What's moving markets today: May 13, 2019

12:53 p.m. ET, May 13, 2019

The Dow and S&P 500 are having their worst day since January

Halfway through the trading day, things have only gotten worse.

  • The Dow is down more than 640 points, or 2.5%.
  • The S&P 500 is down 2.5%
  • The Nasdaq is down 3.3%

The Dow and the S&P are having their worst day since January 3, according to Refinitiv. For the Nasdaq it's the worst one-day percentage drop since December 4.

Not a single Dow stock is positive, as investors are fretting about the potential fallout from the trade war between the United States and China after tensions escalated last week.

In the S&P 500, only 34 companies have moved higher, and most of them are in the defensive utilities sector, such as America Water Works (AWK), up 1.5%.

12:51 p.m. ET, May 13, 2019

Russell 2000 index is in a correction

The small-cap stock focused Russell 2000 Index is in correction.

Amid the global selloff in stocks, the Russell is down more than 10% from its high of 1,741 points that it reached in August 2018.

In midday trading it fell 2.8% to 1,528 points, according to Refinitiv. For the year, the Russell is still up 13%.

Small-caps should ordinarily have a slight advantage over larger companies when it comes to geopolitical turmoil. That's because the revenues of smaller companies tend to be limited to the US. In the Russell 2000, only about 20% of all revenues are generated abroad, compared with 33% in the large-cap Russell 1000 index.

11:41 a.m. ET, May 13, 2019

The Dow plunged over 600 points

The Dow fell by as much as 619 points as US stock market losses accelerated.

2:06 p.m. ET, May 13, 2019

What trade war? Hershey is at all-time high

Hershey is among the few major companies that aren't getting crushed on this "special dark" kind of day for the broader market.

Hershey (HSY) shares are up slightly and even hit a new record high today. The stock is now up nearly 20% this year. The candy maker reported earnings and sales that topped forecasts a few weeks ago.

Why isn't the United States' trade tension with China hurting the company? It helps that nearly 85% of Hershey's total sales come from the US.

Or maybe investors are just stress eating Kisses and Mr. Goodbars while the Dow plunges 600 points.

11:15 a.m. ET, May 13, 2019

Safe havens like gold and the Japanese yen are gaining

Stocks are falling across the globe as worries about the fallout from the escalating trade tensions are weighing on markets.

Investors are heading for traditional safe haven assets like gold that are perceived to be more insulated from market volatility in times of trouble. Much of that has to do with how liquid these assets are.

On the back of that, gold prices are up nearly 1% today. The price last sat at $1,297.40 an ounce, it's highest level in about a month, according to Refinitiv.

The Japanese yen is rallying some 0.8% against the US dollar. One dollar now buys ¥109.12, its lowest level since late January.

10:48 a.m. ET, May 13, 2019

The worst days for the Dow

The Dow came very close to falling 600 points this morning.

For reference, here are the worst days for the Dow, measured by points:

But the Dow is only down 2%. Measured by percentage, today’s drop does not register on the top 50 worst days of all time.

10:32 a.m. ET, May 13, 2019

Every Dow stock is in the red

About an hour into the trading day, things aren't looking great.

The Dow is off by more than 500 points, or more than 2%. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq are down 2.1% and 2.7%, respectively.

Not a single Dow component is in positive territory.

In the S&P, 24 companies are defending their gains amid the trade war-driven market selloff. Storage business Public Storage (PSA), miner Newmont Goldcorp (NEM) and utility American Water Works (AWK) are leading gainers.