Stock market live Thursday: Dow drops 350, Amazon and Microsoft fall, jobless claims top 1.4 million

This is CNBC's markets live blog that will be updated throughout the day. 

U.S. stocks traded lower on Thursday as weakness in the market's largest tech companies hampered all three major indexes. The Nasdaq Composite, the relative laggard, fell more than 2% as large tech stocks sank.

Market sell-off by the numbers

  • The S&P 500 closed down 1.23% for its first negative day in five and its worst day since June 26
  • The S&P 500 is still up 0.34% this week, on pace for its fourth straight weekly gain
  • The Dow closed down 1.31% for its first negative day in four and its worst day since July 9
  • The Dow is down 0.07% this week, on pace for its first negative week in four
  • Nasdaq Composite closed down 2.29% for its worst day since June 26
  • Nasdaq is down 0.4% this week, on pace for its second straight negative week for the first time since May 1 
  • Nasdaq is up 16.59% this year.
  • Declining stocks outpaced advancing stocks 1,544 to 1,428 on the NYSE
  • Eight out of 11 sectors were negative Thursday led by tech, which fell 2.63% — Gina Francolla



Intel falls despite earnings beat

Shares of Intel fell more than 7% in extended trading despite the company beating Wall Street estimates on the top and bottom lines for its second quarter. The company's gross margin did decline relative to previous quarters. The stock movement follows other tech stocks, including Microsoft on Wednesday night, which have fallen post-earnings despite beats on the headline numbers. — Jesse Pound

Tech leads market downward

Stocks closed slightly higher than their session lows as large tech stocks weighed on the broader market. The Nasdaq made the biggest move of the day, falling 2.3%. The Dow and S&P 500 fell 1.3% and 1.2%, respectively. — Jesse Pound

Tech decline could be sign of rotation into value, strategist says

Cadence Capital CEO Mike Skillman said Thursday's weakness in the tech sector could be a signal of a shift from growth to value stocks after the outperformance of tech during the market rebound.

"People can use worries about Microsoft's revenue number or whatever excuse they want for the day, but I think that we have seen a reversal trade start to develop in growth versus value because the Nasdaq, FANG stocks, whatever subset you want to use, have just gotten so elevated," Skillman said.

Still, Skillman said he wasn't ready to call the reversal a prolonged trend, pointing out that growth has been outperforming value for over a decade. — Jesse Pound

Final hour of trading

Stocks have pulled up slightly from session lows but are still solidly negative for the day. The Nasdaq Composite remains the worst performer, dropping more than 2%, while the Dow and S&P 500 have both fallen about 1.3%. — Jesse Pound 

Tech stocks were 'simply overbought,' strategist says

Losses in major tech stocks are driving Thursday's declines. Adam Crisafulli from Vital Knowledge said the moves are a result of positioning after the market's rally and not a reaction to recent earnings reports. 

"Tech stocks were simply wildly overbought, overowned, and overvalued, and there probably wasn't anything they could have done differently with earnings to spur further gains," Crisafulli said. — Yun Li, Jesse Pound

Afternoon sell-off deepens as tech stocks tumble

Major indexes continued to lose ground in afternoon trading, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq falling 2.6%. The Dow lost roughly 400 points, or 1.5%. Shares of Apple and Microsoft both dropped more than 4%. — Jesse Pound

Stocks hit session lows

The major indexes fell to session lows in the early afternoon, with the Dow falling about 250 points, or 0.9%.The S&P 500 saw a similar slide. The Nasdaq saw a sharper drop, losing 1.9% as tech stocks dragged down the broader market. — Jesse Pound 

Mitt Romney to oppose Judy Shelton's nomination to the Fed, report says

Republican senator Mitt Romney said Thursday that he will oppose President Donald Trump's nomination of Judy Shelton to the Federal Reserve Board, according to The Hill. Romney is the first Republican senator to announce his disapproval of Shelton, whose prior support for the gold standard and other unorthodox economic ideas virtually guarantees that all 47 members of the Senate's Democratic caucus will oppose her nomination.

With Romney planning to vote to reject the nomination, the opposition of just three more Republicans would effectively end her chances to join the Federal Reserve's governing board.

"I'm not going to be endorsing Judy's Shelton's nomination to the Fed," Romney told reporters at the Capitol, according to The Hill. "I will be voting against her." — Thomas Franck

High number of unemployment claims suggests possibility for negative July jobs report

The rise in jobless claims for the first time in 15 weeks is a sign the spreading virus is hitting the workforce and could even result in a negative employment report in July. Economists said they now see no progress in July in terms of job growth, and there could even be a reversal.

First-time jobless claims rose to 1.416 million for the week ending July 18. The number of people collecting benefits from all programs, reached 31.8 million, in data available as of July 4. — Patti Domm

Google-parent Alphabet under pressure as EU reportedly seeks major concessions over Fitbit deal

The Financial Times reported, citing sources, that the European Union is demanding Google make big concessions related to its acquisition of fitness-tracker maker Fitbit. The report sent Alphabet shares down nearly 2%. Google's acquisition of Fitbit was announced last year.

Click here for the full FT report. — Fred Imbert

Markets at midday: Dow falls more than 100 points as Microsoft struggles

The Dow fell more than 100 points around midday trading as a decline in Microsoft shares dragged down shares of major tech companies. The S&P 500 slid 0.4% and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.7%. Market sentiment was also dampened by an unexpected rise in U.S. weekly jobless claims. — Fred Imbert

Markets will discount weaker economic data amid talks of more stimulus, Evercore strategist says

Even though economic data may soften over the next few weeks, investors will be hard-pressed to sell in bulk with Congress in talks to pass additional fiscal stimulus, wrote Evercore strategist Dennis DeBusschere.

"Consistent with the initial claims today, the data will look relatively saggy the next few weeks (social distancing + fiscal impulse fading). That being said, assuming another fiscal package gets done and COVID data improves, markets will discount a rebound in data," DeBusschere wrote in an email.

"Market internals have priced in the softness in data. Unfortunately, we don't have a catalyst for a reversal in risk on factors until we get the actual fiscal package," he added. — Thomas Franck

Big Tech stocks sinking

Shares of Amazon, Microsoft and Apple all fell more than 1% as the major indexes settled into negative territory for the day. Microsoft reported better-than-expected results after the bell on Wednesday, but its revenue guidance was weaker than what analysts anticipated. — Jesse Pound

Travelers weighs on Dow after revenue miss

The Nasdaq and S&P 500 trimmed early losses to trade roughly flat, while the Dow lagged in large part due to Travelers. The stock fell 3.2% after the insurance company reported weaker than expected revenue for its second quarter. Travelers reported a loss of 20 cents per share, matching estimates, but revenue of $7.35 billion was below the $7.37 billion expected by analysts, according to Refinitiv. — Jesse Pound

Stocks open slightly lower

Major indexes began Thursday's session just under the flat line as a worse-than-expected jobless claims number and a weak start from Microsoft weighed on the market. The Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite were all down about 0.2% in the opening minutes. — Jesse Pound

Chamath Palihapitiya says Tesla could be worth trillions with its push into renewable energy

Electric car maker Tesla could be worth trillions of dollars thanks to its push to renewable energy, according to Social Capital CEO Chamath Palihapitiya. "It is the leading hedge when it comes to electrification and decarbonization. This is no longer about cars, that's the first wave of growth. I think people are pricing in the evisceration of traditional autos and an enormous shift to EVs (electrical vehicles), of which Tesla will get the disproportionate share," Palihapitiya said in a "Squawk Box" interview on Thursday. "This is worth trillions of dollars." Shares of Tesla rose 4% in premarket trading after beating on the top and bottom lines of its quarterly earnings on Wednesday. — Maggie Fitzgerald 

Spirit Aerosystems expects weak 737 Max demand through 2022

Spirit Aerosystems, a key supplier for Boeing, has told lenders in recent weeks that it expects weak deliveries for the 737 Max in the coming years, according to a person familiar with the matter. The troubled jet has been grounded by regulators since March 2019. Shares of Spirit were flat in premarket trading, while Boeing's stock price dipped 0.7%. — Leslie Josephs, Jesse Pound

Here are Thursday’s biggest analyst calls of the day: Apple, Microsoft, Tesla & more

  • Guggenheim downgraded Kraft Heinz to sell from neutral.
  • Bank of America upgraded Bloomin' Brands to neutral from underperform.
  • Goldman Sachs raised its price target on Apple to $299 from $263.
  • Oppenheimer downgraded Microsoft to perform from outperform.
  • Cowen upgraded Tesla to market perform from underperform.

Pro subscribers read more here. — Michael Bloom

Jobless claims worse than expected

U.S. weekly jobless claims came in at 1.416 million for last week. Economists polled by Dow Jones anticipated 1.3 million. Stock futures gave up some of their gains following the release of the data. — Jesse Pound, Fred Imbert

Mnuchin: GOP plan for unemployment extension based on '70% wage replacement'

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin told CNBC on Thursday that the Republican plan for the extension of the increased unemployment benefits is based on replacing 70% of workers' previous wages. The current program, which expires at the end of July, has the federal government send $600 per week to unemployed workers in addition to their state benefits, which leads to some workers making more money on unemployment than they did in their prior jobs. — Jesse Pound, Jacob Pramuk

Coronavirus cases could reach 150,000 a day this fall, widely followed Morgan Stanley analyst says

Morgan Stanley's biotechnology analyst Matthew Harrison said the U.S. could reach 150,000 daily new coronavirus cases in the coming fall due to more people in enclosed spaces. "Our bull [most optimistic] case reflects similar virus control to Europe while our base [most likely] case assumes a near-term plateau followed by increased spread in the fall," Harrison said in a note Thursday. "[About] 150,000 daily new cases are possible without better control of the virus." The analyst has a wide following on Wall Street for his success in predicting the course of the pandemic and government responses. The virus has infected an average of 66,805 people per day in the U.S. over the past seven days, up more than 7% compared with a week ago, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. — Yun Li

American Airlines' net loss tops $2 billion

American Airlines reported a net loss of $2.1 billion for the second quarter as the industry continues to face a drop-off in demand due to Covid-19. 

"We have moved swiftly to improve our liquidity, conserve cash and ensure customers are safe when they travel," CEO Doug Parker said. "There is much uncertainty ahead, but we remain confident we will emerge from this crisis more agile and more efficient than ever before."

The airline reported a loss of $7.82 per share on an adjusted basis, which was slightly more than analysts were expecting, according to estimates from Refinitiv. 

Shares were slightly higher during premarket trading. - Leslie Josephs, Pippa Stevens

Twitter jumps on user growth

Shares of Twitter gained 6% during premarket trading on Thursday after the company reported strong user growth in the second quarter. Monetizable daily active users rose to 186 million compared with the 172.8 million expected by the Street, according to FactSet. The number was up 34% year over year due in part to shelter-in-place orders, the company said.

Twitter did, however, miss top line estimates. The company reported $683 million in revenue, compared with the $707 million expected by the Street. Ad revenue declined 23% year over year. - Pippa Stevens, Lauren Feiner

Southwest posts $915 million loss for the second quarter

Southwest Airlines reported a $915 million loss for the second quarter as air traffic continues to remain depressed thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. The company's revenue, at a little over $1 billion, fell 83% year over year. 

"We expect air travel demand to remain depressed until a vaccine or therapeutics are available to combat the infection and spread of COVID-19," CEO Gary Kelly said in a statement. 

Shares gained about half a percent during premarket trading. - Leslie Josephs, Pippa Stevens

Another 1.3 million expected to have filed for unemployment benefits

The Labor Department is set to release the latest weekly jobless claims numbers at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists polled by Dow Jones expect that another 1.3 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits during the week ending July 18. That would mark the 18th straight week in which initial claims rose more than 1 million. —Fred Imbert

Stocks futures rise as Wall Street tried to build on this week's gains

U.S. stock futures traded slightly higher on Thursday as the corporate earnings season picked up steam. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up 106 points, or 0.4%. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures gained 0.4% and 0.7%, respectively.  The S&P 500 was poised for a fifth straight gain and the Dow was headed for a four-day winning streak. Both the Dow and S&P 500 entered the session up more than 1% for the week. —Fred Imbert