Traders Andrew Silverman, left, and Sal Suarino work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020. (Photo: AP)
NEW YORK, Feb. 25 (Xinhua) -- US equities plunged for the second day in a row on Tuesday, with all three indexes declining more than 2 percent amid investors' rising risk aversion.
For the first two sessions of the week, the Dow lost 1,911.05 points, or 6.59 percent. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq erased 6.28 percent and 6.38 percent, respectively.
All of the 30 Dow component companies closed in red territory, with American Express and United Technologies shedding 5.69 percent and 5.30 percent, respectively, the top two laggards.
All of the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors traded lower. Energy and materials declined 4.34 percent and 4.30 percent, respectively, leading the laggards.
Technology stocks such Apple and Facebook have fallen into correction territory, down more than 10 percent from all-time highs hit just last month.
Most airline stocks traded sharply lower, with American Airlines and Delta Air Lines erasing 9.16 percent and 6.16 percent, respectively.
Investors fled the US stock market as anxiety over the coronavirus outbreak dented risk sentiment, analysts have said.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday called for the public to start preparing for a possible pandemic outbreak in the United States.
Stocks fell sharply after the warning.
The Cboe Volatility Index, widely considered the best fear gauge in the stock market, rose 11.27 percent to 27.85.
Investors were also concerned that coronavirus fears could lead to more uncertainties about global economic growth.
As a result, market participants flocked into safe-haven assets such as treasury notes. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note, which moves inversely to price, fell to 1.32 percent, a record low.
Lower yields pushed bank stocks lower. Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase declined 5.04 percent and 4.46 percent, respectively.
On data front, US consumer confidence rose less than expected in February.
The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index came in at 130.7, up from 130.4 in January.
The Present Situation Index, which is based on consumers' assessment of current business and labor market conditions, decreased from 173.9 to 165.1, according to a report released by The Conference Board.