The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 turned negative for the year following a blood bath during Thursday's session.
The major indices were able to come up off of their session lows but all fell more than 1% in trading.
The Dow led the way lower, falling 1.73%, or 425 points, to 24,604, while the S&P 500 fell 1.34%, or 37 points, to 2,677 and the Nasdaq dropped 1.27%, or 92 points, to 7,180.56.
Dow's Worst Performers
Traders had a rough go Thursday after news broke that President Donald Trump would enact tariffs on steel and aluminum, sending the Dow tumbling as much as 550 points after spending part of the day in positive territory.
The selloff began during new Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's testimony in front of the Senate Thursday. After a sharp dip, stocks began to recover during the speech. However, after Trump said the U.S. would introduce the tariffs, and possibly start a trade war, next week, stocks tanked.
Here are the worst performing securities on the Dow Jones Industrial Average Thursday.
- Boeing Co. (BA) -- Shares of Boeing were down 3.35%, or $12.12, to $350.28
- United Technologies Corp. (UTX) -- Shares of United Technologies were down 3.18%, or $4.28, to $130.46
- Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) -- Caterpillar shares were down 3.8%, or $5.90, to $148.73
- Intel Corp. (INTC) -- Intel shares were down 3.2%, or $1.55, to $47.74
- Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) -- Cisco shares were falling 2.8%. or $1.24, to $43.53
As for the securities bucking the Dow's downward turn:
Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) was the lone security trading in the green on the Dow Thursday. Verizon was up 0.34%, or 16 cents, to $47.89
Defense Stocks Fall as Putin Flexes Muscles
Russian President Vladimir Putin unveiled the latest developments in his country's missile defense systems in a speech Thursday, March 1, causing defense stocks in the U.S. to fall.
Putin described his new array of nuclear weapons as invincible and showed an animated video of a missile system that can "reach anywhere in the world." Putin said that the missile could penetrate the U.S. missile defense shield in Europe and Asia.
Defense stocks were trending lower Thursday on the news. Rockwell Collins Inc. (COL) was down 1.3%, Northrop Grumman Corp. (NOC) fell 1.55%, General Dynamics Corp. (GD) fell 0.8% and Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT) fell 2.44%. Boeing Co. (BA) was down 3% on Thursday.
Equifax Adds 2.4 million People to list of Those Affected by 2017 Data Breach
The Equifax (EFX) security breach that exposed the information of over 100 million American's was worse than previously reported, Equifax revealed Thursday.
The company says it uncovered an additional 2.4 million people that were affected by the 2017 hack. The additional people brings the number of those affected to 147.9 million from the previous estimate of 145.5 million.
This is the second time the company has revised its numbers. Originally Equifax said that about 143 million Americans had been affected.
The Wall Street Journal reported in February that hackers accessed more consumer information than the company publicly disclosed last year, including tax identification numbers, email addresses and driver's license information.
GM, Ford, Fiat Chrysler See Sales Decline in February
Detroit's big 3 automakers each experienced a decline in sales in February when compared to the same month last year.
It wasn't all bad news for Ford, with sales of the company's popular F-Series of trucks seeing its best February sales in 18 years.
GM sold 220,905 vehicles in the month while Fiat Chrysler sold 165,903 vehicles and Ford sold 194,132 vehicles.
Kroger Raises Age for Buying Guns to 21
The change comes in response to the shooting at a Parkland, FL high school that left 17 people dead two weeks ago.
"Recent events demonstrate the need for additional action on the part of responsible gun retailers," said Jessica Adelman, a spokeswoman for the Cincinnati-based chain. "In response to the tragic events in Parkland and elsewhere, we've taken a hard look at our policies and procedures for firearm sales."
This week both Walmart and Dick's raised the purchase age for guns to 21. Dick's went a step further and said that it would stop selling high-capacity magazines at all its stores and stop the sale of assault-style rifles at its 35 Field and Stream stores. Walmart stopped the sale of assault style rifles in 2015.
U.S. Jobless Claims Fall to Nearly 50-Year Low
Americans filing new applications for unemployment benefits dropped by 10,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted rate of 210,000 in the week ended February 24, according to the U.S. Labor Department.
It was the lowest number recorded since December 6, 1969. Economists polled by the Wall Street Journal were expecting a 5,000 claim increase 225,000 claims last week.
The U.S. labor market has spent 156 consecutive weeks under the 300,000 jobless claims threshold, signaling a very healthy labor market. The longest stretch ever recorded was a 161-week run that ended in April 1970.
WPP Tanks Following Earnings Release
Shares of WPP plc (WPP) , the world's largest ad agency, were down 12% premarket after the British company reported its 2017 results.
The company generated revenue of 15.27 billion pounds, which is a 6.1% increase from 2016. However, the company also reported that revenue grew only 1.6% on a constant-currency basis and declined 0.3% on a like-for-like basis. It was the first time since 2009 that WPP experienced a like-for-like revenue decline.
The company reported a 0.9% decline in like-for-like net sales vs. guidance that revenue would be "broadly flat" during the year.
Trump to Announce Steel, Aluminum Tariffs, Bloomberg Reports
President Donald Trump will announce tariffs on steel and aluminum imports Thursday, sources told Bloomberg.
Trump has told people that he wants tariffs of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminum on imports from all countries, according to Bloomberg, with one source saying that his decision on the matter is still not final.
Our Steel and Aluminum industries (and many others) have been decimated by decades of unfair trade and bad policy with countries from around the world. We must not let our country, companies and workers be taken advantage of any longer. We want free, fair and SMART TRADE!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 1, 2018
The potential move comes after the Commerce Department concluded that shipments of the two metals hurt national security. Previously the administration imposed import duties on solar panels and washing machines.
U.S futures were indicating another soft open for markets Thursday, one day after a sharp selloff ended with the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling more than 300 points.
Dow futures were down 0.5%, indicating an open 126 points lower, while Nasdaq futures trailed 0.31%, indicating an open 22 points lower and S&P 500 futures dropped 0.4%, indicating an open 11 points lower.
World markets were mixed with Asian stocks gaining and European stocks falling.
In Asia, the Nikkei was the lone major average to decline, falling 1.56% while the Hang Seng and Shanghai Composite rose 0.62% and 0.44% respectively.
In Europe, all three major averages were in the tank led by the Dax in Germany which was falling 1.45% with about four hours left in trading.