Stocks End Lower and Wall Street Posts a Miserable First Quarter

Stocks finished lower, completing a miserable first quarter on Wall Street, after a recent rally stalled amid few signs the spread of the coronavirus is slowing.
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Stocks finished lower, completing a miserable first quarter on Wall Street, after a recent rally stalled amid few signs the spread of the coronavirus is slowing.

Stocks declined even after manufacturing activity data from China showed a sharp rebound in March and lawmakers on Capitol Hill reportedly looked at ways to launch a fourth stimulus plan to support the flagging economy.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down 410 points, or 1.84%, to 21,917, the S&P 500 was down 1.6% and the Nasdaq slipped 0.95%. 

American Express  (AXP) - Get Report, Home Depot  (HD) - Get Report and JPMorgan Chase  (JPM) - Get Report led the Dow's retreat.

Consumer confidence in March fell to 120 from a revised 132.6 in February, according to the Conference Board.

Wall Street posted one of its worst quarters ever. The S&P 500, prior to Tuesday, had fallen 18.7% year to date. 

On Monday stocks had closed higher, led by health-care companies such as Johnson & Johnson  (JNJ) - Get Report and Abbott Laboratories  (ABT) - Get Report. The companies had announced developments that could help stem the virus outbreak. The S&P 500 had risen for the fourth day in five trading sessions.

The Trump administration and Congress are discussing a fourth round of stimulus, according to reports, just days after President Donald Trump signed a $2 trillion economic relief package.

The plan being discussed would provide more state aid and assistance to the travel and mortgage markets that could be worth $600 billion.

The number of confirmed global cases of the coronavirus has risen to 838,061, according to the Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering, and deaths increased to 41,261.

The U.S. has 177,452 cases of the coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins CSSE. More than 3,573 people have died in the U.S.

New York State saw coronavirus cases jump 14% overnight to 75,795. Deaths in New York state rose to 1,550, said Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Ford  (F) - Get Report said Tuesday it would delay reopening some of its North American production facilities to protect employees from the coronavirus pandemic.

The second-largest U.S. carmaker said plants that had been scheduled to restart on April 6 and April 14 will continue to be shuttered until a date "which will be announced later." 

The automaker, however, noted that together with General Electric’s  (GE) - Get Report healthcare unit it will make 50,000 ventilators over the next 100 days.