Global markets sank overnight Sunday as investor fear mounted over the spread of coronavirus, pushing the Dow Jones Industrial Average down by around 530 points at Monday’s opening bell.
The S&P 500 and tech-heavy Nasdaq were down by 2 percent on Monday, as officials confirmed five cases of the deadly virus in the U.S. and the total number of fatalities in China, where the epidemic originates, soared to 81 over the weekend.
Shares in Delta and American Airlines were down by around 3 percent each, and Wynn Resorts fell 5.8 percent. Airlines, hotels, and other travel-related stocks have been hit hardest as China locked down more cities, closed down businesses, encouraged employees to work from home, and implemented severe transport restrictions to help stop the spread of the virus.
Companies such as Apple, Alphabet, and Nike, which have the greatest exposure to China, were also dinged by the viral outbreak, falling by close to 2 percent.
Officials with China’s National Health Commission said there were 2,744 confirmed cases — up from 1,975 — of which 461 are considered severe. Officials are also investigating 5,794 suspected cases and tracking over 32,000 close contacts with infected patients.
Chinese President Xi Jinping said the country was facing a “grave situation,” and the country has reportedly allocated almost $9 billion to help contain the virus.
While economists have yet to put a figure on the total damage that could be caused by coronavirus, comparisons are being drawn with the SARS virus, the acute respiratory illness that wiped $40 billion off the global market in 2003.