U.S. manufacturing sector stalls as coronavirus hits supply chains

U.S. factory manufacturing activity slowed in February as new orders contracted, reflecting worries about supply chain disruptions related to the fast-spreading coronavirus outbreak, which has revived financial market fears of a recession. While other data on Monday showed construction spending increased by the most in nearly two years, hitting a record high in January, the upbeat news was overshadowed by the coronavirus epidemic. Global stock markets have tumbled, with Wall Street’s key indexes suffering their worst week since the 2008 global financial crisis last week. The yield on the two-year Treasury note fell below 1% for the first time since 2016. Investors worry the flu-like virus could derail the longest economic expansion on record, now in its 11th year.

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