Markets finally got sick (no pun intended) of hearing about mysterious, deadly respiratory illnesses on Friday.
Reports of a second (and third) case of Wuhan virus in the US were as good an excuse as any for some profit-taking on Wall Street, where equities tumbled the most since October, and bonds extended gains.
The S&P was on track for its first daily loss of 1% or more since October 8 (see top pane below). By the time the closing bell sounded, the benchmark managed to escape down just 0.9%, so the streak of sessions without a 1% loss is intact - for now. Volume was around 30% above average Friday.
Friday also marked a rare stumble for big-cap tech, which many believe is ripe for a correction after surging to some of the most overbought levels since the dot-com bubble.
To say US stocks are overdue for a pullback would be to understate the case. Forward multiples are stretched and there's more than a little ambiguity around whether EPS growth will rebound after what will likely be a second consecutive quarter of declining profits.
Meanwhile, 10-year yields finally fell below the knee-jerk lows hit in the frantic minutes around Iran's counterstrikes on US interests in I
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