Dow Jones Slumps on Latest Coronavirus Numbers

The Dow Jones today is down after the World Health Organization reported 2,909 COVID-19 deaths in the United States between Thursday and Friday. That's the deadliest 24 hours yet for the U.S. during the pandemic.

At the same time, states are announcing measures to slowly reopen the economy. We'll talk more about that below. Here's everything moving the Dow today.

First, the numbers from Friday for the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq:

Index Previous Close Point Change Percentage Change
Dow Jones 23,723.69 -622.03 -2.55
S&P 500 2,830.71 -81.72 -2.81
Nasdaq 8,604.95 -284.60 -3.20

Now here are what I think will be the most important market events and stocks on Monday morning.

The Top Stock Market Stories for Monday

  • We start this morning with Warren Buffett. The Oracle of Omaha hosted his annual shareholders meeting in the virtual world. During the so-called "Woodstock for Capitalists," Buffett surprised investors with news that Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK.A) had sold off its full stake of airline stocks. Buffett's firm unloaded its positions in American Airlines Group Inc. (NASDAQ: AAL), Delta Air Lines Inc. (NYSE: DAL), Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV), and United Airlines Holdings Inc. (NYSE: UAL). Buffett had taken large stakes in those companies in 2016 after reversing his longtime stance against airline investing. The announcement coincided with a public statement by Southwest Airlines' CEO, who said that his company's planes have been virtually empty due to COVID-19.

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  • According to Johns Hopkins University, the number of global COVID-19 cases topped 3.4 million over the weekend, with about one-third of those cases happening in the United States. Over the weekend, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo raised concerns about the ongoing reliance on China for PPE and medical equipment. Cuomo called the issue a "national security issue" and announced that six northeastern states are developing a regional supply chain to consolidate demand, reduce prices, and improve security.
  • This week will be a very important period for U.S. economic data. This morning, the U.S. Commerce Department will announce the March report on factory orders. In February, factory orders were effectively flat; however, economists anticipate an average contraction of 9.8%. That report is an appetizer for the upcoming nonfarm payroll report on Friday. With more than 20 million people filing for unemployment benefits over the last month, the consensus expectation is that U.S. unemployment will hit 16%.

Stocks to Watch Today: GILD, TSN, AIG, PE, STAG

  • Gilead Sciences Inc. (NYSE: GILD) CEO Daniel O'Day said that the company will make its remdesivir drug available to coronavirus patients as soon as this week. The company found that 50% or more of the patients treated with a five-day supply of the drug saw an improvement in their conditions. The FDA formally approved an emergency use authorization for the drug to treat COVID-19.
  • Tyson Foods Inc. (NYSE: TSN) will report second-quarter results today. Investors are paying close attention to the company's outlook given the ongoing shutdown at many of its meat processing facilities across the country. The firm has warned about the instability of the U.S. food supply chain as many facilities have suspended operations due to employee illnesses tied to COVID-19.
  • Shares of Stag Industrial Inc. (NYSE: STAG) are in focus as investors eye the possibility that U.S. manufacturers will begin moving production facilities back to North America. Security concerns about technology, medical supplies, medicine, and other important products are generating a lot of interest in this industrial manufacturing REIT. This could become a megatrend for companies over the coming years, making STAG and two other industrial REITs some of the best stocks to own for the years ahead. I put together a list of the best REITs for May over the weekend. Be sure to read them here.
  • Look for earnings reports from American International Group Inc. (NYSE: AIG), Parsley Energy Inc. (NYSE: PE), Diamondback Energy Inc. (NYSE: FANG), Skyworks Solutions Inc. (NASDAQ: SWKS), Leggett & Platt Inc. (NYSE: LEG), Allison Transmission Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: ALSN), Shake Shack Inc. (NYSE: SHAK), and Williams Cos. Inc. (NYSE: WMB).

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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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