Dow Dragged 973 Points as COVID-19 Fears Persist

The Dow started off April with a heavy loss

by Laura McCandless

Published on Apr 1, 2020 at 4:39 PM
Updated on Apr 1, 2020 at 4:41 PM

U.S. stocks began April with a grim tone, the Dow continuing its dramatic loss this afternoon to close 973 points lower, with American Express (AXP) and Boeing (BA) weighing heavy. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq also closed deep in the red, as pandemic fears continue and President Donald Trump warned of a "very, very painful two weeks" ahead, as the estimated final death count in America ranges between 100,000 to 240,000. All indexes closed 4.4% lower on the day.

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

  • HD stock slides amid outbreak measures.
  • Puts are popular for this aircraft stock.
  • Plus, historical trends indicate trouble for WBA; Macy's sudden drop from the S&P 500; and CAT stock sinks after a price-target cut.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 20,943.51) finished 973.7 points, or 4.4%, lower for the day. Walmart (WMT) was the only Dow gainer with a 0.5% win, while BA finished at the bottom with a 12.4% fall.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,470.50) fell 114.1 points, or 4.41%, while the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 7,360.58) lost 339.5 points, or 4.4% for the day.

The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 57.06) added 3.5 points, or 6.6%.

Closing Indexes Summary April 1

NYSE and Nasdaq Stats April 1

5 Items on Our Radar Today

  1. Jobless claims are numbering in the millions, worse than what private companies have indicated, dropping 27,000 employees for the first half of March. Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s, has identified 70 million jobs “quite vulnerable” to layoffs. (CNBC)
  2. American manufacturers are seeing a historical lack of demand. The ISM manufacturing index (ISM) showed the biggest drop in orders since the end of the 2007-2009 recession. (MarketWatch)
  3. Bear signal sounds on WBA stock ahead of earnings.
  4. Macy's stock sinks after removal from S&P 500.
  5. Why this blue chip stock is sinking. 

earnings chart april 1

Unusual Options Activity April 1

Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Oil and Gold Suffer Losses

After seeing supply moving higher for a 10th straight week, oil prices finished the day with a mild loss. May-dated crude futures fell 17 cents, or 0.8%, to settle at $20.31 a barrel. 

Gold dropped today as global stocks started the month under pressure. Gold for June delivery fell $5.20, or 0.3%, to settle at $1,591.40 per ounce, down for the fourth straight session. 

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