Markets Drop on News of Virus Outbreak
Airline and tourist stocks hit hardest; yuan falls against dollar.
Conjuring memories of the SARS outbreak in late 2002, investors around the world pulled back from the markets today after news spread of another Chinese coronavirus outbreak. A cousin of the SARS virus, this virus, like all coronaviruses typically affect the respiratory tract in humans.
So far, the virus has claimed six lives; 774 people in late 2002 lost their lives to SARS.
In the U.S, the Dow dropped 0.2%, as did the S&P and the Nasdaq. This comes after all three indexes climbing in recent weeks, hitting a series of record highs. In China, the Shanghai composite fell 1.4%, its biggest slide in two months. U.S. airline stocks and the Chinese Yuan--which lost 0.6% against the dollar in offshore trading-- were the most affected.
Shares in United (Nasdaq: UAL) were down 5% while shares of Delta (NYSE: DAL) and American (Nasdaq: AA
Casino companies also took a hit, particularly those companies with operations in Asia.
As of midday Tuesday, shares of Wynn Resorts (Nasdaq: WYNN) were down 7%, while MGM Resorts (NYSE: MGM) and Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: LVS) fell 5.4% and 5.5%, respectively.
Concerns will only deepen as we approach the Chinese New Year and the increased travel to and from China that accompanies it.