U.S. equities indexes dropped sharply in early trading Friday, scuttling hopes that a rebound was afoot after three days of strong gains.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down more than 700 points, or more than 3%, a few minutes into the session. That’s a reversal from the past three days when stocks gained significant ground after two weeks of historic market losses. The NASDAQ was down more than 200 points, or 3%, while the S&P 500 sank 85 pints, or 3%.
At the close Thursday, the Dow had logged such a strong gain that stocks were technically back in bull market territory with a 20% gain over the low that was hit on March 11 amid the panicky selloff prompted by shutdowns and other extreme measures taken to combat the spread of the coronavirus. But there were no celebrations on Thursday given the historic volatility of key indices this month.
In early trading Friday, ViacomCBS, Disney, Discovery and Lionsgate were among the media shares taking the biggest hits.
Analysts chalked up the swing to the red as driven in part by the magnitude of more than 3.2 million unemployment claims filed this week, far and away a record for the U.S. in the modern era, and indications that the COVID-19 contagion is spreading to new hot spots around the country, promising that there is no clear end in sight to the preventative shutdowns that have caused such economic devastation.
More to come
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