Dow Jones Industrial Average Is Flat as Coronavirus Death Toll Passes 900

The Dow Jones Industrial Average will shrink back today after reports that 23 Americans have contracted coronavirus while aboard a cruise ship quarantined in Japan.

More on this below. Plus: eyes are on the central banks of the world as earnings season quiets down and global economic woes ramp up...

Here are the numbers from Friday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:

Index Previous Close Point Change Percentage Change
Dow Jones 29,102.51 -277.26 -0.94
S&P 500 3,327.71 -18.07 -0.54
Nasdaq 9,520.51 -51.64 -0.54

Now here are what I think will be the most important market events and stocks on Monday morning.

The Top Stock Market Stories for Monday

  • The global death toll for coronavirus topped 900 over the weekend, a figure that surpasses the toll from SARS last decade. China has pledged $10 billion to fight the outbreak after the number of cases surpassed 40,000. The mounting number of cases has strained local hospital systems across China. The nation's health officials have warned about shortages in medical supplies and equipment. China has closed schools across the Hebei province, which surrounds Beijing, until at least March 1 as the virus spreads. China's central bank has continued to bolster liquidity through a stream of reverse-repurchase agreements.

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  • Oil prices continue to slump on concerns about weak global demand and the coronavirus. WTI crude slumped more than 20% from January highs on news that the world's largest import market could see prolonged economic weakness due to the spread of the deadly virus. Markets are looking for OPEC to slash output further in order to provide a floor for crude prices. WTI was back under $50 for a brief period this morning as traders weigh the reality that further OPEC cuts may not be enough to completely balance supply and demand across the globe.
  • This week will be critical for central banks around the globe. On Tuesday, U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell will offer his semiannual testimony before Congress. Meanwhile, ECB President Christine Lagarde will speak Tuesday before the European Parliament. With interest rates falling around the globe, investors are looking for any clues about a central bank plan to stave off global economic woes.

Stocks to Watch Today: LB, SPG, TCO, MAT

  • Shares of L Brands Inc. (NYSE: LB) are up more than 7.1% on news that the company will sell its Victoria's Secret brand to private equity giant Sycamore Partners. The deal comes amid mounting pressure against CEO Leslie Wexner, who has faced criticism for his relationship with the late Jeffrey Epstein.
  • In deal news, Simon Property Group Inc. (NYSE: SPG) announced plans to take an 80% stake in Taubman Centers Inc. (NYSE: TCO) for $52 per share. That price represents a 49% premium to Friday's closing price. The all-cash deal is valued at roughly $3.6 billion. Reports state that Taubman's executive team will still manage the properties.
  • Finally, Mattel Inc. (NYSE: MAT) announced that it will shutter two factories in Asia and close another location in Canada. The firm said it plans to streamline its supply chain with a heavy emphasis on its manufacturing facilities.
  • Look for an earnings report from Callaway Golf Co. (NYSE: ELY), Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc. (NYSE: DO), Watts Water Technologies Inc. (NYSE: WTS), RingCentral Inc. (NASDAQ: RNG), Allergan Plc. (NYSE: AGN), and Restaurant Brands International Inc. (NYSE: QSR).

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About the Author

Garrett Baldwin is a globally recognized research economist, financial writer, consultant, and political risk analyst with decades of trading experience and degrees in economics, cybersecurity, and business from Johns Hopkins, Purdue, Indiana University, and Northwestern.

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