Spiraling Stock Futures Hit 'Limit Down' Over Travel Ban

All three major exchanges triggered the New York Stock Exchanges' circuit breaker

Lillian Currens
Mar 12, 2020 at 9:12 AM
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Today marks the second time this week that the major exchanges were stopped, after stock futures reach a "limit down" loss of over 5% before the open. Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) futures, once again, are pointing toward a loss of over 1,000 just one day after ending its longest bull market on record, while the S&P 500 (SPX) and Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) are also both eyeing another day deep in the red.

This all follows President Donald Trump's announcement that almost all travel from Europe will be suspended for 30 days, effective midnight Friday. The announcement also touched on national relief efforts, though the vagueness of Trump's statements left investors scratching their heads.  

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

  • Wilting Sprouts Farmers Market stock could be headed for even more trouble, if history is any indicator. 
  • Why Exelon stock might be a safe bet for options bears right now. 
  • Plus, Party City sinks even deeper into penny stock territory; BUD gets a bull note; and Marathon explores $15 billion subsidiary sale. 

Futures Chart March 12

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 797,053 call contracts traded on Wednesday, compared to 816,562 million put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio rose to 1.01, and the 21-day moving average climbed to 0.69.
  2. Party City Holdco Inc (NYSE:PRTY) is plunging even deeper down the charts this morning, down 30.5% in electronic trading and looking to open at yet another record low. This comes after the company posted fourth-quarter earnings of 51 cents per share, missing analysts' expectations, as well as a deeper-than-expected drop in comparable-store sales. Compounding this earnings miss, Party City's CEO Jim Harrison announced his resignation, effective at the beginning of next month. 
  3. Beverage name Anheuser-Busch In Bev NV (NYSE:BUD) is brushing off a bull note from RBC Capital Markets, down 7.8% in electronic trading. Specifically, the analyst upgraded BUD to "outperform" from "sector perform," praising its strong efforts to reduce debt. The shares were down 40% heading into today.
  4. A report from Reuters said that Marathon Petroleum Corp (NYSE:MPC) is considering the sale of its pipeline subsidiary MPLX LP. MPLX LP is estimated to be worth $15 billion, and could give Marathon a serious cash boost even as the energy sector continues to stumble. Despite the news, MPC is being dragged down with the broader market, off 9.1% at last check. 
  5. Today's economic schedule features weekly jobless claims and the producer price index (PPI). Adobe Systems (ADBE), Broadcom (AVGO), Dollar General (DG), Gap (GPS), Jabil (JBL), Oracle (ORCL), Slack Technologies (WORK), Ulta Beauty (ULTA), and Wheaton Precious Metals (WPM) will all step into the earnings confessional. 

Buzz Chart March 123

Markets Overseas Also Shaken by Travel Ban 

Markets in Asia are plummeting once more, in response to the World Health Organization's (WHO) declaration yesterday of the coronavirus as a pandemic, with airline stocks taking the brunt of the damage. Japan's Nikkei lost 4.4% as it closed in bear market territory and the safe-haven yen hit new heights. South Korea's Kospi dropped 3.9%, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng gave back 3.7%. China's Shanghai Composite suffered the least, down 1.5%.

Over in Europe, stocks are sharply lower as well, reacting negatively to President Trump's travel ban to the U.S. London's FTSE 100 is off by 5.7% at last check, while the French CAC 40 and the German DAX are both 6.3% lower. British Airways, Air France, and Lufthansa – airliners from the three respective countries, are all down by 10% or more at last check.


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