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Dow Ends Down Over 950 Points, Nearly 3.6%, as Wall Street Swings Wildly on Coronavirus Fears

Stocks tumble after coronavirus infections in the U.S. rise and California declares a medical state of emergency after the state's first death from the virus.
  1. Stocks finished sharply lower after coronavirus infections in the U.S. rose and California declared a medical state of emergency after the state's first death from the virus.
  2. Coronavirus update: Confirmed global cases have risen to 97,873, with deaths at 3,347 (12 deaths in the U.S. have been reported).
  3. HP Inc. is Real Money's Stock of the Day after the maker of printers, printer supplies and personal computers rejected a hostile takeover bid from smaller rival Xerox.

Stocks finished sharply lower Thursday and the Dow Jones Industrial Average sank more than 950 points after coronavirus infections in the U.S. rose and California declared a medical state of emergency after the state's first death from the virus.

The yield on the benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury note fell Thursday to a record low 0.904% as investors moved to the relative safety of bonds.

U.S. cases of the virus have risen to 209, according to Johns Hopkins CSSE. At least 12 people in the U.S. have died from Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. Most of the deaths were in Washington state, while an elderly woman died just outside Sacramento, Calif.

A woman in her 90s became the 11th person to die in Washington state, health officials said Thursday.

Two new cases of the virus were confirmed in New York City, bringing the total to four. A handful of other cases also were being investigated in the city.

The Senate on Thursday passed an $8.3 billion emergency spending plan to help fight the virus outbreak. The House passed the measure on Wednesday. The bill will be sent to President Donald Trump for his signature.

Global cases of Covid-19 have risen to 97,873, according to Johns Hopkins, with the death toll at 3,347.

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Meanwhile, the broader economic impact continues to be assessed, with the International Monetary Fund trimming its global-growth forecast by 0.4 percentage point to 2.9%, a level that would be the slowest pace of growth since 2009.

IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva also cautioned the virus-related pullback could intensify in the coming months. But she added that "how far it will fall and how long the impact will be is still difficult to predict."

The Dow finished down 969 points, or 3.58%, to 26,121, the S&P 500 declined 3.39% and the Nasdaq was down 3.1%. 

Just one day earlier, the Dow jumped 4.53% on Wednesday after a strong showing from Joe Biden in the Super Tuesday Democratic primary contests and as Congress passed the virus-related spending bill.

Jobless claims for the week ended Feb. 29 fell 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 216,000, a sign that the labor market remained firm and companies weren't letting workers go amid the virus outbreak.

The spread of the coronavirus, meanwhile, is threatening South by Southwest, the annual tech, film and music conference in Austin, which is scheduled to begin March 13.

Apple  (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. Report said Wednesday that it wouldn't be attending the festival, and Netflix  (NFLX) - Get Netflix Inc. Report also said it was pulling out.  (AMZN) - Get Inc. Report and Facebook  (FB) - Get Meta Platforms Inc. Report also have pulled out of SXSW.

JetBlue Airways  (JBLU) - Get JetBlue Airways Corporation Report joined United Airlines  (UAL) - Get United Airlines Holdings Inc. Report in trimming its domestic schedule as travel demand slumps during the coronavirus outbreak, and Southwest Airlines warned Thursday that first-quarter revenue would take a hit as customers curtail air travel.  

Marvell Technology  (MRVL) - Get Marvell Technology Inc. Report rose Thursday after the semiconductor maker reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings and sales ahead of analysts' expectations and issued a better-than-expected first-quarter forecast.