Dow plunges, oil craters to 17-year low as Congress weighs $1T stimulus

NYSE president: Feel ‘strongly’ the markets need to stay open

NYSE President Stacey Cunningham tells FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo that closing the markets amid the coronavirus pandemic doesn’t stop anxiety.

U.S. equity markets plunged in the opening minutes of trading, gutting a rebound on Monday.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1,268 points, or 5.9 percent, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite were lower by 5.4 percent and 5.5 percent, respectively. Trading is halted if the S&P 500 falls by 7 percent.

The early selling comes as the Trump administration and Congress hammer out the details of a $1 trillion stimulus package designed to prop up the most harshly pummeled sectors of the U.S. economy and give cash to those out of work.

Looking at stocks, Boeing shares were rocked as the company called for a $60 billion bailout for aerospace manufacturers.

Airlines, restaurants, hotels and casino operators remained under pressure as the Trump administration weighs assistance for the industries hit hardest by the pandemic.

Meanwhile, plunging oil prices hammered energy giants ExxonMobil and Chevron and weighed heavily on Hess Corp. and Continental Resources. West Texas Intermediate crude oil was down 8.1 percent at $25.10 a barrel, its lowest in 17 years.

Miners slid as the price of an ounce of gold slipped 0.8 percent to near $1,514.

On the earnings front, FedEx fell after announcing its adjusted net income dropped 53.5 percent year-over-year to $371 million and suspending its 2020 profit outlook due to uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

General Mills raised its adjusted profit forecast, but remained under pressure.

Elsewhere, the yield curve steepened as buyers crowded into shorter-dated Treasurys and sold longer ones. The yield on the 2-year note was down 4.1 basis points at 0.42 percent while the yield on the 10-year note was up 7.1 basis points at 1.067 percent.

The steeper curve was unable to give relief to banks, which continued to see their share prices sink.

Winners were few and far between, with meal-delivery service Blue Apron among the only bright spots.

The company's shares soared as investors speculated that it would benefit from restaurants closing their dining rooms. Shares were already up 187 percent this week through Tuesday.

European markets were sharply lower, with France’s CAC falling 6.2 percent, Germany’s DAX sliding 5.7 percent and Britain’s FTSE tumbling 5 percent.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng paced the decline in Asia, falling 4.2 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite and Japan’s Nikkei fell 1.8 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively.

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