Stocks fell Wednesday as dismal economic data and weak bank earnings fueled concerns over the coronavirus’ impact on the U.S. economy.Posted on April 15, 2020
Bank of America traded more than 5% lower on the back of disappointing earnings. Goldman Sachs and Citigroup both fell more than 4%. Energy and financials were the worst-performing sectors in the S&P 500, dropping more than 4% each.
Retail sales during the month of March plunged a record 8.7%, according to a report from the Commerce Department published Wednesday. That was the largest one-month decline since the department began tracking the series in 1992.
Grocery stores, pharmacies and other retailers of essential goods saw a surge in demand last month amid the outbreak, the government said. But sales at a variety of other businesses — such as gas stations, auto dealerships, and restaurants — swooned as state governments shuttered commerce in an effort to slow the virus.
Manufacturing in the New York area also slumped by its biggest margin ever to a historic low, surpassing the levels seen in the throes of the Great Recession. The Empire State Manufacturing Index hit -78.2, blowing past the prior worst reading the index had seen of -34.3 during the financial crisis.