World stocks skid on growing virus fears; Dow drops 500

NEW YORK (AP) — Stock tumbled at the open on Wall Street following a sell-off in markets in Europe and Japan as investors grow more concerned about the potential economic impact of an outbreak of a deadly coronavirus. Chinese authorities reported 2,744 people sickened and 81 killed by the new virus first found in the central Chinese city of Wuhan. Major US indexes fell more than 1% Monday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropping as many as 500 points. Hotels, airlines and other travel and tourism companies fell the most. Oil dropped more than 2%, while gold rose. Bonds rose and the yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 1.61%.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.

Stock markets and the price of oil tumbled Monday after China announced sharp increases in the number of people infected with a potentially deadly virus.

In Paris, the CAC 40 lost 2.2% to 5,889 while Germany's DAX skidded 2.3% to 13,271. Britain's FTSE 100 gave up 2.3% to 7,414. Shares also looked set for declines on Wall Street, where the future contracts for the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average both sank 1.5%.

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China coronavirus outbreak spreads across regions
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China coronavirus outbreak spreads across regions
In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, Chinese President Xi Jinping talks by video with patients and medical workers at the Huoshenshan Hospital in Wuhan in central China's Hubei Province, Tuesday, March 10, 2020. China's president visited the center of the global virus outbreak Tuesday as Italy began a sweeping nationwide travel ban and people worldwide braced for the possibility of recession. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. (Xie Huanchi/Xinhua via AP)
A traveler wears a face mask as he sits in a waiting room at the Beijing West Railway Station in Beijing, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. A fourth person has died in an outbreak of a new coronavirus in China, authorities said Tuesday, as more places stepped up medical screening of travelers from the country as it enters its busiest travel period. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
A girl wearing a face mask sits among suitcases at Hong Kong International Airport in Hong Kong, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. Face masks sold out and temperature checks at airports and train stations became the new norm as China strove Tuesday to control the outbreak of a new coronavirus that has reached four other countries and territories and threatens to spread further during the Lunar New Year travel rush. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
Travelers wearing face masks gather at Hong Kong International Airport in Hong Kong, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. Face masks sold out and temperature checks at airports and train stations became the new norm as China strove Tuesday to control the outbreak of a new coronavirus that has reached four other countries and territories and threatens to spread further during the Lunar New Year travel rush. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
Staff in biohazard suits hold a metal stretcher by the in-patient department of Wuhan Medical Treatment Center, where some infected with a novel coronavirus are being treated, in Wuhan, China, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. Heightened precautions were being taken in China and elsewhere Tuesday as governments strove to control the outbreak of the coronavirus, which threatens to grow during the Lunar New Year travel rush. (AP Photo/Dake Kang)
Peatones con máscaras de protección en una zona comercial de Tokio, el jueves 16 de enero de 2020. (AP Foto/Eugene Hoshiko)
Health workers wear protective gear Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2003, in Ward E3 of the Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital in Hong Kong's New Territories, where 24 patients were quarantined after seven of its health workers developed flu-like symptoms, although none have tested positive for SARS. According to a hospital spokesperson five nurses and two health care assistants working in the hospital's Ward E3 developed symptoms such as coughs, sore throats and fevers on Friday. Hong Kong's health chief, Dr.Yeoh Eng-kiong, said that preliminary test results showed patients' samples did not contain coronavirus that causes SARS and researchers are trying to identify the cause of the illness. (AP Photo/Anat Givon)
WUHAN, CHINA - JANUARY 21 2020: Workers monitor screens for fever signs on passengers detected by infrared detectors at Hankou Railway Station in Wuhan in central China's Hubei province Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. A new type of coronavirus has infected hundreds of people in the city.- PHOTOGRAPH BY Feature China / Barcroft Media (Photo credit should read Feature China / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
WUHAN, CHINA - JANUARY 21 2020: Passengers wearing protective masks walk inside Hankou Railway Station in Wuhan in central China's Hubei province Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. A new type of coronavirus has infected hundreds of people in the city.- PHOTOGRAPH BY Feature China / Barcroft Media (Photo credit should read Feature China / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
WUHAN, CHINA - JANUARY 21 2020: Passengers wearing protective masks walk outside Hankou Railway Station in Wuhan in central China's Hubei province Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. A new type of coronavirus has infected hundreds of people in the city.- PHOTOGRAPH BY Feature China / Barcroft Media (Photo credit should read Feature China / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
WUHAN, CHINA - JANUARY 21 2020: Passengers wearing protective masks walk inside Hankou Railway Station in Wuhan in central China's Hubei province Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. A new type of coronavirus has infected hundreds of people in the city.- PHOTOGRAPH BY Feature China / Barcroft Media (Photo credit should read Feature China / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
BEIJING, CHINA - JANUARY 21: Chinese travellers wear protective masks as they arrive to board trains at Beijing Railway station before the annual Spring Festival on January 21, 2020 in Beijing, China. The number of cases of a deadly new coronavirus rose to nearly 300 in mainland China Tuesday as health officials stepped up efforts to contain the spread of the pneumonia-like disease which medicals experts confirmed can be passed from human to human. The number of those who have died from the virus in China climbed to six on Tuesday and cases have been reported in other parts of Asia including in Thailand, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
YICHANG, CHINA - JANUARY 21 2020: Travelers wearing protective masks walk outside a railway station in Yichang in central China's Hubei province Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. China has stepped up the measures to control the spread of the new coronavirus that has infected hundreds of people in China.- PHOTOGRAPH BY Feature China / Barcroft Media (Photo credit should read Feature China / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
BEIJING, CHINA - JANUARY 21: A Chinese girl wears a protective mask as her mother pushes her on a suitcase to board a train at Beijing Railway station before the annual Spring Festival on January 21, 2020 in Beijing, China. The number of cases of a deadly new coronavirus rose to nearly 300 in mainland China Tuesday as health officials stepped up efforts to contain the spread of the pneumonia-like disease which medicals experts confirmed can be passed from human to human. The number of those who have died from the virus in China climbed to six on Tuesday and cases have been reported in other parts of Asia including in Thailand, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
In this March 23, 2020 photo released by Xinhua News Agency, workers disinfect a subway train in preparation for the restoration of public transport in Wuhan, in central China's Hubei province. China's health ministry says Wuhan has now gone several consecutive days without a new infection, showing the effectiveness of draconian travel restrictions that are slowly being relaxed around the country. (Xiao Yijiu/Xinhua via AP)
In this March 18, 2020 photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, people applaud as departing medical workers enter Wuhan Tianhe International Airport in Wuhan in central China's Hubei Province. Last month, Wuhan was overwhelmed with thousands of new cases of coronavirus each day. But in a dramatic development that underscores just how much the outbreak has pivoted toward Europe and the United States, Chinese authorities said Thursday that the city and its surrounding province had no new cases to report. The virus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough, for most people, but severe illness is more likely in the elderly and people with existing health problems. (Ke Hao/Xinhua via AP)
En esta fotografía del domingo 8 de marzo de 2020, difundida por la Agencia de Noticias Xinhua, trabajadores con trajes protectores limpian un hospital que se improvisó en un escenario deportivo después de que fuera cerrado oficialmente en Wuhan, provincia de Hubei, en el centro de China. (Xiao Yijiu/Xinhua vía AP)
Office workers wearing mask against coronavirus move past lantern decorations in a mall and office building in Beijing on Thursday, March 19, 2020. China has only just begun loosening draconian travel restrictions within the country, but has stepped-up 14-day quarantine regulations on those arriving in Beijing, Shanghai and elsewhere from overseas, amid expectations of a new influx of students and others returning home. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
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China announced it was extending its week-long public holiday by an extra three days as a precaution against having the virus spread still further. By midnight Sunday, the National Health Commission said 80 people had died out of 2,744 cases that were confirmed.

Various governments have announced plans to evacuate people from Wuhan, the central Chinese city at the center of the pandemic. China halted outbound tours and Wuhan and some other cities stopped public transport, obliging tens of millions of people to stay where they are at the time of the country's peak travel season.

Many Asian markets, including China's, were closed for Lunar New Year holidays, while Australia was closed for Australia Day. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 index sank 2% to 23,343.51. India's Sensex lost 1% to 41,204.15, while the benchmark in Thailand dropped 3.1%. Indonesia's share benchmark was 1.8% lower.

Apart from the direct impact on tourism and travel, “any economic shock to China's colossal industrial and consumption engines will spread rapidly to other countries through the increased trade and financial linkages associated with globalization," Stephen Innes of AxiCorp said in a commentary.

The virus that has spread to a dozen countries in addition to Hong Kong and Macau can cause pneumonia and other severe respiratory symptoms. The World Health Organization has not yet declared the situation a global emergency, which would bring more money and resources to fight it, but could trigger still more economically damaging restrictions on trade and travel.

On Friday, the S&P 500 had its worst day since early October, dropping 0.9% as health care stocks saw steep losses. The sell-off followed news that a Chicago woman had become the second U.S. patient diagnosed with the new virus from China.

Investors have been shifting money into safe-play, high-dividend stocks and government bonds.The surge in bond-buying has sent yields lower.

Investors also are digging through the latest batch of company earnings reports, including strong results from chipmaker Intel and American Express. This week is shaping up to be the busiest week for earnings, with roughly 40% of the companies in the S&P 500 due to issue their results for the last three months of 2019.

Benchmark U.S. crude gave up $1.71 to $52.48 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It lost $1.40 to $54.19 per barrel on Friday. Brent crude, the international standard, declined $2.63 to $58.06 per barrel. It shed $1.39 to $59.89 per barrel on Friday.

In currency trading, the dollar weakened to 108.94 Japanese yen from 109.28 yen. The euro was steady at $1.1020.

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  • DJI23390.18736.323.25%
    NASDAQ8089.25201.992.56%
  • NIKKEI 22519353.24403.062.13%
    Hang Seng23970.37-282.92-1.17%
    DAX10332.89-23.81-0.23%
  • USD (PER EUR)1.09-0.0030-0.27%
    USD (PER CHF)1.03-0.0017-0.16%
    JPY (PER USD)108.850.09400.09%
    GBP (PER USD)1.240.00520.42%