Mid-Morning Market Update: Markets Open Lower As Federal Reserve Cuts Interest Rates To Zero

Following the market opening Monday, the Dow traded down 8.73% to 21,162.41 while the NASDAQ fell 8.26% to 7,224.07. The S&P also fell, dropping 8.10% to 2,491.38. South Korea confirmed a total of over 8,200 coronavirus cases, while Italy reported a total of at least 24,000 confirmed cases and 1,800 deaths. Total cases in the US exceeded 3,400 with around 65 deaths. Mainland China reported 16 additional confirmed cases with 14 new deaths. In total, there are at least 169,000 cases of COVID-19 worldwide with over 6,500 deaths.

Leading and Lagging Sectors

Health care shares slipped by just 8.2% on Monday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included BioNTech SE BNTX, up 29%, and Nemaura Medical Inc. NMRD, up 21%.

In trading on Monday, real estate shares dipped 11%.

Top Headline

In an emergency move Sunday afternoon, the U.S. Federal Reserve announced it has cut interest rates to zero to 0.25%, the first time interest rates have been that low since the 2008-2009 financial crisis.

The Fed had been scheduled to meet March 17 and 18. On Thursday, the Fed announced a new program to provide up to $1.5 trillion in short-term loans to support financial market liquidity.

Equities Trading UP

OpGen, Inc. OPGN shares shot up 51% to $3.03 after OpGen announced Curetis, a company it is acquiring, is now offering coronavirus test kits.

Shares of United Natural Foods, Inc. UNFI got a boost, shooting 30% to $7.45 after the company joined collaborative effort with administration and industry peers to 'keep stores well-stocked amidst COVID-19's impact.'

BioNTech SE BNTX shares were also up, gaining 27% to $39.20 after the German company said it intends to initiate clinical testing of a coronavirus vaccine. Clinical testing of BNT162 will beginin Europe, the U.S. and China in late April 2020, subject to regulatory clearance, according to BioNTech. As part of the development program, BioNTech announced a strategic alliance with China's Fosun Pharma to jointly develop its vaccine in China.

Equities Trading DOWN

Gulfport Energy Corporation GPOR shares tumbled 67% to $0.9106 amid a significant decline in the price of oil due to investor concerns of a global recession driven by coronavirus.

Shares of ProPetro Holding Corp. PUMP were down 56% to $1.66 after the company reaffirmed preliminary Q4 results and rescheduled Q4 results to April 1, 2020. The company also disclosed that Phillip Gobe will succeed Dale Redman as CEO.

Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. KTOS was down, falling 58% to $5.50 as equities sell off amid continued global coronavirus concerns. The virus has caused global economic disruption and negatively impacted stocks across sectors.


In commodity news, oil traded down 6.6% to $29.64, while gold traded down 2.6% to $1,477.80.

Silver traded down 13.4% Monday to $12.555, while copper fell 3.8% to $2.371.

Euro zone

European shares were lower today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 fell 7.9% the Spanish Ibex Index fell 9.6%, while Italy’s FTSE MIB Index fell 8.9% Meanwhile, the German DAX dropped 7.5%, and the French CAC 40 fell 8.6% while UK shares fell 6.7%.


The New York Empire State manufacturing index fell to -21.5 in March, versus a reading of 12.9 in February.

The Treasury is set to auction 3-and 6-month bills at 11:30 a.m. ET.

The Treasury International Capital report for January will be released at 4:00 p.m. ET.

Posted In: Mid-Morning Market UpdateNewsEurozoneCommoditiesGlobalIntraday UpdateMarkets

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