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Stock Market Today: Small-Cap Stocks Lead Charge; Ford Cuts Dividend

Here's what happened in the stock market today

Man, investors have gotten their clocks cleaned in equities over the past month. So while a slight gain in the stock market today may be better than a loss, it does little to erase some of the pain investors have felt this week.

Stock Market TodayEven with Thursday’s rally, the S&P 500 is still down more than 10% for the week. If the losses hold — or even if we get some slight gains — it will be the index’s third week out of the last four where losses exceed 8.8%.

That’s some nauseating volatility, as investors still try to sort out where the bottom is.

Tech, Small Caps and Oil

While the broader market only mustered modest gains on the day, tech is doing its best to come roaring back.

Broadcom (NASDAQ:AVGO) jumped over 15%, MongoDB (NASDAQ:MDB), which just reported earnings this week, climbed almost 16% and Roku (NASDAQ:ROKU) jumped 9.8%.

Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) climbed 2.8%, Fastly (NYSE:FSLY), which ended higher on Wednesday’s brutal session too, added another 18.2% to its gains and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) rallied 4.2%.

Does that mean it’s all over and the selling is done? Of course not. But it just goes to show that investors are seeing some discounts and scooping up stocks. And that, at least for a day, there is a little relief in the market.

It’s also worth pointing out that the PowerShares QQQ ETF (NASDAQ:QQQ) outperformed the S&P 500, but that came after a late-session dump weighed on prices. More impressive though was the rally in the iShares Russell 2000 ETF (NYSEARCA:IWM). The small-caps ETF was a leader on the way down, and investors are hoping it leads to some clues about more potential upside. The IWM closed higher by 3.9% in the stock market today.

Oil, another leader on the way down, finally got a pop. Prices closed higher by more than 20% on the day.

Movers in the Stock Market Today

TJX Companies (NYSE:TJX) made the decision to close all stores in U.S., Canada, Europe and Australia for two weeks due to the coronavirus from China. The company will also be shutting down its distribution centers and online businesses — including tjmaxx.com, marshalls.com and sierra.com. Employees will be receiving pay for the two-week closure period. Because of the move, TJX will also withdraw its guidance for the quarter and full year.

A supply problem? Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) will temporarily close its Prime Pantry delivery service nationwide. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, Prime Pantry received a surge of orders that were impossible to keep up with. While it’s closed, it will work on fulfilling open orders and restocking. It is unsure when it will reopen at this time.

Due to a current cruise hiatus thanks to the coronavirus, Carnival (NYSE:CCL) is putting its ships to good use. The company just offered its cruise ships to governments and health authorities to act as temporary hospitals that are estimated to have about 1,000 hospital rooms.

Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and P&O Cruises Australia will be available for a price that will “only cover essential costs of the ship’s operations while in port.”

Dividend Worries

In an effort to boost its cash position in the midst of the coronavirus crisis, Ford (NYSE:F) will suspend its dividend and tap into $15.4 billion from two lines of credit to attempt to offset its current situation. After falling almost 9% at one point, shares of Ford only closed lower by just 0.7% in the stock market today. However, it only touched its low from the prior session, it didn’t take it out. Is this the capitulation moment for the stock?

Boeing (NYSE:BA) may be next. According to reports, the company is weighing a dividend cut and layoffs. After the stock’s stunning decline to sub-$100 prices, a dividend cut is only logical, particularly as it’s looking to secure federal aid. Shares currently yield about 8.1%.

Bret Kenwell is the manager and author of Future Blue Chips and is on Twitter @BretKenwell. As of this writing, Bret Kenwell is long ROKU, AVGO and FSLY. 


Article printed from InvestorPlace Media, https://investorplace.com/2020/03/stock-market-today-small-cap-stocks-lead-charge-ford-cuts-dividend/.

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