Stocks slide & “flight to safety” pushes Gold to 7-year highs…

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Stock Market Update Sunday, February 23rd, 2020

Stocks went on a roller coaster ride during the short trading week.

Markets were closed Monday for Presidents’ Day. 

Then on Tuesday, stocks opened slightly lower and struggled to find a direction.

On Wednesday, stocks jumped and the S&P and NASDAQ made new record highs.

Thursday was a wild trading day. 

Stocks opened lower then rallied into positive territory. But an “unexplained” sell off late morning sent stocks into a free fall. However, by the end of the day a large part of the day’s losses were erased.

Then Friday was ugly. Stocks opened lower and never looked back.

Bad Flash Manufacturing PMI data (a slight decline in manufacturing and contraction for the first time since 2013) and ongoing coronavirus worries were the perfect combination for sellers to push the major indices lower.

Here’s what traders were focused on:

  • Coronavirus – For the most part, traders have shaken off bad news out of China about the coronavirus, and Wednesday’s record high rally is proof. But coronavirus fears continue to move the market. Especially when/if the economic impact becomes more clear.

    On Friday, China reported 75,000 confirmed cases and more than 2,000 deaths from the virus. And the economic impact of the virus is beginning to show more and more. The China Passenger Car Association released numbers that showed a 92% drop in auto sales during the first 2 weeks of February.

Here’s where the major indices ended the week:

  • The S&P finished with a 1.3% loss. Down 42 points, the S&P ended at 3,338.
  • The DOW ended lower by 1.4%. Dropping 406 points the DOW closed at 28,992.
  • The NASDAQ was down 1.6. With a 155 point loss, the NASDAQ finished at 9,576.

Crude Oil (CL) finished higher for the 2nd week in a row. Up 2.1%, Crude Oil finished the day at $53.38 a barrel.

Closing higher every day last week Gold (GC) saw its best week since June of 2019 and finished the week at 7-year highs. Gold ended the week with a 3.9% gain.

Deere & Co. (DE) stood out on Friday with a 7.0% gain. The stock rallied after an unexpected rise in Q1 profit.

Here is the economic calendar for the week:

Real Time Economic Calendar provided by Investing.com.

This Stock Market Update was provided by Rockwell Trading Services LLC.


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