Wall Street stocks drop as tourism shares take a hit from viral outbreak

A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell in New York. (Reuters)

Wall Street stocks tumbled Friday as news of additional coronavirus cases offset some positive earnings reports to finish the week on a negative note.

China expanded a massive quarantine effort on Friday, while the United States confirmed its second case of the SARS-like ailment. French officials said there had also been two cases found in France, the first in Europe.

Adam Sarhan of 50 Park Investments said the virus still appeared to be contained but “if we start getting more cases showing up around the world, that would be a bad sign for global economic growth.”

Sarhan said Friday’s losses also reflected profit-taking following a run of Wall Street records in recent weeks.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 0.6 percent at 28,989.73.

The broad-based S&P 500 dropped 0.9 percent to 3,295.45, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index also shed 0.9 percent to 9,314.91, retreating from a record.

Tourism-oriented stocks were under pressure amid fears over the impact of the Chinese virus. United Airlines sank 3.5 percent, Marriott International lost 2.7 percent and Wynn Resorts fell 3.1 percent.

American Express jumped 2.8 percent after reporting better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings on a solid holiday shopping season, while fellow Dow member Intel surged 8.1 percent on higher profits as it boosted its dividend.

Another Dow component, Boeing, gained 1.7 percent after a source confirmed that the Federal Aviation Administration could clear the 737 MAX to resume flights before mid-year.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 10:05 - GMT 07:05
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