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  • The US equity market finished mostly lower for fifth straight session on Wednesday, 26 February 2020, as investors risk sentiments dented on nervousness about the spread of Chinas coronavirus to Europe and the Americas. At closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 123.77 points, or 0.5%, to 26,957.50. The S&P 500 shed 11.82 points, or 0.4%, to 3,116.39, while the Nasdaq Composite added 15.16 points, or 0.2%, to 8,980.77.

    Investors have been contending with the potential for the coronavirus outbreak to disrupt global trade and slow growth, and stock prices around the world have reflected concerns about the viruss spread outside China. More than 80,000 people have been infected by the virus, which has killed more than 2,700.

    Equities fell as the rapid spread of COVID-19 infections and deaths outside of China continued to hang over markets, despite stocks starting out the day with a short-lived recovery. Officials reported that 83 people in Nassau County, N.Y., just outside New York City, were in voluntary isolation for potential coronavirus exposure.

    The authorities in Italy are struggling to contain an outbreak that is threatening to disrupt Europes fourth-largest economy. About 400 people have contracted the virus in Italy. Greece and Brazil reported their first cases. Dozens in Iran have died from the virus, with cases spreading across the countrys borders throughout the Middle East. South Korea is working to manage the largest outbreak outside China, with more than 1,200 reported cases.

    As the virus spreads, economists warn the crisis could roil global supply chains and hamper economic growth. Concerned investors are dumping stocks, seeking safer investments like government bonds, pushing prices up and yields down.

    In economic data, U.S. new-home sales soared 7.9% in January to an annualized pace of 764,000. Low mortgage rates have helped to lift homebuying activity.

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