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U.S. Stocks Pull Back Sharply Amid Lingering Coronavirus Concerns

wallstreet higher 050119 18mar20 lt

Stocks moved sharply lower during trading on Wednesday, extending the sell-off seen over the past several sessions.

The major averages climbed off their worst levels going into the close but still ended the day sharply lower. The Dow plunged 1,338.46 points or 6.3 percent to 19,898.92, the Nasdaq plummeted 344.94 points or 4.7 percent to 6,989.84 and the S&P 500 tumbled 131.09 points or 5.2 percent to 2,398.10.

The weakness on Wall Street came as traders cashed in on yesterday's strong gains amid continued concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.

Gold stocks showed a substantial move to the downside on the day, dragging the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index down by 13.6 percent.

The sell-off by gold stocks came amid a steep drop by the price of the precious metal, as gold for April delivery plunged $47.90 to $1,477.90 an ounce,

Substantial weakness was also visible among housing stocks, as reflected by the 12.6 percent nosedive by the Philadelphia Housing Sector Index.

Energy, steel, semiconductor and banking stocks also saw considerable weakness on the day, moving sharply lower along with the other major sectors.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved sharply lower during trading on Wednesday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index tumbled by 1.7 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index plunged by 4.2 percent.

The major European markets also showed substantial moves to the downside. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index plunged by 4.1 percent, the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index plummeted by 5.6 percent and 5.9 percent, respectively.

In the bond market, treasuries moved sharply lower, extending the drop seen in the previous session. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, spiked by 26.9 basis points to 1.266 percent.

Looking Ahead

Reports on initial jobless claims, Philadelphia manufacturing activity and leading economic indicators are scheduled to be released on Thursday, but traders are likely to give two shits.

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