The Dow Market Happenings For Thursday, March 19, 2020

Dow stocks at 52 week highs include Walmart (WMT) which got an upgrade. Dow stock 52 week lows include American Express (AXP), Boeing (BA), Chevron (CVX), Disney (DIS), Goldman Sachs (GS), Home Depot (HD), JPMorgan (JPM), McDonald’s (MCD), Nike (NKE), Travelers (TRV), UnitedHealth (UNH), United Technologies (UTX), Visa (V) and Exxon Mobil (XOM).

The Market

Premarket today, the Dow was indicated to open down -406 points.

Wednesday the Dow was down -1338.46 (-6.30%) at 19,898.92. The Dow first crossed Wednesday’s closing price way back on December 12, 2016. It was an intraday high that day.

Year-to-date the Dow is down -30.27%.

There were 6 Dow stocks up Wednesday.

The Dow stock winners Wednesday were Walgreens (WBA) +6.47%, Cisco (CSCO) +4.56%, Walmart (WMT) +2.78%, 3M (MMM) +1.92%, Pfizer (PFE) +0.62% and Verizon (VZ) +0.02%.

The Dow stock losers Wednesday were led by Chevron (CVX) -22.12%, Boeing (BA) -17.92%, Travelers (TRV) -15.27%, American Express (AXP) -14.82%, United Technologies (UTX) -14.48% and Goldman Sachs (GS) -11.75%.

The Dow closed below 20,000 total points Wednesday for the first time since February 2017.

Markets were halted for 15 minutes Wednesday at 9:56 am PDT for a -7% down circuit breaker.

The New York Stock Exchange said Wednesday it will temporarily close its historic trading floor and move fully to electronic trading after two people tested positive for coronavirus infection at screenings it had set up this week. All-electronic trading will begin on March 23 at the open. The facilities to be closed are the NYSE equities trading floor and NYSE American Options trading floor in New York, and NYSE Arca Options trading floor in San Francisco.

Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler will temporarily shut down production in the face of the coronavirus outbreak. On Wednesday afternoon, Ford (F) announced that all of its factories would close for two weeks after the workday ends Thursday. GM (GM) made a similar announcement shortly afterward. Fiat Chysler followed suit later in the day, announcing it would shut down all of its plants through at least the end of March. Honda also said it is ceasing production at its factories in the United States, Canada and Mexico for six days. Then Nissan followed suit late Wednesday, announcing that it would be temporarily suspending production at its US factories starting on Friday and going through April 6.

JPMorgan Chase will temporarily close about 20% of its branches in response to the coronavirus pandemic. JPMorgan (JPM), the biggest U.S. bank by assets, is the first of the U.S. megabanks to announce broad closures of branches because of the coronavirus. The New York-based bank has 256,981 employees and 4,976 branches. Earlier this week, Capital One said it was shuttering 120 locations for an indefinite period of time.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil, the U.S. benchmark, fell by more than 10 percent Wednesday to near $24 a barrel, a level last seen in April 2002.

The Dow has lost all the gains it amassed since President Trump took office more than three years ago.

The Social Security Administration announced they are closing all field offices for in-person services effective March 17th. This means that if you need help, you’ll have to use their online service. If you need a service that’s not provided online, you’ll have to use the phone.

Medicare has temporarily expanded its coverage of telehealth services to respond to COVID-19. Medicare beneficiaries can temporarily use telehealth services for common office visits, mental health counseling and preventive health screenings. This will help ensure Medicare beneficiaries are able to visit with their doctor from their home, without having to go to a doctor’s office or hospital, which puts themselves and others at risk.

Unemployment insurance weekly claims in the week ending March 14, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 281,000, an increase of 70,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 211,000. This is the highest level for initial claims since September 2, 2017 when it was 299,000. The 4-week moving average was 232,250, an increase of 16,500 from the previous week’s revised average. This is the highest level for this average since January 27, 2018 when it was 234,500. The previous week’s average was revised up by 1,750 from 214,000 to 215,750. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.2 percent for the week ending March 7, unchanged from the previous week’s unrevised rate. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending March 7 was 1,701,000, an increase of 2,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised down by 23,000 from 1,722,000 to 1,699,000. The 4-week moving average was 1,703,250, a decrease of 7,000 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised down by 17,250 from 1,727,500 to 1,710,250.

European stocks are lower and Asian markets ended lower.

The national average price of gasoline is down 2.1 cents at $2.197 per gallon. On March 19, 2019 the national average price of gasoline was at $2.558 per gallon.

Earnings Reports

Nike (NKE) reports earnings on 3/24/2020 after the market close.

Today’s Featured Dow Stock

Intel (INTC)

Intel (INTC) is down -20.45% year-to-date.

Financial Calendar

8:30 AM ET Jobless Claims

8:30 AM ET Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey

8:30 AM ET Current Account

10:00 AM ET Leading Indicators

10:30 AM ET EIA Natural Gas Report

4:30 PM ET Fed Balance Sheet

4:30 PM ET Money Supply

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