Dow Wraps Up Ugly March With Sharp Loss

The Dow turned in its worst quarter of all time

Deputy Editor
Mar 31, 2020 at 4:32 PM
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The Dow closed out March with a steep loss today, giving back triple-digit midday gains to finish 410 points lower. The blue-chip index locked up steepest quarterly drop in its 124-year history. The S&P and Nasdaq both joined the Dow in the red today, with bank stocks among the notable laggards. All three indexes locked up March with deficits of 10% or more, their worst monthly loss since the 2008 financial crisis.

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

  • This e-commerce developer could soon find footing.
  • DocuSign stock has seen calls dominate its options pits.
  • Plus, patent problems bode grimly for AMRN stock; Visa consumer transactions diminish; and RH stock sunk after an earnings beat.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 21,917.16) finished 410.32 points, or 1.8%, lower for the day. Caterpillar (CAT) topped the charts with a 3.9% win, while American Express (AXP) finished at the bottom with a 5.2% fall. For the month, the Dow lost 13.7. It gave back 23.2% for the quarter.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,584.59) fell 42.06 points, or 1.6%, while the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 7,700.10) lost 74.05 points, or 1%. The S&P 500 logged monthly and quarterly losses of 12.6% and 20.1%, respectively. The Nasdaq shed 10.2%for the the month and 14.2% for the quarter.

The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 53.54) shed 3.5 points, or 6.2%. It ended March 33.5% higher, and added 288.5% for the first quarter.

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5 Items on Our Radar Today

  1. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index reported a nearly 4% annual gain in home prices this January. Despite the current pandemic, it seems that home prices will continue to increase at a modest rate across the U.S. (CNBC)
  2. As millions of Americans are laid off and the U.S. faces the likelihood of a full-blown recession, consumers are continuing to lose confidence in the economy.  (MarketWatch)
  3. A patent lawsuit sent AMRN stock spiraling.
  4. Visa stock tanked as consumers struggle to spend.
  5. Why RH stock sunk despite earnings beat.

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Oil Logs Worst Quarter Ever

Oil prices rose today, just one day after sinking to 18-year lows. Black gold got a boost after President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to talks aimed at reconciling spiraling energy markets. May-dated crude futures rose 39 cents, or 1.7%, to settle at $20.48 per barrel. For the month, oil shed 54.2%, its largest one-month decline since 2008. For the quarter, oil shed 66.5%, its worst percentage quarterly drop on record.

Gold dropped today in the wake of better-than-expected consumer confidence data. Gold for June delivery fell $46.60, or 2.8%, to settle at $1,596.70 per ounce. For the month and quarter though, gold gained 1.9% and 4.8%, respectively. 


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