Dow Jones Now Sliding After Walt Disney Announces 28,000 COVID-19 Layoffs

The Dow Jones now is on the decline due to concerns about a second wave of COVID-19. There is also plenty of economic uncertainty ahead of the 2020 election.

Shares of Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) lead the selloff (down 2%) since the company announced massive layoffs. Read for everything moving the Dow today.

Before we get into this story and more, here are the numbers from Tuesday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:

Index Previous Close Point Change Percentage Change
Dow Jones 27,452.66 -131.40 -0.48
S&P 500 3,335.47 -16.13 -0.48
Nasdaq 11,085.25 -32.28 -0.29

Now, here's a closer look at today's most important market events and stocks. We'll also discuss the stories that slipped under the radar of the mainstream financial press on Wednesday.

The Top Stock Market Stories for Wednesday

  • This morning, Americans are reacting to the dumpster fire that was the first presidential debate. Investors were hoping that the debate would help give us a clearer understanding of who will win after last night's event. However, the debate erupted into chaos from the start, with both candidates interrupting and failing to answer questions from the moderator. The two traded barbs over their adult children, the Affordable Healthcare Act, and mail-in ballots. Now, there is speculation that the candidates may not want to move forward with additional debates.

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  • Johns Hopkins University reports that the number of deaths around the world from COVID-19 has topped 1 million. The troubling milestone comes as Congress is working on a $2.2 trillion stimulus program. Various states are lifting restrictions as we head into the flu season. While headlines around laws in cities like San Francisco and New York are generating buzz, the biggest COVID-19 story is the fact that two NFL teams have shut down their facilities due to concerns about an outbreak. The Tennessee Titans reported that five players have tested positive for COVID-19, while the Minnesota Vikings (who played the Titans last weekend) have shut down their facility as a precaution.
  • Finally, it's a big day for direct listings. First, Palantir will start trading on the New York Stock Exchange as part of a direct listing. The data analytics giant will start at $7.25 per share (a $15.8 billion valuation). Meanwhile, the cloud-software provider Asana will also start trading thanks to a direct listing today. The company - founded by billionaire Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz - will have a reference price of $21.

Stocks to Watch Today: DIS, REGN, MU

  • Shares of Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) are in focus after the company announced plans to lay off 28,000 employees. The ongoing impact of COVID-19 on the company's theme parks is responsible for the decision. The company has reopened its parks in Florida, Paris, Japan, Shanghai, and Hong Kong on a limited basis. However, its California parks remain closed for the near future. According to a company press release, roughly 67% of the laid off employees are part-time.
  • Shares of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: REGN) rallied another 3% after the company announced positive trial data for its COVID-19 antibody cocktail. The pharma giant said that its new cocktail showed a reduction in "viral levels and improved symptoms in non-hospitalized COVID-19 patients."
  • Finally, shares of Micron Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MU) are on the rise after the company topped earnings expectations on Tuesday. The firm reported earnings per share of $1.08 on top of $6.06 billion in revenue. The company also announced stronger-than-expected earnings guidance for the current quarter.

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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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