Dow Tanks, Nasdaq Suffers Worst Day on Record

All three indexes finished with losses of 12% or more

Deputy Editor
Mar 16, 2020 at 4:28 PM
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The Dow began the week deep in the red, turning in its worst percentage loss since 1987. The blue-chip index plunged nearly 3,000 points -- hitting its lowest point since April 2017 -- even after the Federal Reserve cut interest rates to nearly zero to help offset the damage done by the coronavirus. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq both joined the Dow with losses of 12% or more, with the latter logging its biggest one-day drop on record. Elsewhere, Wall Street's "fear gauge," the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX) roared to its highest point since the 2008 financial crisis. 

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

  • FedEx stock was hit with a bear note ahead of earnings.

  • This defense stock fell following the departure of its CEO.

  • Plus, Apple closes its stores for two weeks; AAL experiences record lows; and CAT stock is up for the taking.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 20,188.52) finished 2,997.1 points, or 12.9% lower for the day. All 30 Dow stocks closed in the red, but Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) fared the best with a 1.2% dip. Boeing (BA) finished down 23.6% at the bottom of the Dow. The Dow earlier hit a three-year low of 20,227.86. 

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,386.13) lost 324.9 points, or 12%, while the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 6,904.59) shed 970.3 points, or 12.3%. The S&P 500 earlier hit a multi-year low of 2,380.04, while the Nasdaq hit a bottom of 6,882.86. 

The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 82.69) gained 24.9 point, or 42.3%. It hit a 12-year high of 83.56 earlier.

closing summary mar 16

nyse nasdaq mar 16


  1. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Canada will close its borders to non-citizens in response to the coronavirus pandemic.  The ban will exclude U.S. citizens for the time being, but Trudeau noted "“It is time to take every precaution to keep people safe." The shipping of goods into the country is not effected. (CNBC)
  2. Heightened demand for household items amid the COVID-19 outbreak has weighed on e-commerce giant The company warned deliveries for Prime members won’t be deliverable by the one-day promise, and that shoppers should expect more “out-of-stock” items. (MarketWatch)

  3. Apple shuttered its stores due to COVID-19 scare.

  4. This airline stock hit record lows amid international flight cuts.

  5. Now is the time to buy CAT stock, says one analyst.

There are no earnings of note to report today.

Unusual options Mar 16

Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Oil and Gold Both Fall to Begin the Week

Oil tanked today, as an increase of coronavirus cases brought travel and business to a standstill. April-dated crude fell $3.03, or 9.6%, to trade at $28.70 per barrel, its lowest settlement since February 2016. This comes fresh off black gold's 23% weekly loss, its worst week since the financial crisis.

Gold also began the week on the wrong foot, swept up in the wider market sell-off for its fifth straight loss. April-dated gold futures finished down $30.20, or 2%, to trade at $1,486.50.


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