Equity markets fell sharply to begin the week as the S&P 500 fell 6.3% over the first two trading days, its largest two-day loss since August 2015. Concerns over the COVID-19 (Wuhan Coronavirus) impact on the global economy has led the violent move downward, but why are investors suddenly paying attention so acutely to an issue that has been unfolding for a few months now? Until recently, the global impact of the virus was unknown as the efficacy of Chinese containment measures wasn’t clear. However, as new cases have been reported in Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Iran, and now the United States, the pervasiveness of the virus has become much clearer.
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