The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened 500 points lower as news of the virus spreading to the U.S. and other countries grew and world officials scrambled to contain the outbreak, which began in Wuhan, China. The coronavirus has affected over 2,700 people. The Dow wound up closing down 456 points, or nearly 1.6 percent.
An out-of-control virus — now thought to spread through human to human contact — has long been among the most terrifying prospects both for the general population and for investors worried that some external event could bring to an end one of the most powerful market bull runs and American economic expansions on record.
A rising stock market has been one of Trump’s biggest political selling points, and the drop in equity markets appeared to stir him into further action. Shares in airlines and other tourism-related stocks were among the worst hit. Stocks in Europe and Tokyo were down around 2 percent.
We are in very close communication with China concerning the virus. Very few cases reported in USA, but strongly on watch. We have offered China and President Xi any help that is necessary. Our experts are extraordinary!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 27, 2020