Dow falls over 900 points below 20K as coronavirus gives stocks worst week since '08

Oil takes beating down 49 percent for the month

U.S. equity markets surrendered gains amid heavy selling during the final hour of trading on Friday as investors trimmed positions heading into the weekend. The losses saddled investors with their worst week since 2008.

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TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
I:DJIDOW JONES AVERAGES21636.78-915.39-4.06%
SP500S&P 5002541.47-88.60-3.37%
I:COMPNASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX7502.377567-295.16-3.79%

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell over 913 points, slipping back below the 20,000 level, off over 4.5 percent. The S&P 500 also dropped more than 4 percent while the Nasdaq Composite shed 3.9 percent.

Dow heavyweight Boeing ended the session lower, capping off a week of declines that erased over 43 percent of its market value. On Thursday evening, former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley resigned from the aerospace giant’s board.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
BABOEING COMPANY162.00-18.55-10.27%

In Washington, a third stimulus bid is being pushed that would guarantee low-interest loans for small businesses, give cash payments to most Americans, provide loans to the industries hardest hit by the virus-related slowdown and extend funding to hospitals and medical centers.

Airlines, cruise operators, casino operators and other industries ravaged by the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic also saw big gains.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
UALUNITED AIRLINES HLDG.32.84-2.71-7.62%
MGMMGM RESORTS INTERNATIONAL12.19-1.26-9.37%
CCLCARNIVAL CORP.14.41-3.41-19.14%

Elsewhere, General Electric finished flat after receiving regulatory approval to forge ahead with the $21.4 billion sale of its biopharmaceutical unit to Danaher, so long as some conditions are met.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
GEGENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY7.62-0.50-6.16%

Walmart shares gave up gains after the company said it would hire 150,000 temporary workers to handle a spike in traffic caused by the pandemic. Meanwhile, retailer Ross Stores tumbled after announcing it was shutting sites across the U.S. through April 3.

Blue-chip tech stocks also pushed higher, with Tesla in focus after the electric-vehicle maker said it would idle production at its Fremont, California, plant beginning March 24.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
WMTWALMART INC.109.58-0.24-0.22%
ROSTROSS STORES INC.82.55-3.05-3.56%
TSLATESLA INC.514.36-13.80-2.61%

Looking at commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude oil was trading down 5.4 percent at $24.50 per barrel. Despite the losses, drillers and explorers that have been decimated by oil’s price drop saw some relief after a rally on Thursday.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
XOMEXXON MOBIL CORPORATION36.95-1.87-4.82%
CLRCONTINENTAL RESOURCES8.52-1.43-14.37%

Heavy buying of U.S. Treasurys flattened the yield curve, hitting bank stocks. The 2-year yield fell by 5.5 basis points to 0.362 percent while the 10-year yield was lower by 18.9 bps at 0.932 percent.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
JPMJP MORGAN CHASE & CO.91.13-6.99-7.12%
BACBANK OF AMERICA CORP.21.60-1.12-4.93%

In Europe, markets rallied across the board with France’s CAC gaining 5 percent, Germany’s DAX climbing 3.7 percent and Britain’s FTSE adding 0.8 percent.

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Asian markets were sharply higher, with South Korea’s Kospi surging 7.4 percent, bouncing off an 11-year low, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and China’s Shanghai Composite were up 5.1 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively. Japan’s Nikkei was closed for a holiday.