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Reported virus cases spike as Europe sees its first major outbreak


Corona virus contagion hit the U. S. stock market today heart the Dow Jones industrial average tumbled more than a thousand points that's more than three and a half percent investors are spooked by the growing number of infections outside China and the possible economic cost if the epidemic spreads clusters of corona virus have been diagnosed in South Korea in Italy and in a run and your Scott Horsley reports up until now the U. S. markets had seen largely immune to corona virus shocks but not anymore investors were rattled by a spike in the number of cases beyond China's borders Italy went from just three confirmed cases last week two hundred and twenty four Italian authorities have now sealed off some of the hardest hit towns near the country's business capital of Milan they also canceled soccer matches and the last two days of carnival in Venice J. Bryce and Wells Fargo securities says that may not be enough about your operate very very open borders and if people are affected in Italy could very well spread to other European countries that's the last thing Europe's already slow growing economy needs Diane Swonk whose chief economist at grant Thornton says as other countries work to control the virus is likely to further dampen economic activity yeah I went there you know telling people to stay and they're shutting down schools and institutions and plant the same thing in northern Italy now parts of northern Italy actually canceling conferences and telling people to stay N. swung was attending a conference of business economists here in Washington where the spread of the corona virus and the resulting stock market plunge were very much on people's minds this is not a health pandemic yet but it's becoming rapidly in economics and Dominic some U. S. companies were already feeling the effects of China's massive quarantines and the spread of the virus will only amplify that like China South Korea is a major exporter supplying the U. S. with nearly eighty billion dollars worth of goods last year Bryson says some of those exports are finished products but others are components used by American manufacturers of electronics computers and cars we import for amount of auto products from South Korea and if the country were to shut down for any reasonable length of time then you could have supply chain repercussions here in the auto industry in the United States Ford shares were down more than four percent today apple shares lost close to five percent many forecasters have been expecting a rapid rebound from the economic pain the corona virus outbreak but Swonk now worries it could take longer with the virus still spreading she warns businesses consumers and tourists could make lasting changes in their sourcing shopping and traveling plants combat in the outbreak is actually feeding into this years that people have out there which is a tax on the global economy itself numerous business meetings and trade shows in Europe and Asia have already been canceled that has an immediate toll on airlines hotels but also a more lingering cost in deals that don't get done for shoppers and travelers within this country the fear factor remains fairly muted to date there have been just thirty five confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States and only two of those were contracted here so far in North America there's been a mild response people don't walk around wearing masks they haven't canceled events yes David Kotok is chief investment officer at Cumberland advisors he's been saying for weeks that the stock market was underestimating the risk of coronavirus today he thinks the pendulum may have swung the other way one has to now say is the market now going to extremes is it going to panic Kotok is still cautious about the virus itself he's the rare person in Florida who actually does wear one of those protective face mask these days he's bolder though about the financial contagion on the day the Dow was losing more than a thousand points Kotok was buying stocks Scott Horsley NPR news

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