American equities closed down today, with the major domestic indices all losing ground after a wild trading cycle. After starting the day up sharply higher after strong Monday gains, those gains were erased as the day closed. It was a day of confusing movement; the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite, to pick an example, had a range on the day of more than 3%, despite closing off just a tenth of that figure.
Divining the correct reason for movement in the stock market is a fool’s errand most days. Today, however, it isn’t hard to point to at least part of the reason for the reversed gains: a possibly record-setting one-day domestic death toll from COVID-19. Per collected data, deaths for the day as of the time of writing came to 1,690, with several high-infection states yet to report.
Here are the day’s results:
- Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA): -26.13, -0.12%
- S&P 500: -4.27, -0.116%
- Nasdaq Composite: -25.98, -0.33%
Shares of SaaS and cloud companies dropped more sharply, with the Bessemer cloud index falling 1.88% on the day. Oil also fell, with WTI crude dropping more than 7% as of the time of writing.
Are you a bit sandblasted by all the volatility? Let’s update you on how the major indices have performed since their recent highs:
- DJIA change from 52-week highs: -23.4%
- S&P 500 change from 52-week highs: -21.63%
- Nasdaq Composite change from 52-week highs: -19.83%
And for good measure, the Bessemer cloud index is off 24.09% from recent highs. So everything is in bear market territory at the moment — even after Monday’s huge gains — except for the Nasdaq Composite, which remains merely in deep correction. Not great news for anyone with a 401k balance, but the numbers were worse on Friday.
Today the market tried to go up again and failed. Let’s see what tomorrow’s COVID-19 data shows us. It just may drive the markets yet again.