February 27, 2020: US stocks tumbled again Thursday, joining a sell-off in most global bourses over coronavirus fears, putting Wall Street on pace for its worst week since 2008.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 26,269.96, down nearly 700 points or 2.6 percent around 1555 GMT. The blue-chip index has fallen the last five days.
The broad-based S&P 500 slid 2.5 percent to 3,038.80, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index shed 2.9 percent to 8,719.48.
The losses came after US public health officials confirmed a coronavirus case in California, the first one of unknown origin domestically.
In Japan, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called for school closures to prevent the spread of the illness, while French President Emmanuel Macron warned the country is “facing a crisis, an epidemic that is coming.”
Markets have been rattled by the prospect that lockdown measures such as those employed in China will become more widespread, denting global growth and producing a “nesting” impulse in the consumer-driven US economy, especially coming at a time when many economies already are fragile.
Goldman Sachs on Thursday slashed its 2020 forecast for US earnings, estimating that it now expects flat earnings in 2020 and lower growth in 2021.
“Our reduced forecasts re?ect the severe decline in Chinese economic activity in (the first quarter), lower end-demand for US exporters, supply chain disruption, a slowdown in US economic activity, and elevated uncertainty,” Goldman said.
US Treasury yields remained under pressure, with the 10-year slumping even more, hitting to new historic lows, most recently at 1.259 percent.
“The new low on the 10-year is not predicting a recession, rather it's a manifestation of a flight to safety like gold, the US dollar, and the dividend darlings,” said a note from Art Hogan, chief market strategist at National Securities.
Among individual companies, Microsoft fell 3.4 percent as it warned of lower sales of Windows software and Surface devices due to supply chain disruption in China.