As the closing bell rang in New York on Friday, US stocks recorded a 1% net loss for the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by 227.57 points to 28,992.41, while the S&P 500 fell by 35.48 points to 3,337.75 and the Nasdaq Composite fell by 174.38 points to 9,576.59. However, all three indices remain near their historic highs.
More than 75,000 people have contracted the COVID-19 coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan in December, and more than 2,200 have died; roughly 11,000 people have recovered from the sickness and been discharged from medical centers. Despite heavy restrictions on travel to and from China intended to limit spread of the disease, new cases were recently reported in several countries, and nations like South Korea saw their first deaths from the virus.
The fall comes in the wake of major gains in financial stocks on Thursday as the Bank of China slashed interest rates in an attempt to prop up flagging banks. However, economic experts noted that growth prospects were slim even before the recent developments.
“Even if the outbreak recedes, global growth is still set to fall to zero in the first quarter, before bouncing back over the remainder of the year,” Peter Berezin, chief global strategist at BCA Research, told CNBC. “Thus, a near-term hit to corporate earnings now looks unavoidable.”