The Dow Jones Industrial Average crossed a milestone on Wednesday, with the index erasing all of its gains since United States President Donald Trump took office, as coronavirus fears continue to inject unprecedented volatility into the market.
The Dow was trading down more than 1,800 points or 8.6 percent around 1:15pm Eastern Time (17:15 GMT), falling below 20,000 in choppy trading. It has taken just over a month for the 30-share index to lose more than 30 percent of its value.
The broader S&P 500 – a gauge for the health of US retirement and college savings accounts – dropped below the 7 percent level around 1pm ET in New York (17:00 GMT), tripping circuit breakers that halt trading for 15 minutes.
The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 6.6 percent.
Wednesday marked a sharp reversal from Tuesday, when more emergency moves by the US Federal Reserve to unclog credit markets – and details of the White House’s one-trillion-dollar stimulus plan for countering the disruptions of coronavirus – helped lure buyers back into stocks.
But Tuesday’s gains were modest and not nearly enough to help the major indexes dig out completely from Monday’s historic losses that saw the Dow close nearly 3,000 points lower.
With coronavirus now being reported in all 50 US states, uncertainty over the extent of the economic damage the outbreak will leave in its wake has analysts and economists scrambling to reassess forecasts made less than a week ago and injecting a healthy dose of hedging into predictions for how the second half of the year could shake out.
“The rapid escalation of measures to contain the coronavirus outbreak suggests that the economic damage will be even larger than we anticipated only a few days ago, and we are now pencilling in a 10% annualised decline in GDP in the second quarter.” Andrew Hunter, senior US economist at Capital Economics, wrote in a note on Wednesday. “For now we expect activity to begin to rebound over the second half of the year, but that will depend on the virus being brought under control over the next few months and on Congress stepping up to the plate with a substantial fiscal response.”
Investors are also becoming concerned as more firms draw on credit lines to weather the coronavirus onslaught. And though talk of government stimulus packages and bailouts for certain industries, such as airlines, is intensifying, many analysts are concerned about how politics could slow the delivery of measures.
“The markets are unlikely to be very patient for this process, keeping open the risk that something breaks before politicians come together on a credible deal that sets the stage for a recovery once the virus restrictions start to be lifted,” Steven Ricchiuto, US chief economist at Mizuho Securities USA, wrote in a note on Wednesday.
Shares of Boeing Co continue to get pummelled, falling more than 22 percent in early afternoon trading after the aircraft maker called for a $60bn bailout for aerospace manufacturers reeling from a sharp collapse in international travel triggered by the pandemic. Boeing shares are down more than 70 percent from their 52-week high.
Oil's rally hinges on what happens at next OPEC+ meeting – BNNBloomberg.ca
Oil closed at the highest level since early March, buoyed by optimism that OPEC+ will rebalance the market. But the rally could turn on what happens at the alliance’s June meeting.
The producer group reached a preliminary agreement Wednesday to extend historic output curbs for an extra month, with Saudi Arabia and Russia drawing a hard line on cheating, and insisting that countries make up for past non-compliance by deepening future cuts. Their stance injects some uncertainty into the market, which has rallied from historic lows but remains vulnerable to ongoing demand weakness and a persistent supply glut.
In the U.S., the outlook for fuel consumption dimmed after U.S. government data showed that diesel demand fell to a 21-year low last week while inventories rose to the highest level since 2010. Gasoline supplies also swelled, suggesting consumption isn’t rebounding as quickly as initially thought. The builds in fuel stockpiles offset a larger-than-expected decline in crude inventories.
Futures in New York fluctuated between gains and losses amid the conflicting market signals. While West Texas Intermediate crude ended the session one per cent higher, prices declined after the close.
“We’re in wait-and-see mode,” said Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy & Economic Research Inc. The question now is not whether OPEC+ will extend cuts but by how much, he said. “If they extend until the end of the year, that will encourage optimism on the part of buyers.”
Russia and Saudi Arabia, the de-facto leaders of OPEC+, are putting pressure on Iraq, Nigeria, Kazakhstan and Angola to make firm commitments they will improve compliance, and also to make up for past wrongs. The OPEC+ leaders are demanding the four countries compensate for non-compliance in May — and potentially in June — by cutting extra in July, August and September, according to the people familiar with the situation. That’s a painful prospect for those producers, already struggling with the budget impact of low prices.
The ultimatum comes as higher prices have already spurred some U.S. producers to bring wells back online. EOG Resources Inc., America’s largest shale-focused producer, and Permian producer Parsley Energy Inc. both said they’re preparing to ramp up output just weeks after turning off the taps.
• U.S. West Texas Intermediate rose 48 cents US to settle at US$37.29 a barrel in New York.
• Brent rose 22 cents US to US$39.79 a barrel in London. The global benchmark crude had earlier topped US$40 for the first time since March.
The OPEC+ leaders expect to hold a meeting on June 10, according to people familiar with the matter. But negotiations continue with the aim of simply ratifying the accord at the virtual gathering, according to the people.
–With assistance from Olivia Raimonde, Grant Smith, Javier Blas and Evgenia Pismennaya.
Dow Notches Third-Straight Win as Bets on Faster Economic Recovery Continue – Investing.com
By Yasin Ebrahim
Investing.com – The Dow climbed for the third-straight session as hopes of a faster economic recovery were given a boost on Wednesday amid signs the Covid-19 pandemic’s grip on the economy has passed.
The rose 2.05%, or 527 points, the gained 1.36%, while the added 0.78%.
With just days to go until Friday’s crucial nonfarm payrolls report, ADP (NASDAQ:) said that private payrolls fell by 2.76 million jobs in May, confounding economists’ for a drop of 9 million.
That marked a significant improvement from the 19.5 million job cuts seen in April, raising hopes the labor market losses have bottomed.
The services sector, which accounts for about two-thirds of overall economic growth, is also showing signs of life, with activity rising from the lowest level in 11 years in April.
data for May showed a reading of 45.4, above forecasts for a reading of 44.
The duo of upbeat economic reports stoked investor hopes of a quicker economic rebound, underpinning cyclical sectors like financials and industrials.
Financials jumped 4.4%, with banks leading the charge. JPMorgan (NYSE:NYSE:) was up 5.4%, Bank of America (NYSE:NYSE:) up 4.5% and Citigroup (NYSE:NYSE:) up 4.9%.
In industrials, Boeing (NYSE:) rallied 13% after reaching a compensation package and a new delivery deal with travel company TUI Group over the grounding of its 737 Max planes.
On the earnings front, Zoom Video Communications (NASDAQ:) jumped 6% after reporting first-quarter results that markedly beat expectations on the bottom and top lines as the pandemic spurred demand for its videoconferencing software.
Canada Goose (NYSE:) rose 18% after reporting a better-than-expected fiscal fourth-quarter profit. The outerwear retailer also said it would increase focus on direct-to-consumer sales in the early stages of the reopening phase.
Elsewhere, Warner Music (NASDAQ:) made a bright start to life as a publicly-traded company, rallying 21%. The music label company had priced its offering of 77 million shares at $25 per share.
Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
2 Stocks to Buy and Hold Forever – The Motley Fool Canada
For part-time investors, it can be difficult to stay on top of your portfolio holdings. This is especially true during times of significant volatility. It is why investors should choose which stocks to buy carefully.
If you don’t have the time to actively monitor your positions, owning over 50 stocks may not be the right approach. If you are holding a large portfolio in an effort to diversify, you may be over extending yourself.
The purpose of diversification is to reduce unsystematic risk. Research has shown that the benefits of diversification tops out at around 30 positions. The diversification benefits only inch up marginally for every position added afterwards.
Keeping all this in mind, what is the best approach for the part-time retail investors? Identify stocks to buy that can be held forever. These are best-in-class, blue chip stocks that will act as foundational stocks in a portfolio.
Railway stocks to buy
The railway industry is dominated by two players, Canadian Pacific Rail (TSX:CP)(NYSE:CP) and Canadian National Railway (TSX:CNR)(NYSE:CNI). They form a duopoly and as such, have some of the widest moats in the country.
Although both make excellent investments, the top stock to buy today is CN Rail. The railway is trading at 4.47 times book value, a steep discount to peer CP Rail (6.73). CN Rail’s debt burden is also much less, with a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.79. For its part, CP Rail’s D/E ratio is sitting at 1.28.
Similarly, CN Rail is a Canadian Dividend Aristocrat. It has a dividend growth streak that spans 24 years, the tenth longest in the country. At 1.94%, the yield is also double that of CP Rail (0.94%). Over the past decade, CN Rail has averaged 15.6% annual dividend growth.
Looking forward, analysts are expecting a down year in 2020 – not surprising given the current pandemic. Still, the company is only expected to see earnings dip by about 8% before rebounding in a big way (+17%) in 2021.
CN Rail is one of the safest stocks to buy. You can buy without having to check up on the company daily to see if the investment thesis has changed.
A top bank
In today’s environment, financial stocks are under pressure. Not even Canada’s Big Banks are immune, and most are sitting on significant losses. However, recent results are proving once again that Canada’s banks are resilient and are top stocks to buy — perhaps none more so than Royal Bank of Canada (TSX:RY)(NYSE:RY).
As Canada’s largest bank, it has the means to come out on the other side of this pandemic on solid footing. Just as it did during the Financial Crisis, it appears that RBC will escape the current pandemic with a dividend cut.
Now yielding 4.84%, investors can lock in a yield close to record highs. During this pandemic, Royal Bank has been the best-performing bank. Despite losing 13.06% of its value, it is far outpacing the majority of its peers.
Despite bouncing off March lows, Royal Bank is still trading at only 1.6 times book value and 11.44 times earnings. Both of which are below historical averages.
RBC is proving once again to be a top stock to buy and is one of the best hold forever options for investors. Unless the entire economy and banking system goes belly up, investors can sleep well knowing Royal Bank is anchoring their portfolios with stable and reliable returns.
If you are looking for other top stocks to buy today, check out the attractive investment opportunities.
Renowned Canadian investor Iain Butler just named 10 stocks for Canadians to buy TODAY. So if you’re tired of reading about other people getting rich in the stock market, this might be a good day for you.
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Fool contributor Mat Litalien owns shares of Canadian National Railway. David Gardner owns shares of Canadian National Railway. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Canadian National Railway. The Motley Fool recommends Canadian National Railway.
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