Stocks – Dow Near Lows, Remains Vulnerable Despite Hopes of U.S. Reopening

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Investing.com – The Dow remained firmly in the red on Monday as investors weighed the latest efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic against hopes the economy could reopen sooner rather than later.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.71%, or 405 points, but had been as low as 624 points at the lows of the day. The S&P 500 lost 1.50%, while the Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.3%.

Stoking hopes that some parts of U.S. under lockdown may soon snap back into operation, President Donald Trump said in a tweet Monday that the decision to restart the economy would be made “shortly”.

The tweet came as U.S. deaths from the coronavirus pandemic topped 20,000, surpassing that of Italy, which had been the epicenter of the global outbreak.

But in New York state there were growing signs that lockdown measures, including social distance, are flattening the curve of infections.

Intensive care unit admissions and the three-day hospitalization average continue to drop, according to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

The governor also said he wants to reopen nonessential businesses and public places “as soon as possible,” but stressed any reopening measures would require careful examination as any action taken in haste risked another wave of infections.

Energy stocks, meanwhile, were pressured by a fall from session highs in oil prices as investors shrugged off coordinated oil production cuts from major producers as the 10 million barrel per day cut agreement will not offset the coronavirus-led loss of demand of around 20 million bpd.

In industrials, Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) fell about 8% after Bank of America downgraded the stock to underperform from neutral on worries the hit to the energy and mining sectors from the coronavirus would hurt the heavy-equipment maker’s results.

Financials also pressured the broader market, paced by a decline in banking stocks ahead of key earnings this week.

JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) and Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) get the first-quarter earnings season underway in earnings with results on Tuesday

Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) and Citigroup (NYSE:C) report on Wednesday, with Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) expected to report later this week.

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