Dow Soars as Healthcare Stocks Cheer Political Tailwinds

Healthcare stocks were the big winners today

Managing Editor
Mar 4, 2020 at 4:36 PM
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The Dow roared back to life today for an 1,173-point win that erased yesterday's sell-off. The blue-chip index took its cues from the political arena today, after former Vice President Joe Biden surged ahead of Senator Bernie Sanders in the wake of a resoundingly successful Super Tuesday. Wall Street also got a late-afternoon boost after Congress passed over $8 billion in emergency funding for coronavirus relief. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq both finished with big gains as well, and all three benchmarks logged wins of 3.5% or more. Investors also cheered upbeat economic data, helping overshadow, at least for a day, the first reported coronavirus death in California. 

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

  • UnitedHealth stock was the big winner on the Dow today.
  • Kroger stock nears fresh highs ahead of earnings.
  • Plus, a struggling weed stock finds life; behind Dollar Tree's dismal earnings; and Chipotle picks up rare upgrade. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 27,090.86) finished 1,173.45 points, or 4.5% higher for the day. UNH led the charge with a 10.7% gain, while Boeing was at the bottom with a 0.9% win.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 3,130.12) gained 126.8 points, or 4.2%, while the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 9,018.09) added 334 points, or 3.9%.

The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 31.99) shed 4.8%, or 13.1%.

closing index Mar 04

NYSE NASDAQ recap Mar 04

5 Items on Our Radar Today

  1. Former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg dropped out of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination today. Despite spending over $500 billion in advertising, Bloomberg turned in a poor showing in the Super Tuesday primaries. He has thrown his support behind former vice president Joe Biden, who has taken the delegate lead from Bernie Sanders. (MarketWatch)
  2. The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned countries that there could be a global shortage and price gauging of medical devices used to combat the coronavirus. The organization has called on companies and governments to up their production of equipment by 40%. (Reuters)
  3. One analyst brushed off this cannabis company's delayed earnings.
  4. A forecast cut weighed on Dollar Tree stock today.
  5. See why one analyst sees four digits ahead for Chipotle stock.

Earnings Mar 04

Mar 04 UVOL

Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Oil, Gold Pull Back

Oil futures fell today amid reports that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was struggling to reach a consensus on the extent of production cuts at their meeting in Vienna, Austria. A smaller-than-expected climb in U.S. crude inventories is also weighing on black gold. April-dated crude shed 40 cents, 0.9%, to trade at $46.78 per barrel.

As U.S. equities rallied today, gold prices took a breather, although the still-low 10-year treasury yield has dulled the pullback. April-delivered gold saw a big rise today, gaining $1.40, or 0.1%, to trade at $1,643 per ounce.


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