The major averages slumped to start the month of May after the best month of April in over 18 years. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 622 points, or 2.5%, at 23,723 as Dow Inc and Exxon Mobil each fell more than 7%. The S&P 500 dropped 2.8% to 2,830 while the Nasdaq Composite closed 3.2% lower at 8,604 as even tech titan Amazon fell 7% following earnings.
Wall Street was coming off its biggest monthly surge in over 30 years, with the S&P 500 gaining 12.7% while the Dow advanced 11.1%. It was the third-biggest monthly gain for the S&P 500 since World War II. The Dow had its fourth-largest post-war monthly rally and its best month in 33 years.
The Nasdaq closed 15.5% higher for April, logging in its biggest one-month gain since June 2000. To be sure, the major averages fell sharply in Thursday's session on the back of disappointing economic data.
The notion that stocks have come too far, too fast was bluntly put by Tesla Elon Musk tweeting that Tesla's stock price is too high.
As for the broader market, investors had to contend with President Trump threatening new tariffs on China for its handling of the coronavirus outbreak, as well as the ISM Manufacturing Index for April declining to its lowest level since 2009 with a 41.5% reading.
All 11 S&P 500 sectors opened and closed in negative territory. The energy and consumer discretionary sectors took the biggest hits, while the consumer staples sector declined the least.
Aside from Amazon, Exxon Mobil fell 7%, Chevron fell 2.8% and Visa fell 1.8% succumbing to losses after reporting earnings. Apple fell 1/6% today following earnings, but still rose 2.1% this week.
U.S. Treasuries saw modest selling pressure despite the weakness in equities. The 2-yr yield and the 10-yr yield increased two basis points each to 0.20% and 0.64%, respectively. The U.S. Dollar Index finished little changed at 99.03. WTI crude increased 6.4%, or $1.19, to $19.77/bbl.