Stock market live Friday: Dow drops 250 but stocks end week positive, oil plunges 10%

TJM's Tim Anderson: Signs extreme moves lessening

This is a live blog. Check back for updates.

4:01 pm: Stocks end a volatile week, Dow drops 250 points

The Dow Jones Industrial Average came back in a serious way, closing down 256 points on Friday, after falling 896 points at the low. The 30-stock average ended the week with a gain of 1.8%. The S&P 500 fell 1.7% and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 1.0% on Friday, but both indices ended the week with a gain. All three major averages are still in correction territory, each down more than 10% from their most recent 52-week high. - Fitzgerald

3:51 pm: Stock pare losses into the close

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gave back a significant amount of losses with only a few minutes left in the trading day. The Dow is now down 230 points. - Fitzgerald 

3:50 pm: S&P 500 still above support level, Interactive Brokers chief strategist says

Interactive Brokers chief strategist Steve Sosnick said on "Closing Bell" that he thinks the S&P 500, which is down 2.4% to 2,951 today, has support around the 2,800 level. He also said it is good news that the index hasn't broken through its intraday low last Friday of 2,856. "We continue to meander right now. If we really took out last week's lowest lows, that would be a real worrisome on a Friday afternoon," Sosnick said. — Pound

3:24 pm: Coordination to help industries needed to support stocks, BlackRock PM says

BlackRock portfolio manager Russ Koesterich said on "Closing Bell" that coordination by governments to help struggling industries and a slowing spread of the coronavirus are what the stock market needs to stop falling. "You need to see more of a coordinated effort by governments about how their going to backstop different industries, how they're going to backstop some of the issues around supply chains. And obviously the best thing that would happen is some rate of deceleration around the virus itself," Koesterich said. — Pound

3:00 pm: Final hour of trading: Dow nears its session low, down 800 points

With roughly an hour left in the session, the Dow plunged more than 800 points, trading near its session low. The S&P 500 dropped 3.8%, while the Nasdaq lost 4%. All three major averages are on pace to post their third straight losing week. Energy is the worst-performing sector, down 6%, as oil prices plunged more than 10% after OPEC's allies rejected additional production cuts. - Li

2:50 pm: Oil plunges 10% for worst day in more than 5 years

Oil prices plunged more than 10% to multi-year lows on Friday as OPEC's allies rejected additional production cuts that the organization proposed Thursday. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude slid 10.07%, or $4.62, to settle at $41.28, its lowest level since Aug. 2016. It was WTI's worst day since Nov. 28, 2014. International benchmark Brent crude slid more than 9% to a session low of $45.18, a level not seen since June 2017. - Stevens

2:35 pm: Bank earnings could fall 30%, Mike Mayo says

Wells Fargo bank analyst Mike Mayo said on CNBC's "Power Lunch" that falling interest rates could decrease bank earnings by 30% this year in the "worse case scenario." Mayo said this would mainly be an earnings issue for banks and not a balance sheet issue like during the financial crisis. The 10-year Treasury yield is already close to his worst-case scenario, Mayo said, but the Fed Funds rate is still above that level. He added that he recommends buying the bigger bank stocks. "Banks make money on the difference between their borrowing and lending, and that's getting squeezed. There's no way around that," Mayo said. — Pound

2:22 pm: Trading volumes below average

Trading volumes in U.S. stocks were tracking below average on Friday. So far, U.S. composite volume stands at 6.24 million shares, which is below the 50-day average volume of 6.92 million. The SPY has traded 109.8 million shares, which is below its 30-day average volume of 118.1 million shares. – Hayes

2:18 pm: Market now sees the Fed cutting by 75 basis points in March

Even with the Federal Reserve's emergency interest rate cut earlier this week, traders are still expecting the Fed to cut its benchmark interest rates by three-quarters of a percentage point this month. Friday's selloff pushed traders to assign a 65% chance of a 75 basis point reduction by the March 17-18 Federal Open Market Committee meeting, according to the CME's FedWatch tracker. There was zero probability assigned to that steep of a cut Thursday. — Fitzgerald, Cox

2:12 pm: Dow still on pace to eke out a small gain on the week

Despite a near 600 point drop, the Dow is still on track to post a small gain for the week of about 0.3%. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq are solidly in the red for the week as of afternoon trading. Earlier this week, the 30-stock Dow has swung 1,000 points or higher twice within three days. — Li

2:05 pm: Market looks like 'one big opportunity right now,' Virtu founder says

Virtu Financial founder Vincent Viola said on CNBC's "Halftime Report" that he thought it was a good time to buy stocks because of the underlying strength in the U.S. economy. "I am of the opinion that the marketplace is just one big opportunity right now," Viola said. "Again, the sectors, that remains for the personal financial advisor. From my perspective, there are structural changes in the economy that are going to provide for long-term growth for more than industry." — Pound

1:32 pm: Oil & Gas ETF sinks to all-time low

Oil & Gas ETF (XOP) plunged more than 7% to an all-time low as oil prices get battered following OPEC+ failure to reach a deal on additional production cuts. As oil prices move lower, Virtu Financial founder Vincent Viola said there will be steep repercussions for American oil producers.  "The exploration and production patch is going to go through a dislocation and you're going to see a lot of bankruptcies and replacement and quite frankly restructuring of the domestic oil market," he said Friday on CNBC's "Halftime Report." -Stevens, Francolla

1:25 pm: The utilities sector is the top-performing S&P 500 sector this week

As investors shed equities in favor of safe-haven assets, the utilities sector is getting a boost. It's up more than 6% for the week, making it the top-performing S&P 500 sector. Leaders within the sector include American Water Works which has gained more than 12% this week, while WEC Energy Group is up more than 11%. Staples, which is another defensive sector, is the second best performer. -Stevens

12:23 pm: Oil sinks more than 8% as OPEC+ fails to reach a deal on additional production cuts

Oil prices tumbled more than 8% to multi-year lows as OPEC and its allies, known as OPEC+, failed to reach a deal on additional production cuts. The meeting, which took place in Vienna, ended with the cartel and its allies agreeing to meet again to monitor the situation. The current production cuts will be in place until the end of March as planned, but it's uncertain if they will extend beyond this month. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude slid more than 8% to a session low of $41.77, its lowest level since 2016. International benchmark Brent crude tumbled more than 9% at its low. Oil has slid into a bear market as the coronavirus has hit crude demand. – Stevens

12:12 pm: Cruise ship stocks down as US officials try to discourage trips

Shares of cruise ship operators tumbled Friday on a report that U.S. officials are looking for ways to discourage travelers from vacationing at sea. Citing four officials familiar with the situation, Reuters reported that no decision has been made yet. Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Lines all took hits following the report. – Cox

12:07 pm: Midday trading: Dow down more than 500, off the lows

The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 555 points around midday trading as investors exited the market, expecting the coronavirus to worsen over the weekend. The 30-stock benchmark is off its session low, however, as a rebound in airline stocks provided the broader market with some support. United Airlines jumped 4%, while Delta Air Lines rose more than 2%, after economic advisor Larry Kudlow said the White House is considering "targeted measures" to offset the negative impact. - Li

11:15 am: Beaten-up sectors bouncing

Sectors that have experienced extreme pressure recently are bouncing on Friday. The airline heavy U.S. Global Jets ETF (JETS) is up 3.5% and the entertainment Invesco Dynamic Leisure and Entertainment ETF (PEJ) is up 1.35%. Even the S&P 500 retail ETF (XRT) is flirting with positive territory on Friday. Volumes are extremely heavy in all three ETFs, indicating some buying interest, not just selling exhaustion. — Pisani, Fitzgerald 

10:57 am: Negative rates not on table for Fed, Goldman's Hatzius says

Goldman Sachs chief economist Jan Hatzius said on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" that the Federal Reserve would use a quantitative easing program once its benchmark interest rate gets near zero instead of pushing it in to negative territory.
"The next step, if they need to go to zero and they need to provide additional stimulus, is going to be much more QE and forward guidance than negative rates … it's not impossible that it could happen, but it's not something that's going to be on the agenda any time soon." — Pound

10:56 am: Airlines lead rebound 

Airline stocks rebounded sharply on Friday after chief economic advisor Larry Kudlow said the White House is considering "targeted measures" to offset the negative impact on the industry. American Airlines jumped 4%, while United Airlines surged more than 7%. Alaska Air Group surged 8% and Southwest Airlines rose 3%. — Fitzgerald 

10:35 am: Stocks cutting losses

Stocks started to pare losses on Friday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 450 points. At session lows the Dow was down nearly 900 points. The S&P 500 fell about 2% and the Nasdaq fell 1.9%. The move in stocks coincided with a sharp fall in gold prices, which were previously on pace for their worst week in 11 years. Spot Gold was last down 0.7% at 1,658.85. — Fitzgerald 

10:22 am: President Trump emphasizes strong jobs report

President Donald Trump called attention to February's better-than-expected jobs growth in a tweet, declaring : "JOBS, JOBS, JOBS!!!" – Sheetz

Trump tweet

10:06 am: Aerospace and defense stocks plunge into bear market

The iShares Defense & Aerospace ETF is trading in bear market levels, down over 20% from Feb. 11 high. The fund's components are all in correction levels, each down over 10%, with American Outdoor, Triumph Group and Spirit AeroSystems leading this week's losses. – Sheetz

9:57 am: Kudlow again advocates 'buying these dips'

White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow said that he'd be a stock buyer as Wall Street gets nearer to bear market territory. "Long-term investors should think seriously about buying these dips. That is my view," Kudlow said on CNBC following Friday morning's blockbuster jobs report. He made similar remarks on Feb. 25 prior to the brutal volatility that hit this week. – Cox

9:48 am: 10-year yield craters to new record low

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note sank to a record low of 0.676% at 9:46 a.m. ET, extending its break below 0.7% for the first time ever. – Sheetz

9:32 am: Dow opens down more than 750 points

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped more than 750 points at Friday's open, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite fell 2.5% and 2.8%, respectively. It has been a roller-coaster trading week on Wall Street, as the 30-stock Dow swing 1,000 points or higher twice within three days. – Li, Sheetz

9:18 am: Here are Friday's biggest analyst calls of the day

  • Needham initiated Lyft as buy.
  • Citi initiated Expedia, Trivago, and Booking Holdings as buy.
  • William Blair upgraded Chipotle to outperform from market perform.
  • Credit Suisse downgraded Kroger to neutral from outperform.
  • Bernstein upgraded Dish to market perform from underperform.
  • JPMorgan upgraded BJ's to overweight from neutral and added to the focus list.
  • Atlantic Equities upgraded Advanced Micro Devices to overweight from neutral.


8:56 am: Tegna stock jumps after reported $8.5 billion bid

U.S. regional television operator Gray Television made an $8.5 billion bid to acquire Tegna according to Reuters, sending shares of Tegna up more than 28% in premarket trading. Tegna, which had a nearly $3 billion market value before the bid, would greatly expand Gray's footprint in multiple TV station markets. – Sheetz

8:32 am: February jobs report handily beats expectations

Nonfarm payrolls climbed much more than expected in February, as the Labor Department said the U.S. economy added 273,000 jobs last month, well above the 175,000 economists expected. Additionally, the U.S. unemployment rate fell back to 3.5%. – Sheetz

8:25 am: Where the market is before the jobs report

Five minutes before the February jobs report, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is set to open down 810 points on Friday. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 were also set to open steeply lower. — Sheetz

8:03 am: Gold on pace for week best since 2008

Gold prices have surged 7.6% this week, as the global spread of the coronavirus dimmed growth prospects and sent investors scurrying for safe-haven assets. This week's rally puts gold on pace for its best week since December 2008, when gold gained 9.08%. Spot gold was up 0.9% at $1,685.67 per ounce on Friday morning. — Fitzgerald

7:58 am: Apple slides 4% as UBS cuts estimates, says 'near-term demand risk is increasing'

Shares of Apple slid nearly 4% in Friday's premarket trading after UBS cut its estimates due to a slowdown in demand. The firm said that the demand impact is "likely to expand beyond China." UBS lowered its full-year 2020 revenue estimate to $281 billion from $282.3 billion, and cut its EPS estimate to $13.55 from $13.64. The firm has a buy rating and 12-month price target of $355, which is 21% above where the stock currently trades.

7:47 am: 10-year US yield hits record low under 0.7% as flight to bonds continues

The global flight to the safety of government debt continued on Friday as investors piled into U.S. Treasurys and sent the yield on the 10-year note to record lows. The exodus out of equities sent the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note to 0.695% around 4:45 a.m. ET, below 0.7% for the first time ever, according to Tradeweb data. As of the latest reading, however, the 10-year yield had moved off those lows to 0.769%. — Franck, Francolla

7:36 am: Markets to watch payrolls for clues on economic health

Though it will cover a period before the worst of the coronavirus fears hit, investors will be closely watching this morning's nonfarm payrolls report when it hits at 8:30 am ET. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones are expecting 175,000 new jobs in February and the unemployment rate dropping back down to its 50-year low of 3.5%. ""Now more than ever, we need to focus on the labor market data," said Liz Ann Sonders, chief investment strategist at Charles Schwab. "The consumer has kind of kept things afloat." – Cox

7:27 am: 78% of the S&P in correction territory

With yesterday's steep slide, 78% of the S&P 500 is now in correction territory, or more than 10% below recent highs. 41% of the index, or 207 stocks, are currently trading in bear market territory, or more than 20% below recent highs. - Stevens 

7:05 am: Stock sell-off accelerates, Dow set to drop more than 500 points at the open

It's been a volatile week of whipsaw market moves, and Friday is shaping up to be the same story on the Street. U.S. stock futures are pointing to sharp losses at the open, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average set to slide more than 500 points for a loss of 2.2%. The S&P 500 is set to open down 2.2%, while the Nasdaq is set to drop 3%.

As the coronavirus outbreak continues to spook markets, investors are shedding equities in favor of so-called safe haven assets. The yield on the U.S. 10-year Treasury is at an all-time low, and the utilities sector is on pace for its best week ever. - Stevens

CNBC's Gina Francolla, Maggie Fitzgerald, Jesse Pound and Michael Sheetz contributed reporting.

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