Dow continues to plummet on fears over COVID-19

Traders work through the closing minutes of trading Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange floor on February 25, 2020 in New York City. (AFP Photo)

Wall Street continued its sell-off for a second straight day Tuesday over fears of the spread of the new coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed over 3%, or nearly 880 points, at the close with the S&P 500 down more than 2.9% and the Nasdaq taking a hit of nearly 2.8%.

Though a less significant decline than Monday's sell-off, the day's losses continue to signify investor worries that the spread of the coronavirus will stifle global growth. The Dow shed over 1,000 points on Monday alone.

Combined, Monday and Tuesday's losses mark the steepest two-day decline in history, according to the MarketWatch financial news website.

The coronavirus emerged in China in December and has gone on to spread to over 25 countries worldwide, including the U.S., the U.K., Singapore, France, Russia, Spain and India.

In China, the epicenter of the virus, the death toll from the outbreak reached 2,663 Tuesday, with nearly 76,700 confirmed cases as health experts scramble to find a cure.

The fact that the virus erupted in China has led to disruptions to the global supply of goods as well as constrained consumer demand in the world's second-largest economy.

U.S. health officials warned earlier Tuesday that Americans should prepare for the potential spread of the virus within the country, saying it is no longer a matter of whether it will happen, but when.

There have so far been 53 confirmed cases of COVID-19 within the U.S., but no deaths.

Outside the U.S., Italy recorded three more deaths from the coronavirus, with the death toll rising to 10 and the number of infections hitting 322.

Last month, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak an international health emergency.

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