The S&P 500 trimmed its gains after topping 3,500 for the first time ever, while a strong day in financials helped the Dow stay in the green. The market got a boost earlier from the Federal Reserve's policy shift to allow inflation to run higher than the standard 2% target before hiking interest rates. Here's what's happened:
The market lost a little steam in the final hour of trading, but the Dow and S&P 500 still closed in positive territory for the day, gaining 0.6% and 0.2%, respectively. The Nasdaq Composite sank 0.3% as several major tech stocks struggled. — Jesse Pound
The Dow traded more than 200 points higher, or nearly 1%, with less than one hour left in the session as bank stocks and Microsoft shares led the gains for the 30-stock average. The S&P 500 climbed 0.5% and the Nasdaq struggled to find its footing. —Fred Imbert
After briefly falling into negative territory around 1 p.m. ET, the S&P 500 has climbed once again and last traded up 0.4% for the day. The Dow was the leader for the day, rising 0.9%, or 250 points, while the Nasdaq Composite hovered just below the flat line. — Jesse Pound
Here are a few of the stocks with notable moves so far on Thursday.
Walmart, Microsoft – Shares of Walmart jumped to its session high after the supermarket chain confirmed it's teaming up with Microsoft in a bid for popular Chinese social media app TikTok. TikTok is nearing an agreement to sell its U.S., Canadian, Australian and New Zealand operations in a deal likely in the $20 billion to $30 billion range and it could announce a deal in the coming days, sources say.
Abbott Laboratories — Shares of Abbott Laboratories rose after the company received U.S. marketing authorization for a Covid-19 antigen test that can deliver results within 15 minutes. The company said it expects to ship tens of millions of tests next month.
Peloton — Shares of the stationary bike company popped after Goldman Sachs — which has a buy rating on the stock — hiked its 12-month price target to $96 from $84 per share. The Wall Street firm said expectations from the stay-at-home stock's growth and profitability are "far too low," even after the stock has rallied more than 140% this year.
Read more movers here. — Jesse Pound
The Cboe Volatility Index, or the VIX, continued its rise in afternoon trading, climbing 3.82 points to a high of 27.09. The gauge is now on pace to close at its highest level since July 16.— Yun Li
The Cboe Volatility Index, also known as the VIX or "fear gauge," popped 1.70 points to hit a session high of 24.97 on Thursday, its highest level since Aug. 3. The VIX tracks the 30-day implied volatility of the S&P 500 futures via options prices. The spike in volatility came as investors digested the Federal Reserve's latest policy adjustments. The gauge has been hovering below 24 most of August. — Yun Li
Shares of DraftKings popped 3% to its session high on Thursday after ESPN reported NBA players have decided to resume the playoff games this weekend. NBA's Milwaukee Bucks and Orlando Magic canceled their game Wednesday in the wake of Jacob Blake's shooting. — Yun Li
At midday, the Dow traded nearly 1% higher and erased its year-to-date losses on the back of an inflation policy announcement from the Federal Reserve. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq were also higher by 0.6% and 0.5%, respectively. —Fred Imbert
Travel stocks surged on Thursday morning after Abbott Laboratories announced that a 15-minute coronavirus test had been granted emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration. CNBC's Jim Cramer said on "Squawk on the Street" that he would "buy any airline stock" after seeing the news. Airlines and cruise stocks jumped in early trading, with United Airlines and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings both gaining more than 6%. — Jesse Pound
Hurricane Laura has made landfall as a category four hurricane, jeopardizing the nation's largest refining facilities and shutting down more than 80% of offshore production in the Gulf of Mexico. But oil prices were little changed on Thursday as the demand drop-off from Covid-19 continues to be the primary driver of price swings.
"The impact on the price of oil has been relatively modest at this point because the demand is really not back yet from the virus," Canary Oil CEO Dan Eberhart told CNBC's "Squawk On The Street." "We're really looking at a big yawn in the market so far even though this could potentially cause quite severe damage to the oil capacity for the nation."
West Texas Intermediate crude, the U.S. oil benchmark, slid 93 cents, or 2.14%, to $42.47 per barrel. International benchmark Brent crude traded 96 cents lower at $44.68 per barrel.
"As consumers we are not going to feel this at the pump quite as severely," Eberhart added. - Pippa Stevens
A deal for Microsoft to buy TikTok could come within the next 48 hours, sources told CNBC's Julia Boorstin. Shares of the tech giant rose more than 3% following the report and helped the Nasdaq Composite trim its earlier losses. — Jesse Pound
Americans are continuing to buy homes during the coronavirus pandemic. Pending home sales, which measure signed contracts to purchase existing homes, increased 5.9% in July compared with June, according to the National Association of Realtors. Sales were 15.5% higher annually. "We are witnessing a true V-shaped sales recovery as homebuyers continue their strong return to the housing market," said Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist. "Home sellers are seeing their homes go under contract in record time, with nine new contracts for every 10 new listings." Mortgage rates marked new record lows in July, giving buyers additional purchasing power. — Diana Olick, Maggie Fitzgerald
The Dow Jones Industrial Average is officially in the green for 2020, making back all of the 30-stock average's coronavirus related losses. The Dow has climbed nearly 57% from its low in March. The average is still more than 3% from its 52-week high. The Dow jumped nearly 250 points in early trading on Thursday, boosted by Powell's speech on inflation. — Maggie Fitzgerald
As investors digested Chair Powell's comments, some of the early moves reversed course. Several major tech stocks fell, dragging the Nasdaq Composite into negative territory. Amazon and Alphabet fell slightly, while Netflix and Facebook both dropped more than 1%.
Bond yields also moved higher after falling earlier in the morning. Bank stocks followed the yields, with Citigroup gaining 1.8% and JPMorgan climbing 2.2%. — Jesse Pound
The major U.S. indexes climbed after the opening bell after Fed Chair Jerome Powell detailed the central bank's new inflation targeting strategy. The Dow rose 100 points, or 0.4%, while the Nasdaq Composite and S&P 500 each rose 0.2%. — Jesse Pound
Shares of major technology companies jumped in premarket trading on Thursday when Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell announced the central bank's new approach to inflation, which will likely keep interest rates low. Tech shares have soared in the current environment as lower rates fuel their expansion and make their high future earnings growth look that much more attractive. Shares of Microsoft, Amazon and Apple all jumped before the bell. — Maggie Fitzgerald
Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell said Thursday that the central bank will let inflation rise higher than normal in a way to combat the ailing labor market and support the broader economy. A major policy shift for the Fed, the body formally agreed to a policy of "average inflation targeting." That means it will allow inflation to run "moderately" above the Fed's 2% goal "for some time" following periods when it has run below that objective. The inflation change means the Fed will be less inclined to hike interest rates when the unemployment rate falls. Futures jumped during Powell's speech. — Jeff Cox, Maggie Fitzgerald
Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell just started speaking at in the annual Jackson Hole symposium. The central bank is expected to change the way it addresses inflation, after it has taken numerous extraordinary measures to fight the impact of the coronavirus on the economy.
Pro Subscribers can read more here.- Michael Bloom
U.S. Q2 GDP has been revised to show a slightly lower decline than first expected. The second reading for the quarterly figure shows a decline of 31.7%, compared with estimates of 32.5%. The initial reading on July 30 showed a 32.9% drop in economic activity. While the latest reading is slightly more optimistic, it still marks the largest quarterly plunge on record. - Pippa Stevens
Jobless claims came in at 1.01 million for the week ending Aug. 22, in line with estimates from Dow Jones. This was a decline from the previous week's 1.104 million initial jobless claims. Continuing claims — which account for those receiving unemployment benefits for at least two straight weeks — fell by 223,000 to 14.535 million for the week ending Aug. 15. — Maggie Fitzgerald
Shares of Abbott Laboratories jumped nearly 10% in the premarket after the company received U.S. marketing authorization for a Covid-19 antigen test that can deliver results within 15 minutes. The test will sell for $5. Abbott said it expects to ship tens of millions of tests next month and to ramp up shipping to 50 million per month in October. —Fred Imbert
At 8:30 a.m. E.T. the Labor Department will release the latest unemployment numbers, giving investors a read on the ongoing economic recovery from Covid-19. Economists are looking for 1 million new claims for the week ending August 22, according to Dow Jones. While a decrease from last week's reading of 1.106 million, it's still very high by historical standards. - Pippa Stevens
The Street is divided when it comes to Dick's Sporting Goods. Morgan Stanley upgraded the stock to an overweight rating on Thursday, while Oppenheimer cut the stock to perform.
Morgan Stanley's bullish stance rests on what the firm believes will be a "2nd half comeback," based on earnings upside, gross margin expansion and improving e-commerce profitability. The firm's $65 target implies a 20% rally ahead.
Oppenheimer's downgrade is a valuation call based on the stock's 48% jump over the last three months. "While we admire the efforts of management to thrive amid consumer sector upheaval, we look upon stronger sales and earnings lately as largely shorter-term in nature and are hard-pressed to envision the market awarding shares a meaningfully higher multiple," the firm said.
The retailer reported second quarter earnings on Wednesday that beat top and bottom line estimates. Comparable store sales rose 20.7% compared with an expected 9.9% jump according to estimates from FactSet, while e-commerce sales nearly tripled.
Shares were about 1% lower during premarket trading on Thursday. - Pippa Stevens
Senate Republicans are preparing a Covid-19 relief package worth roughly $500 billion, CNBC's Kayla Tausche reported. The bill would include enhanced unemployment benefits and help to small businesses, but not the $1,200 direct payments to Americans that were included in the first bill at the beginning of the pandemic. The bill is unlikely to find sufficient support in the House of Representatives, where Speaker Nancy Pelosi has pushed for at least $2 trillion in the next aid package. — Jesse Pound
U.S. stock futures traded slightly lower on Thursday as Wall Street awaited a key speech from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were down by 81 points, or 0.3%. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures slipped 0.2% each. Powell is expected to introduce a new pandemic-era tool to combat the economic impact of Covid-19 and foster inflation in the U.S. The speech comes a day after the S&P 500 and Nasdaq notched fresh record highs. —Fred Imbert