This week’s wild see-saw ride for stocks looks like it will end on a down note. The Dow is tumbling once again as Wall Street returns to coronavirus fear-mode.
Stocks were sharply lower an hour before the closing bell. The Dow (INDU) was down more than 850 points, or 3.2%, while the S&P 500 (SPX) — the broadest measure of the stock market — was down 3.9%. The Nasdaq Composite (COMP) dropped 4%. Thursday’s trading session was even more brutal.
All three indexes are in correction territory on Friday — that’s when the index falls 10% below its most recent peak. They first entered corrections last week and then bounced in and out during the following sessions.
As stocks tumbled, CNN Business’ Fear and Greed Index remained in “extreme fear” territory. The VIX volatility index (VIX) soared another 20% and earlier hit its highest level since exactly 11 years ago — March 6, 2009, the day the financial crisis bear market reached its nadir. The Dow briefly fell below 6,500 points that day. On Friday, the Dow opened just above 25,000 points.
Investors poured money into safe-haven assets: US Treasury bond buying skyrocketed, and the 10-year yield fell below 0.7% to a new record low. The Japanese yen strengthened once again against the US dollar, gaining nearly 1% Friday.
Gold prices rallied earlier in the day and were up as much as 1% before giving up their gains as commodities got slammed more broadly and US oil prices declined 8%. The S&P GSCI (GSG) — a major commodity index that also includes gold — was down nearly 5%.