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  • Risk aversion continues to dominate financial markets on Friday.
  • S&P 500 Financials Index falls nearly 4% on plummetting Treasury bond yields.
  • All 11 major S&P 500 sectors lose more than 2% in early trade.

Major equity indexes in the US started the day sharply lower amid heightened fears over the coronavirus outbreak causing a global recession. As of writing, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 3.6% on the day while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite were erasing 3.65% and 3.25%, respectively.

Investors continue to seek refuge

Reflecting the intense flight-to-safety, the 10-year US Treasury bond yield was last seen erasing 7.7% at fresh all-time lows of 1.165%. Pressured by the plummeting yields, the S&P 500 Financials Index is down 4% on the day. In the meantime, the CBOE Volatility Index, Wall Street’s fear gauge, is now at its highest level since February 2018 at 41 points.

Among the 11 major S&P 500 sectors, which are all losing more than 2% on Friday, the Consumer Staples and the Real Estate indexes are both down nearly 5%.

Earlier in the day, the data published by the US Bureau of Economic Analysis showed that Personal Income in January increased 0.6% on a monthly basis while Personal Spending only increased 0.2% in the same period.