Stocks tumbled for a seventh consecutive day on Friday, with the S&P 500 index falling about 0.8 percent, bringing its loss for the week to more than 11 percent. It was the worst weekly decline for stocks since the 2008 financial crisis. In early October that year, the S&P 500 fell about 18 percent.
The Federal Reserve chair, Jerome H. Powell, moved to soothe investors on Friday, issuing a statement reaffirming that the central bank will use its tools and “act as appropriate to support the economy.”
Worldwide, more than 83,000 cases of coronavirus have been reported in 50 countries, leading to more than 2,800 deaths, the overwhelming majority of which have been in China.
Earlier on Friday, the World Health Organization (WHO) raised its risk assessment on the virus to “very high.”