Dow Gives Back Gains as U.S. COVID-19 Cases Rise

The Dow and the S&P 500 logged their fifth straight loss

Managing Editor
Feb 26, 2020 at 4:34 PM
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The Dow turned in its fourth-straight triple-digit loss today, as the rapidly spreading coronavirus continues to grip Wall Street. The blue-chip index let an over 460-point gain slowly slip throughout the day, after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned COVID-19 was on the cusp of a pandemic and the U.S. confirmed a new case. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq both pared away large gains as well, although the latter was able to fight back into the black by close. It wasn't just equities that reversed course; the 10-year treasury bond yield pivoted lower and fell to a new record low of 1.3%. 

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

  • What to do with this drug stock and COVID-19.
  • Target stock just took a hit ahead of earnings.
  • Plus, COVID-19 hits Papa John's stock; three stocks targeted by options traders; and E-Trade bounces back. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 26,957.59) finished 123.8 points, or 0.5% lower for the day. Pfizer (PFE) was the best of the eight blue-chips in the black, adding 2.3%, while Walt Disney (DIS) was the worst-performing of the remaining 22, losing 3.8%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 3,116.39) shed 11.8 points, or 0.4%, while the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 8,980.78) added 15.2 points, or 0.2%.

The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 27.56) shed 0.3 points, or 1%. 

Closing Indexes Summary Feb 26

NYSE and Nasdaq Stats Feb 26

5 Items on Our Radar Today

  1. Earlier today, Brazil --and Latin America overall -- confirmed its first case of coronavirus. As Italy cases triple and the U.S. braces for a rapid spread, a top U.S. health official said that travel restrictions are irrelevant if a pandemic occurs because it is too difficult to contain. (CNBC)
  2. Beyond Meat (BYND) stock enjoyed a lift today after an announcement that it has landed a partnership that provides sandwiches to Starbucks (SBUX) in Canada. The faux meat concern reports its fourth-quarter earnings tomorrow. (CNBC)
  3. Papa John's lost out to to coronavirus after earnings.
  4. Options traders heavily targeted these three stocks.
  5. E-Trade Financial stock remains strong despite recent setback. 

corporate earnings feb 26

Unusual Options Activity Feb 26

Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Oil Logs Fourth Straight Loss

Crude oil futures declined for a fourth straight day, as the coronavirus weighs on a bleak global energy market. April-dated crude oil dropped $1.17, or 2.3%, to close out at $48.73 per barrel -- its lowest intraday level since January 2019.

Gold futures marked another down day, as investors are scrambling to cover in the face of a global sell-off. Gold for April delivery lost $6.90, or 0.4% to settle at $1,643.10 an ounce.


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