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Despite Wall Street’s rise after Trump’s $2 trillion stimulus bill was passed to offset a historic unemployment rate, Aussie shares retreated today.

The market opened strongly this morning after its three-day winning streak but has since rolled over.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 slid 270.9 points, or 5.3 per cent, to 4842.4, erasing much of the three-day rebound seen since the dreaded crisis began.

But, despite the late tumble, the index still managed to finish this week with a 0.5 per cent rise.

Fitting with the end-of-week result, all sectors have closed in the red.

On the front-line of the worst-performing sectors was Real Estate which suffered an 8.68 per cent fall. Scentre Group blew 12.46 per cent to $1.51 while Goodman Group shed 10.67 per cent of their share price to $11.13.

Not far behind is our health care sector. Despite facing the global pandemic like a true hero, health care slumped 7.1 per cent — showing the industry is not immune to the infection.

Ramsay Health Care dropped 10.5 per cent down to 51.5 cents after leading yesterday’s pack in a 15.34 per cent incline.

Cochlear also found itself 8.62 per cent deep in the red after just announcing the completion of an $880 million placement.

Finance stocks fell 5.82 per cent after a week of rebounds. Of note, ANZ dropped 7.37 per cent and Westpac fell 7.05 per cent. Commonwealth lost 6.7 and trotting behind is NAB with a 6.32 per cent loss.

The energy sector has followed the string of disappointing shortfalls. The biggest contributor to today’s 5.44 per cent decline was Santos, who dropped 10.03 per cent. Following the leader is Woodside who shed 6.44 per cent. Woodside today announced putting off $53 billion worth of projects due to a slump in the oil price and COVID-19 concerns.

In the midst of woes, Senex Energy ended the day up 13.79 per cent after convincing the market it is well-positioned to weather the COVID-19 storm.

Next in line is the consumer discretionary sector which fell 4.88 per cent. Wesfarmers skidded more than seven per cent, closing at $32.25. Tabcorp fell nearly 10 per cent and retail electronics giant JB Hi-Fi erased six per cent of its share price. Small gainers for today include Dominos, SkyCity Entertainment and Breville Group.

As for the Asian markets, they still seem to be riding out this week’s rebound. At today’s close, the Asia Dow was up 1.04 per cent and the Nikkei 225 was also up by 3.88 per cent. Closing 0.77 per cent in the red, however, was Bombay’s SENSEX.

As for our local currency, the Aussie dollar dipped slightly once more. Today, one dollar is worth 61 US cents.

Today’s ups and downs

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a clear divide of which companies can and cannot benefit from this global crisis. Tech stocks such as OpenLearning (ASX:OLL) seem to be winning the fruits of the coronavirus with its mass offering revolving around online learning. As schools have begun closing, companies have seen the opportunity to market digital learning. OpenLearning today saw its share price jump over 20 per cent after locking in a partnership to have its software platform delivered to students.

However, stocks that are crippling from the current crisis are our discretionary retailers. Each day we have seen ASX -listed retailers drop like flies following the governments’ restrictions on non-essential services. Companies such as Lovisa (ASX:LOV), City Chic (ASX:CCX), and Adairs (ASX:ADH) have had to temporarily close.

Today’s announcement saw Adairs’ share price drop 8.86 per cent. With people confined to their homes and no longer shopping for home decor, could this be the beginning of an indefinite end to discretionary spending?

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