“The combination of these headwinds is likely to dampen business confidence and investment, profits, and consumer demand throughout the rest of this year,” wrote Green.“Together they could push the world to the brink of a global recession this year. This would be severe because central banks are running out of weapons to see off the threats.”

Market participants may be coming to realize that the eventual spread of the coronavirus into every part of the world may be inevitable. At Commonwealth, McMillan notes that the disease’s spread within clusters outside China, like those in the U.S., South Korea and Italy, continues to accelerate.

But other managers believe the outbreak is still containable, citing evidence from within China.

"In spite of increased uncertainty in developed markets, there are encouraging signs that China is succeeding in containing the outbreak there. The number of new cases in China excluding Hubei is now at very low levels, which should allow economic activity to normalize," said Mark Haefele, chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth Management.

And investors in the U.S. are among those best poised to weather the virus and whatever financial storms it brings, wrote McMillan on Wednesday.

“Even if the virus continues to spread around the world, those in the U.S. should take a deep breath,” he said. “The U.S. economy and stock markets are among the least exposed to the rest of the world, and they are the best positioned to ride out any storm. Further, the U.S. health care system is among the best in the world, and the CDC is the top health protection agency in the world. As such, we are and should be relatively well protected. Finally, given that the U.S. economy and markets depend primarily on U.S. workers and their spending, we are less vulnerable to an epidemic. We should do relatively well, as has happened in the past.”

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