Dow slumps over 700 points on coronavirus fears

US stocks ended sharply lower on Wednesday as investors grew concerned over increasing new coronavirus cases across the country.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 710.16 points, or 2.72 per cent, to 25,445.94. The S&P 500 decreased 80.96 points, or 2.59 per cent, to 3,050.33. The Nasdaq Composite Index shed 222.20 points, or 2.19 per cent, to 9,909.17, Xinhua reported.

All the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors tumbled, with energy down 5.68 per cent, leading the losses.

Oil prices slid more than 5 per cent on Wednesday as traders grappled with worries of weaker crude demand amid rising coronavirus cases.

Stocks tied to the prospect of economy reopening, such as airlines and cruise lines, traded lower.

The rising cases posed a sentiment risk to stocks as investors feared of another full-on lockdown, Mitch Zacks, CEO at Zacks Investment Management, said in a note on Wednesday.

More than 2.36 million confirmed COVID-19 cases have been reported in the US, with over 121,000 deaths, as of Wednesday afternoon, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.