Dow, Oil Suffer Catastrophic Losses on COVID-19 Headwinds

Oil filed away an 18-year low

Deputy Editor
Mar 18, 2020 at 4:40 PM
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Stocks saw drastic losses again today, triggering yet another trading halt and new lows for the Dow, SPX, and Nasdaq, as COVID-19 continues to influence a highly volatile market. The blue-chip index closed 1,300 points lower, as uncertainty over fiscal responses and the need for bailouts mounted. All three indexes also plunged to fresh annual or multi-year lows. On the flipside, the stock market's "fear gauge," or Cboe Market Volatility Index (VIX), surged to its highest mark since 2008.

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

  • Why Delta stock is near the bottom of the NYSE.
  • This gold ETF may have a silver lining.
  • Plus, Dunkin’ Brands limits service; General Motors and Ford stocks stall; and Target alters store hours for “vulnerable guests.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 19,898.92) finished 1,338.5 points, or 6.3% lower for the day. Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) paced the six winners with a 6.5% gain, while Chevron (CVX) led the remaining laggards with a 22% drop. The Dow bottomed at a multi-year low of 18,917.46 intraday.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,398.10) lost 131 points, or 5.2%, while the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 6,989.84) shed 344.9 points, or 4.7%. The indexes each touched a fresh low of 2,280.52, and 6,686.35, respectively. 

The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 76.45) gained 0.5 point, or 0.7%, surging to a nearly 12-year peak of 85.47 in intraday trading.

closing summary mar 18

nyse nasdaq mar 18

5 Items on Our Radar Today

  1. U.S. homebuilding fell 1.5% last month, aided by a sharp drop in multifamily housing units, and could continue to struggle as the COVID-19 pandemic worsens. (CNBC)
  2. The Trump administration pushed back the April 15 federal income tax payment deadline by 90 days to cushion the financial hit taken due to the coronavirus. (MarketWatch)
  3. How Dunkin’ Brands just limited its daily services.
  4. Two auto stocks stalled due to COVID-19 measures.
  5. This retail chain altered their store hours.

Earnings mar 18

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Oil Plunges to 18-Year Lows

Oil futures dropped to a more than 18-year low, taking hits on both the supply and demand side as Saudi Arabia and Russia prepare to increase production amid travel concerns surrounding the coronavirus. April-dated crude fell 24%, or $6.68, to trade at $20.37 per barrel.

Gold futures reversed course today as investors unloaded precious metals in favor of cash while additional stimulus measures are taken by the U.S. April-dated gold delivery fell $47.90, or 3.1%, to trade at $1,477.90 per ounce.


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