UnitedHealth Drags Dow Down 206 Points

UNH was the worst Dow stock today

Mar 4, 2019 at 4:28 PM
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The Dow explored a 544-point range on both sides of breakeven, eventually settling with a more than 200-point loss as concerns that stock valuations have run "too far, too fast" offset optimism around a potential U.S.-China trade deal. The risk-off backdrop was further stoked by a weak reading on construction spending and a sharp sell-off for UnitedHealth (UNH), with the blue-chip insurer continuing to plunge after a Medicare-for-All bill was introduced by House Democrats last week. This volatile price action was seen on the S&P 500, too, which rallied all the way up near the key 2,820 level before closing back below 2,800.

Continue reading for more on today's market, including:

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 25,819.65) was up 129 points at its session peak, before settling down 206.7 points, or 0.8%. UnitedHealth (UNH) paced the 19 Dow decliners with its 4.1% drop, while DowDuPont (DWDP) led the 11 advancers with its 1.7% gain.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,792.81) closed down 10.9 points, or 0.4%, while the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 7,577.57) gave back 17.8 points, or 0.2%.

The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 14.63) rose 1.1 point, or 7.8%.

Closing Indexes Summary March 4

NYSE and Nasdaq Stats March 4

5 Items on our Radar Today

  1. At the Conservative Political Action Conference on Saturday, President Donald Trump ramped up his criticism of Fed Chair Jerome Powell, saying "we have a gentleman that likes raising interest rates in the Fed." Trump went on to say, "I want a dollar that's great for our country but not a dollar that's prohibitive for us to be doing business with other countries." (CNBC)
  2. Democratic leaders of the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs, and Oversight committees requested documents and interviews from the White House today following media reports of Trump's communications with Russian President Vladimir Putin. In the letter, Representatives Adam Schiff of California, Eliot Engel of New York, and Elijah Cummings of Maryland cited, "profound national security, counterintelligence, and foreign policy concerns." (Reuters)
  3. This retail stock flashed a sell signal ahead of earnings.
  4. Options bears blasted downgraded Bed Bath & Beyond stock.
  5. Founder and CEO Bernie Schaeffer goes behind the remarkable biotech rally.

Corporate Earnings March 4

Unusual Options Activity March 4

Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Gold Drops as Dollar Strengthens

Hope for a U.S.-China trade deal buoyed oil prices today. Oil for April delivery added 79 cents, or 1.4%, at $56.59 per barrel.

Gold fell for a sixth straight day, as the U.S. dollar gained ground. April-dated gold gave back $11.70, or 0.9%, to close at $1,287.50 an ounce -- its lowest settlement in almost six weeks.


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