Stock market live Wednesday: Dow falls 165, banks drop, stimulus stalemate

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

Wednesday's market moves by the numbers

  • The Dow fell 166 points, or 0.58%, for its second negative session in a row.
  • This week, the Dow is down 0.26%, on pace to break a two-week win streak. 
  • Dow Impact: UnitedHealth had the most negative impact on the Dow, accounting for 63 points against the index.          
  • The S&P 500 fell 23 points, or 0.66%, for its second negative session in a row.
  • This week, the S&P is up 0.33%, on pace for its third positive week in a row.       
  • SPY Impact: Amazon had the most negative impact on the SPY, accounting for 0.40 points against the ETF.   
  • The Nasdaq Composite fell 95 points, or 0.80%, for its second negative session in a row.
  • This week, the Nasdaq is up 1.63%, on pace for its fourth positive week in a row.       
  • NDX (.NDX) Impact: Amazon had the most negative impact on the NDX, accounting for 30 points against the index. 
  • Eight of 11 S&P sectors were negative in Wednesday's session, led to the downside by Consumer Discretionary, down 1.43%.  Industrials was the best performer, up 0.54%.   — Maggie Fitzgerald, Christopher Hayes

Stocks fall for the second day

The major average dropped for the second day on Wednesday as comments from the White House gave dim hopes about a Covid-19 fiscal aid package. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 165 points. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.66% and 0.8%, respectively. —Maggie Fitzgerald

Final hour of trading: Stocks headed for back-to-back losses amid coronavirus aid uncertainty

The major averages were down for a second straight day after comments from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin dampened expectations of a coronavirus stimulus deal being reached before the election. The Dow was down more than 160 points, or 0.6%. The S&P 500 dipped 0.7% and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.9%. —Fred Imbert

France imposes curfew to slow virus spread

French President Emmanuel Macron announced that a curfew will begin this weekend in several major cities, including Paris, and last for four weeks as the country tries to stop the second wave of Covid-19, Reuters reported. The country reported more than 22,000 new cases of the virus and over 100 deaths in the past 24 hours. Violating the curfews can result in fines, Macron said. — Jesse Pound

Here are some of the biggest movers around midday

  • Nio — Nio shares rallied after a JPMorgan analyst upgraded the electric car maker's stock to overweight. The analyst also hiked his price target on the stock to $40 per share, which is nearly double where the Nio shares closed on Tuesday.
  • AMC — AMC shares were under pressure after a Bloomberg News report said the movie theater chain was exploring its strategic options, including filing for bankruptcy.
  • Wells Fargo, Bank of America — Both bank stocks declined on the back of mixed quarterly results which showed they struggled with the current low interest-rate environment during the third quarter.

Click here to read more. —Fred Imbert

Stocks at midday: Markets drift lower on dim hopes of stimulus

Stocks hit their session lows around midday trading on Wednesday on comments made by Treasury Secretary Steven Munching about a stimulus aid package. The Dow Jones Industrial Average sunk more than 130 points after Mnuchin said getting a deal done before the election will be difficult. Mnuchin said the White House and Congress are still far apart on some issues. The S&P 500 fell 0.5% and the Nasdaq Composite dipped nearly 0.7%. — Maggie Fitzgerald

Nio gets second upgrade as Citi raises target

Nio got its second Wall Street upgrade on Wednesday around midday trading with Citi raising its rating on the stock to a buy. The firm also lifted its price target on shares to $33.20 from $18.10.

Shares of the electric vehicle company last traded up 21% after JPMorgan earlier upgraded the stock to an overweight rating and established a $40 June 2021 price target.

CNBC PRO subscribers can read more here. — Pippa Stevens

Nio jumps after JPMorgan upgrade

Shares of China-based electric vehicle company Nio jumped more than 16% on Wednesday after JPMorgan upgraded the stock to an overweight rating. The firm also established a $40 target, which is nearly double where shares closed on Tuesday. JPMorgan said electric vehicle demand in China is on pace to quadruple by 2025.

CNBC PRO subscribers can read more about the firm's bullish call here. — Pippa Stevens

Goldman raises Netflix price target to Street high of $670 per share

Goldman became the biggest bull on Netflix on Wednesday, raising its 12-month price target to $670 per share from $600 per share. The outperform rated-stock rose more than 1% shortly after the opening bell. Netflix reports quarterly results on Tuesday.

"We expect Netflix to report 3Q results well above guidance and consensus expectations, with roughly 6mn net subscriber additions, driven by growth in content on the platform, a lack of competition for entertainment hours and spend, and more time being spent at home, potentially offset by churn levels modestly higher than we've seen in the past two quarters," Goldman analyst Heath Terry told clients. — Maggie Fitzgerald

Stocks drift higher at the open as investors eye rising Covid cases, corporate earnings

U.S. stocks inched higher at the start of trading on Wednesday as tech stocks like Netflix, Facebook and Alphabet managed to offset lingering concerns about rising U.S. Covid-19 infections and stalled stimulus talks.

Better-than-expected earnings from Goldman Sachs helped lead the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 38 points at the opening bell.

The broader S&P 500 added 0.1% as energy and industrials stocks outperformed. The Nasdaq Composite also gained 0.1% thanks to advances in Netflix, Intel and Broadcom. — Thomas Franck

Here are Wednesday’s biggest analyst calls of the day: Apple, Peloton, Nio, New York Times & more

  • Raymond James upgraded AutoZone to strong buy from outperform.
  • Atlantic Equities downgraded Constellation Brands to neutral from overweight.
  • Wells Fargo downgraded Kroger to equal weight from overweight.
  • Morgan Stanley initiated New York Times as overweight.
  • Morgan Stanley raised its price target on Apple to $136 from $130.
  • Truist raised its price target on Peloton to $144 from $115.
  • JPMorgan upgraded Nio to overweight from equal weight.
  • Cowen raised its price target on Netflix to $625 from $550.
  • Goldman Sachs raised its price target on Tesla to $450 from $400.

Pro subscribers can read more here. — Michael Bloom

Fed's Clarida says U.S. economy needs another year to recover

Richard Clarida, Vice Chairman of the Federal Reserve, during the annual symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming on August 23, 2019.
Gerard Miller | CNBC

Fed Vice Chair Richard Clarida said the U.S. economy will need another year to return to pre-pandemic GDP levels and maybe longer than that for employment.

The central bank official added that the outlook is "unusually uncertain" and noted that "the Covid-19 recession threw the economy into a very deep hole" and it will "take some time, perhaps another year" to get back to 2019 levels. — Jeff Cox

Wall Street rallies around Netflix ahead of earnings

Wall Street grew more bullish on Netflix ahead of the streaming giant's earnings report due next week.

Cowen hiked its 12-month price target on the buy-rated stock to $625 per share from $550 per share, sending shares of Netflix up more than 1% in premarket trading on Wednesday. MoffettNathanson, which has a neutral rating on Netflix, raised its earnings estimates for the third quarter to $2.25 per share.

"With an extensive content library, well-established infrastructure, and a widely known brand, Netflix continues to benefit from the limited out-of-home entertainment options during the partial reopening," BMO analyst Daniel Salmon told clients.

"We expect paid net adds to come in above guide, underpinned by elevated engagement due to COVID," Cowen analyst John Blackledge told clients.

Read more about Netflix's earnings here. — Maggie Fitzgerald

Wells Fargo earnings miss, shares drop

Shares of Wells Fargo dipped more than 1% in the premarket session after the banking giant reported a weaker-than-expected profit for the third quarter. The company posted earnings per share of 42 cents. Analysts polled by Refinitiv expected earnings of 45 cents per share.

"Strong mortgage banking fees, higher equity markets, and declining sequential charge-offs positively impacted our results, while historically low interest rates reduced our net interest income and our expenses continued to remain elevated," said CEO Charlie Scharf. — Fred Imbert

Goldman Sachs stock rises 2.5% after profit exceeds expectations

Shares of Goldman Sachs rose in premarket trading after the company reported third-quarter results that blew past Wall Street analyst expectations.

The global bank generated $3.62 billion in profit, or a record $9.68 per share, which topped the $5.57 per share estimate. Companywide revenues climbed 30% to $10.78 billion and bested expectations by more than $1 billion thanks to solid performance in its trading and asset management divisions.

"Our ability to serve clients who are navigating a very uncertain environment drove strong performance across the franchise, building off a strong first half of the year," Chief Executive Officer David Solomon said in the release. — Thomas Franck

U.S. Covid-19 hospitalizations rise to highest level since August

Investors again focused on Covid-19 statistics Wednesday morning after the number of daily coronavirus cases and the number of patients hospitalized rose on Tuesday.

Perhaps of utmost concern was that U.S. hospitalizations for Covid-19 returned to their highest level since August, according to data from the Covid Tracking Project. The number of people currently in the hospital in the U.S. for the coronavirus as of Tuesday was 36,034, the highest since August 29 but still lower than July's peaks exceeding 59,000.

The U.S. reported more than 52,000 new Covid-19 infections on Tuesday, up from 41,653 on Monday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. — Thomas Franck

Bank of America shares slip on disappointing revenue

Shares of Bank of America fell by 1.8% in the premarket after the banking giant reported disappointing revenue for the third quarter. The large retail bank said it generated $20.45 billion in total revenue.

Analysts polled by Refinitiv expected total sales of $20.8 billion. Profit in the quarter slumped 16% to $4.9 billion, or 51 cents a share, edging out the 49 cent estimate. The bank's net interest income, a key metric of profitability at a consumer bank, also dropped by 17% on a year-over-year basis to $10.2 billion amid pressure from low rates. —Fred Imbert, Hugh Son

Apple's 5G era begins

Apple introduced four new iPhone models on Tuesday, all of which have 5G capabilities. As part of the reveal, Verizon CEO Hans Vestburg appeared to announce a 5G partnership.

Apple also introduced a smaller, cheaper version of its HomePod mobile speaker. Shares of Apple fell 2.7% on Tuesday but are still up for the week after surging on Monday ahead of the event. The stock was little changed in premarket trading Wednesday. — Jesse Pound

U.S. stock futures steady amid Bank of America, Goldman Sachs earnings

Futures contracts tied to the major U.S. stock indexes held steady Wednesday morning as more of the nation's largest banks reported quarterly profit updates. Contracts tied to the S&P 500 flipped between small losses and gains, suggesting opening trades around the flatline after the New York opening bell.

Dow and Nasdaq-100 futures held just above the flatline and pointed to slight advances to start the regular session.

Investors were poring over earnings announcements from both Bank of America and Goldman Sachs before the opening bell.

Bank of America shares dipped 1.8% after it reported profit fell 16% in the third quarter but said it was well prepared to cope with the Covid-19 pandemic. Goldman, meanwhile, added 2.8% after its earnings figures blew past estimates. — Thomas Franck