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David Becker

US stocks experienced a wild ride on Tuesday, initially surging out of the gate with major averages climbing 3%. As the session continued, stocks began to slip especially as crude oil prices tumbled into the close. All three major averages finished in the red. Sectors in the S&P 500 index were mixed, led higher by cyclicals, utilities were the worst-performing sector. Housing prices slipped in the last 2-weeks of March according to Realty.com. There has been a robust rally off the bottom of nearly 22%, which likely means that prices are poised to pause.

The VIX volatility index edged higher rising slightly to 45%. This still implies daily moves of nearly 3%. The Dow easily whipsawed this much intra-day. Natural gas prices broke out to fresh highs, helping to offset some of the downdraft created by the fall in crude oil prices. On the NYSE there were 12-new highs and 44-new lows.

Coronavirus Still Deadly

US deaths from the new coronavirus continued to climb, as New York and New Jersey reported their highest daily tolls despite signs that the outbreaks in the two hardest-hit states were starting to slow. Confirmed infections in the US were more than double that of any other nation, at nearly 380,000, according to Johns Hopkins University.


Housing Prices Fall

In the weeks ending March 21 and March 28, the number of newly-listed properties fell by 13.1% and 34% respectively when compared with the same period a year ago, Realtor.com found. This is an indication that home sellers may be holding off on listing their properties right now.

More Loans for Small Business

The Russell 2000 has lagged behind the major indices, but congress is poised to add more help for small businesses. Congress said they plan to move within days to provide hundreds of billions of dollars in new funding for small-business loans, citing widespread demand for assistance. Heavy requests for the previously approved $350 billion in loans are pushing Republican and Democratic lawmakers to consider augmenting the program.

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