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Dow drops 277 points as investors assess global economic fallout

U.S. stocks pulled back from records Friday, as investors fretted over the economic fallout from the deadly coronavirus that’s spreading in China. 

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 277.26 points to close at 29,102.51, snapping a four-day winning streak after notching a fresh record Thursday. 

The broader Standard & Poor’s 500 fell 0.5% to finish at 3,327.71. It still rose 3.2% for the week – its best performance since June. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite lost 0.5% to end at 9,520.51. 

The virus has infected more than 31,400 people around the world, and killed more than 630, nearly all of them in China. The director-general of the World Health Organization said Friday that a drop in the number of new virus cases for two days is “good news” but also cautioned against reading too much into that.

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Traders and financial professionals work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) at the opening bell on August 15, 2019 in New York City.

“As the impact continues to rise, officials around the globe are amping up precautions to stem the contagion to their own respective regions,” Lindsey Piegza, chief economist at Stifel Nicolaus, said in a note. 

Friday’s losses came despite a stronger-than-expected employment report. Employers added 225,000 last month, topping economists’ expectations for 161,500.

U.S. government bonds rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 1.58% from 1.64% late Thursday.

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