Stocks swing wildly and close higher: March 10, 2020

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3:38 p.m. ET, March 10, 2020

Walmart confirms coronavirus in one of its stores and announces emergency leave policy

From CNN’s Cristina Alesci

Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Walmart (WMT) announced an emergency leave policy Tuesday after one of its store associates in Cynthiana, Kentucky tested positive for coronavirus, according to a memo from John Furner, US CEO of Walmart, Sam’s Club CEO Kath McLay, and Donna Morris, Walmart’s Chief People Officer.

The employee’s condition is improving, and she is receiving medical care, according to a memo to employees.

Walmart, the nation’s largest private employer, has been in contact with health experts and will “continue to take precautions and actions to keep our stores, clubs and other facilities clean and ensure the well-being of our associates, customers and members.”

3:23 p.m. ET, March 10, 2020

Barclays confirms member of staff tests positive for coronavirus

From CNN’s Cristina Alesci and CNN Business' Chauncey Alcorn

A member of Barclays (BCS) New York trading operation has tested positive for coronavirus, according to a company statement.

The health and safety of our staff, customers and clients is our top priority and we are providing every support to the member of staff and their family,” the bank said.

According to the statement, the employee has been in self-quarantine since March 3.  

The company cleaned and disinfected the employee’s workspace and surrounding area as well as undertaking additional deep-cleaning measures, the company said. Co-workers and who had close contact with the infected employee have been told to self quarantine.

3:27 p.m. ET, March 10, 2020

Home Depot is the top Dow stock this year

From CNN Business' Paul R. La Monica

Coronavirus fears may be gripping much of Wall Street, but Americans might still continue to invest in DIY projects for their houses.

Home Depot (HD) shares are the top Dow stock in for all of 2020. They are up 3% for the year thanks to a more than 6% rally Tuesday. Microsoft (MSFT) and Walmart (WMT) were slightly above break even point for the year as well.

Home Depot reported strong earnings and sales at the end of last month -- just as coronavirus concerns were starting to pummel the broader stock market. But Home Depot may also be benefiting from the struggles of its top rival Lowe's.

Shares of Lowe's (LOW) are down 15% this year, and the company reported sales that missed Wall Street's estimates last month -- one day after Home Depot issued its stellar results.

2:21 p.m. ET, March 10, 2020

Bank of America cuts global growth forecast for the second time in less than two weeks

From CNN’s Cristina Alesci and Anneken Tappe

Bank of America is cutting its 2020 forecast for global growth to 2.2% from 2.8%.

It's the second time the bank has trimmed its estimate in less than two weeks, as it weighs the impact of the surge in coronavirus cases outside of China. BofA cut expectations for US growth to 1.2% from 1.6%.

In a note to clients on Tuesday, the bank’s analysts said the virus' “main impact is a sharp weakening of leisure and retail activity with a small hit to labor supply.”

The analysts said they are concerned about “the slow public health response” in a number of countries and they note “financial conditions have tightened significantly.”

Policymakers' and investors' reliance on central banks to step up in times of economic uncertainty is also a concern for the BofA analysts. The Federal Reserve is playing only a supporting role in the response to the outbreak, they said.

The massive slump in oil prices this week is also hurting short-term growth prospects.

1:56 p.m. ET, March 10, 2020

Pence says insurers will cover telemedicine. This stock is soaring

From CNN Business' Paul R. La Monica

More patients may want to "visit" with their doctors remotely in light of the coronavirus outbreak. And Vice President Mike Pence said at the White House Tuesday that insurers will foot the bill for these services -- not consumers.

Pence made the remarks during a press briefing with President Trump to talk more broadly about a meeting they had with executives from health insurance companies. Shares of Teladoc (TDOC), a leading provider of virtual health care services, surged 6% on the news.

Teladoc has already gotten a big bump from investors betting that more health care professionals will be using the service to communicate remotely with patients. Shares are now up nearly 30% in the past month and 70% already this year.

12:38 p.m. ET, March 10, 2020

Turnaround Tuesday is giving investors whiplash

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

About half an hour after stocks pared their losses and dipped into negative territory, the rally seems to be back on.

The back and forth is keeping investors on their toes.

The Dow -- which has swung 1,106 points between its low and high points so far on Tuesday -- is up 300 points, or 1.3%, around midday.

The S&P 500 is back up 1.3%, and the Nasdaq Composite climbed 1.6%..

12:26 p.m. ET, March 10, 2020

Health insurance stocks are climbing

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

Shares of health insurers are climbing higher today after Vice President Mike Pence announced that several insurers agreed to waive copays for coronavirus testing.

Cigna (CI) is leading its peers, rising 6%. Humana's (HUM) stock is also up nearly 6%, while shares of Anthem (ANTM) rose more than 5.5%.

UnitedHealth (UNH) stock has climbed 2.6% around midday.

Pence also said that the insurers would extend the coverage for coronavirus treatment in their plans and that "all the CEOs agreed to 'no surprise billing.'"

12:18 p.m. ET, March 10, 2020

Buffett-backed shale giant slashes dividend by 86% to cope with oil crash

From CNN Business' Matt Egan

The reckoning is coming to the oil patch.

Occidental Petroleum (OXY), the shale oil giant that piled on debt to acquire Anadarko Petroleum last year, said Tuesday it will slash its dividend by 86%.

Occidental, which is backed by billionaires Warren Buffett and Carl Icahn, is also cutting its 2020 capital spending to a range of $3.5 billion to $3.7 billion. That's well below its earlier plan of up to $5.4 billion.

Echoing comments made earlier in the day by rival Chevron, Occidental said it will implement cost-cutting moves.

Taken together, Occidental said the moves will drop its cash flow breakeven level to the low $30s.

The cuts come after US oil prices crashed 26% to $31.13 a barrel on Monday. It was the worst day for oil since 1991.

"Due to the sharp decline in global commodity prices, we are taking actions that will strengthen our balance sheet and continue to reduce debt,” Occidental CEO Vicki Hollub said in the statement.

Icahn repeatedly warned last year that Occidental's takeover of Anadarko would backfire, forcing the company to cut its dividend if oil prices tumbled. That warning has now borne out.

12:04 p.m. ET, March 10, 2020

S&P 500 turns negative too

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

This rebound rally is fizzling out.

Shortly after the Dow dropped into the red, the S&P 500 turned negative. The S&P, which is the broadest measure of US stocks, was last flipping between slight gains and losses around the unchanged level. The Dow was last down 0.3%.

The S&P recorded its worst day since December 2008 Monday. The steep selloff led the S&P to trip a circuit breaker that led the New York Stock Exchange to briefly suspend trading.

Both indexes are very close to bear-market territory, which is defined as 20% below their most recent peaks. At Monday's close, the S&P and Dow were roughly 19% off their highs.

The Nasdaq Composite also pared its earlier gains.

Stocks could be reacting to news on the oil front. Monday's selloff was in part a response to a collapse in oil prices.

Saudi Aramco on Tuesday vowed to up production to 12.3 million barrels a day in April, which would be 27% above recent levels and exceed the company's maximum capacity by 300,000 barrels.