Markets

Here's what happened to the stock market on Wednesday

Pedestrians walk past the New York Stock Exchange before the closing bell in New York.
Bryan R. Smith | AFP | Getty Images

Dow Jones Industrial Average drops 445 points

The Dow slid 445.41 points, or 1.86% to 23,504.35. The S&P 500 fell 2.20% to close at 2,783.36. The Nasdaq Composite closed 1.44% lower at 8,393.18. Stocks were under pressure as dismal economic data and weak bank earnings dented market sentiment. 

Record drop in retail sales

Retail sales during the month of March plunged a record 8.7%, marking the largest one-month decline since the Commerce Department began tracking the series in 1992. Manufacturing in the New York area also slumped by its biggest margin ever to a historic low, surpassing the levels seen in the throes of the Great Recession. "This points to a very severe recession because this is just the beginning of a series," notes one economist.

Bank of America, Citigroup slump on earnings

Bank of America shares dropped 6.49% after the banking giant posted quarterly results that were below expectations. Citigroup's stock was also under pressure after the company posted its first-quarter earnings.

What happens next?

Weekly jobless claims are scheduled for release Thursday. Morgan Stanley is among the companies scheduled to report earnings.

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