US trading resumes after market slide wipes out Trump-era gains

U.S. markets resumed trading Wednesday after a 15-minute halt triggered when the S&P 500 tumbled more than 7 percent.

The benchmark index’s slide to 2,351 marked the second time trading was halted this week as investors react to a coronavirus pandemic that has slowed the economies of the U.S. and some European nations almost to a standstill.

The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average index fell 1,847 points to 19,390 — wiping out all of its rapid-fire gains since President Trump took office in January 2017. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite dropped 6.3 percent.

A 13 percent drop in the S&P 500 would trigger a second trading halt, unless that level was reached in the final 30 minutes of trading.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
I:DJIDOW JONES AVERAGES19334.49-1,902.89-8.96%
SP500S&P 5002318.92-210.27-8.31%
I:COMPNASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX6790.086509-544.70-7.43%

The selling comes as the Trump administration and Congress hammer out the details of a $1 trillion stimulus package designed to prop up the most harshly pummeled sectors of the U.S. economy and give cash to those out of work.

Looking at stocks, Boeing shares were rocked as the company called for a $60 billion bailout for aerospace manufacturers.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
BABOEING COMPANY90.00-34.14-27.50%
UALUNITED AIRLINES HLDG.18.55-12.12-39.52%
DALDELTA AIR LINES INC.21.34-10.40-32.77%

Airlines, restaurants, hotels and casino operators remained under pressure as the Trump administration weighs assistance for the industries hit hardest by the pandemic.

Meanwhile, plunging oil prices hammered energy giants ExxonMobil and Chevron and weighed heavily on Hess Corp. and Continental Resources. West Texas Intermediate crude oil was down 18.7 percent at $22.20 a barrel, its lowest in 18 years.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
CVXCHEVRON CORP.61.48-9.21-13.03%

Miners slid as the price of an ounce of gold slipped more than 2 percent to $1,484 an ounce.

On the earnings front, FedEx fell after announcing its adjusted net income dropped 53.5 percent from a year earlier to $371 million and suspending its 2020 profit outlook due to uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

General Mills raised its adjusted profit forecast, but remained under pressure.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
GISGENERAL MILLS55.45-4.22-7.07%

Elsewhere, the yield curve steepened as investors bought shorter dated Treasurys and sold longer-dated ones. The yield on the 2-year note was down 3.5 basis points at 0.426 percent while the yield on the 10-year note was up 13 basis points at 1.126 percent.

The steeper curve was unable to give relief to banks, which continued to see their share prices sink.

Winners were few and far between, with meal-delivery service Blue Apron among the only bright spots.

The company’s shares soared as investors speculated that it would benefit from restaurants closing their dining rooms. Shares were already up 187 percent this week through Tuesday.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %

European markets were sharply lower, with France’s CAC falling 5.9 percent, Germany’s DAX sliding 5.6 percent and Britain’s FTSE tumbling 4.1 percent.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng paced the decline in Asia, falling 4.2 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite and Japan’s Nikkei fell 1.8 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively.

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