VanEck CEO is optimistic on markets, China despite coronavirus
VanEck Associates CEO Jan van Eck discusses China, bitcoin, coronavirus, gold, e-sports and why his philosophy for 2020 is ‘don’t worry, be happy.’
U.S. equity markets were under severe pressure Monday morning following a surge in the number of coronavirus cases outside China.
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged as many as 996 points, or 3.4 percent, at the open while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq were lower by 3.1 percent and 3.9 percent, respectively. The early selling dropped the Dow into negative territory for 2020.
|I:DJI||DOW JONES AVERAGES||28208.78||-783.63||-2.70%|
|I:COMP||NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX||9298.191094||-278.40||-2.91%|
The barrage of selling came after South Korea, the country with the third-most cases, reported 161 new cases on Monday, raising its total number of cases to 763 and its death toll by two to seven. Italy and Iran said their number of new cases jumped to 152 and 43, respectively.
Meanwhile, China’s National Health Commission reported 409 new cases and 150 new deaths on Monday, raising those totals to 77,150 and 2,592, respectively.
The updated figures came after Chinese President Xi Jinping warned the outbreak would deliver a blow to the Chinese economy.
"The outbreak of novel coronavirus pneumonia will inevitably have a relatively big impact on the economy and society,'' Xi said, adding the crisis is a “big test” for Chinese leadership.
Looking at stocks, travel-related names were sharply lower. Delta and United airlines were weaker along with cruise operators Carnival Corp. and Royal Caribbean and casino operators Wynn Resorts and MGM Resorts International.
|DAL||DELTA AIR LINES INC.||53.92||-3.95||-6.83%|
|UAL||UNITED AIRLINES HLDG.||74.69||-3.32||-4.26%|
|RCL||ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISES||100.14||-5.97||-5.63%|
|WYNN||WYNN RESORTS LIMITED||123.60||-4.35||-3.40%|
|MGM||MGM RESORTS INTERNATIONAL||30.00||-1.40||-4.44%|
Big technology names also saw heavy selling with Apple, Facebook and Amazon seeing notable losses.
Meanwhile, drugmakers working to develop vaccines and treatment for the coronavirus gained. Gilead Sciences, Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Novavax and Nanoviricides were all higher.
|GILD||GILEAD SCIENCES INC.||73.74||+4.04||+5.79%|
Elsewhere, Boeing fell after offering more support for suppliers who have been impacted by the 737 Max production freeze.
Wells Fargo outperformed after reaching a $3 billion settlement with the Department of Justice to resolve its fake account scandal.
Berkshire Hathaway was in focus after reporting its full-year 2019 profit reached $81.4 billion, boosted by a new accounting rule that CEO Warren Buffett vehemently disagrees with. Speaking with CNBC on Monday, Buffett said he doesn't think the coronavirus "should affect what you do in stocks."
|WFC||WELLS FARGO & COMPANY||46.72||-0.98||-2.06%|
|BRK.B||BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY INC.||221.85||-7.48||-3.26%|
Commodities traded mixed with West Texas Intermediate crude oil down 4.7 percent at $50.85 a barrel and gold up 2.1 percent at $1,684 an ounce. The precious metal hit a seven-year high of $1,691.70 earlier Monday.
U.S. Treasurys soared, pushing the yield on the 10-year note down 10.5 basis points to 1.365 percent. The yield is on track to close below its July 5, 2016, record low of 1.376 percent.
European markets were hit hard with Britain’s FTSE, France’s CAC and Germany’s DAX all trading lower by at least 3.6 percent.
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In Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng paced the decline, down 1.8 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite and Japan’s Nikkei shed 0.3 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively.
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