Tech industry giants including Cisco Systems, Intel and IBM were among the companies whose stock prices were hit hard on Wednesday, as the declaration of the COVID-19 coronavirus as a pandemic sent global markets plunging.
The pandemic declaration by the World Health Organization came during an already bad day on Wall Street Wednesday, leading the Dow to sink to bear market status by the close of regular trading. That signifies a drop of 20-percent in the Dow from its high levels, and officially ends the 11-year rally in the stock index.
The WHO's director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said in public comments that his organization is "deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity and by the alarming levels of inaction" on the coronavirus.
Stocks on Wednesday erased gains from Tuesday's partial recovery, with the Dow falling 1464 points, or 5.86 percent. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq each plummeted nearly 5 percent.
Cisco shed US$12.84 billion from its market capitalization on Wednesday as shares in the company fell 7.6 percent, to close at US$37.05 a share in regular trading.
Intel lost US$10.09 billion from its market cap via its 4.3-percent stock price drop, to close at US$51.66 a share, while IBM fell 5.5 percent to close at US$117.97 with a market cap reduction of US$6.04 billion.
Some channel company stocks fared better on Wednesday. Global systems integrator and solution provider DXC Technology - which had been the tech industry's biggest loser in Monday's market plunge - closed flat for the day at US$16.43 a share in regular trading Wednesday.
IT distributor Tech Data was also off by less than 1 percent on Wednesday, closing at US$138.45.
But another IT distributor, Synnex, took a sizable hit with its stock price sinking 7.5 percent to close at US$101 a share, for a market cap loss of US$422 million.
The stock market losses on Wednesday also came as tech industry-heavy cities, including San Francisco and Seattle, placed restrictions on public events.
Numerous upcoming tech conferences have already been canceled, postponed or shifted to become online-only events. Dell Technologies announced this week that its largest event of the year, Dell Technologies World 2020, will become a virtual conference in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
Other vendors that have canceled or postponed in-person events have included Google, Intel, AMD, HP Inc., Eaton, Ingram Micro and Synnex. Hewlett Packard Enterprise is canceling or postponing most of its events through April due to concerns around the outbreak, although HPE Discover Las Vegas in June and its Discover More London conference on 22 April are still scheduled to go on as planned.