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The Dow Jones is sliding on weak outlooks from some of Silicon Valley's largest companies. We cover those below.
The S&P 500 jumped 12.7% in April, and the Dow gained 11.1% for the month. It was the Dow's fourth-largest monthly return since World War II and the best in 33 years. But it's likely we're just beginning to see the economic effects of the pandemic. Here's everything moving the Dow today.
First, here are the numbers from Thursday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
|Index||Previous Close||Point Change||Percentage Change|
Now, let's take a look at what I consider the most important market events to start your day.
The Top Stock Market Stories for Friday
- The coronavirus has now officially affected more than 3.27 million people, with nearly 234,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. Last night, China announced that the Hubei province – where officials first detected COVID-19 – will start to relax its lockdown rules starting tomorrow. The province's health commission announced Friday that it will decrease its emergency response level to its second-highest grade. Elsewhere around the globe, Iran, Russia, and Singapore reported an increase in cases. Meanwhile, in the United States, major airlines have announced plans to require passengers to start wearing face masks or facial coverings from check-in to departing the plane.
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- WTI oil prices are on pace for their first gains in a month, while Brent crude was sliding this morning. The uptick in U.S. prices came after companies started cutting output to offset low prices, and the Energy Information Administration reported a lower build of inventories than analysts had expected. Analysts have suggested that we are witnessing a bottoming market. However, global crude storage is nearing its capacity and could top out as soon as June 2020. Meanwhile, OPEC and Russia have started to cut their output in order to support global crude price.
- The banking sector has taken a big hit since the market started its downturn in mid-February. The SPDR S&P Bank ETF has declined 32%. However, Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) said on Thursday that banking stocks are poised to rally during the impending economic recovery across the United States. "This is a sector that's probably going to recover faster than others in an upturn. It's also priced relatively conservatively," a BoA strategist told CNBC on Thursday.
Stocks to Watch Today: AMZN, AAPL, CLX
- Shares of Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) slumped 6% after the company reported a staggering $4 billion in profit for the first quarter. However, the company announced plans to spend all of its profits on a response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The firm plans to spend its money on COVID tests for employees, improving its delivery network, protective equipment, and improved cleaning products at its facilities.
- Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) shares dipped 3% after the company reported stronger-than-expected earnings on Thursday afternoon. The firm reported EPS of $2.55, well above Wall Street expectations of $2.26. For the quarter, the firm also reported revenue of $58.3 billion, announced plans to repurchase $50 billion in stock, and hiked its dividend. That said, the company had withdrawn its forward guidance for the quarter due to the impact of coronavirus.
- Clorox Inc. (NYSE: CLX) shares gained another 2.5% after the firm reported a strong earnings report. The outbreak of COVID-19 pushed fiscal third-quarter sales higher by 15% thanks to strong consumer demand due to COVID-19. The firm reported EPS of $1.89 on $1.78 billion in revenue. Wall Street had expected more modest returns of $1.67 per share on top of $1.71 billion. The company also hiked its forward guidance as it anticipates greater demand for cleaning products around the globe.
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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.