U.S. stocks saw significant losses on Monday as news of the deadly coronavirus worries investors. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 350 points or 1.2% this morning, while the S&P 500 is also down 1.2%. The tech-oriented Nasdaq shed 140 points, down 1.5%.
According to Chinese officials, the death toll in China has grown to 81. The National Health Commission stated that over 2,700 people have been diagnosed with the condition, mainly in the Hubei province of China which is now in lockdown. The number of U.S. cases has gone up as well, from just one individual diagnosed with the coronavirus before the weekend to now five people.
It's been over three months since the S&P 500 moved up or down over 1% in a single trading day. Stocks have steadily gone up since October when the Trump Administration confirmed that it was close to signing a phase-one trade deal with China. However, worries of a global outbreak are pushing down global equities markets and are threatening to give back much of the gains made over the past couple of months.
The big picture
While the outbreak is still contained in China for the most part, U.S. companies that have significant operations in the country have been hit hard. Small-pharmaceutical stocks with antiviral programs, however, have been the biggest winners so far since news of the coronavirus first came out.
One of them is Inovio Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:INO), which saw its stock shoot up by over 30% on Monday, extending already impressive gains. Novavax (NASDAQ:NVAX) and Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) are two other healthcare companies that have caught attention since the outbreak started, with shares rising by 9.5% and 5.7% respectively today.