Markets

Live stock market updates: Rally ends in last hour, Boeing wild day, Netflix falls

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CNBC Markets Now: January 22, 2020

This is a live blog. Check back for updates.

4:00 pm: Stocks end wild day little changed

There was a lot of action in the middle, but by the end of the day nothing really changed. The Dow was up more than 100 points at one point but the gains were gone by the time the close came. Blame a rebound in Boeing that failed to materialize, heavy selling in Netflix and some worries about the coronavirus. Tesla also closed off its highs of the day. The Dow ended Wednesday down a few points —Melloy

3:58 pm: Lots to watch in markets Thursday

There is a lot for traders to focus on in the next trading day, including Procter & Gamble and Intel earnings. There's also an ECB rate decision and some key economic data. —Melloy

3:29 pm: Netflix is going out on the lows

Netflix stock fell into the close and was down nearly 4%. If Netflix closes at current levels, it would be the stock's worst day on Wall Street since October. Investors decided to focus on weak subscriber numbers rather than the EPS beat. (See earlier update on Jon Najarian's short bet.) —Franck

3:22 pm: Market is losing steam into the close

The Dow turned negative as markets lost steam into the close. The Dow was up more than 120 points at one point. Blame declines in Netflix, Amazon and Microsoft for pushing stocks into the red. —Melloy

3:19 pm: Another all-time high for Apple

Shares of Tim Cook-led Apple jumped nearly 1% on Wednesday to another all-time high for the stock. Apple hit $319.99 per share at its high of the day. Apple's stock has rocketed more than 108% in the last 12 months. Despite analysts bullish on the iPhone maker as the 5G cycle approaches, the average 12-month price target on Wall Street is $290.98 per share, about 9% downside to its current price, according to FactSet. — Fitzgerald

3:16 pm: Beyond Meat drops 6%

Shares of the alternative meat maker dropped more than 6% following a Bloomberg news report that Burger King is cutting prices on its Impossible Whopper due to weak sales. The maker of the burger, Impossible Foods, is a competitor of Beyond Meat. Wednesday's slide is a stark change from Tuesday when the often-volatile stock soared more than 18%. The stock is still up more than 58% for 2020. — Stevens

3:13 pm: Oil falls nearly 3% to end session, hits lowest since early December

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude fell 2.8% Wednesday to settle at $56.74 per barrel, its lowest settle since Dec. 3. Oversupply concerns pressured prices, along with fears of waning demand if the outbreak of coronavirus isn't contained and air travel slows. On Thursday the U.S. Energy Information Administration will release its inventory report for the week ending Jan. 17, which was delayed by one day due to the holiday. Analysts polled by S&P Global Platts are expecting it to show a build of 500,000 barrels. Share of Exxon Mobil fell 0.64%. — Stevens

2:58 pm: Final hour of trading — S&P 500 and Nasdaq head for closing records, IBM leads tech higher

With roughly one hour left in Wednesday's trading session, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite were poised to close at record levels. IBM shares are leading tech stocks higher, rising about 3%. The Dow is also up about 40 points, but a 2% drop in Boeing shares is keeping the 30-stock index just below its all-time high. —Imbert

2:34 pm: Boeing rebound short-lived

The Boeing rebounded lasted under an hour. The stock is back under pressure after earlier rebounding on comments from the CEO (see below). The stock was last down 2.2%, subtracting about 47 points from the Dow. — Melloy

2:29 pm: Coronavirus-related stocks under pressure again

Airline and hotel stocks turned lower again on Wednesday, giving up earlier gains, as Chinese media reported China halted outbound flights and rail service from Wuhan, the city at the center of the conronavirus outbreak. Shares of United Airlines dropped 2%, while Delta Air Lines also dipped 0.6%. Shares of casino and hotel companies Wynn Resorts and Las Vegas Sands were both down nearly 1%. —Li

1:52 pm Boeing off the lows, helping the Dow

Boeing shares rebounded from their lows of the day after new CEO Dave Calhoun said on a call that the company plans to resume production of the 737 Max months before regulators sign off on the plane. The vote of confidence in the revamped plane by the CEO has boosted Boeing off the lows of the day and the stock is now down just 0.6%. It had hit a 52-week low earlier in the trading day. The Dow was last up 82 points as the drag from Boeing dissipated. The CEO also said Boeing would continue to pay its dividend. —Melloy

12:51 pm: Jon Najarian is short Netflix

Longtime options trader and "Halftime Report" trader Jon Najarian said on Wednesday he's joined Greenlight Capital founder David Einhorn in a bet against Netflix. In explaining his "big" short, Najarian said the video streamer's stock is so expensive that it can't afford to disappoint Wall Street's subscriber expectations like it did on Tuesday. Netflix fell short of subscriber addition estimates in the U.S. and Canada in the fourth quarter, a fact the company said could be due to recent price changes and launches of rival streaming platforms. Najarian's announcement comes a day after CNBC reported that Einhorn increased his own short bet against Netflix in late 2019. The Greenlight founder told investors that "there are now a half-dozen subscription services and in the coming year there will be additional credible entrants with deep content libraries." Netflix shares slumped about 2.4% in afternoon trading. — Franck

12:24 pm: Tech stocks 2020 vs. 2000

High-flying tech stocks had an impressive run in 2019, returning more than 37% last year. The rally stretched valuations to levels not seen in the past decade, worrying investors that stocks are overvalued like during the dotcom bubble. However, Credit Suisse HOLT tech specialist John Talbott told clients on Wednesday, "expectations are nowhere near March 2000 levels." The sector's current price-to-earnings multiple is only 28 times, compared with 59 times back in 2000, Talbott noted. — Fitzgerald

12:14 pm: ECB could be a market mover on Thursday

The euro has been treading water, ahead of what could prove to be a more interesting than expected European Central Bank meeting Thursday. "We initially thought the January meeting would be a strict placeholder event," wrote Bank of America ECB watchers. "But data flow, Governing Council member comments and the prospect of some information about the strategy review have increased the risk of a hawkish undertone. The last set of policy minutes from the December meeting already point that way." European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde is expected to lay out details of a sweeping ECB strategy review. "It could be controversial, but not at this meeting…The market is focused on inflation and the inflation target. The review is going to be very broad, and it could include the tools and communications," said Marc Chandler, Bannockburn Global Forex chief market strategist. —Domm

12:02 pm: Stocks at midday — S&P 500 and Nasdaq hit records, Dow gains capped by Boeing

Stocks are trading off their highs around midday as a steep decline in Boeing shares offset some of the positive sentiment from strong IBM earnings. The Dow, in particular, was impacted by Boeing's 2.7% drop as it shaved off about 58 points from the 30-stock average. Still, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite were headed for a record close and reached intraday all-time highs earlier in the day as IBM and semiconductors led tech shares higher. IBM advanced 2.8%. —Imbert

11:57 am: Oil prices take a hit

Oil fell on Wednesday as over-supply concerns weighed on prices. Speaking at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, International Energy Agency head Fatih Birol said he sees an "abundance of energy supply in terms of oil and gas," according to a Reuters report. His comments come as the U.S. Energy Information Administration said that U.S. shale production is expected to hit a record high in February. International benchmark Brent Crude and U.S. West Texas Intermediate both fell more than 2%, with WTI dropping to $56.73 at the session low, its lowest level since Dec. 4.— Stevens

11:54 am: AT&T higher after Deutsche Bank's recommendation

Shares of AT&T gained 1.5% in midday trading after Deutsche Bank initiated coverage on the stock with a buy rating. The bank said AT&T has a "unique scale" across the communications and media business. It also pointed out that AT&T has outperformed rival Verizon over the past 12 months thanks to "a renewed focus on driving cost efficiency." — Li

11:22 am: Boeing dragging down market

Boeing shares are weighing on the market, and the Dow in particular, as concerns linger about when the 737 Max will be up and flying again. On Tuesday, Boeing said it didn't expect regulators to approve the Max until mid-year, later than expected. Boeing is down more than 2% and at the lows of the day, subtracting 48 points from the Dow, which is now barely higher, up just 6 points. —Melloy

10:28 am: Homebuilders started to pop even before existing homes data hit

Homebuilder stocks and the SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF all moved to highs after the 10 a.m. ET report of better than expected existing home sales. But the XHB, Lennar, DR Horton, Pulte, KB Home all kicked into gear and started moving higher in the minutes ahead of the 10 a.m. release. Some gains were given back after peaking, after the report. "They've been having pretty good news. I think it's just carry through," said Art Cashin, director of floor operations at UBS. Home sales in December totaled 5.54 million, vs. 5.43 million expected. It's the highest level since February 2018. The clincher is the supply of homes for resale at 3 months, a record low, and that in itself is enough to put a lift in the homebuilders .
Recent housing data has been very strong. —Domm

10:21 am: US home sales numbers help sentiment

U.S. home sales easily beat expectations, jumping to a nearly 2-year high. U.S. home sales increased 3.6% in December to a seasonally adjusted 5.54 million. Economists polled by Reuters expected a gain of 1.3% to 5.43 million units sold. The report from the National Association of Realtors is the latest sign the U.S. housing market is getting a boost from the three rate cuts implemented by the Federal Reserve last year. Data released last week showed housing stars surged last month to a 13-year high. Homebuilders Toll Brothers and Lennar were higher. —Imbert

10:16 am: Regional banks among the few big losers Wednesday

Regional banks are the losers in early trading, with Zions Bancorporation and Northern Trust suffering two of the largest declines. Zions was down 5.3% after reporting earnings for the fourth-quarter Tuesday night. The Utah-based bank holding company reported a decline in its loan balance, and Raymond James lowered its price target on the stock to $59 per share from $61 per share while lowering its earnings estimate. Zions was also downgraded to neutral from buy at Bank of America, according to FactSet. Northern Trust reported its fourth-quarter results Wednesday morning, and its $1.56 billion in revenue was above the $1.55 billion expected, according to Refinitiv. However, Piper Sandler said in a note to clients that higher than expected expenses would put pressure on the stock and shares are down roughly 3.3%. - Pound

10:11 am: Chip stock ETF hits all-time high

-Francolla

9:56 am: Pandemic fears drive 10-year Treasury yield to important test

The 10-year Treasury yield has been resting at 1.76%, after dropping to that level as the world worried about the new Chinese coronavirus Tuesday. Risk markets are rallying, and yields are higher Wednesday, but the 10-year still hovers near Tuesday's lows, a key level on the charts. "That 1.76 level has provided support at a few different moments in January. It also corresponds to the bottom of an opening gap, back to some of the volatility around the Iranian tensions," said Jon Hill of BMO. "But the intraday low of Jan. 8 was 1.70. That to me is the defacto range bound." He said it's now testing resistance for further rallies in duration. Yields move lower when bond prices rise. Treasurys were expected to trade quietly this week due to the light data calendar, lack of new supply, and dearth of Fed speak ahead of next week's FOMC meeting. — Domm

9:51 am: Coronavirus death toll rises

CNBC's Eunice Yoon reported Chinese state TV confirmed the coronavirus has killed 17 people with confirmed cases climbing to 444 in total. The virus stemmed from Wuhan, China, less than a week before Lunar New Year, when millions of Chinese travel at home and abroad. Related stocks were still higher, however. Wynn Resorts was up 0.4% and United Airlines added 0.6%. —Li

9:45 am: Bank of America's retail clients bought stocks for the first time in eight weeks

Bank of America said its retail clients were net buyers of stocks last week after an eight-week selling streak. The S&P 500 gained 2% in the week ending Jan. 17, hitting new records. The buying was largely driven by inflows into exchange-traded funds, the bank noted. Meanwhile, buybacks by Bank of America's corporate clients picked up as earnings season kicked off and the amount has been consistent with the historical trends, the bank said. Its hedge funds and institutional clients, however, continued to sell for four and three weeks, respectively. — Li

9:30 am: Stocks rise at the open. S&P 500 and Nasdaq hit records

The S&P 500 added about 0.3% and touched a new intraday record. The Nasdaq Composite also hit a record. Shares of Tesla jumped 4%. IBM added more than 3% and was the biggest gainer in the S&P 500. Netflix, meanwhile, was lower, falling almost 2%. -Melloy

9:03 am: Tesla set to top $100 billion at the open

Shares of Tesla rose about 5% in premarket trading. If the gains hold, the company's market value would climb to more than $103 billion at the open of trading. That's a closely watched level for the electric automaker's stock, as CEO Elon Musk would land the first of a possibly massive payout if Tesla can stay above $100 billion in value on both a 30-day and six-month trailing average. -Sheetz

8:59 am: Vertical Research Partners is 'throwing in the towel' on Boeing and downgrading the stock to a hold

The fallout from Boeing's 737 Max keeps getting worse. On Tuesday the company said it doesn't expect regulators to sign off on the jet until June or July, which is later than some, including Vertical Research's Robert Stallard, were predicting. On Wednesday Stallard downgraded the stock to a hold and lowered his target to $294, saying the "ramifications" of the grounded jet have "yet to reverberate." He slashed his estimates for 2019-2022, and said the company will likely halt buybacks until 2022. With shares of Boeing down nearly 17% in the last six months, Stallard acknowledged that the call is belated. -Stevens

8:57 am: Barclays upbeat on coming earnings of top tech stocks

The firm's internet analyst Ross Sandler said he expects "management teams to sound upbeat" when technology companies reporting fourth quarter results soon. Sandler noted continuing strength of Alphabet and Amazon, saying to buy any weakness in the stocks as "large caps likely see growth accelerate in 1Q20." The Barclays analyst also called out its three best picks for investors looking to buy before tech earnings: Snap, Facebook and Uber. - Sheetz

8:54 am: Wedbush expects Tesla earnings "will not disappoint"

Wedbush analyst Dan Ives raised his price target on shares of Tesla to $550 from $370, saying "we believe Musk & Co. will not disappoint" when the electric automaker reports earnings on Jan. 29. Ives' note was incrementally more optimistic about Tesla's outlook in China, as he updated the potential for those operations to "at least $100" a share from "$75 to $100" two weeks ago. Wedbush has a neutral rating on Tesla. -Sheetz

8:39 am: Coronavirus-related names are rebounding

Travel and hotel stocks rebounded on Wednesday, after falling Tuesday on fears that the coronavirus outbreak in China would dent international travel. Shares of casino and hotel companies Wynn Resorts and Las Vegas Sands gained nearly 1% each, after falling 6% and 5%, respectively on Tuesday. United Airlines jumped nearly 1%, American Airlines rose more than 1% and Delta Air and Southwest all gained slightly in premarket trading. -Fitzgerald

8:38 am: Investors using better-than-expected earnings to take profits in individual stocks

Wall Street may be using the earnings season to take profits off the table after the market's stunning run to record highs this past one year. Data compiled by Bespoke Investment Group shows stocks have opened higher by an average of 0.62% after a company reports quarterly earnings. However, those stocks decline by an average of 0.56% into market close."We're seeing investors use earnings as a reason to lighten up a bit," Bespoke said in a tweet.—Imbert

8:33 am: Netflix rebounds as Wall Street analysts shrug off subscriber miss

Netflix was the first of the so-called FANG stocks to report fourth-quarter results. The streaming giant beat on the top and bottom line, but gave disappointing guidance and posted a miss on domestic subscriber growth. Wall Street analysts largely looked past the weakness and believe Netflix is on the right track to profitability. Goldman Sachs said the company's content investments, distribution partnerships and global positioning should drive subscriber growth "significantly above consensus expectations." Bank of America expects Netflix to be "increasingly dominant overseas" in the next year. Credit Suisse said the set-up is "quite favorable for Netflix heading into 2020," and the subscriber guidance looks "conservative." Shares of Netflix rose more than 1% in premarket trading on Wednesday, after losing as much as 2% Tuesday after the bell following the earnings report.Click here to read more about what every major analyst had to say about Netflix's latest earnings. -Li

8:30 am: Dow set to rise

Big IBM gains and easing coronavirus fears are boosting stock futures. The implied open for the Dow is about 80 to 100 points higher. IBM shares popped more than 4% in the premarket on the back of strong earnings. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures also pointed to solid gains at the open. Sentiment on Wall Street was lifted amid dissipating concerns over the coronavirus that has swept across China. Chinese authorities have unveiled measures to curb the virus' spreading. President Donald Trump also said the U.S. has everything "totally under control" as it relates to the coronavirus. —Imbert

—With reporting by Fred Imbert, Yun Li, Maggie Fitzgerald, Michael Sheetz, Pippa Stevens, John Melloy, Patti Domm, Gina Francolla, Jesse Pound, Tom Franck