US stocks fall as new virus cases spike outside of China

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks fell in early trading Friday as cases of the new virus swelled in South Korea and more companies warned investors about a hit to their profits and revenue.

Renewed anxiety over the global spread of the virus also pushed stocks lower on Thursday and knocked them off of record highs in what hasbeen a volatile, holiday-shortened week. Indexes are on track for their first weekly loss after two weeks of gains.

Technology companies led the losses. Chipmakers, whichrely heavily on China for both sales and supply chains, were some of the worst hit. Nvidia fell 1.7%.

Companies thatdepend on consumer spending,especially in travel-related industries, alsofell broadly. Marriott shed 2.4% and Carnival fell 1.6%. American Airlines slipped 3.3%.

Investors headed for safer territory. Real estate companies and utilities held up better than the rest of the market. Bond prices rose and pushed yields lower. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 1.47% from 1.52% late Thursday.

The price of gold, another haven for nervous investors, jumped 1.4%.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index fell 0.9% as of 10:10 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 268 points, or 0.9%, to 28,949. The Nasdaq fell 1.2%. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks fell 0.8%.

Asian and European markets also fell.

VIRUS WARNINGS: Coca-Cola is the latest big name to warn investors that the economic impact from the virus willhurt its finances. Chinais a big market for the company,and Coke now expects a hit of 2 cents per share to its first-quarter profit.

Universal Display, which makes LED-technology for televisions and other products, expects the virus to hurt orders in 2020. The International Air Transport Association said the virus threatens to erase $29 billion of this year’s revenue for global airlines, though mostly for Chinese carriers.

SPREADING ANXIETY: South Korea said 204 people have been infected with the virus, quadruple the number of cases it had two days earlier. More than 76,000 people have been infected globally, with most of the cases and deaths centered in China. That nation’s leadership on Friday shifted to a more cautious tone and said it has not yet reached a turning point for the virus and the situation in the hardest hit province remains grave.

GOOD HARVEST: Deere jumped 9.1% after the farm equipment maker handily beat Wall Street’s fiscal first-quarter profit forecasts. The company is coming out of an extended period in which it was bruised by the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China.

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