KEY POINTS

  • S&P warned Chinese lenders might be on the hook for up to $1.1 trillion in questionable loans
  • The Philly Fed's Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey jumped to 36.7 in February, the highest level in three years.
  • China has confirmed almost 75,000 cases of coronavirus

Update: 12:10 p.m. EST:

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 299.48 points to 29,048.55 while the S&P 500 dropped 33.37 points to 3,352.78 and the Nasdaq Composite Index slipped 138.89 points to 9,678.29.

In Europe markets finished lower, as Britain’s FTSE-100 fell 0.27%, France’s CAC-40 fell 0.8% and Germany’s DAX dropped 0.91%.

Original story:

U.S. stocks opened lower on Thursday on continuing worries about the spread of coronavirus in China.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 53.46 points to 29,294.57 while the S&P 500 slipped 5.38 points to 3,380.77 and the Nasdaq Composite Index slipped 12.92 points to 9,804.26.

China’s National Health Commission said on Wednesday that it confirmed 74,576 cases of the coronavirus, along with 2,118 deaths.

S&P Global Ratings warned on Thursday that Chinese lenders might be hit by up to $1.1 trillion in questionable loans as the coronavirus tears through China’s economy.

Goldman Sachs told clients on Wednesday that investors are underestimating the risks of the coronavirus. “We believe the greater risk is that the impact of the coronavirus on earnings may well be underestimated in current stock prices, suggesting that the risks of a correction are high,” strategist Peter Oppenheimer wrote in a note. “Equity markets are looking increasingly exposed to near-term downward surprises to earnings growth. While a sustained bear market does not look likely, a near-term correction is looking much more probable.”

Morgan Stanley (MS) will acquire E-Trade (ETFC) for $13 billion. Under terms of the deal, Morgan Stanley will pay $58.74 per share in stock for E-Trade. ETFC shares jumped more than 24% in early trading.

Initial jobless claims rose by 4,000 to a seasonally adjusted figure of 210,000 for the week ended Feb. 15, the Labor Department reported on Thursday.

The Philly Fed's Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey jumped to 36.7 in February from 17 in January. It was the highest reading since February 2017.

Overnight in Asia, markets finished mixed. China’s Shanghai Composite jumped 1.84%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.17%, and Japan’s Nikkei-225 gained 0.34%.

In Europe markets traded mixed, as Britain’s FTSE-100 gained 0.05%, France’s CAC-40 fell 0.26% and Germany’s DAX slipped 0.29%.

Crude oil futures jumped 1.44% at $54.06 per barrel and Brent crude gained 0.76% at $59.57. Gold futures rose 0.32%.

The euro gained 0.15% at $1.0821 while the pound sterling fell 0.45% at $1.2861.