NEW YORK, N.Y. – The stock market took a serious hit Monday as fears grow over the new coronavirus disease, officially called COVID-19, and its effects on the economy.
Stocks fell sharply following a sell-off in overseas markets as a surge in virus cases and a worrisome spread of the disease outside China sent investors running for safety.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 1,031 points lower, or 3.56%, at 27,960. The drop was the worst for the index in two years and wiped out its gains so far in 2020.
Meanwhile, the S&P 500 index skidded 111 points, or 3.35%, to 3,225. And, the Nasdaq dropped 355 points, or 3.71%, to 9,221.
Nervous investors scrambled for safety, loading up on gold, U.S. government bonds and other safe-harbor assets.
The price of oil fell sharply on expectations that demand for energy would tumble.
The stock market drop coincides with the news of coronavirus outbreaks in other parts of Asia, the Middle East and Europe.
Monday, CNN reported that the number of deaths from the virus has risen to more than 2,600 across the world. South Korea announced 231 new cases, with the nationwide total surpassing 830. In Iran, officials said 12 people have died as a result of the virus. And in Italy, seven deaths have been reported, the most of any European country.
Some are worried about a wider epidemic.