Markets

Stocks making the biggest moves midday: Disney, Starbucks, Ford, American Airlines & more

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The Federal Reserve boosts efforts to save the US economy from coronavirus peril

Check out the companies making headlines in midday trading.

Disney — Shares of Disney rose more than 4% after the media company said that Disney+, its new video streaming service, now has topped 50 million subscribers. That's almost twice as many as Disney reported at the start of February, when it said Disney+ reached 26.5 million subscribers during the quarter. The jump has been driven by global stay-at-home orders, as well as the introduction of the service in India where 8 million people have signed up.

Starbucks — Shares of Starbucks rose more than 3% despite the coffee chain's announcement that it expects fiscal second-quarter earnings to be about half of what they were a year ago due to the spread of COVID-19 in China and the U.S. Starbucks said it expected adjusted earnings of 28 cents to 32 cents a share for the second quarter, down from 60 cents a share in the second quarter of 2019.

Apache, Marathon, Occidental — Energy stocks had a volatile day as oil futures moved wildly amid reports of a steep production cut by OPEC and its allies. Apache jumped more than 8%, while Marathon Oil rose 4.3% and Occidental fell 1.3% after posting early gains. Futures for West Texas International crude rose 12% at one point Thursday but settled down 9.3% at $22.76 per barrel.

Ford Motor — The automaker's stock rallied nearly 7% after the Federal Reserve unveiled a slew of additional plans to help the economy during the coronavirus pandemic. The announcement included details on potential corporate bond buying at the investment grade and junk levels. Earlier this year, Ford's debt was downgraded to junk, making it the largest-ever "fallen angel."

Carnival, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean — Cruise stocks continued their rally on Thursday morning after being one of the most battered sectors during the coronavirus sell-off. Norwegian led the way with a 11.9% gain, while Carnival and Royal Caribbean climbed 3.6% and 7.1%, respectively. Carnival announced on Wednesday that it had closed a new $4 billion bond issuance that sported an 11.5% yield. 

American, Delta, United — Major airline stocks soared in early trading, building on strong gains from Wednesday. United Airlines jumped more than 14.5% and American surged 10.4% after each gained double digits the day before. Delta rose 5%, following up a 4.4% jump Wednesday.

Simon Property Group — Shares of the country's largest mall owner jumped 8.4% as many real estate stocks raced past the broader market following the Fed's announcement of more help for small- and medium-sized businesses. The closure of many retail stores around the country has raised concerns that companies may not be able to pay rent during the crisis. Simon's stock is still down more than 50% for the year.

Pfizer – Shares of Pfizer rose more than 2% after the Wall Street Journal reported the drugmaker has found a promising coronavirus treatment. Laboratory research suggests the drug candidate blocks the new coronavirus from replicating, Pfizer research-and-development chief Mikael Dolsten told the Journal. Pfizer said it plans to begin testing in patients this summer.

Nordstrom, Kohl's, Gap — Shares of retail chains climbed higher on Thursday morning after the Federal Reserve announced that it may step in to the high-yield debt market. Shares of Gap rose 15.9%, while Kohl's jumped 13.6%. Shares of Macy's also rose more than 10.8%. Nordstrom, whose shares rose more than 12.2%, announced on Wednesday night that it had priced a $600 million bond offering that is expected to close next week. A report from S&P Global Market Intelligence listed department stores as the most likely to default on debt

Raytheon Technologies — Shares of Raytheon Technologies climbed more than 3%, trimming its year-to-date losses to about 27%. UBS on Thursday resumed coverage of Raytheon as a "buy," saying that the company's merger with United Technologies would add several billion in free cash flow over the next few years.

Anthem — Shares of the health insurer slipped 1.9% and missed out on the broader market rally after being downgraded to hold from buy by Jefferies. The firm said in a note to clients that anthem is the most exposed to commercial risk in the managed care group. Shares of rivals Centene and Humana were higher on Thursday.

— CNBC's Maggie Fitzgerald, Fred Imbert, and Yun Li contributed reporting.