The major averages plummeted at the open and weren't able to make up any ground throughout the day. The Dow fell 1,147.53 points at the session low, and all the major averages finished the day with a greater than 3% decline. Thursday's sharp slide follows Wednesday's relief rally, which saw the Dow post its second largest point gain on record. Investors continue to flee to so-called safety trades — the utility sector is tracking for its best week ever, and the yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to a record low.
Here's the latest:
The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended Thursday down 969 points, as fears surrounding the coronavirus continued to grip investors. At one point on Thursday the Dow was down more than 1,100 points. The S&P 500 lost 3.4% and the Nasdaq Composite fell 3.1%. All three major averages closed in correction territory, down more than 10% from their recent high. — Fitzgerald
JPMorgan global asset strategist Marko Kolanovic said in a note to clients that the world economy would bounce back quickly from the coronavirus epidemic and that investors should be overweight stocks in the cyclicals and value sectors.
"We now see the risk/reward as increasingly skewed to the upside for risky assets and use the current pullback to add back to cyclical exposures at the margin," Kolanovic said in the note. — Pound
With roughly an hour left in Thursday's session, the Dow is near its session low, with all its 30 components in the red. The sell-off erased the majority of the steep gains in the previous session, when the Dow posted its second biggest point gain ever – nearly 1,200 points. Bank stocks and airlines led the declines into the close. - Li
How tough is it for the airlines? Look at the US Global Jets ETF (JETS), a basket of global airlines, down over 30% in the last couple weeks. Overdone? Maybe, but only assuming people start flying again at some point this year. "This group already trades at fairly low multiples and now they're just insanely low," Mike Akins from ETF Action said to CNBC. - Pisani
DoubleLine CEO Jeffrey Gundlach said on CNBC's "Halftime Report" that the price of gold relative to the dollar will hit an all-time high as the Federal Reserve cuts interest rates. "Gold is doing super well even with the dollar unchanged over the past 14 months or so. And gold is at a record high in terms of Euro and many other currencies, I feel like it is almost a certainty that gold is going to go to an all-time high versus the dollar, as well," Gundlach said. — Pound
Anton Schultz, president and CIO of Mendon Capital Advisors, said on CNBC's "The Exchange" that he wants to see a fiscal response to the coronavirus outbreak but that the Federal Reserve and other central banks will have measures to boost the economy as long as they can print money. "When people say the central banks are out of bullets, they're completely wrong … And oh by the way, the U.S. Fed has never bought equities like other central banks around the world have. That's certainly another massive tool we could use," Mendon said. — Pound
"Bond King" Jeffrey Gundlach said he believes the Federal Reserve panicked in cutting interest rates earlier this week and that short-term U.S. rates are headed for zero. "If we look at history, once the Fed does a panic, inter-meeting rate cut, particular when it's 50 basis points ... they typically cut pretty quickly again," Gundlach said. "So I'm in the camp that the Fed is going to cut rates again, perhaps even in two weeks. "We will see short rates headed toward zero." -- Franck
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell to session low, down more than 1,000 points as investors continued to flee stocks. The Dow's drop coincided with the yield on the U.S. 10-year Treasury dropping to an all-time low. - Stevens
As losses accelerate, 10 out of the 11 S&P 500 sectors are down more than 2% in midday trading. Energy and financials are the worst performers, each down more than 5%. The industrials sector is more than 4% lower, while communication services, discretionary, materials and tech are all down more than 3%. Utilites is the top-performer, with a decline of just 1.7%. - Stevens
The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to an all-time low of 0.899% as fresh bids for U.S. debt climbed thanks to rekindled coronavirus fears. The lowest reading on the 10-year yield was 0.899%, below its all-time low of 0.906% hit earlier in the week. – Sheetz
The Cboe Volatility Index, commonly referred to as Wall Street's fear gauge, spiked above 40 shortly after the U.S. 10-year Treasury hit a record low. The VIX, a measure of the 30-day implied volatility of U.S. stocks, rose nearly 25% on Thursday amid the market sell-off. —Fitzgerald
Stocks accelerated losses, hitting fresh session lows. The Dow Jones Industrial Average last traded down 950 points. The S&P dropped 3.5% and the Nasdaq fell 3.1%. - Fitzgerald
Dow Transports hit bear market levels, down more than 20% from its 52-week high on January 17. Airlines led the group lower on fears the coronavirus will continue to curb travel. Alaska Air Group cratered 11% and American Airlines tanked more than 10%. —Francolla, Fitzgerald
Stock market weakness continued in midday trading, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average losing about 740 points or 2.7%. The S&P 500 dropped 2.5% and the Nasdaq fell 2.1%. All three major average are back in correction territory, down more than 10% from their most recent high. — Fitzgerald
The utility sector is slightly negative on the day, but its nearly 10% gain so far this week puts it on track for its best week on record. Outperformers include Eversource Energy, CMS Energy and WEC Energy, all of which have gained more than 13% this week. - Stevens, Francolla
A Facebook worker based in one of its Seattle offices tested positive for the coronavirus, and the company is encouraging all 5,000 employees in the area to work from home the rest of the month. Facebook said it is closing its Stadium East office until Monday, the end of the incubation period for the contractor, who was last in the office on Feb. 21. The company is encouraging all Seattle-based employees to work from home until March 31, based on King County's updated guidance. Earlier this week, a Seattle-based employee of Amazon tested positive for COVID-19. Amazon asked employees who are experiencing symptoms to stay home and seek medical attention. — Steinberg
Retail investors who are trying to navigate the stock market's recent volatility should reduce the size of their trades, advised JJ Kinahan, TD Ameritrade's chief market strategist. For example, investors who normally trade around 400 shares should scale back to 200 shares, he said on CNBC's "Squawk Alley." Reducing the size of your trade not only allows investors to withstand volatility, but "if we have another downward move it allows you to buy some more at a better price," Kinahan said. - Stankiewicz
Amid the broader market sell-off, cruise stocks are getting hit especially hard. Royal Caribbean Cruises fell 13%, while Norwegian Cruise Line and Carnival Corporation were each down more than 10%. Investors are shedding these stocks amid fears that the coronavirus outbreak and the subsequent slowdown in travel will pressure cruise companies' revenue. - Stevens
The coronavirus has laid bare the underlying weaknesses in the U.S. economy and is only one of several triggers for a "high risk" of a global recession, longtime Societe General market bear Albert Edwards said in his latest analysis. Specifically, he cites dangers from a potential surge in corporate defaults and bankruptcies that could spark a volatility spike that would "blow up U.S. credit, corporates and ultimately the economy." He also points to deflationary signs in inflation-indexed bonds and a potential surge in the euro that would thwart a powerful carry trade in the currency. "The immediate cause of any recession will be attributed to the coronavirus crushing the cash flow of highly indebted and vulnerable companies. But a day of reckoning was almost inevitable in any case," Edwards said in a note for clients.– Cox
While the S&P 500 is down about 2.5% on Thursday, streaming platform Netflix is bucking the trend, rising more than 1%. Netflix, as well as other stocks that promote staying at home, have gotten a boost recently from fears surrounding the fast-spreading coronavirus. The so-called "stay at home stocks," which also include Peloton, Slack and Teladoc, have resisted the broader market's sell-off. Slack is up more than 6% and Teladoc, which provides virtual doctor's visits, is up more than 8% on Thursday. "With Coronavirus fears pushing consumers away from travel and out-of-home entertainment, Netflix could be a near-term beneficiary of this temporarily altered behaviour," Piper Sandler senior research analyst Michael Olson said in a note to clients on Thursday. Piper Sandler has an overweight rating on the stock. - Fitzgerald
Senator Elizabeth Warren is dropping out of the Democratic presidential race after a disappointing showing at Super Tuesday, a person familiar with the campaign told NBC News. This leaves former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders as the last major contenders battling for the nominee to challenge President Donald Trump in November. - Stevens
Morgan Stanley Wealth Management CIO Lisa Shalett said on "Squawk on the Street" said she's advising clients to have a "barbell" portfolio, with positions in safer stocks like utilities and consumer staples and downtrodden cyclicals such as financials and industrials, while avoiding some of the bigger growth names. "We remain quite concerned that coming into this crisis we had a lot of secular growth stocks that were quite frothy, and we don't necessarily think that they are going to be immune here. So our preference has been to kind of hollow out portfolios," Shalett said. — Pound
Both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 fell about 2.5% within the first hour of trading as newfound demand for safer assets like U.S. Treasurys kept pressure on rates worldwide. That kept pressure on regional and consumer-facing banks that, unlike investment banks, generate a significant portion of their profits by borrowing short-term funds and making longer-term loans at higher rates.
The KRE, a popular exchange-traded fund that tracks the performance of regional banks, fell 4.3% and broke through its 52-week low. Components M&T Bank, Truist Financial and PNC Financial fell 5.5%, 6.4% and 4.4%, respectively.
The market's latest pendulum swing back to safer assets came amid a string of new headlines about the spread of the virulent coronavirus. Markets remain fearful that the disease will prevent major exporters, like China, from sending components to American manufacturers and have a rippling effect on global growth. — Franck
Bank stocks are leading markets lower, with the financials sector shedding more than 4% in early trading. The KRE, which tracks regional banks, hit its lowest level since Jan. 2019 as investors fear that lower interest rates will pressure banks' net interest margins. - Stevens
The recent bout of market volatility is continuing, with the Dow now down more than 800 points, or 3%. The index has now given back more than half of its gains from Wednesday's relief rally. - Stevens
Bernstein cut its price targets across the board for airline stocks, telling investors that declines go beyond the coronavirus outbreak. The firm warned that airline stocks are "becoming a call on global recession," saying the market is now pricing in a recession-like impact to airlines' loss of traffic for 2020. - Sheetz
CNBC's Jim Cramer said Thursday he believes index investing has reached its peak, citing the coronavirus-driven market volatility. "There's a huge percentage of the index you cannot touch, and then there's another percent of the index that's terrific," he said on "Squawk on the Street." "It's back to stock picking." Index funds, which have increased in popularity since the financial crisis, have been regarded as "the savior," but Cramer said they are actually "the curse." - Stankiewicz
With Thursday's early declines, the major averages are back in correction territory, or more than 10% below their recent highs. The Dow Jones Transportation Average is getting hit especially hard, and is approaching bear market territory. - Stevens, Francolla
- Citi initiated Johnson & Johnson as buy.
- Deutsche Bank upgraded Dollar Tree to buy from hold.
- Bank of America added Lam Research to its "US 1 List."
- Goldman Sachs upgraded FireEye to buy from neutral.
- Credit Suisse upgraded Campbell Soup to neutral from underperform.
- Deutsche Bank added a catalyst call buy on Ulta.
- MKM upgraded Snap to buy from neutral.
- HSBC raised its price target on Apple to $225 from $190.
- Stephens downgraded Zoom Video to equal weight from overweight.
- Bank of America downgraded Moderna to neutral from buy.
Stocks dropped on Thursday as the market's roller-coaster ride continues. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 701 points, for a loss of 2.5%. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq were down 2.5% and 2.4%, respectively. - Stevens
The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note dropped back below the key 1% level on Thursday as the optimism that supported risk assets in the prior session succumbed to lingering fears about the coronavirus. The rekindled demand for safe havens like U.S. debt also sent the yield on the 2-year note to a new all-time low of 0.595%. Bond yields fall as their prices rise. — Franck, Francolla
The Dollar index is trading near its session low of 96.904, its lowest level since Jan. 8. The greenback dropped to the lowest level since October against Japanese yen at 106.85. The record low yields and the prospect of more monetary easing triggered the dollar's decline, while coronavirus fears boosted demand for the safe-haven yen. - Li, Francolla
Shares of the grocery company rose 1% in premarket trading on Thursday following its quarterly earnings where it beat on the top and bottom line. Kroger reported earnings of 57 cents per share on revenue of $28.893 billion. Analysts expected earnings of 55 cents per share on revenue of $28.866 billion, according to Refinitiv. - Fitzgerald
The semiconductor company rose more than 7% in premarket trading on Thursday after reporting strong quarterly earnings. Marvell Technology posted earnings of 17 cents per share, topping estimates by a penny, according to Refinitiv. Revenue came in at $718 million, beating the $711 million forecast on the Street. - Fitzgerald
Stock futures accelerated losses, and the Dow is now set to open down more than 700 points. The move lower comes as the number of coronavirus cases worldwide rises. On Wednesday California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency following the first coronavirus-related death in the state. - Stevens
Market demand has spiked this week for the Federal Reserve's liquidity operations in the overnight lending, or repo, market. The New York Fed on Thursday saw primary dealers submit $72.55 billion in bids for a $20 billion 14-day operation in a market that provides the short-term plumbing for banking operations. That comes after participants submitted $111.5 billion in bids for a $100 billion one-day offering Wednesday. On Tuesday, the Fed saw $108.6 billion for a $100 billion overnight offering, and just shy of $71 billion for a $20 billion 14-day operation. – Cox
Utilities is the top-performing S&P 500 sector this week, gaining 10.6%. The sector is considered a defensive one, since consumers will always need these services. In other words, these stocks are not as susceptible to the broader business cycle. Staples and real estate are also outperforming, with each posting a gain of more than 9% this week, while health care has rallied 8%. This week's relative under-performers are communication services and energy, which have gained 3.7% and 1.9%, respectively. Energy, financials and industrials are the only three sectors that remain in correction territory. - Stevens
The S&P 500 gained 4.22% on Wednesday, but 66% of components, or 333 stocks, remain in correction territory or worse, which is when a stock is 10% or more below its recent high. Of the 333 stocks, 159 are trading in bear market territory, which is when a stock is more than 20% below its recent high. - Stevens
Airline stocks were in the red during Thursday's premarket trading as the coronavirus outbreak and subsequent travel slowdown continues to weigh on the sector. Delta Air Lines, American Airlines and Southwest Airlines all fell more than 3%, while United Airlines and JetBlue Airways were more than 2% lower. The International Air Transport Association said that it now sees coronavirus-related 2020 global revenue losses for passenger airlines totaling between $63 billion and $113 billion. The IATA's prior estimate put losses at $29.3 billion. - Stevens
The recent bout of market volatility looks set to continue with U.S. stock futures pointing to losses across the board at the open, in a sharp reversal from Wednesday's stock surge. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is indicating a more than 500-point drop at the open, or a decline of just over 2%. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq are also set to open down more than 2%.
On Wednesday markets surged higher. The Dow gained 1,173 points for its second largest point gain in history, and its second more than 1,000-point gain in three sessions. The Dow's Monday gain of 1,294 is the largest on record. Former Vice President Joe Biden's strong Super Tuesday showing helped push stocks higher, since many on the Street regard Biden's policies as more market friendly than those of senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. - Stevens
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