March 20, 2020 / 7:02 PM / 12 days ago

US STOCKS-Wall Street falls as New York joins California with coronavirus restrictions

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* New York orders non-essential workers to stay at home

* Investors focus on more fiscal stimulus

* Indexes off: Dow 2.6%, S&P 500 2.6%, Nasdaq 1.6% (Updates to late afternoon)

By Caroline Valetkevitch

NEW YORK, March 20 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average were down more than 2% on Friday, extending the recent rout, as New York state ordered all non-essential workers to stay home to try to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

The market attempted earlier in the day to build on Thursday’s gains as global policymakers turned on all the taps to prop up financial markets reeling under four weeks of heavy selling that ended Wall Street’s record 11-year bull run.

Investors are now counting on further stimulus over the next few days, as the U.S. Senate mulls a $1 trillion package that would include direct financial help for Americans.

“The bottom line here is the market is clearly actively anticipating the fiscal stimulus plan. It’s almost like we’re going to continue to be in these volatile swings until we get a little more clarity on how large that plan is,” said Ryan Detrick, senior market strategist at LPL Financial in Charlotte, North Carolina.

“It’s becoming more and more clear - when you see what California is doing and what New York just announced and when we come in Monday it might be a lot more places - that the stimulus plan needs to continue to increase.”

New York and California imposed tough new restrictions, limiting the activity of 60 million people in the two states to curb the spread of the coronavirus and ordering all non-essential workers to stay at home. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the action on Friday, while California imposed further restrictions on Thursday.

Coronavirus fears have wiped off roughly 30%, or more than $8 trillion, from the value of the benchmark S&P 500 index since its record closing high on Feb. 19.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 524.14 points, or 2.61%, to 19,563.05, the S&P 500 lost 61.46 points, or 2.55%, to 2,347.93 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 115.13 points, or 1.61%, to 7,035.45.

A Reuters poll of economists suggested the global economy was already in recession, while analysts at U.S. stock market index operator S&P Global said volatility across geographies and asset classes was at record highs.

Markets also faced “quadruple witching” on Friday, as investors unwind positions in futures and options contracts before their expiration.

AT&T Inc tumbled as the wireless carrier said the outbreak might have a material impact on financial results and canceled a $4 billion share repurchase agreement.

The airlines sector < .SPCOMAIR> rose 1.9% after losing more than half its value since late February.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.12-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.18-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The S&P 500 posted no new 52-week highs and 50 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded four new highs and 154 new lows. (Additional reporting by Medha Singh and Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru, and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty, Shounak Dasgupta and Sriraj Kalluvila; Editing by Will Dunham)

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