Stocks - Dow in Biggest One-Day Points Plunge Ever as Bears Run Riot
The Dow suffered its biggest one-day point drop on record, led by a slump in oil prices, as Saudi Arabia sparked fears of a price war and the coronavirus spread deepened fears of a global recession. The S&P 500 fell 7.6%, Nasdaq Composite lost 7.3% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 7.8%, its biggest daily percentage loss since December 2008. It was down more than 2,013 points.
Oil prices fell 24%, their worst day since 1991, sending energy stocks tumbling after Saudi Arabia launched a price war against fellow oil superpower Russia.
Saudi Arabia slashed its April official selling prices by $6 to $8 to grab market share and pile pressure on Russia. The move came after OPEC and Russia failed to agree a deal to extend oil production cuts.
"This situation seems to have no equal in oil market history," International Energy Agency executive director Fatih Birol said, referring to "a massive supply overhang and significant demand shocks (as) the major main driver of the crisis,"
The coronavirus threat to global growth, meanwhile, continued to sour investor sentiment as infections continued to mount, with the total death toll reaching 4,000, and as many as 105,000 infected. In Italy, the death toll increased by 97 to 463 in one day, with the total number of confirmed cases rising to 9,172 from 7,375 – the most infections outside of China, where infections have been slowing.
In tech, meanwhile, FANG stocks were shunned, with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) leading the decline as the hit to iPhone sales in China from the outbreak could be worse than feared. Apple sold 494,000 iPhones last month, down from 1.27 million a year earlier, Wedbush said, citing initial data Chinese Academy of Information and Communications Technology's. It closed down 7.9%. The rout on Wall Street drove investors toward safe havens like Treasuries, pushing yields to record lows at a time when some are betting the Federal Reserve will cut rates aggressively. Goldman Sachs forecast that the Fed will slash interest rate by 50 basis points when policymakers gather on March 17-18 and again at their April 28-29 meeting, to a range of 0% to 0.25%, which was last seen in 2015.