Investors who are still up or are flat on the year deserve a pat on the back. So do the investors that haven’t blown out their accounts. It’s been a tough few weeks and bulls didn’t get much reprieve in the stock market today.
Stocks again went limit down on Thursday, although the 15-minute trading halt didn’t trigger until the afternoon as opposed to the usual, which is in the opening minutes of the session.
The S&P 500 made new 52-week lows again, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average briefly fell below the 2016 election breakout level before recovering from the lows. At today’s low, the indices were down 32.8% and 36% from the highs last month, respectively.
So what’s the good news from the stock market today?
It’s become pretty clear who the losers are during epidemics. But are there any winners? There are a handful of stocks that have or continue to trade well lately.
Walmart (NYSE:WMT) shares hit new 52-week highs on Wednesday. Others hitting annual highs include Kroger (NYSE:KR), Hormel (NYSE:HRL), Clorox (NYSE:CLX), BJ’s Wholesale (NYSE:BJ), Citrix Systems (NASDAQ:CTXS) and Flowers Food (NYSE:FLO).
So while we’re surrounded by doom and gloom, there are some stocks out there that are doing well. And while that may only do investors some marginal good at this point, it may just help during the next pandemic.
Movers in the Stock Market Today
Another round of good news? Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD) shares climbed 6.6% on reports that its treatment for the coronavirus from China could get the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s green light soon. That’s according to analysts, who are looking for positive clinical trial results. Other reports have suggested that certain treatments seem to be working too, but were not confirmed.
That would not only be good news for the stock, but also for the world.
Now for some bad news. Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) is expecting second-quarter revenue to take a hit of almost $2 billion compared to a year ago. Delta will make a 70% system-wide reduction in capacity, and its international operation will see a reduction of more than 80% over the next 2 to 3 months. After the update, Delta shares plunged as much as 39%, but closed lower by “just” 26%.
Ford (NYSE:F) and General Motors (NYSE:GM) both decided to suspend all North American production at this time to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. The decision follows a recommendation from the UAW. Both companies will halt production in the U.S., Canada and Mexico by the end of the day Thursday, and stay that way through at least March 30.
Both stocks hit multi-year lows on the day.
Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) continues to fall, down 16% in the stock market today with its Fremont plant in limbo. County officials have ordered the company to halt production due to a shutdown put in place in the Bay Area to help with the spread of the coronavirus. Tesla has yet to follow those orders and it’s unsure how long it can manage to stay open and running.
Finally, what was considered a well-run REIT, Simon Property Group (NYSE:SPG) took it on the chin yet again. Shares fell 23.7% after the company announced it would close all of its retail properties today through March 29. Perhaps the stock is getting close to capitulation, but it may need a dividend cut — now yielding over 12.8% — to get it. Shares are down 70% from this year’s high.