Stock market live Wednesday: S&P 500 erases coronavirus sell-off, Tesla's 2nd worst drop ever

Medical officers spray Indonesian nationals with antiseptic as they arrive from Wuhan, China's center of the coronavirus epidemic, and before transferring them to the Natuna Islands military base to be quarantined, at Hang Nadim Airport in Batam, Riau Islands, Indonesia, February 2, 2020.
Antara Foto | Reuters

This is a live blog. Check back for updates.

4:01 pm: Dow ends the day up 480 points

The Dow finished the session about 483 points higher, building on solid gains on Tuesday. As of Wednesday's close, the 30-stock index has added more than 1,000 points this week as investors shake off fears that the coronavirus will slow down the global economy. The S&P 500 scored a new record close, fully erasing any coronavirus-related losses. Tesla ended the day down 17% for its second-worst drop ever.  —Li

3:34 pm: Energy sector gains 3.6%, leading the S&P 500

On the heels of a comeback in oil prices, energy was the top-performing S&P sector on Wednesday, gaining more than 3.6%, with every single company in the sector moving higher for the day. Within the sector Concho Resources was the outperformer, with a gain of 7.5%. Devon Energy and Noble Energy were each up more than 6%, while Exxon, EOG Resources, Cimarex and Diamondback Energy all rallied more than 4%. Oil gained more than 2% on Wednesday, snapping a five-day losing streak, and posting just its second positive session in 12. — Stevens

3:26 pm: Dow now up 500 points

The Dow jumped 500 points about 30 minutes prior to the close, with UnitedHealth and IBM leading the gains. The 30-stock index is now within striking distance of making back all the losses from the coronavirus fears. —Li

3:08 pm: Final hour of trading: Dow surges, S&P 500 recovers coronavirus losses

With roughly one hour left in the trading session, the Dow is up more than 400 points, or 1.4%, as investors bet the worst from the coronavirus is likely over. The S&P 500 was also up 1%, erasing its losses of the past two weeks stemming from the virus. The Nasdaq, however, lagged as Tesla headed for its second-worst day ever. —Imbert

2:58 pm: Oil gains 2%, snapping 5-day losing streak

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude rose 2.3% to settle at $50.75, snapping a 5-day losing streak and posting just its 2nd positive session in 12. Prices rose following reports of progress on a coronavirus drug, although the World Health Organization did say that there is still no known treatment. Oil also got a lift as officials from OPEC+ kicked off a second day of meetings in Vienna to discus potentially deeper production cuts after the coronavirus roiled the oil market. Earlier in the day WTI gained more than 4%, hitting $51.88 at the session high, before paring some of those gains. —Stevens

1:59 pm: Disney extends losses after earnings

Shares of Disney fell below $140 a share as the stock continues to fall after the media giant gave disappointing guidance. Disney said the coronavirus outbreak in China would hurt its international parks and resorts and did not give updated guidance for Disney+ subscriber numbers. Its stock was down roughly 3.5% on Wednesday afternoon. —Pound

1:58 pm: Biogen shares pop 24%

Shares of Biogen rose 24% after the company won a patent decision for its multiple sclerosis drug Tecfidera. Mylan challenged the patent last year. —Stevens

1:52 pm: Dow hits 400 points at session high

The Dow jumped 400 points at its session high, as the rally gained steam in afternoon trading. The S&P 500 is up 1%, close to erasing all the losses from the coronavirus fears. UnitedHealth and IBM were the best performers in the 30-stock benchmark, up more than 5% each.—Li

1:26 pm: Tesla's drop could be one for the record books

If Tesla falls more than 19.3%, it will surpass a single-day loss from 2012 and will be its worst day on record. Tesla is currently on pace to log its second-worst day ever, down more than 18%, but at one point was down more than 20%. On Monday, it posted its second-best day on record, rallying 19.9%. —Imbert

1:07 pm: S&P 500 on the verge of erasing coronavirus losses

The S&P 500 is currently trading just 0.1% below where it was before coronavirus fears slammed the breaks on a record-setting run. The broad index has been on a tear this week, rallying more than 3% in that time as investors bet the worst from the virus may have passed. —Imbert

S&P 500 since Jan. 17

Source: FactSet

1 pm: Ackman's Pershing Square sells Starbucks position

Bill Ackman's Pershing Square exited its stake in Starbucks, according to the firm's most recent presentation released Wednesday. Following a total shareholder return of 73% in the 19 months the firm owned Starbucks, Pershing said "prospective returns became more modest." —Fitzgerald

12:24 pm: Coronavirus' impact on consumer confidence

As the coronavirus continues to spread, concerns among U.S. consumers about the economic impact of the outbreak have risen slightly, according to recent polling by Morning Consult. The opinion research firm said its Index of Consumer Sentiment fell slightly last week, based in part on worries about the spread of the disease. Among those surveyed, Americans are more concerned about the virus' effects on the global and U.S. economies than on their own local economies. — Schoen

11:52 am: Stocks at midday: Dow and S&P 500 rise, but Tesla takes out Nasdaq gains

Around midday ET, the Dow and S&P 500 were up 306 points and 0.7%, respectively, recovering more of the losses stemming from coronavirus fears. The Nasdaq, however, chopped around the flatline as a 14% drop in Tesla knocked the air out of the tech-heavy index. —Imbert

11:14 am: 'Peak infection' may be near, strategist says

A strategist at Jefferies said in a note that "peak infection" may be on the horizon with the coronavirus outbreak breaking the 50-day mark. "Trend lines based on slowing growth rates point to peak cases between February 19th and March 4th," strategist Simon Powell said in a note. Stocks got battered in late January as investors fretted over a potential economic slowdown from the coronavirus. This week, however, the broader stock market has rallied, recovering most of its losses sparked by concerns over the virus. —Imbert

10:41 am: Nasdaq turns negative as Tesla tanks 15%

The Nasdaq Composite erased earlier gains and turned negative, as a 15% drop in Tesla shares weighed on the tech-heavy benchmark. The so-called FANG stocks are also under pressure, with Amazon and Google's parent Alphabet down 0.7% and 1%, respectively. The index hit an intraday all-time high earlier in the session. —Li

10:40 am: Moody's cautions on job growth

A much better-than-expected private payrolls report helped boost investors' spirits Wednesday, but one of the report's principals said not to get too excited. ADP and Moody's Analytics reported job growth of 291,000, close to double the Dow Jones estimate. But Moody's chief economist Mark Zandi said the boost happened due largely to mild weather that goosed numbers for leisure and hospitality as well as construction. "I know I sound like kind of a downer, but I think we need to put it in context," he said on a conference call. Zandi also warned that the coronavirus, along with the issues at Boeing and the GM strike, all will conspire to pull down growth in the first quarter and through the year. Moody's has lowered its Q1 GDP estimate 0.45 percentage points to 1.15% and its full-year forecast to 1.7% from 1.85%. —Cox

10:25 am: Disney ticks lower after earnings

Shares of Disney were 1% lower in mid-morning trading surrounding coronavirus fears and disappointment around Disney+ guidance. The media giant said it expects second quarter operating income to take a hit from the recent coronavirus outbreak. Disney beat on its quarterly earnings and reported 26.5 million streaming service subscribers but didn't upgrade its subscriber guidance. The company previously forecast between 60 million and 90 million subscribers by the end of its 2024 fiscal year. Disney CEO Bob Iger said on the earnings call that it's "far too early" in the rollout of Disney+ to give new guidance, especially as the service has yet to launch in some international markets.. –Fitzgerald

10:01 am: 20-year Treasury coming in May

The U.S. Treasury says it expects "strong demand" for a new 20-year bond it intends to make a "benchmark issue," beginning in May. The Treasury is expected to announce the size of its offerings and then issue its first 20-years in May. Market participants have recommended $10 billion to $13 billion sized offerings, on a quarterly basis. "It's the millennial as we like to call it," said Ian Lyngen, BMO head of U.S. rates strategy. "It is the natural deliverable for the classic bond contract, so there will be structural demand for it." Lyngen said it will be appealing to both traditional duration buyers, including pension funds and insurers as well as investors active in trading the relative value between cash and futures. — Domm

9:56 am: Oil having its first positive day in six

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude is up 3.2%, on pace for its first positive day in six. It hit a high so far today of 51.65, its highest level since Feb. 3 when WTI traded as high as 51.97. The S&P Oil & Gas E&P ETF (XOP) is up 3.7%, on pace for its best day of the year. —Francolla

9:48 am: Tesla plunges 12% to below $800 a share

Shares of Tesla dropped more than 12% to below $800 in its first decline in seven days after the company announced a delay in Model 3 deliveries due to the new coronavirus in China. Wednesday's losses cut Tesla's year-to-date gains to about 87%. Canaccord also downgraded the stock to hold from buy, citing concerns about the effect of the coronavirus on the company's China operations. —Li

9:33 am: Dow jumps more than 250 points at the open

The Dow popped about 282 points at the open, building on solid gains on Tuesday. Caterpillar and Intel both rose about 2%, lifting the 30-stock index. The S&P 500 climbed 0.9%, while the Nasdaq Composite rose 1% after scoring a new record close in the previous session. —Li

9:17 am: S&P 500 posting earnings beats at higher rate

Major companies are beating earnings and revenue expectations so far this earnings season at a greater rate than in recent quarters, JPMorgan said in a note to clients. For the 44% of companies in the S&P 500 that have reported earnings, 62% have beaten revenue expectations and 72% have beaten net income expectations. Over the past four quarters, those numbers were 54% and 68%, respectively. The sizes of the beats are up, as well. The average revenue surprise this quarter is 1%, and the average net income surprise is 3.7%. Those numbers were 0% and 2.4%, respectively, over the past year. — Pound

8:57 am: Merck shares down after announcing spin-off plans

Shares of Merck dipped 1.5% after the company said it plans to spin off its women's health, biosimilar drugs and legacy products into a new publicly traded company. The transaction is expected to be completed by the first half of 2021, Merck said. The company also reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings. — Li

8:55 am: Airlines, cruise lines rise on coronavirus optimism

Shares of airlines and cruise ship companies rose on Wednesday. Shares American Airlines rose 1.7%, Delta Air Lines popped 1.4% and United Airlines jumped 2% in premarket. Royal Caribbean rose 1.3% and Norwegian Cruise Line gained 0.7%. Carnival added nearly 1%, even after the company said 10 people aboard one of its ships in Japan tested positive for the new coronavirus. — Fitzgerald

8:48 am: Wednesday's biggest analyst calls of the day: Tesla, Goldman Sachs, Pinterest & more.

  • Canaccord downgraded Tesla to hold from buy. (TSLA off 2.8%)
  • Loop initiated Pinterest as buy. (PINS up 1%)
  • Bank of America upgraded Ralph Lauren to neutral from sell. (RL up 1.5%)
  • Citi raised its price target on Goldman Sachs to $290 from $255. (GS up 1.4%)
  • Barclays raised its price target on Tesla to $300 from $200.
  • RBC upgraded Toll Brothers to outperform from sector perform. (TOL up 2.5%)
  • Atlantic Equities upgraded Snap to neutral from underweight. (Snap down 7.3% on earnings)

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here. — Bloom

8:42 am: Disney+ subscribers hit 26.5 million

Disney reported first quarter earnings that topped analyst expectations on the top and bottom line, and said that 26.5 million people have now signed up for Disney+, its subscription service. CEO Bob Iger said the service "exceeded even our greatest expectations," and noted on Monday's earnings call that the number has now grown to 28.6 million. The company did not give guidance on numbers, although previously said it expects between 60 million and 90 million subscribers by the end of its 2024 fiscal year. The company has suspended operations in China as the coronavirus outbreak continues. The Shanghai Disney resort has been closed since Jan. 25, and Hong Kong Disneyland is also temporarily closed. The company said that second quarter and full-year earnings will be impacted by the closures, but that it's too early to know by how much. Disney shares rose 0.6% in the premarket. — Stevens

8:40 am: Oil catches a bid

After falling for 5 straight sessions, and posting 10 negative days in 11, U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude rose more than 3% in early trading Wednesday. Prices jumped following reports of progress on a coronavirus drug, although the World Health Organization cautioned that there are still no known treatments for the virus. OPEC+ officials kicked off a second day of meetings Wednesday in Vienna to discuss potentially deeper production cuts as the virus has continued to roil oil markets. WTI has slipped into a bear market as traders fear that a slowdown in China's economy will hit crude demand. Later today the U.S. Energy Information Administration will release its weekly report on U.S. inventory levels. — Stevens

8:38 am: Tesla set for first decline in seven days after Canaccord downgrade, Model 3 delay

Shares of Tesla dropped more than 3% in premarket trading, on pace for its first loss in seven days, after a company executive said the Model 3 vehicles initially scheduled for delivery in early February will be delayed due to the outbreak of the new coronavirus. Canaccord also downgraded the stock to hold from buy Wednesday, citing concerns about the effect of the coronavirus on the company's China operations. "We believe patient investors will likely get a more attractive entry point," Canaccord analyst Jed Dorsheimer said. The electric-car maker has more than doubled in 2020 alone, fueled by short covering and the fear of missing out. The vertical rise has drawn concerns on Wall Street, with investors comparing Tesla's monster rally to past speculative bubbles. — Li

8:33 am: Ford shares tank after disappointing earnings and weak guidance

Ford Motor's stock plunged nearly 8% in premarket trading after the automaker said it lost $1.67 billion during the fourth quarter and missed Wall Street earnings expectations on increased pension contributions and higher North American warranty and labor costs. Ford also disappointed Wall Street with its earnings projections for 2020. It's projecting full-year earnings of between 94 cents and $1.20 a share, or adjusted earnings before interest and taxes of $5.6 billion and $6.6 billion. — Li

8:32 am: Nike shares under pressure on coronavirus concerns

Shares of Nike slipped 0.3% in premarket trading after the company said the fast-spreading coronavirus will have a "material impact" on its operations across China. Nike has closed half of its stores in China as the government tries to contain a new virus outbreak there. The stores that are opened are operating with reduced hours — as they are "experiencing lower than planned retail traffic," Nike said in a statement. — Li

8:25 am: Stock futures point to sharp gains once again

Wall Street is set to build on the already sharp gains from this week, with futures pointing to another broad-market rally. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures are up more than 200 points. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures are pointing to strong gains as well. Reports of a potentially effective drug treatment for coronavirus lifted futures, but the WHO played down those reports, saying in a statement: "There are no known effective therapeutics against this 2019-nCoV." Overall, investors are starting to bet the virus won't affect the U.S. economy as badly as feared. A much better-than-expected jobs report from ADP and Moody's Analytics also boosted equity futures. — Imbert

—With reporting by Patti Domm, Michael Bloom, Maggie Fitzgerald, Jesse Pound, John Schoen and Gina Francolla.