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Las Vegas casino stocks fall as result of first coronavirus case confirmed in Nevada


LAS VEGAS – Casino stocks fell sharply Thursday as coronavirus-fueled market swings continued over potential economic fallout from the outbreak.

Las Vegas gaming companies dropped as much as 14 percent Thursday, when Southern Nevada health officials revealed a man in his 50s tested positive.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 1,000 points, erasing most of Wednesday's gains, according to USA TODAY. Just a day earlier, stocks had soared, in part on hopes that more aggressive moves by governments and central banks around the world could help contain the economic fallout.

On Thursday, the Standard & Poor’s 500 slumped 3.8%. That puts the broad index on track to move more than 2% for a fourth consecutive day for the first time since the summer of 2011. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite slid 3.5%. 

The growing understanding that the spread of infections — and the resulting damage to the economy — may not slow anytime soon is pulling sharply on markets. 

These vicious swings will likely keep going as long as the number of new infections continues to accelerate, many analysts and professional investors say.

"We expect markets to remain volatile,” Mark Haefele, chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth Management, said in a note. “The unfolding nature of the coronavirus threat—both real and perceived—is not yet quantifiable, and, as such, the current global policy response can't immediately be judged as sufficient or insufficient for restoring investor confidence in the short term."

Contributing: Jessica Menton, USA TODAY.

Ed Komenda writes about Las Vegas for the Reno Gazette Journal and USA Today Network. Do you care about democracy? Then support local journalism by subscribing to the Reno Gazette Journal right here

Published 4:15 PM EST Mar 5, 2020