're seeing is investment banks continue to covet Main Street customers. Just as the Goldman Sachs has grown their online bank, Marcus, you're now seeing Morgan Stanley following a similar path acquiring E*Trade, who has not only a brokerage business, but also a banking business that really provides the lifeblood of financial services, which is those low-cost deposits. So, you know, the winner here is the consumer."

E*Trade investors were also winners. Shares rocketed 22 percent, closing near a 1-1/2 year high. Morgan Stanley shares finished lower as is typical for the company doing the buying.

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