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Virus Fears Take Hold on Wall Street

Virus Fears Take Hold on Wall Street?

Stocks sold off sharply on Friday, spooked by a growing outbreak of coronavirus that overshadowed some solid quarterly earnings reports. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed a second case of the virus in the U.S. The flu-like disease has infected more than 800 people in China, killing 26. With little else in the way of corporate or economic news, traders decided to sell. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.6% to settle at 28,989.

The few bright spots in the market Friday showed that there are always ports in a storm, particularly among blue-chip stocks. Dow components Intel (INTC, +8.1%) and American Express (AXP, +2.8%) advanced smartly after reporting strong quarterly results. In other cases, high-quality dividend stocks got a little cheaper, while small-cap stocks held up pretty well. The bottom line is that as troubling as the spread of the coronavirus might be, it won't derail quality stocks trading at low valuations. The market took a hit to end the week, but you can bet that plenty of the cheapest Warren Buffett stocks will do just fine when today's headlines are just a memory. Have a look at some of the bargain stocks chairman and CEO Buffett has chosen for Berkshire Hathaway's equity portfolio.

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