Day Traders Diary


The major averages pulled back with most of the losses coming in a sudden move midday with no major catalyst for the sudden decline. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 128 points or 0.4% at 29,219. The 30-stock average went from trading down about 200 points to a session low of down 388 points in roughly two minutes before rebounding. The S&P 500 slid 0.4% to 3,373 while the Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.7% to 9,750. Thursday's moves come a day after the S&P 500 and Nasdaq hit record highs.

Some traders pointed to a report from the Chinese state-run Global Times, which said there had been a sharp increase in coronavirus cases at a hospital in Beijing. While the timing of the story did not match with Thursday's move lower, it does tap into the market's fears about the coronavirus weighing on the global economy.

China's National Health Commission on Wednesday reported that 74,576 cases of the new coronavirus have now been confirmed, with 2,118 deaths on the mainland. Coronavirus cases are also spiking in South Korea. The country said confirmed cases have jumped to 82, more than double the previous number of cases.

In corporate news, E*Trade rose 21% agreed to be acquired by Morgan Stanley for $13 billion in stock. ViacomCBS fell 17%, the biggest laggard in the S&P 500, after issuing disappointing earnings results and guidance.

Traditional safe havens such as bonds and gold got a boost on Thursday. The benchmark 10-year note yield fell to 1.52%, around its session low. Yields move inversely to prices. Gold prices climbed to a seven-year high, settling 0.5% higher at $1,620.50 per ounce.

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