The Dow plunged 1190.95, or 4.42%, to 25766.64, the Nasdaq lost 414.30, or 4.61%, to 8566.48, and the S&P 500 dropped 137.63, or 4.42%, to 2978.76.
It was a frenetic day of trading action on /thewallstreet
. The stock market extended its recent sell-off by more than 4% on Thursday in a volatile session, as the widening spread of the coronavirus heightened pessimism among investors. The S&P 500 dropped as much as 3.5% shortly after the open, then cut its losses to 0.6% by midday, but ultimately closed at session lows with a 4.4% decline.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (-4.4%), Nasdaq Composite (-4.6%), and Russell 2000 (-3.5%) experienced similar price action. Each of the major indices fell into correction territory, which is often defined as a decline of at least 10% from a recent high, and today's drop sent the S&P 500 well below its 200-day moving average (3046.58) amid heavy selling into the close.
From a sector perspective, all 11 S&P 500 sectors fell between 3.3% (health care) and 5.6% (real estate). Other notable moves included WTI crude falling 3.0% to 47.24/bbl to extend its weekly decline to 12.1% and the CBOE Volatility Index surging 42.1% to 39.16 in a protection trade against further equity weakness.
Regarding COVID-19, the CDC acknowledged the first coronavirus case of "unknown origin" in the U.S., which raised concerns about a community spread of the virus. California's governor fueled concerns by saying 28 people have tested positive and another 8,400 people are being monitored because of their travel.
The impact to global supply chains or consumer spending remains uncertain, but Goldman Sachs warned there could be no U.S. earnings growth in 2020 if the virus becomes widespread. MSFT -7.1%, meanwhile, was the latest high-profile company to issue a quarterly revenue warning, specifically for its More Personal Computing segment.
Current, and past, Fed officials offered their views on the matter. In an opinion piece for The Wall Street Journal, former Fed Governor Kevin Warsh argued that the Fed and other central banks should cut rates due to the coronavirus, while Chicago Fed President Evans reiterated the Fed's stance that it's still premature to provide guidance without more data. Besides the coronavirus news, equity investors appeared to be taking cues from the Treasury market.
For instance, the S&P 500's early morning low coincided with the high in the Treasury market. At session's end, the 2-yr yield declined five basis points to 1.10%, and the 10-yr yield declined basis points to 1.30%.
Not all stocks closed lower, though. Face mask company (MMM) +0.8% and Bleach company (CLX) +0.4% managed to eke out small gains amid speculation that demand for some of their products will increase due to the coronavirus.
Among the noteworthy gainers were VIR and NVAX, which surged 50% and 18%, respectively, as coronavirus fears mount. Both companies are working on coronavirus vaccines. Also higher were ETSY and SQ, which gained a respective 16% and 11% after reporting quarterly results.
Among the notable losers was TSLA, which slid 8% after Bloomberg reported registrations of new Teslas in China plunged 46% last month as the coronavirus outbreak adds to a slump in the country's car market. SPCE fell 17% after Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas downgraded the shares to Equal Weight and Credit Suisse analyst Robert Spingarn also downgraded the stock to Neutral
following with the shares up 185% year-to-date.
In earnings news, BBY reported better than expected sales and earnings for the fourth quarter and raised its quarterly dividend by 10%. Last night, BKNG reported "strong" Q4 results, but also cited a significant impact from the coronavirus on its forward outlook, stating that its wider than typical guidance ranges are due to "the high level of uncertainty in forecasting the coronavirus and its associated impact on the company and the travel industry generally."
In its own more optimistic coronavirus update,SBUX said it is "seeing the early signs of a recovery" in China. In a letter to employees posted on its corporate blog, Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson reported that the coffee giant now has 85% of stores open across China as it continues to assess the ongoing impact of the disease outbreak.
Elsewhere in Europe, Stoxx 600 closed 3.6% lower provisionally, officially entering correction territory as it was off more than 10% from its record high notched on Feb. 19 last year.
The U.S. Dollar Index slid 0.5% to 98.51, widening this week's loss to 0.8%.
- EUUSD: +1.0% to 1.0986
- GBP/USD: UNCH at 1.2892
- USD/CNH: -0.2% to 7.0051
- USD/JPY: -0.4% to 109.99
The Treasury market has been the epicenter of concerns about the global growth outlook, as well as the frayed psychology pertaining to the COVID-19 outbreak. The 10-yr note yield is down four basis points this morning to 1.27%, leaving it down 19 basis points on the week and 65 basis points on the year. Today, the fed funds futures market expects that a rate cut will happen as soon as the March 18 meeting, followed by another cut in June.
Treasuries briefly turned negative in midday trade but returned toward their opening levels after California Governor Gavin Newsom said that 28 people in California have tested positive for the coronavirus while more than 8,000 other people are being monitored.
- 2-yr: -5 bps to 1.10%
- 3-yr: -3 bps to 1.09%
- 5-yr: -3 bps to 1.11%
- 10-yr: -1 bp to 1.30%
- 30-yr: -1 bp to 1.78%
Oil prices continued their steep decline on Thursday, with U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude falling more than 5% at the low to $45.88 per barrel — a price not seen since Jan. 2019 — as fears of the coronavirus outbreak, and what it could mean for crude demand, continue to batter prices.
- WTI crude: -4.88% to $46.35/bbl
- Gold: -0.4 at $1640.70/ozt
- Copper: -0.52% to $2.55/lb
Bitcoin was fighting to keep support at a key level on Feb. 27 as markets worldwide continued to suffer from fears over coronavirus.
- Bitcoin: $8,873.19 (24hr: +0.77%)
- Ethereum: $231.34 (24hr: +1.52%)
- Ripple: $0.24 (24hr: 3.09%)
- FAAMG + some penny stocks -4.5% YTD
- Spoos -7.8% YTD
- Old man -9.7% YTD
- Russy -9.8% YTD
- BYND reports EBITDA: $9.5M (est $5.76M), Net Rev: $98.5M (est $79.8M).Sees 2020 Net Revenue: $490M To $510M (est $485.7M)
Thoughts on Corona It is becoming abundantly clear that the spread of the coronavirus is not going to be stopped. What is not clear is the extent of the economic damage that is going to be done by its spread before the world gets comfortable with the notion that the coronavirus is debilitating, but not necessarily deadly for most sufferers.
The latter is the accepted perspective when dealing with the flu, but because COVID-19 is so new and won't reportedly have a vaccine to guard against it for some time, there is some understandable fear about contracting the virus that is prompting some extreme measures to contain it. Those measures have been detrimental to the world economy in a number of respects, which include but are not limited to shutting down supply chains, restricting travel, and preventing