Wednesday markets in New York and Toronto mostly surrended Tuesday’s gains as COVID-19 fears continued to weigh on investors. However, the swings were less intense than past sessions as more investors are standing on the sidelines waiting for U.S. cases to level off. The Dow fell 6.3%, the Nasdaq lost 4.7% and the TSX declined 7.6%. Markets slightly rebounded mid-afternoon off the day’s lows.
The oil war continued to hammer oil prices, with WTI tumbling to $22 and WCS to $9. Even gold slipped to around $1,480/ounce. Canadian oil names made new lows with market favourites like CNQ closing down 15%. The silver lining in this sector is that oil cannot go much lower–inevitably the Saudis or Russians will blink–so now may be an entry point.
Certain sectors fell less, including big tech like Facebook (-1.65%), while some actually rose, namely Amazon by 1.23% as self-isolating consumers shop from home. Other themes continued during this pandemic: biotechs like Gilead climbed 6.58% today. However, shares of Japan’s Fujifilm Holdings popped 15% after it reported that its Avigan anti-flu drug have helped COVID-19 patients recover. While this drug doesn’t appear to prevent cases, it does offer a glimmer of hope.