S&P 500 Set to Turn in First Quarterly Loss Since 2020

The White House announced the release of 1 million barrels of crude per day

Deputy Editor
Mar 31, 2022 at 12:11 PM
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Stocks are looking to close out the last trading day of March and the first quarter with losses. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) is down 143 points at midday, while the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) are in the red as well. All three major benchmarks are at least 3% higher for the month, as the former paces for its first quarterly loss since the first quarter of 2020. Meanwhile, Wall Street's "fear gauge," the Cboe Market Volatility Index (VIX), is set for a monthly loss and a quarterly win.

In other news, the White House announced today it will release 1 million barrels of oil per day from U.S. strategic reserves in an effort to combat rising fuel prices and inflation. West Texas Intermediate Crude (WTI) was last seen trading just above $102 per barrel.

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

Midday Market Stats March 31

Baidu Inc (NASDAQ:BIDU) is seeing unusual put activity today, following news that the Chinese search engine company could be delisted in the U.S., after regulators asked to review three years' worth of financial audits. So far, 41,000 puts have crossed the tape, which is triple the intraday average. The most popular is the weekly 4/8 130-strike put, followed by the 130-strike put from the 4/1 series, with new positions being opened at both. Baidu stock was last seen down 5.9% to trade at $135.38, with the $160 level rejecting its latest rally. Year-to-date, BIDU is down 9.6%.

The top performing stock on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) today is Vector Group Ltd (NYSE:VGR), which was last seen up 16.5% at $12.34. This massive bull gap has the stock trading at its highest level since its Dec. 30, four-year high of $12.97,  after Barclays upgraded VGR's price target to "overweight," and hiked its price target to $16. Longer term, Vector Group stock has added 37.4% over the last 12 months.  

UiPath Inc (NYSE:PATH) is near the bottom of the NYSE, last seen down 24.3% at $21.98, after earlier hitting an all-time low of $21.75. This drop came after no less than 12 price-target cuts were dished out in response to a dismal 2023 outlook, despite the company's fourth-quarter earnings and revenue beat. UiPath stock has been trending lower since going public in April, and has been struggling with pressure from multiple short- and long-term trendlines. In the last nine months, PATH has shed 67.4%.

PATH Chart March 31

 

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