The S&P 500 fell 1.6 percent, with shares of airlines and companies dependent on tourism from China particularly hard hit. It was the sharpest decline since Oct. 2, when the trade war was fanning fears of a slowdown.
American Airlines dropped more than 4 percent in early trading, and Wynn Resorts, which operates casinos in Macau, a special administrative region of China and a gambling haven for Chinese high rollers, dropped more than 7 percent.
Major stock benchmarks in Europe were down more than 2 percent. While many markets in Asia were closed for the holiday, Tokyo’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index also sank 2 percent.
Oil enters bear market
Oil posted its fifth straight day of losses on Monday as a potential slowdown in demand due to the coronavirus outbreak continued to weigh on prices. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude fell 1.9% to settle at $53.14 per barrel, its lowest settle since Oct. 15. WTI is now slightly more than 20% below its recent high of $66.60 per barrel in April, meaning that it’s now in bear market territory. International benchmark Brent crude also posted its fifth straight day of losses, settling below the $60 mark. — Stevens
China’s economy, which is experiencing its worst slowdown in nearly three decades, is already hurting from the impact of the outbreak, and there are fears that consumer spending will go down as more residents stay home over the Lunar New Year.