Stocks rose for a fourth straight day amid optimism that U.S. lawmakers are making progress on the next virus relief package. Shares of Dow-component Disney also surged after reporting strong streaming subscription growth and announcing new initiatives. Investors also digested a slew of mixed economic data on Wednesday.
Here are some big headlines on Wall Street:
Wednesday's rally by the numbers
- The Nasdaq Composite closed up 0.52%, at a new record close, its 31st record close this year and its sixth straight daily gain
- The Nasdaq hit a new intraday all-time high Wednesday of 11,002.11, crossing 11,000 for the first time ever on an intraday basis
- The Nasdaq is up 22.58% year to date
- The Dow closed up 1.39% for its fourth straight positive day, turning in its best day since July 14
- The gains in the Dow were led by Disney, which had the most positive point impact — almost 70 points.
- The Dow is down 4.66% this year
- The Dow is 8.01% below its intraday all-time high of 29,568.57 from Feb. 12
- The S&P 500 closed up 0.64% for its fourth straight positive day
- The S&P 500 is 1.94% below its record high set on Feb. 19.
- Eight out of 11 sectors were positive Wednesday, led by industrials, which gained 1.97%. — Yun Li, Gina Francolla
Dow rises 370 points as Disney surges
The market registered its fourth straight day of gains amid optimism on a new virus relief deal. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained more than 370 points, boosted by a 8.8% surge in Disney shares. The S&P 500 rose 0.6%, while the Nasdaq Composite ended the session 0.5% higher. The tech-heavy benchmark briefly crossed the 11,000 threshold. — Yun Li
Nasdaq Composite crosses 11,000 for the first time ever
The Nasdaq Composite climbed about 0.5% and crossed the 11,000 threshold on an intraday basis for the first time ever. The tech-heavy benchmark first topped the 10,000 milestone on June 9. Stocks leading the way to 11,000 include DocuSign, AMD, Tesla, MercadoLibre, Lam Research, Take-Two, PayPal and Apple. — Yun Li, Gina Francolla
Final hour of trading: Stocks rise for a fourth straight day, S&P 500 approaches record high
The S&P 500 and Dow were up for a fourth day in a row as the market cheered positive news on the coronavirus vaccine front and Disney rallied on earnings. The S&P 500 gained 0.6% and the Dow advanced 1.1%, or 304 points. Wednesday's gains put the S&P 500 just 2% below an all-time high set on Feb. 19. The Nasdaq, meanwhile, rose 0.4% and was on pace to post a six-day winning streak. —Fred Imbert
Sixteen Republican senators approve of another $25 billion in airline aid
Sixteen Republican senators on Wednesday announced their support for $25 billion in additional federal aid to support the airline industry as it struggles with a pullback in business related to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Earlier this year, U.S. passenger airlines were allocated $25 billion in aid that would preserve sector jobs until Oct. 1. Despite that funding, carriers have started telling tens of thousands of workers that their jobs are at risk when the relief terms expire this fall.
"For these reasons, we support a clean extension of payroll support for passenger air carrier employees included in the CARES Act to avoid furloughs and further support those workers," the GOP lawmakers wrote in a letter, which was seen by CNBC, to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
Airline stocks jumped in unison following the news. Shares of American Airlines surged 9%, while United and Delta jumped bout 3% each. — Thomas Franck, Leslie Josephs
Teladoc deal is a 'healthy premium' for Livongo shareholders, analyst says
SVB Leerink health technology analyst Stephanie Davis said she was surprised that shares of both Teladoc and Livongo Health fell on Wednesday after the companies announced that Teladoc would acquire Livongo in a cash and stock deal valued at about $18.5 billion. Davis said that, given the size of the merger, pressure on Teladoc was expected but she was looking for Livongo's stock to hold up better.
"I know there's some frustration that I've seen among some holders that they thought Livongo had further to move, but I don't know. This is a very healthy premium for a stock that's already had a, before today, 477% run," she said.
White House appears to make concessions on jobless benefits offer
After days of gridlock, top Democratic and Republican negotiators appeared to be approaching a compromise with each side making concessions over the next stimulus bill. The most recent sign of thaw came from the White House, which appeared to yield slightly on its opposition to continued federal support for unemployment benefits.
The Trump team offered to extend extra federal unemployment insurance into December at $400 per week, NBC News and Politico reported. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows also offered to extend a moratorium on evictions from federally backed housing into December.
Democrats, meanwhile, cut their request for U.S. Postal Service funding to $10 billion from $25 billion, according to the reports. — Thomas Franck, Jacob Pramuk
Bond ETF assets cross $1 trillion mark for the first time
A stampede into bonds in 2020 has pushed total assets for fixed income exchange-traded funds over the $1 trillion landmark for the first time. Four straight months of more than $20 billion in inflows to bond ETFs has taken the year-to-date total to $125.8 billion and just over that $1 trillion level in total assets under management, according to State Street Global Advisors. That growth represents 14.8% in total AUM. The trend comes as government bond yields hover around historic lows and spreads compress in corporate fixed income. "The picture of these flows is likely in the dictionary next to the term 'being active with passive instrument,' as investors have leveraged fixed income ETFs to recalibrate portfolios based on prevailing macro trends," said Matthew Bartolini, head of SPDR Americas research at State Street. — Jeff Cox
BigCommerce spikes more than 200% after IPO
E-commerce software company BigCommerce saw its stock skyrocket after its IPO on Wednesday, with the share price climbing more than 200%. After pricing at $24 per share, the stock opened trading at $68 per share and traded above $93 at one point on Wednesday. CEO Brent Bellm said on "Squawk Alley" that the company did not consider going public through a special purpose acquisition vehicle. — Jesse Pound
These stocks are making big moves in midday trading
Disney — Shares of the entertainment giant surged after its fiscal third quarter report showed strong growth for its streaming services. The company's revenues came in weaker than expected, but it said its streaming subscriptions reached 100 million and announced it will release the highly anticipated remake of "Mulan" direct to streaming in September.
Novavax — The pharmaceutical stock jumped after the company released information about its Covid-19 vaccine candidate that showed promising results in a phase one trial. JPMorgan upgraded the stock to outperform from neutral after seeing the phase one results.
Square – Shares of Square soared after posting better-than-expected quarterly results and strong growth in its consumer payments app. The payments company reported $1.92 billion in net revenue for the second quarter, marking a 64% year-over-year jump. Adjusted earnings per share came in at 18 cents, far better than the estimates of a 5 cent loss per Refinitiv.
Read more midday movers here. — Jesse Pound
Markets at midday: Dow heads for 4-day winning streak on Disney earnings pop
The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded more than 300 points higher, or 1.2%, on the back of a 10% rally from Disney shares. Those gains put the 30-stock Dow on pace for its fourth straight daily gain. The S&P 500, meanwhile, climbed 0.6% while the Nasdaq advanced 0.2% to a fresh record high. — Fred Imbert
Oil jumps to five month high on inventory drop
Oil prices jumped to their highest level since March after data showed a larger-than-expected drop in U.S. inventory. The Energy Information Administration said Wednesday that for the week ending July 31 inventory decreased by 7.4 million barrels, compared with analysts' expectations for a 2.3 million barrel draw, according to estimates from FactSet.
West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. oil benchmark, rose $1.58, or 3.79%, to trade at $43.26 per barrel. International benchmark Brent crude traded $1.55, or 3.49%, higher at $45.98 per barrel. — Pippa Stevens
Novavax jumps 12% after releasing vaccine trial results
Shares of Novavax surged 12% on Wednesday morning after the company released information about the phase one trial for its Covid-19 vaccine candidate. The company said the drug induced a positive immune response in the trial, which consisted of 131 patients. JPMorgan upgraded the stock to overweight from neutral, saying in a note that "while we'd still caution against reading too concretely across the various CoV2 vaccine datasets, we believe it's not too far a stretch to conclude the nAb activity of NVX-CoV2373 looks best-in-class." — Jesse Pound
Investor sentiment "cautious" ahead of Uber and Lyft earnings, analyst says
JPMorgan said on Wednesday morning it sees a "slower recovery" for the ridesharing companies as they continue to be impacted by the coronavirus ahead of their earnings. Lyft reports on Aug. 20 while Uber reports on Aug. 6.
"Overall, investor sentiment remains cautious towards rideshare, and preference skews toward Uber, given the Eats part of the business doing extremely well," JPMorgan analyst Doug Anmuth said. The firm kept its overweight ratings on Uber and Lyft but slightly lowered its price targets on the stocks. "We continue to expect the rideshare rebound to be highly localized, but we remain positive on broader structural recovery over time," Anmuth added.
Shares of Uber are up over 1% in early trading. Shares of Lyft are up almost 1%. — Michael Bloom
Services PMI beats expectations
The Institute for Supply Management's non-manufacturing PMI rose to 58.1 in July from 57.1 in June. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones expected a reading of 55.0. This was the reading's second-straight month above 50, which represents expansion in that part of the economy. — Jesse Pound
Generac hits all-time high amid power outages
With significant power outages along the east coast after Hurricane Isaias, shares of Generac continued their recent climb and hit another all-time high on Wednesday. The stock, which last traded up 1.2% for the day, has more than doubled over the past year. — Jesse Pound
Here are Wednesday’s biggest analyst calls of the day: Apple, Disney, Tyson Farms & more
- BTIG upgraded Palo Alto Networks to buy from neutral.
- Credit Suisse upgraded Disney to outperform from neutral.
- Bank of America downgraded Apple to neutral from buy.
- Credit Suisse downgraded Tyson Farms to neutral from outperform.
- Citi added KKR to the focus list.
- Wells Fargo raised its price target on Apple to $485 from $450.
- Jefferies initiated Brinker as buy.
Pro Subscribers read more here. — Michael Bloom
Stocks extend week's rally at open, Dow adds 200 points
The major U.S. stock indexes rose at the start of the regular session Wednesday morning with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 200 points. The S&P 500 gained 0.4% while the Nasdaq Composite, the relative laggard, advanced a more modest 0.25%.
The opening moves add to Wall Street's strong start to the week with all three indexes up at least 1% since Friday's close. Wednesday's gains put the Dow up 2.1% on the week and extended the Nasdaq Composite's week-to-date advance to 2%. — Thomas Franck
Johnson & Johnson strikes $1 billion deal with U.S. to manufacture vaccine
Johnson & Johnson announced Wednesday that it struck a deal with the U.S. government to manufacture 100 million doses of the company's Covid-19 vaccine candidate if it proves successful. The government would pay the company $1 billion as part of the deal. Shares of Johnson & Johnson gained 2% in premarket trading following the news. — Jesse Pound
Top lawmakers say they're inching toward Covid deal
The nation's top lawmakers said Tuesday evening that slow but steady progress is being made on efforts to reach a new coronavirus relief bill. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., met with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows for about 90 minutes on Tuesday. Schumer said after the meeting that the two sides are "making progress."
"We really went down issue by issue by issue, slogging through them," he said. "They made some concessions, which we appreciated. We made some concessions, which they appreciated. We're still far away on a lot of the important issues, but we're continuing to go at it." — Thomas Franck, Jacob Pramuk
Private payrolls growth far below expectations in July
Efforts to return displaced workers to employment decelerated in July with private payrolls rising by just 167,000 for the month, ADP reported Wednesday morning. That total was far below the 1 million projected by economists polled by Dow Jones and represented a fall from the 4.31 million created in June, according to the report, which is published with Moody's Analytics. — Thomas Franck, Jeff Cox
Disney shares jump 6% as streaming subscribers grow
Shares of entertainment giant Disney rose 6.6% in premarket trading on Wednesday after the company reported it reached 100 million paid streaming subscribers during its fiscal third quarter. Disney, which has had to weather weak demand for its parks and delayed movie releases due to the pandemic, beat earnings expectations but missed Wall Street's revenue projections. The company also announced that it will release its upcoming film "Mulan" directly to its streaming platform in September. — Jesse Pound, Sarah Whitten
Apple gets a rare downgrade
Bank of America slashed its rating on Apple stock to neutral from buy on Wednesday, marking the first Wall Street downgrade of the high-flying stock since April. The brokerage listed a number of reasons for the downgrade, including the stock's high valuation and higher costs for the upcoming 5G iPhones. Apple shares were down 0.3% in premarket trading on Wednesday, threatening to curb its 3% rally so far this week.
CNBC Pro subscribers can read more about the downgrade here. — Yun Li
Private payrolls data set for release at 8:15 a.m. ET
Private payrolls data from ADP will be released at 8:15 a.m. ET and provide investors with key insight into whether employers have continued to bring back workers from pandemic furloughs in July. Economists polled by Dow Jones are expecting 1 million private workers were added in July, down from the 2.369 million added in June.
The Labor Department's jobs report, meanwhile, will be released on Friday. The government's report is the source of the official unemployment rate and nonfarm payroll statistics in the U.S. — Thomas Franck
Dow futures pop 200 points after strong Disney earnings, virus relief progress
U.S. equity futures rallied Wednesday morning before the bell between positive earnings news from Dow-component Disney and signs that Washington lawmakers are trudging toward a coronavirus bill compromise.
Dow futures rose 200 points, or 0.75%, and promised to add to the blue-chip index's strong gains so far this week. S&P 500 futures rose nearly 0.6% while Nasdaq-100 futures climbed 0.35%. The moves in the futures market implied an opening rally on the Dow Jones Industrial Average of about 190 points.
Wall Street's attention remains fixed on Washington, where Democratic leaders left a meeting with Trump administration officials Tuesday saying they are inching their way to a coronavirus relief deal.
Adding to Dow futures' gain on Wednesday, Disney shares are up 6.6% in premarket trading after it said its Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ streaming platforms now have 100 million paid subscribers. — Thomas Franck