Stocks Ended Higher as Upbeat Earnings Offset Coronavirus Fears

U.S. stocks ended higher on Thursday, as investors looked past coronavirus fears and focused on upbeat earnings. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 124.99 points, or 0.43%, to 28,859.44, the S&P 500 gained 10.26 points, or 0.31%, to 3,283.66. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 23.77 points, or 0.26%, to 9,298.93.

Oil futures dropped on Thursday, with U.S. prices logging their lowest settlement since early August, as worries rise over the potential economic impact from the continued spread of the coronavirus. West Texas Intermediate crude for March delivery fell $1.19, or 2.2%, to settle at $52.14 a barrel. March Brent crude shed $1.52, or 12.5%, to $58.29 a barrel.

The World Health Organization designated the coronavirus outbreak an international emergency during a press conference Thursday. The coronavirus represents the first respiratory illness to be labeled an international emergency since the H1N1 flu pandemic of 2009.

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