Stocks were getting hammered for a fourth straight day on Tuesday, fresh off a more than 3% drop the previous session, as investors evaluated the impact of the outbreak of COVID-19, the infectious disease that reportedly originated in Wuhan, China last year, and has apparently upended a bullish ascent for stocks.
Anxieties around the viral outbreak sent stocks broadly lower Tuesday, with officials for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warning Americans that the outbreak “might be bad (paywall),” and that Americans should prepare for the possibility of disruptions.
However, some sectors of the market have seen a more definitive shock than others, including the energy sector XLE, -3.91% and materials XLB, -3.12%, which could fell the most pain from the spread of the disease caused by the novel strain of coronavirus that emerged in Wuhan, China, late last year.
The S&P 500’s energy sector is down more than 17% so far this year, primarily because crude-oil prices entered a bear market, and have been battered by fears that the outbreak could hurt uptake of crude from one of the biggest importers of oil in the world: China. West Texas Intermediate crude for April delivery CLJ20, -2.66%, the U.S. benchmark oil contract, declined 92 cents, or 1.8%, at $50.51 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Tuesday.
The best performer so far among the S&P 500’s 11 sectors is utilities XLU, -1.45%, up 6%, and real estate, up nearly 5%, in the year to date.
Check out the sector performance in the attached table:
|Sector||%Change||YTD % Change|
|Source: Dow Jones Market Data|
On Tuesday, markets continued to get pummeled. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -2.50% was off 535 points, 1.9%, to trade near 27,428 midday, while the S&P 500 SPX, -2.41% lost 60 points, 1.8%, and was trading near 3,167. The Nasdaq Composite COMP, -2.21% declined 150 points, or 1.6%, to 9,067.16. All three indexes started the morning in positive territory, then dipped lower than midday levels.