By Timothy Gamble
UPDATE 4:00PM: Italy has reported 15 new confirmed cases and 2 more deaths from the coronavirus, raising their death toll to 6.
Today's steep drop in the stock market (DOW -1,030, S&P 500 -110, and Nasdaq -355) was caused in large part by the realization that the coronavirus has become a global pandemic, has not yet peaked, and will continue for some time (likely months) before the situation significatly improves. This adds up to a much larger impact on the economy than economists and professional investors were previously expecting.
Oil and copper were down on expectations for lower demand due to the coronavirus. Gold and silver were up.
UPDATE 11:50AM: Afganistan, Bahrain, Iraq, and Oman announced their first cases of coronavirus this morning, bringing the total number of countries with confrimed cases to 36.
2-24-2020 The Wuhan coronavirus, officially named , is spreading fast outside of China, having gained footholds in mulitple countries with sustained local transmission. South Korea is reporting 833 confirmed cases, including 8 deaths. Italy reports 215 cases, with 4 deaths. Japan reports 154 cases with 1 death.
Over the last several days, Iran has reported 61 confirmed cases with 12 deaths. As with China, there is reason to believe that Iran is under-reporting the severity of the outbreak there.
What is troubling about these latest reports is that they show sustained local transmission, not just individuals who had recently travelled to China and been infected there.
Worldwide, there are 79,524 confirmed cases* of the Wuhan coronavirus, officially named , with 2,626 deaths.*
The virus is now in 32 countries, including China.
Data sources: Johns Hopkins CSSE, WHO, CDC, ECDC, NHC, and DXY.
* China (and probably Iran) is severly under-reporting the true extent of the outbreak, according to most experts. Information leaking out of China indicates the real numbers of cases and deaths are likely 4X-5X the "official" numbers.
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