Jessica Menton USA TODAY
Published 5:22 PM EST Feb 7, 2020
U.S. stocks pulled back from records Friday, as investors fretted over the economic fallout from the deadly coronavirus that’s spreading in China.
The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 277.26 points to close at 29,102.51, snapping a four-day winning streak after notching a fresh record Thursday.
The broader Standard & Poor’s 500 fell 0.5% to finish at 3,327.71. It still rose 3.2% for the week – its best performance since June. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite lost 0.5% to end at 9,520.51.
The virus has infected more than 31,400 people around the world, and killed more than 630, nearly all of them in China. The director-general of the World Health Organization said Friday that a drop in the number of new virus cases for two days is “good news” but also cautioned against reading too much into that.
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“As the impact continues to rise, officials around the globe are amping up precautions to stem the contagion to their own respective regions,” Lindsey Piegza, chief economist at Stifel Nicolaus, said in a note.
Friday's losses came despite a stronger-than-expected employment report. Employers added 225,000 last month, topping economists’ expectations for 161,500.
U.S. government bonds rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 1.58% from 1.64% late Thursday.
Technology and health care companies gave up some of their gains from earlier in the week. Financial, industrial and material stocks also fell, outweighing slight gains by household goods makers and communication services companies.
Oil prices fell, weighing on energy stocks. Halliburton fell 2.1%.
U.S. crude prices fell 63 cents to settle at $50.32 per barrel.
Contributing: Alex Veiga and Stan Choe, The Associated Press