Dow Jones Industrial Average Volatile as COVID-19 Shakes Up the Global Economy

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is volatile again despite news that the European Union had introduced an $820 billion program to combat the economic fallout of coronavirus.

Central banks around the globe have taken measures to stimulate their economies, but to little avail. More on this below.

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
Dow Jones 19,898.92 -1,338.46 -6.30
S&P 500 2,398.10 -131.09 -5.18
Nasdaq 6,989.84 -344.94 -4.70

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

  • U.S. President Donald Trump signed a relief plan that will extend $100 billion in new aid, including emergency paid leave and free testing for the disease. Trump is also pushing for upwards of $1 trillion, including direct payments to Americans, to combat coronavirus. Meanwhile, the Fed has invoked emergency authority to provide support for prime money market mutual funds. The news comes with a wave of Americans seeking unemployment benefits. Weekly jobless claims jumped to 281,000 due to a surge of coronavirus-related layoffs.

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  • The number of U.S. cases for coronavirus surged 40% in the last 24 hours. Johns Hopkins University reported that about one-third of these new cases came from New York. At the moment, there are more than 9,400 cases and 150 deaths. New York City is still not under a "shelter" order. The city's mayor said citizens of the city should prepare, but Governor Andrew Cuomo has objected to such an order. The New York Stock Exchange, however, will close its trading floor on Monday after two people tested positive at screenings this week. There is good news: The Chinese city of Wuhan has reported no locally transmitted cases for the first time since it struck the city last December.
  • Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) is the latest institution to declare that the United States is in a recession. The firm "officially" declared that we have joined the rest of the world in this economic downturn and offered very little optimism about the state of affairs. In a research note, BoA said that "jobs will be lost, wealth will be destroyed, and confidence depressed." It projects that Q2 growth will slide by 12%.

Stock to Watch Today: DRI, JPM, GM, F, TSLA, MAR

  • Shares of Darden Restaurants Inc. (NYSE: DRI) were off slightly this morning after the company topped third-quarter earnings and revenue estimates. Despite that positive news, the firm withdrew its 2020 financial outlook and has suspended its dividend to preserve capital. Finally, it drew down its $750 million credit facility to help push through this coronavirus challenge in the future.
  • The price downgrades are coming across the stock market. Today, JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) slashed the price target of General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM), Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F), and Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) after confirmation of production cuts in the months ahead.
  • Marriott International Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) has slashed its 2020 guidance and will suspend its dividend in the months ahead. The firm has struggled immensely over the last month as occupancy rates are now under 25% across North America and Europe, according to its report.

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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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