The Dow Jones Industrial Average Claws Back as the Federal Reserve Responds to Coronavirus

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained back more than 500 points today after the U.S. Federal Reserve cut rates in response to coronavirus fears. The central bank cut rates by 50 basis points, and the 10-year Treasury bond fell under 1% for the first time in history.

Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden also celebrated a big victory on Super Tuesday. But coronavirus fears still dominate the headlines. More on this below.

First, here are the numbers from Tuesday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:

Index Previous Close Point Change Percentage Change
Dow Jones 25,917.41 -785.91 -3.03%
S&P 500 3,003.37 -86.86 -2.89%
Nasdaq 8,684.09 -268.08 -3.08%

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

  • Joe Biden has completed a stunning consolidation of support across the Democratic party and stopped the momentum of Senator Bernie Sanders. An NBC News poll shows that Biden won across the South in Virginia, North Carolina, and Arkansas. This would give him a lead in the delegate count. It also appears that he won in Massachusetts, Texas, Maine, and Minnesota. And although it appears that Sanders will win California, Biden came in second place and will be viable in that state (as in, he will receive delegates).
  • Coronavirus is again leading headlines Wednesday. The United Arab Emirates has announced a plan to shut down its schools for at least a month to prevent the spread of the virus. Italy is also considering a similar proposal as Iran continues to experience widespread problems in major cities. The nation made the rare decision to cancel Friday prayers ahead of time due to the spread of the virus. Meanwhile, Japan continues to shuffle the idea of postponing or outright canceling the 2020 Summer Olympics due to fears of the virus's spread.
  • The Fed isn't the only central bank likely to take action due to the coronavirus. The ECB and the Bank of England will likely announce stimulus efforts in the next few days. It will be interesting to see how economies expand from stimulus efforts when people are too panicked to go to the movies, a sports event, or a restaurant.

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Stocks to Watch Today: XLV, CI, AMZN, TGT, GS

  • Shares of the Health Care SPDR (NYSE: XLV) are up more than 3.3% this morning. Increasing odds of a Biden nomination reduce the possibility of a "Medicare for All" push in Congress. Cigna Corp. (NYSE: CI) is up more than 7.2% this morning. It looks like a good day to be an insurance company, thanks to the stalled momentum of Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT).
  • Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) is generating headlines after an employee in one of its Seattle offices tested positive for coronavirus. The company released a statement and told CNBC that it is supporting the employee, who is currently in quarantine.
  • Shares of Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT) were ticking higher after the stock received an upgrade from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS). The Wall Street titan added Target to its "Americas Conviction List." The bank said that it expects Target to benefit from the continued closure of rivals' stores.

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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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