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The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down another 1,500 points on Thursday morning as it continues to plunge into a bear market. U.S. stocks futures hit "limit down" for the second time this week.
Investors reacted negatively to a speech by U.S. President Donald Trump last night that laid out plans to provide fiscal stimulus to the economy, but remained somewhat vague on specifics. The core action - banning travel between the United States and Europe for 30 days - pummeled the European markets overnight.
Before we dive into the latest trade developments and more, here are the numbers from Wednesday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
|Index||Previous Close||Point Change||Percentage Change|
Now here's a closer look at what I'm following today. These are the most important market events and stocks.
The Top Stock Market Stories for Thursday
- The COVID-19 coronavirus once again is dominating headlines. Last night, President Trump announced that the U.S. government would suspend travel from Europe, provide financial relief for American workers who are ill, and explore fiscal policy alternatives to provide a boost to the U.S. economy. That said, markets continue to seek a more robust package of possible tax and monetary policy efforts to boost stocks. Last night, Invesco executives said they saw no path for the market's recovery without a massive stimulus package.
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- Oil prices were off another 5% this morning after the coronavirus panic prompted the Trump travel ban with Europe. That news came at the same time that Saudi Aramco sought permission to increase output in its all-out war with Russia for market share. Both WTI crude and Brent crude are now off roughly 50% from their January highs and have experienced their sharpest downturns since the 1991 Gulf War. Meanwhile, traders were hit by additional news that the United Arab Emirates is planning to boost its production after a deal between OPEC and Russia to cut global production collapsed last week. The nation said it plans to boost its production from roughly 4 million barrels per day to 5 million barrels per day.
Stock to Watch Today: TWTR, GOOGL, AMZN, GE, MPC
- Twitter Inc. (NYSE: TWTR) announced that it has told its 4,900 employees to work from home during the outbreak of the coronavirus. The move is now mandatory, the firm said, due to its "responsibility to support our communities, and those who are vulnerable." The news comes as other tech giants like Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) have encouraged their employees to also work from home.
- Shares of General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) plunged another 12% this morning on grave concerns about the company's debt load. The Wall Street Journal said that the cost of insuring GE debt had reached levels not seen since 2018. Investors are highly concerned about the company's business exposure to the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus.
- Shares of Marathon Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: MPC) are off 7% despite news that the company plans to sell roughly $15 billion in assets. The firm has been engaged in discussions with activist hedge fund Elliott Management in recent months since the latter took a stake in the energy giant.
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About the Author
Garrett Baldwin is a globally recognized research economist, financial writer, and consultant with degrees from Northwestern, Johns Hopkins, Purdue, and Indiana University. He is a seasoned financial and political risk analyst, with a focus on stocks, hedge funds, private equity, blockchain, and housing policy. He has conducted risk assessment projects for clients in 27 countries, and consulted on policy and financial operations for some of the nation's largest financial institutions, including a $1.5 trillion credit fund, a $43 billion credit and auto loan giant, as well as two of the largest Wall Street banks by assets under management.
Garrett joined Money Map Press as an economist and researcher in 2011, specializing in alternative strategies with an emphasis on fundamental and technical analysis.