Markets are dropping again as more coronavirus cases are reported.
Stocks fell, oil slipped, and yields on government bonds slid again on Thursday — all signs that investors remain worried about the how coronavirus outbreak is affecting the global economy.
The S&P 500 fell more than 2 percent in early trading, while shares in Britain and Germany were also down sharply.
The drop on Wall Street was led by energy, financial and industrial stocks, all of which are susceptible to concerns about the economy. Also highlighting this worry, the yield on 10-year U.S. Treasury notes again fell below 1 percent. The yield on 10-year notes had never fallen that low until earlier this week. Investors tend to buy up the 10-year notes, pushing the yield down, when they need a safe place to put their money.
News about the coronavirus’s spread has been relentless: A cruise ship being held off the coast of San Francisco has suspected links to two coronavirus cases, one of them fatal. The governor of California declared a state of emergency on Wednesday.
On Thursday, the International Air Transport Association substantially expanded its forecast for the financial damage that could result from travel bans and customers reluctance to fly.
The price of oil was volatile, first rising and then falling even as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries proposed cutting production in response to slumping demand.
Earlier, Hong Kong led a broad rise in markets in the Asia-Pacific region, followed by stocks in mainland China.
Oil producers are looking to cut production as demand softens.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries proposed Thursday that oil output be curbed by 1.5 million barrels a day to deal with the effects of the spreading coronavirus outbreak on demand.
The proposed cuts are more than most analysts expected but seem unlikely to change the gloomy sentiment in the oil market. After the announcement, prices for Brent crude, the international benchmark, fell about 0.8 percent to $50.71 a barrel.
The coronavirus impact on airlines is ‘almost without precedent.’
The coronavirus could wipe out between $63 billion and $113 billion in annual global airline revenues this year, the International Air Transport Association said Thursday.
As carriers around the world halt flights and tourism sputters in the face of spreading outbreaks, the financial impact on the airline industry will be “almost without precedent,” said Alexandre de Juniac, the president of the association.
The low-end $63 billion figure is more than double the estimate that I.A.T.A. put out just two weeks ago. Since the outbreak began, industry share prices have fallen almost 25 percent, or about five times more than during the 2003 SARS crisis, according to the group.
“As governments look to stimulus measures, the airline industry will need consideration for relief,” Mr. de Juniac said, specifically citing taxes, charges and airport runway rules. “These are extraordinary times.”
On Wednesday, United Airlines became the first U.S. carrier to announce a widespread cut to domestic service. Southwest Airlines on Thursday said it expected the plunging demand to cost it $200 million to $300 million in the first quarter of this year.
Google and Microsoft offer free access to software for anyone working remotely.
Both Google and Microsoft announced they would waive fees for some of their software capabilities to help businesses as more workplaces push employees to work from home amid the spreading virus outbreak.
Google said on Tuesday that it would begin rolling out free access globally to advanced features of the Hangouts videoconferencing application that are typically reserved for a premium tier of G Suite.
Microsoft said it would make the Microsoft Teams function free for six months to make remote work easier. Teams is a collaboration tool and communication platform with chat, call and video-meeting capabilities.
The tech companies themselves have also been hard hit by the virus. Microsoft, which has suspended nonessential business travel, on Wednesday asked employees in the Seattle and San Francisco Bay areas to work from home until March 25 in response to an outbreak of cases in the area.
Reporting was contributed by Niraj Chokshi, Kevin Granville and Carlos Tejada.