(Bloomberg) — The sell-off in stocks accelerated as bonds surged on concern the spread of the coronavirus will slam global economic growth.
The erased its 2020 advance as investors remained on edge over the impact of the disease that’s now infected about 10,000 people around the world. Caterpillar Inc (NYSE:). sank as its profit outlook trailed analysts’ estimates, adding to worries about global business spending. Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:). soared after a blowout quarter, delivering an unprecedented boost to its market value that now exceeds $1 trillion. Treasury 10-year yields tumbled toward the lowest since October. Oil slumped.
The final week of January has been tumultuous across global markets, as a barrage of corporate earnings, central-bank decisions and economic data landed in the growing shadow of the deadly epidemic. The outbreak will cut U.S. economic growth by 0.4 percentage point in the first quarter as the number of tourists from China plunges and exports to the Asian nation slow, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:). Still, a report showed that American consumer sentiment increased in January to an eight-month high, indicating sustained optimism in the face of the coronavirus.
Global stocks headed toward their worst week and month since August, with the S&P 500 trimming its January advance to less than 0.5%. Alongside tech, defensive companies such as utilities and real estate have driven gains in the U.S. equity benchmark this month. Energy and material shares have underperformed.
“The virus outbreak represents this unknown that, frankly, markets aren’t very good at handicapping,” said David Lafferty, chief market strategist at Natixis Investment Managers in Boston. “It’s almost like an open-ended risk.”
Some other corporate highlights:
- Exxon Mobil Corp (NYSE:). and Chevron Corp. (NYSE:) posted the weakest results in years amid disappointing numbers in almost all of their business lines.
- Honeywell International Inc (NYSE:). sales forecast disappointed analysts as an industrial slowdown crimped revenue growth.
- Boeing (NYSE:) Co. was cut by Moody’s Investors Service to the lowest tier of investment grade.
- Visa Inc (NYSE:). said the incentives it hands out to banks and retailers will climb faster than revenue and are on track to be at the high end of its targeted range for 2020.
- Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE:) Corp. posted strong sales growth last quarter even as it raised prices to consumers.
Elsewhere, oil tumbled as Asia’s coronavirus spread stoked concerns that demand for transportation fuels will shrink. The pound is ending a tumultuous month on a high note amid Britain’s exit from the European Union.
These are some of the main moves in markets:
- The S&P 500 sank 1.2% as of 11 a.m. New York time.
- The Index slid 1.1%.
- The MSCI Emerging Market Index dipped 1.2%.
- The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.2%.
- The euro gained 0.4% to $1.1079.
- The Japanese yen appreciated 0.5% to 108.37 per dollar.
- The yield on 10-year Treasuries declined five basis points to 1.53%.
- Germany’s 10-year yield decreased three basis points to -0.44%.
- Britain’s 10-year yield fell three basis points to 0.517%.
- The Bloomberg Commodity Index decreased 0.2%.
- West Texas Intermediate crude dipped 1.2% to $51.53 a barrel.
- Gold climbed 0.3% to $1,593.30 an ounce.
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