U.S. Markets close in 3 hrs 42 mins

Stock Market News For Mar 8, 2019

Zacks Equity Research

Benchmarks closed in the red for the fourth straight session after ECB reduced its growth forecast for the eurozone economy. The central bank also announced plans to revive the slowing economy. Meanwhile, President Trump stated that talks with China were advancing. Concerns of an impending global economic slowdown hurt market sentiments.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) decreased 0.8%, to close at 25,473.23. The S&P 500 decreased 0.8% to close at 2,771.45. The tech-laden Nasdaq Composite Index closed at 7,421.46, losing 1.1%. The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) increased 10.3% to close at 17.38. Decliners outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by a 1.96-to-1 ratio. On Nasdaq, a 1.51-to-1 ratio favored declining issues.

How Did the Benchmarks Perform?

The Dow lost 200.2 points to end the session in negative territory. Losses for the 30-stock index were buoyed by a dip in the shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. WBA and Caterpillar CAT, which declined 2.1% and 1.5%, respectively.

The S&P 500 declined 22.5 points to also end in the red. Of the 11 major sectors of the S&P 500, ten ended in the negative territory, with consumer discretionary and financials leading the decliners. The Consumer Discret Sel Sect SPDR ETF (XLY) and the Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLF) lost 1.2% and 1%, respectively.

Shares of Bank of America BAC, Goldman Sachs GS, Morgan Stanley MS and Citigroup C declined approximately 1% each and weighed on the broader index. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq lost 84.5 points to also end in negative territory. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

ECB Extends Help to Lift Up Eurozone Economy

The European Central Bank (ECB) announced on Mar 7 that it plans to introduce a series of long-term loans to eurozone banks in a bid to boost the faltering eurozone economy. Further, ECB issued a statement on Thursday, following its policy meeting, that it would hold interest rates steady till the end of 2019.

The ECB announced the launch of a new program which would offer cheap loans to eurozone banks and in return such banks would have to pledge to maintain lending. Termed as the targeted long-term refinancing operations, or TLTROs, the program is supposed to go active from September 2019 and continue through March 2021 and each round would provide two-year loans.

The central bank opined that inflation in the eurozone economy will reach near its target level of about 2%. These announcements were made after ECB slashed its growth projection for the eurozone economy from 1.7% to 1.1%.

U.S. – China Trade Deal Might Be Reached Soon

Bloomberg reported on Mar 6 that President Trump is pressing negotiators from the United States to finalize a trade deal with China. Trump believes this would provide the necessary stimulus for stocks to rise higher.

Economic Data

On the economic data front, initial claims for the week ending Mar 2, 2019 fell to 223,000 from 26,000 in the previous week. Meanwhile, the U.S. Labor Department reported that productivity of workers in the United States increased at an annual rate of 1.9% in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Stocks That Made Headlines

Trinity Rewards Investors With Dividend Hike & Buyback Plan

Trinity Industries TRN announced that its board of directors has approved a new share repurchase program worth $350 million. (Read More)

Today's Best Stocks from Zacks

Would you like to see the updated picks from our best market-beating strategies? From 2017 through 2018, while the S&P 500 gained +15.8%, five of our screens returned +38.0%, +61.3%, +61.6%, +68.1%, and +98.3%.

This outperformance has not just been a recent phenomenon. From 2000 – 2018, while the S&P averaged +4.8% per year, our top strategies averaged up to +56.2% per year.

See their latest picks free >>

Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report
Trinity Industries, Inc. (TRN) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Bank of America Corporation (BAC) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Citigroup Inc. (C) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Morgan Stanley (MS) : Free Stock Analysis Report
The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (GS) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (WBA) : Free Stock Analysis Report
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.