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Stocks - Wall Street Heads Lower Midday, Coming to Terms With Dour Data

Stock Markets Apr 15, 2020 11:50AM ET
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By Geoffrey Smith  

Investing.com -- U.S. stocks extended their losses midday Wednesday as grim economic data and earnings finally overshadowed Federal Reserve dollars and underscored how much repair the global economy will need when it restarts.

By 11:45 AM ET (1545 GMT), all three major indices were extending earlier losses. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 660 points, or 2.75%. The S&P 500 was down 2.9% and the Nasdaq Composite was down 2%. They had posted rises of between 2.4% and 4.0% on Tuesday, all hitting their highest levels in over a month.

The market was brought down to earth by the biggest-ever monthly drop in retail sales in March, a set of data that didn't even include the full impact of the lockdowns that have been imposed across the country in stages. Retail sales fell by 8.7%, with autos and discretionary items hit particularly hard. Core sales, which exclude autos, fell by a slightly better-than-expected 4.5%. 

There was equally bad news from the nation's factories. Industrial output fell 5.4% in March, another number that far exceeded even the worst monthly falls during the 2008/9 recession. Manufacturing output fell even more acutely, by 6.3%. The Empire State Manufacturing index, which tracks factory activity in New York state, likewise plummeted to a record low of -78.2.

Those numbers were also reported in a raft of sharp falls in earnings at the country's biggest banks, which all reported spikes in provisions against bad loans. Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) stock fell 6.3% and Citigroup (NYSE:C) stock fell 4%.

There was positive news from the airline sector, where stocks rose across the board early on in response to the bailout agreement secured late on Tuesday with the federal government. But even in this sector, stocks reversed early gains to trade broadly mixed. 

United Airlines (NASDAQ:UAL) stock fell 2.8%, while Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) stock was down 4.5% and American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL) stock was down 2.8%. 

Among the outperformers was UnitedHealth (NYSE:UNH) stock, which rose 2.1% after the health insurer said it had seen no substantial impact to profitability from the pandemic so far. It thus was able to stick to its guidance for the year, in contrast to many companies that have had to pull theirs due to the acute degree of uncertainty.

Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) was also among the gainers after a report showing its factory in China returned to life in March as lockdowns eased. Tesla stock rose 1% to its highest in five weeks.

Oil and gas stocks remained under pressure as crude futures fell below $20 again after the International Energy Agency warned that the world market would remain extremely oversupplied in the near term and the Energy Information Administration reported a record rise in U.S. crude stockpiles. Occidental Petroleum (NYSE:OXY) stock was down 12.4%, while Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) stock was down 6.8%

Stocks - Wall Street Heads Lower Midday, Coming to Terms With Dour Data
 

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Comments (26)
Get Sirius
Get Sirius Apr 15, 2020 3:28PM ET
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Trumps cares only about economy. Not suprised. He is a bussines man. It is normal thing that money is on first place. And he knows if stock falls everything will fall. Unfortunately this is beyond him. Whole world will suffer because of covid19, we are already suffering but after virus You will see what will hapen with economy
Mide Ogungbemi
Mide Ogungbemi Apr 15, 2020 3:28PM ET
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This is shaping up to be as bad as if not worse than the Sub Prime crisis. President Trump might well be credited for having already factored the threats into his decisions. If the analysis is right we might get a bit more than we bargained for but we have to consider fear mongering. Health first but it's the economy. I think personally I'd risk COVID-19 but I want to know what Prime Minister Johnson feels about the issue
Midway Eholdings
Midway Eholdings Apr 15, 2020 2:53PM ET
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Stocks still hanging on well. Rally ho them break after things open up
Luis Angulo
Luis Angulo Apr 15, 2020 1:48PM ET
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Trump is making everything to save América but this is beyond
Get Sirius
Get Sirius Apr 15, 2020 1:48PM ET
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I agree but just one corection. Trump is doing everything to save Americas economy not America. America includes people but he chooses economy infront of people
Offir Peer
Offir Peer Apr 15, 2020 1:08PM ET
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I don't get how Americans are fine with funding the airlines companies, They bought there own stocks all these years, dealt dividends to investors and paid high salaries to employees, so they never saved a dime for days like these.Obviously the airlines business isn't going to be the same and there are many redundant employees there, so why not letting them go so they will be able to learn something new and more constructive?Instead you are just paying them salaries without getting anything back.I thought Trump was a capitalist...
Robert Flores
Robert Flores Apr 15, 2020 1:08PM ET
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We are not fine with it- but what to do? How can we protest if we are under quarantine? How can we go on strike if we dont have a job
Drake Rostemi
Drake Rostemi Apr 15, 2020 12:26PM ET
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Realy? The market just realized that earnings are not looking so good -  peekaboo I see you. You can only surprise a toddler, so many times with this silly act. Jan 2020 - Peek -A- Boo - earings are not looking good, the market reacts surprise and stocks drop; Feb, Peek-A-Boo earings are not looking good, the market acts surprise and stocks drop. Do I need to continue? Maybe not - I do not want to surprise the market plus I don't want to play peekaboo any more. Knock, Knock. Who is there? Earnings!!! Earnings who? Exactly my point. All the steep price drop since Jan is the result of Peek-A-Boo earings are not looking good. Are the earning are going to get better? Of course, they always do. Food for thought. Drake Rostemi
Bulls MakeMore
Bulls MakeMore Apr 15, 2020 11:29AM ET
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Politics aside, let's focus on how the market works - it's always a buying opportunity when things look the worst, and the time to sell is when everything is looks great and "the bull case is that there's no bear case", as they were saying in early Feb. Most were too bullish, myself included, back then
Bulls MakeMore
Bulls MakeMore Apr 15, 2020 11:29AM ET
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*is looking great
John El
John El Apr 15, 2020 11:29AM ET
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weren't you tooting your own horn yesterday as the market went up?
Andrés Rexach
Andrés Rexach Apr 15, 2020 11:29AM ET
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it looks worst? you didnt see nothing
Earl castelo
Earl castelo Apr 15, 2020 11:29AM ET
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His main point is to buy low and sell high, which is true to a point. But he's hoping that bottom has been formed and it can only go up from here.
Thom Miller
Thom Miller Apr 15, 2020 11:27AM ET
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Oh, and did I mention the great job Donny Boy did with brokering the “beautiful” oil deal. Let’s take a look.....oil prices down -12% since the deal was sealed. Yep, great job, Donny Boy!
Pwr Strk
Pwr Strk Apr 15, 2020 11:27AM ET
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move to China then, you'll be GREAT there
Thom Miller
Thom Miller Apr 15, 2020 11:13AM ET
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Well, there you have it. Not only did Donny Boy botch the spread of Covid-19, he destroyed the US economy in the process. At least it will cost him the election. So long Donny Boy! And don’t forget to take Ivanka and Jared with you.
Dumb Dems
Dumb Dems Apr 15, 2020 11:00AM ET
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dems control the media! CNN is the epitome of fake news. they exaggerate the severity of the flu and blame trump for fauci's fault! fire fauci and shutdown cnn!
Zero Coolest
ZeroCoolest Apr 15, 2020 11:00AM ET
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I bet you were top of your class...
Not A Trader
Not A Trader Apr 15, 2020 11:00AM ET
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Zero Coolest and what about you? Can you prove him wrong while being honest?
Ty VM
2ADV Apr 15, 2020 11:00AM ET
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Not A Trader you're not a trader you wouldn't understand
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun Apr 15, 2020 10:50AM ET
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Yesterday writers wrote 3%. The truth is econ shrank over 6%. The medias r biggest stock manipluators.
 
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