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Wall Street opens in red as coronavirus headlines continue to dominate

  • Confirmed cases of coronavirus in China rose to 9,809.
  • Energy shares continue to underperform amid falling crude oil prices.
  • Defensive stocks post modest gains in early trade.

Wall Street's n indexes started the last day of January in the negative territory as investors continue to react to heightened concerns over the coronavirus outbreak's impact on the global economy. As of writing, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was erasing 0.7% on the day while the S&P0 and the Nasdaq Composite were down 0.35% and 0.08%, respectively.

Risk aversion ahead of weekend

The CBOE Volatility Index, Wall Street's fear gauge, is up nearly 10% on Friday to reflect the intense flight-to-safety.

Among the 11 major S&P 500 sectors, the Energy Index is down 2.3% pressured by a more-than-2% drop seen in crude oil prices. Additionally, the sharp fall in the US Treasury bond yield is weighing on the Financials Index, which is losing 0.9% in the early trade.

On the other hand, defensive sectors, Utilities and Consumer Discretionary, are posting modest gains to reaffirm the sour market mood.

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