S&P 500 drops to its lowest since 2018 over coronavirus fears


The S&P 500 dropped to its lowest in two years on Monday when a sudden rise in coronavirus cases outside China caused investors to worry about valuation after the recent highs.

The S&P 500’s 3.5% drop was its heaviest fall in a day since February 2018, during Wall Street’s correction.

Market fears came after investors underestimated the risks the virus posed in recent months. The drop of the S&P 500 on Monday eliminated all the U.S. stock index’s gains for 2020.

Most S&P 500 sector indexes remain close to their record highs, excluding energy .SPNY. The S&P information technology index .SPLRCT fell 4.2% on Monday, struck by losses for chipmakers and Apple. The said index fell 7% from its record high on Feb 19. However, it still stands at nearly 4% in 2020.

The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index .SOX fell from its record high the previous week.

Market worries on the virus’ potential to turn into a pandemic caused a spike in the listings on the NYSE (New York Stock Exchange) as it hit 52-week lows. It fell to new lows in one session since August. Consecutively, the number of stocks that hit 52-week highs dropped to 278 from 400 on Friday.

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