Dow Jones Industrial Average Fraught with Uncertainty About Response to Coronavirus

The Dow Jones Industrial Average started the day more than 700 points in the red after new uncertainty emerged over Washington's handling of the coronavirus.

The outbreak has raised new concerns about rising corporate debt, lack of ammunition from central banks, and the possibility that the bull market will finally end in 2020.

Before we get into this story and more, here are the numbers from Tuesday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:

Index Previous Close Point Change Percentage Change
Dow Jones 25,018.16 +1,167.14 +4.9%
S&P 500 2,882.23 +135.67 +4.9%
Nasdaq 8,344.25 +393.57 +4.9%

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

  • Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden has cemented himself as the new front-runner and likely candidate for the Democratic nomination. Biden easily won the Michigan Democratic primary on Tuesday and issued a big blow to rival Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT). Biden has a 836-686 delegate lead over Sanders after also winning Missouri and Mississippi.

  • U.S. coronavirus cases topped 1,000, according to Johns Hopkins University. Trump is considering a number of stimulus packages, including cuts to the payroll tax down to 0% for the balance of the year. The news comes at the same time that Bejing has started to tighten restrictions on travel across the country for inbound travelers. Total cases around the world have topped 120,000 and nearly 4,291 people have died from the virus. Around the globe, Germany's Chancellor, Angela Merkel, projected that upwards of 70% of her nation's citizens could get infected by COVID-19. Meanwhile, Iran reported another 63 deaths from the virus overnight. Finally, Italy has announced it would increase its spending to $28 billion to help combat the virus. An Italian bank bailout is also likely.

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  • At least one portion of the economy is doing well. With the 10-year Treasury bond falling under 0.7% this week, mortgage rates have followed. The result: The number of people seeking to refinance their homes increased by a staggering 79% this week.

Stocks to Watch Today: JBLU, GS, GOOGL, T

  • Shares of JetBlue Airways Corp. (NASDAQ: JBLU) were off nearly 4% after its CEO said that demand for flights has now fallen under the levels seen after 9/11. In an interview with CNBC, Robin Jays said that the company expects that things will get worse and doesn't anticipate that bookings will stabilize in the near future. Other airlines continue to furlough workers, cut flights, and raise concerns about forward-looking guidance.
  • Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) is making headlines this morning. The Wall Street firm warned that the ongoing coronavirus outbreak mixed with other negative economic metrics could fuel the end of the stock market's incredible bull run. The bank said this morning that it expects U.S. equities to decline by another 15% from current levels.
  • Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) and AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) are partnering to provide 5G services to business customers. A new report says that they will both jointly test and develop software and new data products. Following their launch into retail and transportation, they will likely expand into new sectors. In addition, AT&T will offer services to customers through Google's Cloud network.

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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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