Wall Street is facing continued extreme volatility as stocks attempt to bounce back from Monday’s brutal sell-off, the worst since the 1987 crash, plus stocks to watch today in the Money & Markets Opening Bell.
The Top Story
Overnight futures contracts of all three major U.S. indexes hit their upside limits, halting trading momentarily, after U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted the federal government will be “powerfully supporting those industries, like Airlines and others, that are particularly affected” by the coronavirus outbreak.
The United States will be powerfully supporting those industries, like Airlines and others, that are particularly affected by the Chinese Virus. We will be stronger than ever before!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 16, 2020
The Dow and S&P 500 crashed 12.9% and 12%, respectively, Monday, which were the indexes’ worst days since “Black Monday” in 1987. The Nasdaq’s 12.3% crash was its worst one-day plunge ever.
Markets are facing extreme volatility, and the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) had its highest close ever Monday at 82.69. That’s slightly higher than the peak of 80.74 during the 2008 financial crisis.
“The markets just don’t know how negative an economic scenario they need to price in,” Esty Dwek, head of global market strategy at Natixis Investment Managers, told the Wall Street Journal. “For some people, an economic recession is a foregone conclusion, and how deep the recession will be is the question.”
Dow futures were trading 2% higher, S&P 500 was up 2.2% and the Nasdaq was up 1.8% as of 8:30 a.m. EDT
Stocks to Watch Today
Amazon Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) — Amazon is primed for bounce back Tuesday after the e-commerce giant announced it will hire an additional 100,000 warehouse and delivery workers to deal with increased demand amid the coronavirus panic. Shares were up 5% in premarket trading.
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: RENG) — Shares of Regeneron, an American drugmaker, shot up over 12% in premarket trading after the company announced it will soon start trials of a COVID-19 vaccine. No drugs or vaccines have been approved for yet. Shares were up 7.7% in premarket trading.
Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (NYSE: TMO) — The American lab equipment company has started shipping FDA-approved coronavirus tests, and it plans to produce another 5 million tests per week by April.
News You Can Use
Almost 80 million U.S. jobs are at high to moderate risk because of the outbreak, according to the latest analysis from Moody’s analytics.
Jobs may not be lost, but Moody’s Chief Economist Mark Zandi said that as many as 10 million of those workers could be laid off, furloughed or have their hours cut while hiring will be at a virtual standstill for the foreseeable future.
Many EU Nations Close Stock Markets
France, Italy, Spain and Belgium closed their stock markets Tuesday to prevent massive sell-offs of some of Europe’s largest companies and to curb short-selling efforts.
It’s a rare move that hasn’t been seen since the financial crisis in 2008 as some of the largest European nations try to tackle the coronavirus pandemic that has stalled business across the EU.
Goldman Downgrades China’s Q1 GDP Citing Coronavirus Impact
Goldman Sachs has a grim outlook for China amid the coronavirus outbreak, predicting its economy will contract by 9% in the first quarter of 2020.
It was a massive shift from Goldman’s previous projections of 2.5% growth, but that was before the COVID-19 outbreak that caused what the firm called “strikingly weak” economic data in January and February, according to Reuters. Goldman also revised down China’s full-year growth to 3% from 5.5%.
What We’re Reading
What Is the Federal Reserve and How Does It Work? (Money & Markets)
Coronavirus Hammering Restaurant Stocks Amid Closings. Are Any a Buy? (Money & Markets)
Big Banks Get a Stress Test Every Year. They Might Face a Real One Soon. (Barron’s)
Here are the companies releasing earnings reports today:
Designer Brands Inc. (NYSE: DBI)
Eastman Kodak Co. (NYSE: KODK)
FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX)
Smartsheet Inc. (NYSE: SMAR)
TerraForm Power Inc. (Nasdaq: TERP)
Check back each morning before the opening bell for stocks to watch today with Opening Bell, here on Money & Markets.