U.S. Equity Markets Open Lower Amidst Ongoing Virus Concerns

By Justin Pei

Rochester — Major stock averages were down Friday as resurfacing fears about COVID-19 dented investor sentiments. According to China’s National Health Commission, there are now 2,236 deaths and over 75,465 confirmed cases of the virus worldwide.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 295 points or 1.01%, the Nasdaq Composite was down 1.15% or 112.97 points, and the S&P 500 fell 0.79% or 26.55 Points. The S&P 500 energy sector lagged as crude oil prices dropped 2% as a result of the virus. Gold and treasury prices climbed however, as investors flock to save haven assets.

LA coronavirus press conference . By Ping Jun Yang

Gold is now trading at its highest level since March 2013 at more than $1,640 per ounce.

Asian markets were also down following the announcement of new cases in South Korea. South Korea’s stock fell 1.5% on Friday while Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.39% and the country’s manufacturing sector saw production decline to a 7 year low.