Tuesday Feb 18, 8:06PM EST

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U.S. STOCK INDEXES https://quotes.ino.com/exchanges/?c=indexes 

GENERAL STOCK MARKET COMMENT: U.S. stock indexes closed weaker today. Asian and European shares were mostly lower overnight. Risk aversion was keener in the marketplace on this first trading day of the week for U.S. traders and investors, following the President's Day holiday Monday. The global marketplace is downbeat following news that Apple has issued a warning saying its first-quarter sales will be lower than initially expected due to the Coronavirus outbreak that has slowed or halted the delivery of Apple's needed supplies coming from China. The rate of daily spread of the illness has slowed to the lowest since January, reports said. Over 1,800 people have died in China from the illness. The global supply chain has been significantly impacted, as seen by the Apple sales-miss news. Reports also said over 730 million in China are still effectively quarantined, suggesting supply-chain disruptions will continue as the world's second-largest economy is presently crippled. Importantly, among market watchers, analysts, health officials and other prognosticators, there is no consensus at all on where the coronavirus outbreak goes from here, regarding both new cases contracted by the public and the impact on China's and the rest of the global economy. This high uncertainty is likely to continue to support demand for safe-haven assets like the precious metals. In other overnight news, the closely watched German ZEW economic expectations index dropped sharply in February, to 8.7 versus 26.7 in January. The coronavirus was blamed for most of the big decline in February.