The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 1 per cent to 26,654.31, reaching the lowest in more than 19 weeks on its sixth consecutive decline.
The S&P 500 was down 63 points, or 2%, at 3,052. Medical teleconferencing company Teladoc surged 23.7% and 3M, which counts surgical masks among its many products, rose 3.1%.
The S&P 500 posted 4 new 52-week highs and 97 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 23 new highs and 451 new lows.
'In the recent week, markets have come to realize that the outbreak is much worse and are now realistically pricing in the impact of the virus on the economy, ' said Philip Marey, senior US strategist at Rabobank. Trump's assurances on Wednesday that the U.S.is "in great shape" and that his administration is "totally prepared" to contain the virus apparently did little to ease volatility.
Treasury yields ticked higher after an initial drop sent the yield on the benchmark 10-year note to an all-time low for the third consecutive day.
The ICE Dollar Index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of currencies, fell 0.4%. The Nasdaq is down about 4.5 percent for the year.
Traders are growing increasingly certain that the Federal Reserve will be forced to cut interest rates to protect the economy, and soon. Sterling was last trading at $1.2884, down 0.15% on the day.
Putin hopes for peace with Ukraine, has 'questions' to Zelensky
Sanders said in a statement he did not care who Russian President Vladimir Putin wanted to be US president. Sanders has said he has visited Moscow but didn't honeymoon there.
Global markets have erased much of the gains for 2020 as the impact of the coronavirus takes a toll on stocks.
Crude oil slides 2.8% to $47.36 per barrel; gold rises 0.2% to $1,645.90 per ounce.
"People can demand things that feel safe for irrational amounts of time", said Katy Kaminski, chief research strategist at AlphaSimplex Group.
The virus, which has claimed over 2,700 lives in China, is picking up faster outside China, including in nearby Japan and South Korea as well as more distant Iran and Italy, triggering worries of a global pandemic.
Analysts have downgraded forecasts for Chinese and global growth, and policymakers from Asia, Europe and the United States have begun to prepare for a steeper economic downturn.
Department store operator Macy's Inc fell 4% despite reporting a smaller-than-expected drop in quarterly same-store sales.
The safe-haven yen and the Swiss franc gained on Thursday with the Japanese currency heading towards 110 yen to the dollar, up almost 2% so far this week.