Stocks search for direction after steepest drop in 2 years

Coronavirus will hit home on travel stocks: Keith Fitz-Gerald

Keith Fitz-Gerald of Money Map Press argues hotel, airline and casino stocks will be hit hard by coronavirus.

U.S. equities bounced back on Tuesday, a day after suffering their steepest declines in two years.

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All three of the major averages were little changed, attempting to pare some of the losses that were brought on by the spreading of the coronavirus outside of China. On Monday, both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 saw their biggest losses in two years while the Nasdaq endured its largest decline since December 2018.

Updated figures from the World Health Organization show the coronavirus has infected 79,331 people worldwide while killing 2,618.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
SP500S&P 5003233.56+7.67+0.24%
I:DJIDOW JONES AVERAGES27924.76-36.04-0.13%
I:COMPNASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX9256.372363+35.09+0.38%

Looking at stocks, drugmakers working on treatments for the coronavirus, including Gilead Sciences and Novavax continued to gain ground while airlines and cruise operators recouped some of their losses.

Meanwhile, United Airlines suspended its full-year guidance due to uncertainty caused by the coronavirus.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
NVAXNOVAVAX INC.7.97-0.20-2.39%
CCLCARNIVAL CORP.37.22-0.54-1.43%

On the earnings front, Home Depot reported better-than-expected top- and bottom-line results and hiked its dividend by 10 percent.

Macy’s fourth-quarter profit fell 54 percent year over year, but its fourth-quarter earnings and sales exceeded estimates.

Elsewhere, Shake Shack posted a fourth-quarter loss of $2.1 million, or 6 cents a share, as same-store sales slid 3.6 percent year over year.

Tupperware Brands was under pressure after warning on its 2019 profit and announcing an investigation into its accounting practices.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
HDTHE HOME DEPOT INC.243.68+3.98+1.66%
MMACY’S INC.15.34-0.11-0.71%
SHAKSHAKE SHACK INC66.03-7.54-10.26%

Commodities were lower with West Texas Intermediate crude oil down 0.1 percent at $51.40 a barrel and gold off 1.4 percent at $1652 an ounce.

U.S. Treasurys were little changed with the yield on the 10-year note at 1.38 percent, just above its record-low close of 1.376 percent.

In Europe, Britain’s FTSE was down 0.7 percent while France’s CAC and Germany’s DAX were both lower by 0.4 percent.


Asian markets were mixed with Japan’s Nikkei tumbling 3.3 percent, China’s Shanghai Composite shedding 0.6 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng up 0.3 percent.

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