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Local stocks experience decline as investors react to coronavirus fears

Several of the region’s companies felt the sting Monday as the U.S. stock market had its worst day in more than two years amid investor fears that the coronavirus could impact the global economy.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 27,960 Monday afternoon, a more than 1,000 point drop of 3.6% – its biggest one-day loss since December 2018.

The S&P 500 Index closed at 3,225.89, shedding 111.86 points, or 3.4%. The Nasdaq dropped 355.31 points, or 3.7%, to 9221.28.

At the regional level, Liberty Lake-based Itron posted the largest percentage decline, dropping 7.68% from its market closing price of $85.05 Friday to $78.52 Monday.

Although investors sought out U.S. government bonds and precious metals with gold prices increasing by 1.7%, Coeur d’Alene-based Hecla Mining Co.’s stock fell 5.47% from Friday’s closing price of $3.29 per share.

Keytronic experienced a 4.79% drop to $5.17 per share Monday. The Spokane Valley-based electromechanical and engineering design company began shipping product in December from its new Vietnam manufacturing facility, which opened in response to the U.S. and China trade war.

Local companies aren’t likely to be impacted in the immediate future, unless the coronavirus continues to spread, said Clarence Barnes, professor of economics and dean emeritus at Gonzaga University.

“The sell-off is a reaction to the spreading of the virus in Europe more than anything else,” Barnes said. “The impact – if it should come – will be from firms who depend on trade with China.”

“Unless there is continued bad news on spreading of this virus, it wouldn’t surprise me at all that the markets won’t rebound at this point,” he added. “I’m not seeing a case where markets in Spokane will be affected.”

However, several large-expedited shipping companies in Seattle could be impacted if the coronavirus isn’t contained, Barnes said.

The travel industry and cruise lines could also experience ripple effects from the coronavirus, he added.

“People will be somewhat concerned about traveling abroad,” he said. “They will be careful about what they are doing in the next few months.”

Below are Monday’s closing prices per share for several regional stocks, followed by the percentage change:

Alaska Airlines: 65.43, 63.01, down 3.70% 2095.97, 2009.29 , down 4.14%

Avista Corp.: 51.19. 50.45, down 1.45%

Banner Corp.: 53.06, 51.88, down 2.22%

Boeing: 330.34, 317.90, down 3.77%

Clearwater Paper: 29.11, 28.43, down 2.34%

Costco: 321.95, 313.62, down 2.59%

First Interstate Bancsystem Inc: 39.84, 38.61, down 3.09%

Hecla Mining: 3.29, 3.11, down 5.47%

Itron Inc.: 85.05, 78.52, down 7.68%

Kaiser Aluminum: 104.83, 104.21, down 0.59%

Key Tronic: 5.43, 5.17, down 4.79%

Microsoft: 178.59, 170.89, down 4.31%

PotlatchDeltic Corp.: 42.53, 41.22, down 3.08%

Starbucks Co.: 87.36, 84.52, down 3.25%

Umpqua Holdings: 17.76, 17.29, down 2.62%

W.T.B. Financial Corporation: 381.00, 378.00, down 0.79%

Dow: 28,992.41, 27,960.80, down 3.56%

Nasdaq: 9576.59, 9221.28, down 3.71%

S&P 500 Index: 3337.75, 3225.89, down 3.35%