Mar 22, 2020 - Economy & Business

Stock futures tank at beginning of Trump press conference

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

U.S. stock futures fell sharply on Sunday evening, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average hitting its 5% "limit down" just four minutes after opening.

The big picture: It's rarely possible to pinpoint the reason for giant stock swings, but it cannot help that President Trump did not announce any agreement or new information on an economic stimulus plan.

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The market is not quite as bad as the Dow makes it look

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

One high-profile group of stocks has been doing particularly badly during the coronavirus crisis — the 30 companies that make up the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

The state of play: The Dow stocks are down 33% over the past month, compared with a 30% decline for the S&P 500, and a 24% drop for the more tech-focused Nasdaq. On up days and down days the Dow has generally underperformed the market as a whole.

The distracting shiny object: S&P ups and downs

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

For anyone who gets their economic news from cable TV, we're in the craziest period of the Trump presidency so far.

Driving the news: The S&P 500 fell by 3.4% last Monday, Feb. 24. It then fell another 3% the following day, and it fell by 4.4% on Thursday Feb. 27. This week, it rose 4.6% on Monday, fell 2.8% on Tuesday, and rose 4.2% on Wednesday. It's entirely possible we'll see another 3%+ swing today.

Thank Boeing for sending the Dow into bear territory

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

The broad U.S. stock market was not (quite) in an official bear market as of the close of trade on Wednesday — but the Dow Jones Industrial Average was. Thank Boeing for that.

By the numbers: Boeing's share price has fallen from $440 in March last year to $162 in early trade on Thursday. That's a drop of $278 per share.