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Dow ends 2.8% lower on worries about surging coronavirus cases

Wall Street stocks sank Friday as surging coronavirus cases prompted large US states to impose new public health restrictions, threatening the economic recovery following widespread business shutdowns.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 2.8 percent, or 730 points, to 25,015.55.

The broad-based S&P 500 tumbled 2.4 percent to 3,009.05, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index shed 2.6 percent to 9,757.22.

Texas and Florida, which together are home to 50 million people, ordered bars to stop serving alcohol on site, along with other measures following huge jumps in virus cases.

"We are facing a serious problem in certain areas," top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci said Friday as the Trump administration's coronavirus task force held its first public briefing in two months.

The actions by Texas and Florida will weigh on economic activity in the states, and also raised fears that business reopenings will be paused elsewhere, jeopardizing the US economy's already wobbly state.

But there were other significant factors in Friday's rout, which pushed all three major indices into the red for the week.

Large banks including Bank of America and Goldman Sachs fell more than six percent after the Federal Reserve late Thursday ordered the industry to suspend buybacks and limit dividend payments amid uncertainty over the coronavirus.

Facebook dove 8.3 percent as it faced a widening boycott from major advertisers due to criticism it has not done enough to crack down on hate speech and incitements to violence.

Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg announced new measures shortly after Unilever joined Verizon among large companies in suspending spending on the platform, saying Facebook would ban a "wider category of hateful conduct."

Dow member Nike dropped 7.6 percent as it reported a surprise $790 million loss amid a steep drop in revenues as the pandemic forced stores closed.

But Gap surged 18.8 percent after it announced a new venture with Kanye West that will sell West's Yeezy brand in the chain's stores.