China’s National Health Commission confirmed Thursday that the death toll has hit 170, with confirmed cases of the virus surpassing 7,700. Cases have also been confirmed in places outside of China, including the U.S.
“The spread of the Wuhan virus isn’t accelerating, but markets becoming more concerned about future earnings and economic growth as companies implement work stoppages to reduce the chance of the disease spreading,” said Tom Essaye, founder of The Sevens Report.
Airline stocks such as American, Delta and United all fell more than 1% in the premarket. Casino stocks Las Vegas Sands and Wynn Resorts dropped 2.1% and 1.9%, respectively. Expedia and Carnival shares were down by 3% and 7.5%, respectively.
Caterpillar, a bellwether for global the global economy, was down 1.2% while the VanEck Vectors Semiconductor ETF (SMH) slid 0.7%.
Wall Street was also under pressure after Facebook reported quarterly results that showed a sharp rise in expenses and narrowing margins. Facebook shares fell more than 7% in the premarket.