The major averages fell sharply on Friday after the number of new coronavirus cases in more countries fueled worries over a pronounced global economic slowdown. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 227 points or 0.8%, at 28,992. It was the Dow's first close below 29,000 since Feb. 4. The S&P 500 slid 1.1% to 3,337 while the Nasdaq Composite declined by 1.8% to 9,576. The Dow had its worst daily performance since Feb. 7 while the S&P 500 posted its biggest one-day loss since Jan. 31. The Nasdaq recorded its worst session since Jan. 27.
Friday's losses sent the major averages lower on a weekly basis for the first time in three weeks. The Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq all fell more than 1% week to date.
Microsoft fell more than 3% to lead the Dow lower on Friday. The S&P 500 was pressured by a 2.3% drop in the tech sector. Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google-parent Alphabet and Apple all closed at least 1.5% lower to drag down the Nasdaq lower. In turn, money poured into U.S. bonds, pushing the 30-year rate to an all-time low.
China's National Health Commission reported more than 75,000 confirmed cases and over 2,000 deaths on the mainland. More than 800 new cases were reported in China overnight. South Korea has also reported more than 200 cases.
The gains in the real estate sector up 0.4% and consumer staples sector up 0.3% reflected the market's defensive posture and helped limit the broader decline.
Deere was a bright spot up 7% following solid quarterly results and encouraging guidance going forward.
U.S. Treasuries, as previously stated, continued to post gains. The 2-yr yield declined four basis points to 1.35%, and the 10-yr yield declined five basis points to 1.47%. The U.S. Dollar Index fell 0.5% to 99.32. WTI crude declined 0.7%, or $0.40, to $53.34/bbl.