US stocks resume their roller coaster ride: March 19, 2020

By CNN Business

Updated 6:48 a.m. ET, March 20, 2020
21 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
11:25 a.m. ET, March 19, 2020

Domino's wants to hire 10,000 employees

From CNN Business' Jordan Valinsky

Domino's Pizza is looking to hire up to 10,000 workers as people shift their eating habits to takeout or delivery amid restrictions surrounding the growing coronavirus pandemic.

The pizza chain is looking to hire for several positions in its stores and factories, including chefs, customer service representatives and managers.

"Our corporate and franchise stores want to make sure they're not only feeding people, but also providing opportunity to those looking for work at this time, especially those in the heavily impacted restaurant industry," CEO Richard Allison said in a press release.

Domino's (DPZ) stock is one of the few bright spots in the volatile stock market. Shares are up 10% Thursday and have climbed more than 7% this year.

11:39 a.m. ET, March 19, 2020

What is happening in other asset classes?

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

Stocks are giving investors whiplash today. They've swung from up, to down, to mixed in just over an hour of trading so far. Most recently the Dow and S&P 500 had turned red again, albeit just modestly so, while the Nasdaq Composite remains sharply higher.

But what's going on in other asset classes?

US Treasury yields are slightly lower today, but the 10-year bond yield remains above 1%.

Just last week, the yield fell to its lowest level ever at 0.3%. The subsequent yield rally over just a few days can be attributed to investors selling their safe-haven Treasuries for cash. Bond prices and yields move in opposite direction to each other.

In the foreign exchange market the dollar continues to be king as investors and businesses are trying to shore up their dollar reserves. The ICE US Dollar Index is up 0.6% today, and has rallied nearly 4% in the month so far.

Gold is currently at $1,483.90 per ounce, and US oil prices are hovering around $23 a barrel. As a result of the oil price drop gasoline prices are below $2 per gallon in 12 states.

10:42 a.m. ET, March 19, 2020

NY Fed to pump in another $10 billion today -- this time to buy mortgage bonds

From CNN Business' Matt Egan

Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images
Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images

The New York Federal Reserve continues to point a firehose of liquidity at clogged-up financial markets.

The NY Fed just announced it will purchase another $10 billion of mortgage-backed securities (MBS) on Thursday via two separate operations.

The cash injections, according to the NY Fed, are aimed at tackling "highly unusual disruptions" in the mortgage bond market linked to the coronavirus outbreak.

The $10 billion is part of the $200 billion in mortgage bonds the Fed promised on Sunday to buy as it relaunched quantitative easing, or QE.

And this is on top of the flurry of overnight repo operations that are aimed at unclogging short-term funding markets.

And the NY Fed made clear its MBS may only be beginning.

The statement said the NY Fed "stands ready" to buy even more mortgage bonds if it's needed to keep markets operating smoothly.

10:23 a.m. ET, March 19, 2020

Stocks go green

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

In less than one hour of trading, we've already seen it all. After a mixed open, all three major US stock indexes fell into negative territory ... then pared their losses ... and are now in the green.

I dare you to keep up with this market today.

The Dow was last up 0.5%, or nearly 100 points. The S&P 500, the market's broadest measure, was up 0.8%. Consumer and tech stocks are leading the gains.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose 2.7%.

10:09 a.m. ET, March 19, 2020

It's a volatile morning in the market

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

Stocks are all over the place this morning, but on the whole it's looking less dire than on previous days.

The Nasdaq Composite, which opened in the green, pared its modest gains, just to turn positive within a matter of minutes. The index was last up 0.9%.

The S&P 500 and the Dow have both remained in negative territory since the opening bell rang about half an hour ago. But the two benchmarks also first extended and then retraced their losses.

As of around 10 am ET, the Dow was 1.3%, or 250 points, lower, while the S&P fell 0.8%.

Let's see how long this lasts.

10:06 a.m. ET, March 19, 2020

Trump administration promises to buy 30 million barrels of crude to aid oil industry

From CNN Business' Matt Egan

Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The Energy Department promised Thursday to support US oil producers facing "potentially catastrophic losses" by quickly purchasing 30 million barrels of crude.

Those barrels, purchased at dirt-cheap prices, will be used to start filling up America's emergency oil stockpile, known as the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, or SPR.

The initial purchase will be focused on small and midsize US oil producers, the group most at risk from the oil crash to $20 a barrel.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said he will recommend to President Trump that he request funding from Congress to buy even more crude -- enough to fill up the SPR.

"At $22 for WTI crude, we should be filling up the reserve for the next 10 years," Mnuchin said on Fox Business Thursday morning.

Mnuchin said the oil market has "nothing to do with the coronavirus, other than there's just a lot less demand."

That's not exactly right. The demand destruction, caused by mass cancellations of flights and widespread factory shutdowns, is a major driver of the oil crash.

The other huge problem: Saudi Arabia and Russia are flooding the market with too much supply in a bid to crowd out high-cost US producers.

9:52 a.m. ET, March 19, 2020

Stocks extend slide, Dow falls more than 500 points

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

US stocks fell further in the first half hour of trading, sliding sharply after a much less dramatic open.

The Dow is now down 580 points, or 2.9%, while the S&P 500 has fallen 2.5%.

The Nasdaq Composite, which was in the green at the opening bell, is down 1%.

9:50 a.m. ET, March 19, 2020

Ford to offer six months of payment relief for new car buyers

From CNN Business' Chris Isidore

Ford announced it is offering customers no payments for six months on new car purchases in the face of the coronavirus crisis.

Ford said that under its "Built to Lend a Hand” program it will make three months of car payments for eligible new car buyers and that buyers can defer up to three additional months of payments when financing through Ford Credit.

Ford also announced it is suspending payments of its dividend, and that it will draw down $15.4 billion in cash it had available on two separate lines of credits to give it sufficient cash on hand heading into an economic downturn.

Early indications are that US automakers have ground to a halt in the face of crisis, although firm numbers have yet to be reported. Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler all are shutting production at North American auto plants through the rest of the month to protect workers and because of supply chain issues. But the lack of sales means the shutdown likely won't cause a vehicle shortage at dealerships.

10:07 a.m. ET, March 19, 2020

Stocks open lower

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

US stocks opened mostly in the red on Thursday, adding on to yesterday's losses, as more and more corporations are coming out with revised performance outlooks amid the coronavirus crisis.

That said, Thursday's selloff is looking a little less dramatic compared to previous days. Trading was halted on both Monday and Wednesday this week after the S&P tripped a circuit breaker.

  • The Dow opened 0.4%, or 85 points, lower.
  • The S&P 500 fell 0.4%.

Both indexes extended their losses in the first moments of trading, with the S&P falling as much as 1.9% and the Dow dropping 2.4%.

  • The Nasdaq Composite opened slightly higher, up 0.2%, but pared these gains in the first moments of trading. The index was last down 1%.