U.S. Stocks Sink, Erasing 3.5% Gain; Oil Declines: Markets Wrap
A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S. (Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg)

U.S. Stocks Sink, Erasing 3.5% Gain; Oil Declines: Markets Wrap

(Bloomberg) -- Stocks closed lower in volatile trading as investors debated whether the spread of the coronavirus may be slowing in several major economies. Oil sank and bonds retreated.

The S&P 500 Index fell 0.2% after surging as much as 3.5%. The benchmark briefly met the time-honored definition for the start of a bull market after climbing 20% from its March 23 low. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index advanced after the rate of new infections slowed in France and in Italy, the original epicenter of the continent’s outbreak.

“We’re going to continue to be very volatile, and you’re going to see this roller coaster continue,” said Chris Gaffney, president of world markets at TIAA. “We will see a test of the bottoms again.”

New York’s rate of new coronavirus infections tapered for a third straight day, stoking optimism that the pandemic may finally be approaching a peak in the state where it has hit hardest.

U.S. Stocks Sink, Erasing 3.5% Gain; Oil Declines: Markets Wrap

Oil sank to the weakest level since the start of the month as investors weighed whether the world’s biggest producers will be able to strike a deal that cuts enough output to offset an unprecedented demand loss from the coronavirus outbreak.

“With the volatility being so wild lately, it doesn’t take much for the buyers to pull-in their horns,” said Matt Maley, equity strategist at Miller Tabak & Co. “When oil rolled over, stock buyers got a little nervous.”

Elsewhere, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose more than 2% after adding nearly 3% a day earlier. Chinese stocks climbed and the yuan strengthened in the wake of further targeted stimulus by policy makers as Shanghai reopened after a long weekend. China said it didn’t have any new deaths for the first time since the pandemic emerged.

These are some of the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • The S&P 500 Index declined 0.2% to 2,659.41 as of 4:11 p.m. New York time.
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 0.1% to 22,653.86.
  • The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 0.3% to 7,887.26.
  • The MSCI All-Country World Index climbed 2% to 453.34, the highest in almost four weeks.

Currencies

  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index declined 1.1% to 1,255.76, the largest drop in more than a week.
  • The Japanese yen strengthened 0.2% to 108.76 per dollar.
  • The euro rose 1.1% to $1.0897, the first advance in more than a week.
  • The British pound rose 1% to $1.2344, the biggest advance in more than a week.
  • Bonds

  • The yield on two-year Treasuries increased one basis point to 0.27%, the highest in more than a week.
  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries gained seven basis points to 0.72%, the highest in more than a week.
  • Germany’s 10-year yield increased 11 basis points to -0.31%, the highest in more than a week on the largest increase in almost three weeks.
  • Britain’s 10-year yield climbed eight basis points to 0.414%, the highest in more than a week on the biggest increase in almost three weeks.

Commodities

  • Gold weakened 0.3% to $1,653.55 an ounce, the first retreat in a week.
  • West Texas Intermediate crude fell 7.5% to $24.13 a barrel.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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