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Weekly Financial Market Update - January 31, 2020

Christopher LaPorta

February 3, 2020

The S&P 500 fell this week as worsening coronavirus fears somewhat overshadowed better-than-expected fourth quarter earnings. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus outbreak a global public health emergency after personto-person transmission cases skyrocketed. Nearly 10,000 coronavirus cases have been confirmed worldwide and over 200 people have died.

Concerns about the coronavirus’ potential impact on economic activity continued to weigh on stocks and commodities. For instance, shares of domestic airlines Delta, United and American declined after the companies’ announced they are suspending flights to China. In the commodities asset class, the price of crude oil and industrial metals both lost almost 5.0% this week. Safe haven assets, including government bonds and gold, saw increased demand. The 10-year Treasury yield fell back near its multi-year low of 1.5% reached last fall amid the reescalation in the U.S.-China trade war. The price of gold rose to its highest level since April 2013 at 1,594.50 per ounce. 

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