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Markets open slightly down, as Dow and S&P 500 head toward record bad quarters

Global markets had a generally good day of trading, but the volatility index remains historically high

New York Stock Exchange
New York Stock Exchange
(Mario Tama / Getty Images)
Updated: March 31, 2020 - 9:38am

The Dow dropped 100 points as the markets opened today. The S&P 500 saw a 0.6% dip.

U.S. futures were slightly down ahead of market opening today. The Dow Jones Industrial Average appears to be on track for its worst first quarter ever, and worst quarter since 1987. It has fallen 21.8% since the beginning of this quarter. The S&P 500 will close the quarter 18.7% down. 

The Dow on Monday gained 690 points, following a week of solid gains. 

European markets opened higher on Tuesday. The Stoxx Europe 600 climbed 1.6%, as other benchmark indexes in Germany and France saw similar upticks. Asian markets had a generally positive day of trading. 

The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) Volatility Index -- usually referred to as VIX -- gages the market's expected levels of volatility for the next 30 days. Though the index fell slightly on Monday, it has been sitting at a historically high level for the past month.

Global coronavirus cases have passed 800,000, as the national death toll passes 3,000.