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Industrial average drops 124 points

U.S. stocks slumped for a fifth straight session on Wednesday as investors continued to weigh the fast-spreading coronavirus and its impact on the economy. 

Worry about economic fallout from the deadly virus that originated in China fueled a sharp sell-off this week that wiped out the market’s gains for the year.

On Wednesday, the Dow Jones industrial average slumped 124 points to close at 26,957.59, after shedding nearly 2,000 points following steep losses on Monday and Tuesday. The blue-chip average is off 8.8% from its Feb. 12 record, putting it on the brink of a correction, generally defined as a decline of 10% from a recent high. 

On Wednesday, the Standard & Poor’s 500 slipped 0.4% to end at 3,116.39. Tuesday marked the first back-to-back 3% losses for the S&P 500 since the summer of 2015. The index is the main benchmark for mutual funds. The Nasdaq Composite was virtually unchanged, ticking up 0.2% to end at 8,980.78. 

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