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Nordstrom, DSW, Caleres Stocks Clobbered as Coronavirus-Panicked Investors Brush Off Fed’s Emergency Rate Cut

The retail sector is not immune to the coronavirus’s assault on Wall Street. Major fashion and athletic companies as well as specialty firms are suffering double-digit losses in Monday trading, despite the government’s intervention to stop a run on funds.

Nike, Skechers and Nordstrom are among the big industry names that have seen their shares move in tandem with benchmark indexes. As of 11:30 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted nearly 7%, or 1,570 points, while the S&P 500 took a hit of 6.3%, or 170 points, and the Nasdaq Composite spiraled 6.5%, or 510 points.

The market moves come a day after the Federal Reserve slashed interest rates to the range of 0% to 0.25% — the first adjustment of its kind since the Great Recession in 2008 — and launched a $700 billion quantitative easing program amid escalating concerns over the spread of COVID-19. In the United States, reported cases of the illness have climbed to almost 3,500, with at least 65 deaths.

Nike Inc., whose stock declined 4.3% to $72.19 before noon, recently joined a growing list of retailers that announced the temporary closure of their fleets of stores across the country. Rival athletic giant Under Armour Inc., which also confirmed that it would shutter its U.S.-based locations to help prevent the crisis from worsening, saw shares sink 3.7% to $10.41. Further, shares for Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. were down 20% to $21.42.

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Steven Madden Ltd. — another company whose corporate employees have been instructed to work from home, if possible, with pay — noted a drop of 7.2% to $25.62. Lifestyle and performance shoemaker Skechers USA Inc. recorded a bigger dip of 11.5% to $23.40.

Major footwear players such as DSW parent Designer Brands Inc., department store chain Nordstrom Inc. and Famous Footwear owner Caleres Inc. were hit even harder: Designer Brands suffered a 43% loss to $5.63 in midday trading, while Nordstrom descended 14.5% to $18.46 and Caleres dropped off 20.8% to $5.53.

Fears of the virus expanded last week after the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a pandemic. Industries across the board have been recording losses — including the import-export industry, which has faced port closures and weeks of slowed production overseas — as many governments around the world have imposed restrictions or bans on travel in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19.

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