The Dow and S&P 500 struggled to find direction Thursday as coronavirus cases across the U.S. continue to rise while the latest weekly jobless claims data disappointed investors.
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- Nasdaq Composite closed up 0.33% for its ninth positive day in 10
- Nasdaq is up 3.69% on pace for its fourth positive week in five and best week since May 8
- Nasdaq is 1.43% below its intraday all-time high from June 10
- Nasdaq is 49.94% above its 52-week low on March 23
- S&P 500 closed up 0.06% for its fourth positive day in 5
- S&P is up 2.43% for the week, and on track for its fourth positive week in five
- S&P is 8.2% below its intraday all-time high of 3,393.52 from Feb. 19
- S&P is 42.13% above its 52-week low from March 23
- Russell 2,000 closed up 0.04% for its fourth positive day in five
- Russell 2,000 is up 2.84% on pace for its fourth positive week in five
- Dow closed down 0.15% for its second straight negative day
- Dow is up 1.85% for the week, on track for its fourth positive week in five
- Dow is 11.8% below its intraday all-time high of 29,568.57 from Feb. 12
- Dow is 43.19% above its 52-week low of 18,213.65 from March 23. - Francolla
President Donald Trump said in a late-day Tweet Thursday that "a complete decoupling from China" remains a policy option for the U.S. under "various conditions." The two countries reached a so-called phase-one trade deal in January after nearly two years of tit-for-tat trade conflict. Tensions have risen as of late after the U.S. criticized China for its handling of the coronavirus pandemic. - Li
The Dow closed in the red on Thursday as a larger-than-expected jump in weekly jobless claims, as well as a growing number of new coronavirus cases, pressured stocks. The Dow closed 39 points lower, for a loss of 0.15%. Earlier the 30-stock index had traded in positive territory. The S&P 500 eked out a gain of 0.06%, while the Nasdaq Composite finished the session 0.33% higher. - Stevens
Hertz shares moved lower after the troubled company said it plans to terminate a controversial stock sale. The stock was previously halted for news pending. Hertz wanted to use the sale to leverage interest in its stock, which had seen volatile trading in the wake of its bankruptcy filing. The company felt it was a better option than obtaining the so-called debtor-in-possession financing. DIP financing is a loan that the company would need to pay back. However, if it were to sell stock, the funds it raises would not need to be reimbursed. The company filed for bankruptcy on May 22. - Wayland
With roughly one hour left in the trading session, the Nasdaq Composite was on pace to post its fifth consecutive gain as Amazon shares rose slightly. The tech-heavy index traded 0.1% higher. Meanwhile, the Dow and S&P 500 were headed for back-to-back losses following the release of disappointing unemployment data and an increase in new coronavirus cases. —Imbert
2:56 pm: Economy getting 'back up to speed' but still a long way to go before recovering, says strategist
Willie Delwiche, investment strategist at Baird, said the recent retail sales surge shows the economy is "getting back up to speed," but added more improvements are needed before sounding the all-clear. "When stuck in traffic, lurching forward from a dead stop is encouraging, but a far cry from getting back to cruising speed. After an initial bounce, broad and steady progress would be evidence that recovery is not just a false start," he said. —Imbert
Oil prices moved higher on Thursday after OPEC and its oil-producing allies met to review the current production cut policy. While the group did not extend the record cut into August, the meeting revealed a high level of compliance with current quotas, and pledges from companies that have over-produced, including Iraq, to curtail production. "An 87% compliance on the OPEC+ agreed production cuts is a good percentage," said Bjornar Tonhaugen, global head of oil markets at Rystad Energy. "In fact a better percentage than most market participants really expected when the curtailments were first announced. The high-level compliance is a song to traders' ears who have been worried that words may have been too good to be true," he added. West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. oil benchmark, settled 88 cents, or 2.32%, higher at $38.84 per barrel. International benchmark Brent crude finished the session 1.97%, or 80 cents, higher at $41.51 per barrel. –Stevens
The state of California recorded the biggest single-day increase of new coronavirus cases on Thursday. Infections rose 2.6%, compared to a seven-day average of 2%. Several other states have also seen an uptick in new cases amid the reopenings. Texas saw an 11% daily spike in hospitalizations for Covid-19 patients on Wednesday, while Florida posted a three-day moving average of 2,384 cases on Tuesday, an all-time high. —Li
Bankrupt car rental company Hertz is looking into a bankruptcy loan, according to the Wall Street Journal said Thursday, following Hertz's announcement Wednesday that it suspended the planned sale of up to $500 million worth of stock. Hertz is in discussions with a handful of top lenders to supply a financing package for the restructuring, people familiar with the matter told the WSJ. The loan amount could approach $1 billion, the people told WSJ. Hertz's stock is halted due to news pending.— Fitzgerald
The jobless claims report on Thursday showed that employers across the U.S. continue to dismiss workers and adds weight to those who argue that Congress needs to extend bolstered unemployment benefits, economists told CNBC. "I think the fact that claims remain elevated shows that there is still firing, highlighting the residual pain in the economy from such a large shock," Bank of America economist Michelle Meyer wrote in an email. "Such a large number of people on unemployment insurance suggests that government benefits will be needed for longer in order to avoid a negative shock to consumer spending."
Americans who qualify for state unemployment benefits have also received an additional $600 a week since Congress passed the $2.2 trillion CARES Act in March. Those payments are set to end after July 31, which economists say could threaten critical income for the tens of millions of unemployed Americans and have an even greater dampening effect on the overall economy. — Franck
Markets are roughly flat, but announcements regarding deals have driven some stocks higher.
Spotify – Shares of the music streaming company jumped more than 10% to a new all-time intraday high following a report from the Wall Street Journal that Spotify has inked an exclusive deal with Kim Kardashian West for a criminal justice podcast. The company also announced a deal with DC Comics. The stock has gained more than 73% this quarter, putting it on track for its best quarter on record.
Dish Network — Shares of Dish gained 5.9% after the company announced that it would close its purchase of Boost Mobile from T-Mobile by July 1. The sale of Boost was part of the process for the merger between T-Mobile and Sprint to gain regulatory approval.
Read more movers here. —Pound
Around midday, the major averages traded off their session lows as shares of companies benefiting from the economy reopening turned around. The Dow — which fell as much as 271 points — was down just 82 points in midday trading. The S&P 500 traded just 0.1% lower while the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.2%. —Imbert
Citi analyst Christian Wetherbee said he believes sentiment around FedEx "is beginning to warm back up." The firm raised its price target to $160 from $140. "FedEx should have leverage to re-opening economies around the world given its elevated business to business revenue mix and comps will be particularly easy given the weakness in global trade leading up to the COVID-19 pandemic," he said. Shares are up 2%. —Bloom
Stocks directly linked to a successful reopening, including airlines and cruise line operators, erased earlier losses and traded higher. United Airlines rose 0.8%, Royal Caribbean jumped nearly 4%. Norwegian Cruise Line also traded up more than 2%. —Li
Shares of Biogen fell on Thursday morning after a report that a U.S. district court ruled against the drugmaker in a patent dispute. The court ruled in favor of Mylan NV in a case involving Biogen's multiple sclerosis drug Tecfidera, according to Reuters. The company's stock fell sharply at the open but has recovered some of its losses, and is now down roughly 5% for the session. —Pound
About four stocks traded lower for every advancer at the New York Stock Exchange as Thursday's session started. Overall, 1,998 NYSE-listed stocks fell while about 540 traded higher. —Imbert
- Jefferies raised its price target on Tesla to $1,200 from $650.
- RBC raised its price target on Shopify to $1000 from $825.
- Credit Suisse upgraded Church & Dwight to overweight from neutral.
- Susquehanna raised its price target on PayPal to $190 from $150.
Pro Subscribers read more here. —Bloom
U.S. stocks kicked off Thursday's session on a lower note following the release of disappointing unemployment data. The Dow traded 200 points lower, or 0.8%, while the S&P 500 slid 0.6%. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.2%. Thursday's early losses put the Dow and S&P 500 on pace for back-to-back losses. —Imbert
The Labor Department's weekly report on jobless numbers showed that first-time claims totaled 1.5 million last week, higher than the 1.3 million that economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been expecting. The report, which did mark yet another deceleration in the number of initial claims, also marked the 13th consecutive week with jobless claims north of 1 million as the coronavirus pandemic continues to hamstring economic growth in the U.S.
The elevated claims number came even as all states work to reopen commerce to varying degrees. — Franck, Cox
Futures extended their losses with about 90 minutes to the opening bell. Dow futures slumped 300 points, suggesting an opening decline of about 1%; S&P 500 futures pointed to an opening loss of 0.8%; while Nasdaq-100 contracts pointed to a more modest slip of 0.3%. — Franck
Wu Zunyou, the chief epidemiologist of China's Center for Diseases Prevention and Control, said Beijing's recent spike in coronavirus cases is under control. "The trend will persist for a period of time, but the number of cases will decrease, just like the trend that we saw (in Beijing) in January and February," he said. Wu's comments came after a spike of 106 new cases were confirmed over a five-day period. Beijing had previously gone more than 50 days without domestically transmitted Covid-19 cases. — Imbert, Clinch
Jefferies reiterated its buy rating on shares of Tesla and lifted its price target from $650 to $1,200 on Thursday saying there's "logic in the exuberance." "At risk of sounding like a broken record, Tesla is still the only legacy-free OEM engaged in a +ve EV sum game," the firm said. The new target represents a 21% upside from where the stock closed on Wednesday. Shares have more than doubled this year. — Stevens
CNBC PRO subscribers can read more here.
Many of the companies that would benefit most from a quick reopening of the economy saw their equity decline in premarket trading on Thursday. United Airlines dropped by 3%, while American and Delta lost 2.7% and 1.8% respectively. Cruise stocks were down across the board, with Carnival dropping 6.4%. Shares of retailers, hotel chains and casinos also slipped before the bell. — Pound
The pace of jobless claims filing is expected to continue its decline, though remain at levels the economy has never seen prior to the coronavirus pandemic. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones expect 1.3 million new claims following last week's total of 1.54 million. Another 1.3 million claims last week would continue the deceleration of weekly filings that peaked at a record 6.9 million in late March. The record prior to the pandemic was 695,000 in September 1982. Most economists are focused on continuing claims, which most recently totaled just shy of 21 million. — Cox
Shares of the bankrupt car rental company slipped 8% in premarket trading on Thursday, following Hertz's announcement Wednesday that it suspended the planned sale of up to $500 million worth of stock. Prior to the announcement, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton told CNBC that the regulator has issues with the company's plan to sell stock while it pursues bankruptcy protection. Retail investors have been piling into Hertz and other bankrupt names to try to get a piece of the market's comeback. The issue is that equity investors are behind bondholders and other creditors in a bankruptcy and will likely lose their money. — Fitzgerald
Futures contracts tied to the major U.S. stock indexes pointed to a lower open Thursday morning. Dow futures fell 140 points, suggesting an opening decline of about 100 points. S&P 500 futures pointed to a similar, 0.3% decline while Nasdaq-100 futures suggested little change at the open. The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average both snapped multiday winning streaks on Wednesday but remain firmly higher for the week, up 2.3% and 2%, respectively. — Franck
— CNBC's Jeff Cox, Pippa Stevens, Fred Imbert and Matt Clinch contributed to this report.
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