Stocks tank as oil falls below zero for first time ever

WTI oil plunged 305% to -$36.73 a barrel as demand remains scarce

U.S. equity markets tumbled on Monday as oil saw a historic hammering with prices turning negative for the first time in history.

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TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
I:DJIDOW JONES AVERAGES29875.47-170.77-0.57%
SP500S&P 5003626.44-8.97-0.25%
I:COMPNASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX12075.324779+38.54+0.32%

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell over 592 points or 2.3 percent. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite were down 1.79 percent and 1.03 percent, respectively.

Ongoing concerns over swelling oil inventories, with little demand to ease the pile up due to the ongoing fallout from the coronavirus, sent West Texas Intermediate crude for May delivery plunging 305 percent to a record low -$36.73 per barrel. At a price below zero, buyers would be paid to take delivery as there are costs associated with transportation and storage.

Early indicators show oil may slide deeper into negative territory.

OIL CRASHES BELOW ZERO

The plunge in crude prices pressured oil majors Exxon Mobil and Chevron, which were the biggest decliners among Dow components.

Elsewhere in the space, oil services provider Halliburton lost $1.02 billion in the first quarter and said it would cut costs by $1 billion as the crash in oil prices has decimated investment. Those shares bucked the downtrend inching higher.

Explorers Continental Resources and EOG Resources were among the other energy names in focus.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
XOMEXXON MOBIL CORPORATION40.85-1.14-2.71%
CVXCHEVRON CORP.92.72-2.88-3.02%
HALHALLIBURTON COMPANY17.81-0.10-0.56%
CLRCONTINENTAL RESOURCES17.72+0.21+1.20%
EOGEOG RESOURCES53.74-0.67-1.23%

President Trump said during his coronavirus task force update on Sunday evening that lawmakers were closing in on a deal that would replenish funding for small businesses ravaged by the economic fallout from COVID-19. An agreement would also provide funding for testing and to hospitals that have been overwhelmed with patients.

Monday's briefing is set for 5 p.m. ET.

CORONAVIRUS PRESSURES US MANUFACTURERS TO BRING PLANTS HOME FROM CHINA

United Airlines lost a larger-than-expected $2.1 billion in the first quarter and the company said it could borrow up to $4.5 billion through the CARES Act. Over the weekend, the airline reached a sale and leaseback deal for 22 Boeing aircraft with Singapore-based Bank of China Aviation.

Hard-hit Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings has enlisted Goldman Sachs to explore financing alternatives, according to the Wall Street Journal.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
UALUNITED AIRLINES HLDG.45.22+0.26+0.57%
DALDELTA AIR LINES INC.40.99-0.28-0.67%
AALAMERICAN AIRLINES GROUP INC.14.79-0.03-0.20%
NCLHNORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE HOLDINGS LTD.23.05+0.57+2.54%
CCLCARNIVAL CORP.20.59+0.36+1.78%

Meanwhile, Walmart sales soared by almost 20 percent in March, the Journal reported, citing company documents.

Shake Shack said it would return the $10 million small business loan it received from the U.S. government after raising $150 million in an equity offering last week.

Embattled Cheesecake Factory Inc. received a $200 million investment from private-equity firm Roark Capital.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
WMTWALMART INC.151.67+0.36+0.24%
SHAKSHAKE SHACK82.18+0.04+0.05%
CAKECHEESECAKE37.51-0.15-0.40%

U.S. Treasurys rallied, pushing the yield on the 10-year note down to 0.625 percent and in commodities Gold rose to $1,701.60 an ounce.

In Europe, France's CAC paced the decline, down 0.65 percent, while Germany's DAX and Britain’s FTSE were off 0.47 percent and 0.45 percent, respectively.

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Overnight, Japan’s Nikkei fell 1.15 percent, China’s Shanghai Composite lost 0.49 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slipped 0.21 percent.