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3M Again Is Only Dow Stock Rising in Wall Street Rout

For a second day, shares of 3M buck the sharp downward trend.
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3M (MMM) - Get Free Report was for a second day the only stock in the Dow Jones Industrial Average rising, climbing 1.7% to $155.65 as fears about the spread of the deadly coronavirus continued to drag markets down to historic lows.

Shares of the St. Paul, Minnesota-based company closed higher Thursday as well at $150.16.

Reuters reported the White House was considering invoking the Defense Production Act to ramp up production of coronavirus protective gear. 3M and Honeywell International (HON) - Get Free Report are the biggest US producers of protective masks.

Honeywell shares were down 5% to $151.41.

3M, which was also leading the S&P 500, makes N95 respirators, the type of mask that more efficiently protects people against the virus than ordinary medical masks, CNN reported. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said the mask is designed to achieve a very close facial fit and very efficient filtration of airborne particles.

The  "N95" designation means that when subjected to careful testing, the respirator filtersat least 95% of very small of test particles. Honeywell also makes an N95 respirator.

Leading the Dow's descent were Procter & Gamble (PG) - Get Free Report , Home Depot (HD) - Get Free Report and Apple (AAPL) - Get Free Report.

Airlines and hotels have also suffered as companies and consumers curtail travel plans and cancel events and conventions.

More than 83,000 people - mostly in China but in rising numbers around the world - have been infected by the virus, officially known as Covid-19, with new cases confirmed overnight in Nigeria, New Zealand and Lithuania.

The Dow fell 926 points, or 3.6%, to 24,840 on Friday after plummeting on Thursday by  1,190.95 points, the largest one-day point drop in its history.