Fears of deeper corporate damage from the COVID-19 spread closed out one of the worst quarters for equities in recent memory, plus more in today’s Closing Bell on Money & Markets.
The Top Story
The S&P 500 also closed its worst first quarter ever after a broad sell-off wiped more than $5 trillion from the value of companies listed in the index.
The Nasdaq Composite index recorded its worst three months since 2018.
In the fastest fall into a bear market ever, both the Dow and S&P 500 ended the quarter today more than 19% lower from the start of the year.
During the first quarter, fiscal and monetary stimulus helped stabilize equities following a wild month where the S&P 500 went from a 9% gain to a 12% loss in consecutive sessions.
“The market is in the process of bottoming out, but this will probably be just a lot of back and forth as the market tries to consolidate around one price level,” Shawn Cruz, manager of trader strategy at TD Ameritrade, said.
With economists slashing 2020 growth expectations, investors fear corporate defaults and mass layoffs will lead to a deep and lasting global recession.
On Tuesday, technology and energy companies boosted the S&P 500 as real estate, utilities and consumer staples took a downward slide.
The Dow Jones fell 1.8%. The S&P 500 fell 1.6%, while the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.9%.
Stock Market Update: Closing Bell*
S&P 500: 2,584 (-1.6%)
DOW: 21,917 (-1.8%)
NASDAQ: 7,700 (-0.9%)
GOLD: $1,591 (-3.1%)
BITCOIN: $6,487.32 (+0.6%)
U.S. 10-YEAR YIELD: 0.66%
*- as of 4:22 p.m.
A Big Win
This morning, in the Opening Bell, we told you to keep an eye on Amarin Corp. (Nasdaq: AMRN) after a Nevada judge ruled against the company’s patent claim for its triglycerides treatment, Vascepa. Shares of Amarin dropped 70.5%
Zoom Video Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: ZM) shares fell 3.1% on news the New York Attorney General’s office is investigating the privacy practices of the company. It was also reported the company is being sued for giving over user data to third-party companies without user consent.
Toronto-based cannabis company Cronos Group Inc. (Nasdaq: CRON) missed its fourth quarter revenue estimates but beat its quarterly earnings. Shares of Cronos Group sank 10.5%.
Risk sentiment went up Tuesday, which pushed most precious metals lower.
Gold futures were down 3.1% to $1,591 an ounce. Silver futures moved 0.2% higher to $14.15 an ounce.
Palladium had its second day of gains, jumping 2.8% to $2.260.90 an ounce while platinum was down 0.03% and trading at $723.60 an ounce.
The Drug Enforcement Agency said it will start evaluating 37 applications from entities looking to grow marijuana for medical research.
The proposed rules were published in the “Federal Register” on March 23. They lay out the requirements to comply with federal law and international treaties. The most notable rule is the DEA will take possession of the marijuana and its byproducts from growers after harvest and hold the rights to distribute it.
Currently, only the University of Mississippi can grow cannabis legally for research in the United States.
Automakers Trying to Salvage Slumping Sales Due to Coronavirus
By offering 0% financing, deferred payments and online tools, automakers are trying to lure in customers as the COVID-19 pandemic cripples the auto industry.
Massive jobless claims and weakened consumer confidence are likely to push the sector to report its worst sales declines in years.
Analysts are expecting up to a 35% drop in auto sales in March — which caps an 11.8% decline in the first quarter.
Today’s Big Winners:
Cimarex Energy Co. (NYSE: XEC) +13.2%
Noble Energy Inc. (Nasdaq: NBL) +13.7%
Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) +3.9%
Today’s Big Losers:
Macy’s Inc. (NYSE: M) -8.5%
CBRE Group Inc. (NYSE: CBRE) -8.1%
Dollar Tree Inc. (Nasdaq: DLTR) -8%
Check back for the most important news and numbers each day after the Closing Bell, only on Money & Markets.