Wall Street slides as data shows early business impact of coronavirus

U.S. stock indexes fell on Friday after data showed U.S.

business activity stalled in February, and a spike in new coronavirus cases in China and elsewhere sent investors scrambling for safer assets such as gold and government bonds. A flash reading of the IHS Markit services sector Purchasing Managers' Index dropped to its lowest level since October 2013, signalling a contraction for the first time since 2016. The manufacturing sector also clocked its lowest reading since August. Declines on Friday were led by heavyweights Microsoft.

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