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The Dow Jones Industrial Average soared over 200 points this morning as optimism over the novel coronavirus prevailed.
Fears of the virus's economic consequences have dwindled. But there are murmurs that the ongoing outbreak could interfere with commitments by China to honor its deal to purchase U.S. agricultural products. The latest figures show that cases have surpassed 44,500 and more than 1,110 deaths.
More of what's moving the Dow Jones today, below.
First, here are the numbers from Tuesday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
|Index||Previous Close||Point Change||Percentage Change|
Now here's a closer look at today's most important market events and stocks. We'll also discuss the stories that slipped under the radar of the mainstream financial press on Wednesday.
The Top Stock Market Stories for Wednesday
- On Tuesday, U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell testified before a House panel on the economy. Powell said the central bank is "closely monitoring" the coronavirus outbreak. Powell will return to Capitol Hill on Wednesday. He will speak to the Senate in his second day of a semiannual testimony on monetary policy.
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- Oil prices continued to rise Wednesday as short sellers took profits off the table. The rise came despite news that OPEC has slashed its forecast for global oil demand. The global oil cartel said that the ongoing coronavirus is the driving factor in the cutback in demand. OPEC said that global demand for 2020 will only expand by 990,000 barrels per day. That figure is down about 25% since last month's estimates. WTI crude added 2.26% this morning, while Brent crude gained 2.7%. Meanwhile, natural gas prices added about 2.1% on the day.
- Yesterday, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) won the New Hampshire primary contest. Sanders topped South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota. Sanders secured 26% of the vote and won the contest by just 4,000 votes. Most surprising about the contest was news that former Vice President Joe Biden may end up finishing fifth, a result that could cause serious damage to his ambitions. Biden donors are reportedly very concerned about his poor performance yesterday.
Stocks to Watch Today: TAP, WYNN, LVS
- Shares of Molson Coors Beverage Co. (NYSE: TAP) rallied by more than 5% this morning after the brewing giant topped Wall Street earnings expectations. The firm reported fourth quarter EPS of $1.02, a figure that easily beat forecasts of $0.78. However, the company did warn about "significant headwinds and continued volume declines" in the future.
- Shares of Wynn Resorts Ltd. (NASDAQ: WYNN) and Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE: LVS) pushed higher on Wednesday thanks to sliding concerns about the spread of the coronavirus.
- In deal news, shares of Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) and T-Mobile US Inc. (NYSE: TMUS) were rising on news that a federal judge has cleared the way for the two companies to merge. The deal will create the third largest mobile wireless provider in the country.
- Look for earnings reports from CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL), CVS Health Corp. (NYSE: CVS), Shopify Inc. (NASDAQ: SHOP), and Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO).
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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.