Markets Sputter Despite Government’s Pandemic Stimulus Plans

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UPDATED: U.S. equities markets showed signs of rallying for the second day in a row — before ending up dropping later in the day, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed lower Friday than when Donald Trump took office in January 2017.

The Dow ended the day in the red, shedding 913.21 points to drop 4.55% to 19,173.98. The S&P 500 slumped 4.3% while the NASDAQ composite closed down 3.8%. Earlier in the day, market trading pointed to hopeful signs that the federal government’s stimulus efforts in the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis were advancing and would soon reach hard-hit consumers and businesses.

Most major media companies, vulnerable to coronavirus-related disruptions, were seesawing between slight gains and single-digit losses in early trading Friday before most ended the day firmly in negative territory.

Disney tumbled 9.4%, to $85.98 per share — its lowest point in nearly six years. AT&T, which announced that it was canceling a $4 billion buyback and warned that the coronavirus pandemic could have a material financial impact, dropped 8.7%.

Other loses in the media sector were ViacomCBS (-5.15%), Comcast (-7.15%), Fox Corp. (-8%), AMC Networks (-11.5%) and Discovery (-11.6%). Netflix was one of the few gainers, closing up 0.2% to $332.83 per share.

Shares of large tech companies were also caught in the undertow. Apple dropped 6.35%, while Google parent Alphabet slipped 3.85%. Facebook closed down 2.2% and Amazon was off 1.85%.

The declines came after Thursday’s trading session delivered a slight respite to investors following three days of brutal double-digit declines.