U.S. stocks gyrated in a volatile session Friday, deepening this week’s global rout on fears that a deadly virus in China is spreading.
The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 500 points, after tumbling more than 1,000 points in early trading. Stocks whipsawed, with the blue-chip average swinging more than 800 points from its session high to its low. The Standard & Poor’s 500 slid 1.6%. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.7%.
The Dow plummeted nearly 1,200 points on Thursday – its biggest one-day point drop ever – on rising anxiety over the outbreak. Thursday’s losses put the blue-chip average into a correction – a decline of 10% from a recent high – for the first time since December 2018.
The S&P 500 fell 4.4% Thursday, down 12% from its Feb. 19 all-time high.
Following Thursday’s losses, the Dow and S&P 500 were down more than 10.5% so far this week, heading for their worst weekly performance since the financial crisis in 2008.
Outbreaks in Italy, South Korea, Japan and Iran have fueled fears the coronavirus is turning into a global threat that might derail trade and industry. Anxiety intensified Thursday when the United States reported its first virus case in someone who hadn’t traveled abroad or been in contact with anyone who had.
“Given that China is such a big component of many global supply chains, we will almost certainly see weaker economic data globally over the next several months,” Ryan Detrick, senior market strategist at LPL Financial, says in a note.
Investors continued to flock to safe haven corners of the market Friday.
U.S. bond prices soared Thursday as investors fled to safe investments. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note, or the difference between the market price and what an investor will be paid if the bond is held to maturity, fell to a record low of 1.16%.
London’s FTSE 100 sank 2.8% and Frankfurt’s DAX tumbled 5%. France’s CAC 40 lost 3.9%. In Asian trading, the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo tumbled 3.7% and the Shanghai Composite Index also fell 3.7%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 2.5%.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.