Stocks – Wall Street Tumbles on Virus Fears, Mixed Earnings

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By Geoffrey Smith — Stocks tumbled on Wall Street amid a mixed bag of corporate earnings and growing concern at the spread of the coronavirus, after China quarantined the city at the heart of the outbreak and authorities confirmed more cases in new countries.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average () fell 110 points, or 0.4%, by 10:45 AM ET (1545 GMT) to 29,075.54 points. The S&P 500 () ofell 0.3% and the Nasdaq Composite () dropped 0.1%.

The authorities closed down public transport into and out of Wuhan and six other cities in the region around it, in an effort to stem the spread of the disease that has already been detected in most of China’s biggest cities.

But a loss of momentum in corporate earnings also played a part in the sell-off on Wall Street.

Procter & Gamble (NYSE:) fell 0.5% – although it pared earlier losses – after its upgraded guidance failed to meet the expectations of investors who have seen big improvements in profitability over the last two years.

Elsewhere, Comcast (NASDAQ:) fell 2.4% after reporting that it continued to hemorrhage cable TV customers and embarked on what could be an investment-heavy task of rivalling CNN in global news.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:) overcame an early stumble after its results to trade up 1.8% while American Airlines (NASDAQ:) was flat, as strong guidance for 2020 offset weaker-than-expected figures for the three months through December.

Union Pacific (NYSE:) rose 3.1% after its chief executive struck an upbeat note after a rocky fourth quarter, saying that the U.S.-China trade deal should help stop the slump in freight volumes.

Elsewhere, oil stock continued to suffer as futures tumbled another 3%, crashing through $55 a barrel for the first time in two months. Refiners Valero (NYSE:) and Phillips 66 (NYSE:) both lost 1.5%, while shale driller Continental Resources fell 2.3%.

Elsewhere, the , which measures the greenback against a basket of developed market peers, on gains against the euro. The dollar also advanced across the board against emerging market currencies as a wave of risk aversion swept through global markets.

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