What's moving markets today: March 12, 2019

5:39 p.m. ET, March 12, 2019

US markets end the day mixed; Boeing drags Dow lower

The Dow closed down 96 points, or 0.4%, as more countries said they would ground Boeing’s 737 Max planes.

Boeing (BA) fell 6% Tuesday as a growing number of countries and airlines have said they will not fly that line of planes in the wake of Sunday’s fatal crash involving an Ethiopian Airlines jet, the second crash involving a 737 Max plane in less than six months.

The United Kingdom, Germany, France, Australia, Indonesia, China and others have all said that no 737 Max planes can fly in their airspace.

Boeing is the highest-priced constituent in the Dow. The airline said Tuesday that it has “full confidence in the safety of the Max.”

The S&P 500 closed up 0.3%, while the Nasdaq rose 0.4%.

2:28 p.m. ET, March 12, 2019

Consumer Reports: Ground the Boeing 737 MAX 8

Consumer Reports is calling on American Airlines (AAL) and Southwest Airlines (LUV) to stop flying their Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes.

If they don't listen, it says the Federal Aviation Administration should ground the planes.

Here's what William McGee, aviation adviser for Consumer Reports, said in a statement:

While the investigators continue their work, the government and airlines should put safety first. American and Southwest should have already temporarily halted flights of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 until they can fully determine that their aircraft, training, and operations are safe, and explain this to the public. And since they haven’t, the FAA should."
  • The two US-based carriers are still operating the planes, bucking the trend of other airlines and countries banning the planes.
  • Shares of American and Southwest are both down roughly 2% Tuesday.
3:15 p.m. ET, March 12, 2019

ADT is tanking after weak earnings

Shares of home security company ADT (ADT) are down 13% in trading after the company reported poor earnings during its most recent quarter.

The company posted a $149 million net loss in the fourth quarter.

ADT's home monitoring services have faced stiff competition for years. Alphabet-owned (GOOGL) Nest, for example, offers its own products designed to keep homes safe at low costs. Customers can also install Nest equipment themselves.

Investors were also likely disappointed that ADT’s new feature, which helps Amazon's Echo listen for break-ins and carbon monoxide alarms when user's aren't home, is "not quite there yet," CEO James DeVries told analysts on a conference call.

Chief Financial Officer Jeffrey Likosar told analysts that the company will make "selective brand investments" to "solidify" ADT's position as the "leader in home automation and security."

12:33 p.m. ET, March 12, 2019

The Dow is down, still pressured by Boeing

The Dow is down, while the S&P and Nasdaq are slightly up. Here's where things stand:

  • The Dow fell 70 points, or -0.27%
  • Nasdaq is up 40 points, or 0.54%
  • S&P 500 is up 12 points, or 0.41%

Here's a check of some stocks:

  • Boeing (BA) shares are down more than 6%.
  • Stitch Fix (SFIX) is up 30% after crushing earnings.
  • Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) slipped 3% after its shares were downgraded.
  • Chipotle (CMG) is up 3%. The restaurant chain announced a new rewards program today.
11:30 a.m. ET, March 12, 2019

Wells Fargo CEO is in the hot seat

Tim Sloan is trying to convince the House Financial Services Committee today that Wells Fargo (WFC) has changed. The results are contentious, to say the least.

Sloan is laying out how Wells Fargo has addressed the aggressive sales tactics that led to the creation of millions of fake accounts, among other scandals.

But he faces a tough audience. Chairman Maxine Waters, a Democrat, has previously suggested that regulators should shut down Wells Fargo entirely because of its customer abuses.

11:31 a.m. ET, March 12, 2019

Boeing releases new statement as scrutiny mounts for its 737 MAX

Boeing (BA) has issued a new statement about the ongoing scrutiny surrounding the safety of its 737 MAX. Several countries and airlines have halted the plane from operating.

Here's the full statement, obtained by CNN's Jim Sciutto:

"Safety is Boeing’s number one priority and we have full confidence in the safety of the MAX. We understand that regulatory agencies and customers have made decisions that they believe are most appropriate for their home markets. We’ll continue to engage with all of them to ensure they have the information they need to have confidence in operating their fleets or returning them to service. It is also important to note that the Federal Aviation Administration is not mandating any further action at this time, and based on the information currently available, we do not have any basis to issue new guidance to operators.”

The stock is down nearly 6% Tuesday. 

10:57 a.m. ET, March 12, 2019

Stitch Fix shares are soaring

Shares of Stitch Fix (SFIX), the online style service, are up 30% following a strong earnings report:

  • The stock is now up a whopping 104% from the beginning of the year.
11:21 a.m. ET, March 12, 2019

Larry Page gave $150 million stock grant to exec accused of sexual misconduct, lawsuit says

Larry Page personally awarded a $150 million stock grant to Android creator Andy Rubin despite an ongoing investigation over allegations of his sexual misconduct, a lawsuit claims.

Page, Google’s cofounder and the CEO of its parent company Alphabet, is said to have made the decision on his own, without the approval of the board, and “only later sought the rubber-stamp” of the board’s compensation committee, according to a revised shareholder lawsuit filed on Monday. The suit cites board meeting minutes and internal emails.

The New York Times first revealed details about harassment claims against multiple executives, including Rubin, and their multi-million dollar exit packages in October. The latest allegations about Page’s role may further upend Google, which has already seen employees around the world stage walkouts over this issue.

10:55 a.m. ET, March 12, 2019

Business confidence tanked in February

Corporate moods are darkening, according to a key business survey released Tuesday.

IHS Markit's Business Outlook Survey recorded its lowest reading in two years in February, indicating that fewer companies plan to increase their hiring, profitability, and investment in the coming year (although the net figure is still positive).

The survey comes off a surprisingly weak February jobs report, and lends credence to the theory that a dip in hiring may indicate a broader slowdown is underway.

Other measures of business sentiment, including the Institute for Supply Management's Purchasing Manager's Index and the National Federation of Independent Business' Optimism Index, have also slowed markedly in recent months.

Despite the slowdown, American businesses remain more upbeat than those abroad, which IHS Markit measures using the same methodology.