Stocks Ended Sharply Lower, Oil Prices Tumbled

U.S. stocks logged a sharp drop on Friday as investors struggled with the uncertain economic impact of the coronavirus. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 603.41 points, or 2.09%, to 28,256.03. The S&P 500 fell 58.14 points, or 1.77%, to 3,225.52. The Nasdaq Composite tumbled 148.00 points, or 1.59%, to 9,150.94. For the week, the Dow lost 2.5%, the S&P was down 2.1%, and the Nasdaq shed 1.8%. In January, the Dow shed 1%, the S&P edged 0.2% lower and the Nasdaq gained 2%.

Oil futures ended lower on Friday, suffering hefty monthly and weekly declines. West Texas Intermediate crude for March delivery fell by 58 cents, or 1.1%, to settle at $51.56 a barrel. March Brent crude lost 13 cents, or 0.2%, to end at $58.16 a barrel. WTI logged a 4.9% weekly fall, which led to a 15.6% January decline. March contract for Brent lost 4.2% for the week, for a nearly 12% January fall.

Developments in the coronavirus crisis have escalated rapidly, with U.S. officials declaring the outbreak a public health emergency on Friday, following the World Health Organization characterizing the virus’s spread as a growing risk to global economies.

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