Stocks extended losses on Wednesday as COVID-19 lockdown fears gripped investors across the globe. Oil slipped nearly 6% to the $37 per barrel level.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped over 900 points or 3%, before bouncing off that low, while the Nasdaq Composite and S&P 500 declined more than 3%.
Both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq are now negative for the month of October.
|I:DJI||DOW JONES AVERAGES||26574.68||-888.51||-3.24%|
|I:COMP||NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX||11063.958015||-367.39||-3.21%|
Dow members Microsoft, Chevron paced the drop along with Boeing after announced it will be cutting workers as it reported its fourth straight quarterly loss as the pandemic continues to hurt business.
European indices were also under pressure as Germany and France reportedly both consider additional lockdowns to curb the spread of COVID-19. French media outlet BFM TV reported that the government is considering another national lockdown.
The U.S. is also seeing new coronavirus cases rise, hitting 68,967 on Tuesday, an all-time high, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of Johns Hopkins data.
More than 8.7 million people in the U.S. have contracted COVID-19, resulting in more than 226,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins data.
Wednesday is set for an enormous amount of earnings data from some of the world’s biggest companies.
|GE||GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY||7.68||+0.57||+8.09%|
|UPS||UNITED PARCEL SERVICE INC.||158.73||-12.50||-7.30%|
General Electric reported better-than-expected results and said free cash flow would be at least $2.5 billion in the fourth quarter.
UPS reported earnings of $2.28 a share on $21.2 billion in revenue. Analysts had been expecting earnings of $1.86 a share and $20.13 in sales. Shares were up 2% in early trading.
Mastercard fell more than 4% after it said travel spending impacted its results.
Visa, Amgen and Gilead Sciences will also report results on Wednesday along with Ford, Sony, eBay and Pinterest.
|F||FORD MOTOR COMPANY||7.71||-0.21||-2.65%|
|UPS||UNITED PARCEL SERVICE INC.||158.76||-12.47||-7.28%|
Nearly 40% of the companies in the S&P 500 have reported calendar third-quarter results, with more than 80% of them beating top- and bottom-line expectations.
|GILD||GILEAD SCIENCES INC.||58.87||-1.15||-1.91%|
On Wednesday, Microsoft Corp. reported better-than-expected results as well, but its outlook was weaker than anticipated, sending shares lower by about 2%.
TECH ON THE HILL
The CEOs of some of the world’s largest companies will give testimony to U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday, as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Google parent Alphabet will explain to the Senate Commerce Committee how they deal with political content online.
In testimony obtained by FOX Business, Zuckerberg will defend Section 230, calling it a “foundational law.”
“Thanks to Section 230, people have the freedom to use the internet to express themselves,” Zuckerberg will say. “At Facebook, this is one of our core principles. We believe in giving people a voice, even when that means defending the rights of people we disagree with. Free expression is central to how we move forward together as a society. We’ve seen this in the fight for democracy around the world, and in movements like Black Lives Matter and #MeToo. Section 230 allows us to empower people to engage on important issues like these—and to provide a space where non-profits, religious groups, news organizations, and businesses of all sizes can reach people.”
MORTGAGE, CRUDE OIL DATA ON TAP
Wednesday is a light day for economic data, with just weekly mortgage and crude oil data set to be released.
Mortgage applications for the week ending Oct. 24 will be released before the market opens. A few hours later, the Energy Information Administration will release its weekly crude oil supplies stats.
In commodities, gold traded at $1,901.70 an ounce, down 0.5%, while West Texas Intermediate Crude oil fell nearly 4% to $38.02.