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Wall St. caps best month in decades with broad sell-off

Stock MarketsApr 30, 2020 04:36PM ET
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© Reuters. The spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in New York

By Stephen Culp (NYSE:CULP)

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks lost ground on Thursday as grim economic data and mixed earnings prompted investors to take profits at the close of the S&P 500's best month in 33 years, a remarkable run driven by expectations the economy will soon start recovering from crushing restrictions enacted to curb the coronavirus pandemic.

While risk-off selling pulled all three major U.S. stock averages into the red, the S&P 500 and the Dow posted their largest monthly percentage gains since January 1987, with the Nasdaq (NASDAQ:NDAQ) having its best month since June 2000.

The three indexes remain well within 20% of record highs reached in February, having quickly rebounded since shutdown efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic brought the economy to a grinding halt.

The five-week tally of unemployment claims topped 30 million and consumer spending has plummeted, according to the latest round of dismal indicators providing another snapshot of the crushing economic effects of the widespread shutdown.

"We've had a tremendous run but we've had the worst economic data since the Great Depression," said Paul Nolte, portfolio manager at Kingsview Asset Management in Chicago. "Business and earnings might not be snapping back as quickly as the v-shaped recovery on Wall Street would imply."

The Federal Reserved announced that it would broaden its "Main Street Lending Program" by lowering the minimum loan size and expanding eligibility.

"Wall Street is liking all the programs that the government and the Fed are putting together," Nolte added. "So Wall Street is doing fine but Main Street is going to be a longer process."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) fell 288.14 points, or 1.17%, to 24,345.72, the S&P 500 (SPX) lost 27.08 points, or 0.92%, to 2,912.43 and the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) dropped 25.16 points, or 0.28%, to 8,889.55.

Of the 11 major sectors in the S&P 500, all but consumer discretionary (SPLRCD) and communications services (SPLRCL) closed in negative territory, with energy companies (SPNY) suffering the largest percentage loss.

Earnings season continues apace, with 236 of the companies in the S&P 500 having reported quarterly results. Of those, two-thirds have surprised consensus estimates to the upside, according to Refinitiv data.

But there have been 90 negative pre-announcements in the first quarter, compared with 40 positive, and analysts see aggregate S&P 500 earnings dropping by a year-on-year rate of 14.4% in the first three months of 2020, per Refinitiv.

Amazon.com (O:AMZN) reported results after the closing bell. In post-market trading, its shares were down nearly 5%. Apple Inc (O:AAPL) earnings were expected soon.

Facebook Inc (O:FB) climbed 5.2% after the social media company reported better-than-expected quarterly revenue.

American Airlines (O:AAL) posted its first quarterly loss since emerging from bankruptcy in 2013, sending its shares down 4.9%.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 2.58-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.81-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The S&P 500 posted three new 52-week highs and one new low; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 25 new highs and four new lows.

Volume on U.S. exchanges was 12.80 billion shares, compared with the 12.3 billion average over the last 20 trading days.

Wall St. caps best month in decades with broad sell-off
 

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Comments (19)
Stanislav Ivanovskiy
Stanislav Ivanovskiy Apr 30, 2020 5:51PM ET
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Gold medal for FED!
Afolabi Ayo
Afolabi Ayo Apr 30, 2020 4:29PM ET
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am new here. how can I trade S & P
Jim Hernandez
Jim Hernandez Apr 30, 2020 3:49PM ET
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I thought this was an investing site. Let your money work for you. Where will airlines, tech, and oil be 2-3 yrs from now? There are great opportunities out there. Don't worry about the short term noise. It will stump you and cause paralysis and you miss the big picture. I just gave you 3 sectors which comprise of companies whose stock price will double in 2-3 yrs. Maybe sooner. Don't let fear make you decisions.
steven gitt
steven gitt Apr 30, 2020 1:57PM ET
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gotta love a market where the news is that the market has seen its best month in decades but is also seeing its worst economic daa in decades... what a corrupt system thanks to the fed
Jason Bacon
Jason Bacon Apr 30, 2020 1:56PM ET
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Turns out you need people to have jobs to buy your products
Gian Carlo Orlandi
Gian Carlo Orlandi Apr 30, 2020 1:56PM ET
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Unless Fed starts to buy consumer products to sustain companies revenues
Simon Racz
Simon Racz Apr 30, 2020 1:08PM ET
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The title is a joke. The market didn't give a rat's *****for the horrible jobless claims in the last 6 weeks. It even had a disgusting spike every single time. Better title would have been profit taking.
James Gomez
James Gomez Apr 30, 2020 12:48PM ET
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I gotta say I'm very surprised investors even reacted to unemployment numbers this time around. Maybe a sign of normality coming in?
Gian Carlo Orlandi
Gian Carlo Orlandi Apr 30, 2020 12:48PM ET
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Looks more like profit taking
Jin News
Jin News Apr 30, 2020 11:56AM ET
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Profit taking action. Time to rest. Next week bulls will live again
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun Apr 30, 2020 11:53AM ET
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The market moves in waves. It goes up, retrace (because profit takers) then new buyers come, it moves up. If there is no new buyers, it keeps go down until buyers see cheap and jump in. It cant up,up everyday.
Jake Might
Jake Might Apr 30, 2020 11:30AM ET
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why is the market down? It should go up like the past few jobless claim data!
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun Apr 30, 2020 11:30AM ET
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Too much up for the week and the month. Too much to fast, it needs a pull back, rest
steven gitt
steven gitt Apr 30, 2020 11:22AM ET
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its worse than it looks because the dollar is also massively red... but why is everything on the market moves list green?
John Mars
John Mars Apr 30, 2020 11:20AM ET
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like we didn't already know the jobs report would be bad. Pointless articles.
Yi Li
Yi Li Apr 30, 2020 11:12AM ET
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Geez, they could have anounced this yesterday but ofc they saved it for pumping today after jobless number. “Not conerned about equity price” yeah right.
Dar Smith
Dar Smith Apr 30, 2020 11:09AM ET
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Everything opening back up soon and jobs coming back finally! Can't wait to go to stores and do some shopping and eat at a restaurant. If you're sick or vulnerable, please stay home. Of you're not, wear a mask and use sanitizers. Let's do this right so we don't get locked down again!
John Mars
John Mars Apr 30, 2020 11:09AM ET
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Good luck with that. Are you really one of those people that just need to eat a restaurant so bad or else they can't function like a dysfunctional extrovert?
Nick Deromeo
Nick Deromeo Apr 30, 2020 11:09AM ET
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Good luck eating with a mask on. Let me know how that goes.
Jin News
Jin News Apr 30, 2020 11:09AM ET
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Hopefully you guys don't get hit by a second/ third wave
James Hilton
James Hilton Apr 30, 2020 11:09AM ET
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It's grim because it was slightly better than anticipated. In these markey days, bad news = good, and the corollary applies. Ergo, arguablely better news, markets go down.
James Hilton
James Hilton Apr 30, 2020 11:09AM ET
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And my phone clearly has less idea than the markets.
zuma musa
zuma musa Apr 30, 2020 10:26AM ET
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many people in USA jobless due to the impact of lockdown.  If the lockdown would be extended to the end of the year, the entire country might have left miserably number of big companies to operate and many small and medium companies cannot survive.  The only way for small and medium companies to survive is to reduce the lockdown period.
Pavan Vulli
Pavan Vulli Apr 30, 2020 9:38AM ET
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On this good news of only 3.8 million job losses Dow has recouped all its losses and closed up 5% n within striking distance of all time highs. More bad news = more upside for stocks.
Precious Nwabuodafi
Precious Nwabuodafi Apr 30, 2020 8:45AM ET
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Are you thinking of how to care for your kids,pay bills,and stop living from paycheck to paycheck in this Corona virus epidemic just sitting at home???Ask me how???
Dar Smith
Dar Smith Apr 30, 2020 8:45AM ET
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Paycheck protection program and enhanced unemployment where many workers are making much more not working and sitting home eating pizza, burgers, and fries, and playing video games thanks to Bernie Sanders!
Pietro Rosato
Pietro Rosato Apr 30, 2020 8:05AM ET
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What strong month, do you mean of printing money and adding massive debt?
Alejandro Pieroni
Alejandro Pieroni Apr 30, 2020 8:05AM ET
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Inflation uo, massive financial bailout to buy stocks, massive layoffs with rigged unemployment
 
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