Markets Plunge as Oil Closes Negative for the First Time Ever

Gold closed higher as oil plummeted

Assistant Editor
Apr 20, 2020 at 4:39 PM
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The Dow extended its intraday losses, closing nearly 600 points lower after a catastrophic close for black gold. Set to expire tomorrow, oil futures for May delivery finished 306% lower at negative $37.63 per barrel, for the first time ever. As a result, the energy and utilities sectors dragged the blue-chip index. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq also finished deep in the red, though the Nasdaq's stay-at-home stock Netflix (NFLX) pared some losses for the latter.

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

  • Call traders are running toward this software stock. 
  • MTB stock clings to its revenue beat.
  • Plus, the restaurant chain returning its bail-out; bears bombard EDU stock, and Pepsi's $3.35 billion deal.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 23,650.44) fell 592.1 points, or 2.4% for the day. IBM (IBM) topped the charts with a 0.2% win, while Boeing (BA) finished at the bottom with a 6.7% loss.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 2,823.16) dropped 51.4 points, or 1.8%, while the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC - 8,560.73) fell 89.4 points, or 1% for the day.

The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX - 43.83) added 5.7 points, or 14.9%. 

Closing Indexes Summary April 20

NYSE and Nasdaq Stats April 20

5 Items on Our Radar Today

  1. One million British citizens are waiting for a wage payout provided by the U.K. Government through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). So far, 140,000 companies have applied. (Marketwatch)
  2. The Supreme Court has ruled that serious criminal convictions reached by non-unanimous juries are unconstitutional. Justice Neil Gorsuch cites the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution. (CNBC)
  3. Shake Shack stock slides following backlash. 
  4. Why EDU stock is down ahead of earnings.
  5. Behind Pepsi's newly approved buyout.

Earnings April 20

Unusual Options Activity April 20

Data courtesy of Trade-Alert

Oil Futures Negative for First Time Ever

As demand turned desert dry, oil futures fell into negative territory for the first time in history. In other words, investors would have to pay someone to take barrels off their hands. May-dated futures dropped 306% to settle at negative $37.63 a barrel, also, in part, due to a technical shift with the contract expiring tomorrow.

Gold futures benefited from oil's plunge, closing modestly higher after touching a midday low. Gold for June delivery rose $12.40, or 0.7%, to settle at $1,711.30 an ounce.


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