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The Dow Jones Industrial Average remains volatile on the spread of the coronavirus today.
Investors appear to be embracing the White House's approach to coronavirus containment after U.S. President Donald Trump ordered social distancing measures stretch through April 30. More on this below.
Here are the numbers from Monday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
|Index||Previous Close||Point Change||Percentage Change|
Here are the most important market events and the stories that I'm following right now.
The Top Stock Market Stories for Tuesday
- Yesterday, the U.S. Federal Reserve dropped a bombshell on the markets. According to the central bank, up to 47 million Americans could lose their jobs, bringing the U.S. unemployment rate up to 32%. That figure would blow away the peak of the Great Depression and potentially shatter relationships between companies and workers when the virus does subside. That latter element threatens to undermine a future recovery. Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) has predicted that the U.S. economy will contract by as much as 34% during the second quarter. That seems very possible.
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- Johns Hopkins University reported that global cases topped 786,000, with more than 37,820 deaths around the world. U.S. cases surpassed 164,000 last night, the largest official total for cases. (Can we really trust China's numbers?) It appears that markets are trusting Chinese data around its manufacturing sector, which reportedly increased to a PMI reading of 52.0 in March. That figure defies expectations given the impact of the coronavirus on the Chinese economy. Investors have steadily been increasing their investment into the Chinese markets once again, snapping up assets in the search for value and appreciation upside.
- The global airline industry is effectively at a standstill. According to the OAG, roughly 50% of the world's entire airline capacity has been grounded by the coronavirus. Demand for airlines is now so low that carriers have asked their regulators if they can consolidate flights to destinations in order to fill planes and reduce costs.
Stocks to Watch Today: AMZN, SAVE, XOM
- Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) is facing criticism on news that it fired the employee who pushed for a strike at its Staten Island warehouse over coronavirus safety measures.
- Spirit Airlines Inc. (NASDAQ: SAVE) has halted all air traffic to LaGuardia airport and Newark airport due to a virus advisory. The discount airline is the first aviation company to suspend service to these airports due to their proximity to Manhattan, the current center of the national coronavirus pandemic. The airline also plans to suspend service to Hartford, Conn.; Plattsburgh, N.Y.; and Niagara Falls starting on April 1. The company hopes to resume service to the Manhattan area by May 4.
- Shares of Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) added 3% this morning thanks to an uptick in crude oil prices. WTI crude popped 7.5% to hit $21.50 after a three-day slide. Oil majors around the globe continue to wrestle with a severe demand-shock. Crude traders are banking on successful talks between the United States and Russia to help stabilize the global oil markets. Crude prices recently hit their lowest levels since February 2002, months after the 9-11 attacks that sent the markets into a recession. The downturn comes at a time that some regions around the world are selling crude at single-digit prices and a massive glut continues to plague the global economy.
- Look for earnings reports from Conagra Brands Inc. (NYSE: CAG), McCormick & Co. (NYSE: MKC), ProPetro Holding Corp. (NASDAQ: PUMP), Conn's Inc. (NASDAQ: CONN), Verint Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: VRNT), and Capital Senior Living Corp. (NYSE: CSU).
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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.