• Sales of existing homes plunged by 8.5% in March, the steepest drop since November 2015
  • Trump will temporarily suspend immigration to the U.S. due to the coronavirus pandemic
  • WTI crude oil futures gained, but remained under $10.

U.S. stocks plunged on Tuesday although crude oil futures started clawing their way back after Monday’s unprecedented drop into negative territory.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 631.56 points to 23,018.88, while the S&P 500 fell 86.60 points to 2,736.56 and the Nasdaq Composite Index tumbled 297.50 points to 8,263.23.

Volume on the New York Stock Exchange totaled 4.42 billion shares with 578 issues advancing, eight setting new highs, and 2,391 declining, with 31 setting new lows.

Active movers were led by Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD), Ford Motor (F) and General Electric (GE).

U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted that he ordered the Energy and Treasury departments to “formulate a plan which will make funds available so that these very important companies and jobs will be secured long into the future.”

“If we ever needed a reminder for the extent of the abrupt decline in global economic activity, it is the fact that WTI oil futures saw a negative price [on Monday],” said Tom Lee, head of research at Fundstrat Global Adivsors. “But oil is a residual issue of the broader global ‘stay at home’ and this situation will not change until Western nations and U.S. states begin opening up. And they cannot open up until each jurisdiction feels they have a handle on the healthcare crisis.”

Trump also urged the Senate and House “to pass the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act with additional funding for PPP, hospitals, and testing."

The National Association of Realtors said Tuesday that 5.27 million existing homes were sold in the U.S. in March, an 8.5% plunge from the prior month.

“Going forward, we’ve seen both home buyers and sellers report being less confident and many are making adjustments to the process,” said Danielle Hale, chief economist at "Already, sellers are getting less aggressive with asking price growth, and we’re seeing roughly half as many new listings come up for sale this year versus last year."

“If we have not recovered from COVID in July so that enough driving has come back and storage is full, then the price of crude oil is going to be zero,” said Rusty Braziel, CEO of RBN Energy.

Bernadette Johnson, Enverus’ vice president of strategic analytics, said the June contract will remain under pressure until demand returns. Meanwhile, oil producers will halt production given lack of storage space.

“What we’re into now is shut-in economics,” she said. “Product demand is off and when product demand is off, you don’t buy crude. If you don’t buy crude, you can’t produce the crude if there’s not a place to store it, and so that’s the problem.”

IBM (IBM) reported a 3.4% drop in first quarter revenue from a year ago. Shares dropped 2.9%

“Fundamentals on the equity side have pretty much become impossible to judge,” said David Pursell, CEO at Core Alternative Capital. “You look at the [chief financial officers of companies], and they’re [withdrawing] next quarter’s estimates because they really have no idea what demand’s going to look like.

Late on Monday, Trump said he will temporarily suspend immigration to the U.S. due to the coronavirus pandemic.

There were conflicting reports about the health of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. U.S. intelligence monitored reports suggesting Kim is in “grave danger” following cardiovascular surgery, but South Korea said he was recovering.

“The uncertainty about who succeeds him in North Korea is the great unknown,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at Oanda Asia Pacific. “That’s what is making markets nervous.”

Overnight in Asia, markets sank. China’s Shanghai Composite tumbled 0.9%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 2.2% and Japan’s Nikkei-225 fell 1.97%.

In Europe markets finished lower, as Britain’s FTSE-100 fell 2.96%, France’s CAC-40 tumbled 3.77% and Germany’s DAX dropped 3.99%.

Crude oil futures surged 124.08% at $9.06 per barrel, Brent crude gained 2.9% at $19.89. Gold futures edged down 0.63%.

The euro slipped 0.02% at $1.0861 while the pound sterling fell 1.06% at $1.2302.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury dropped 8.79% to 0.571% while yield on the 30-year Treasury fell 6.06% to 1.162%.