The Dow Jones Industrial Average might see some correction Friday, but the market remains volatile amid coronavirus panic.
This latest rally has been largely driven by technology stocks. This is the sixth Friday in a row where equity markets have pulled higher, so investors should take caution, particularly on Quadruple Witching day.
Here are the numbers from Thursday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
Now let's take a look at what I consider to be the most important market events to start your day.
The Top Stock Market Stories for Friday
- U.S. markets are moving higher thanks to news that the U.S. Senate is working on its plan to provide a relief plan to Americans in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. The deal would include cash payments of $1,200 for individuals and start to phase out above the $75,000 line based on adjusted gross income. The total relief package is set to come in around $1 trillion. The bill will also provide a $108 billion lifeline to big business in the form of loans. Airlines would receive $150 billion, $8 billion would go to cargo, and $150 billion to other distressed businesses. The government would benefit financially from any gains obtained by the companies to which it lends money.
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- Oil prices are starting to move higher again thanks to the rush of government stimulus in the markets. WTI crude rallied 7.7%, while Brent crude gained 4%. Energy companies are moving into cash consolidation mode and looking to survive Even the recent rally might not be enough for many firms that didn't properly hedge their production prior to this sharp downturn. The breakeven price, for example, in many areas of the Permian Basin, range between $45 and $50 per barrel.
- Coronavirus has most of the United States on lockdown. The State of California predicted that up to 56% of its citizens could contract the virus within the next eight weeks. Around the globe, we have reached 244,523 confirmed cases, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 10,000 people have died as a result of the spread. Italy is now the deadliest hotspot for coronavirus in the world after it surpassed China this week on the number of registered deaths.
Stocks to Watch Today: AMZN, DB, WMT
- Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN) announced it is temporarily halting its Pantry operations as it continues to address a surge in demand from consumers who want deliveries instead of going to the grocery store.
- Deutsche Bank (NYSE: DB) announced that its business may fail to meet its financial targets due to the spread of coronavirus this year. The German bank said in a statement today: "While it is too early to predict the impacts on business or the bank's financial targets that the expanding pandemic, and the governmental responses to it, may have, the bank may be materially adversely affected by a protracted downturn in local, regional or global economic conditions."
- Walmart Stores (NYSE: WMT) announced plans to spend $550 million on bonuses for employees who are working in the store during the outbreak of the virus. The company plans to hire upwards of 150,000 temporary workers to help handle the surge in demand that is coming from Americans. So far, the company has been able to stay open and keep its shelves stocked. However, it is reducing its hours and rationing the number of products that customers may purchase.
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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.