For the second straight day, Wall Street retreated as U.S. oil prices continued to fade and companies reported sluggish quarterly earnings — as expected — plus more in today’s Closing Bell on Money & Markets.
The Top Story
Slumping oil prices continued to dominate the market as West Texas Intermediate crude prices were close to zero as traders run out of storage space for May deliveries.
All the major S&P 500 sector indexes fell 1.5% or more, with the energy index sliding for the seventh time in eight sessions.
“What we’re hearing about is a quarter that’s in the rearview mirror, but also do not know what the future holds in the second quarter, which is probably going to be worse,” National Securities chief market strategist Art Hogan said.
The financials index fell 3.2% as the flight from risk sent investors scurrying to the perceived safety of bonds and the dollar.
Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) provided the latest evidence of the damage wrought by the pandemic, saying its current-quarter results would take a severe hit from low demand for its soft drinks.
Travelers Companies Inc. (NYSE: TRV), the first of the big U.S. insurers to report results, reported a 25% fall in quarterly profit, hurt by higher catastrophe losses, and its shares were flat at $101.78.
Stock Market Update: Closing Bell*
S&P 500: 2,736 (-3.1%)
DOW: 23,018 (-2.7%)
NASDAQ: 8,263 (-3.5%)
GOLD: $1,700 (-0.6%)
BITCOIN: $6,871.70 (+1%)
U.S. 10-YEAR YIELD: 0.56% (-0.06)
*- as of 4:07 p.m.
A Big Win
In this morning’s Opening Bell, we told you to keep an eye on Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) stock. The company continues to take a hit as oil prices push airliners away from more fuel-efficient jets. Shares of Boeing were down 5.1%.
Shares of IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) dropped 3% in afternoon trading after the company reported a decline in revenue and earnings. IBM said its earnings per share are $1.84 — down from $2.25 a year ago — and its sales were down to $17.57 billion, missing Wall Street projections.
We also told you to be on the lookout for Hertz Global Holdings Inc. (NYSE: HTZ) as the company said it is laying off 10,000 employees in North America in an effort to cut costs. It said it would incur costs of $30 million related to the layoffs. Shares of Hertz were down 8.2%.
Precious metals also took a big hit as oil prices faltered and investors raced for cash.
Gold futures dropped 0.6% to trade at $1,700 an ounce. Silver futures dropped 4.1% to $14.97 an ounce.
Platinum fell 4.7% to $758 an ounce while palladium was down a whopping 12% to $1,872.10 an ounce — falling below the $2,000 mark for the first time in more than a week.
The compensation of cannabis company CEOs is more than just a base salary. According to Marijuana Business Daily, an average of 7% of a CEO’s salary comes from the base.
Total compensation packages for cannabis CEOs range from $150,000 at Trulieve Cannabis Corp. (Over-the-Counter: TCNNF) to $31.8 million at Tilray Inc. (Nasdaq: TLRY).
Other factors in the compensation include pay tied to company performance and ownership stakes.
March Home Sales Drop 8.5% in March
Existing home sales dropped 8.5% in March compared to February, according to data from the National Association of Realtors.
Sales were up just 0.8% year-over-year.
The figures reported Tuesday represent closings of contracts signed in late January and February before the coronavirus pandemic closed down much of the U.S. economy.
“Unfortunately, we knew home sales would wane in March due to the coronavirus outbreak,” NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said in a news release. “More temporary interruptions to home sales should be expected in the next couple of months, though home prices will still likely rise.”
While sales were down, existing home prices jumped 8% to an average of $280,600.
Today’s Big Winners:
Torm PLC (NASDAQ: TRMD) +64.5%
FLIR Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: FLIR) +4.3%
Today’s Big Losers:
Fortinet Inc. (Nasdaq: FTNT) -9.9%
Lam Research Corp. (Nasdaq: LRCX) -8.7%
Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE: MRK) -5.5%
Check back for the most important news and numbers each day after the Closing Bell, only on Money & Markets.