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Stock market live Thursday: Dow gains 100, banks lead amid rising yields, AT&T jumps 5.8%

Stocks moved higher on Thursday as investors continued to look for signals from Washington on an aid package. The major averages bounced from their lows of the day after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi signaled progress on a deal. Meanwhile, positive economic data on Thursday included a better-than-expected weekly jobless claims number, as well as a surge in existing home sales during September.

Thursday's session by the numbers

  • Dow closed up 152.84 points, or 0.54%, for its second positive day in three
  • Dow is down 0.84% week to date
  • S&P 500 closed up 0.52% for its second positive day in three
  • S&P 500 is down 0.87% week to date
  • Eight out of 11 sectors were positive Thursday led by energy up 4.16% for its best day since June 8
  • Nasdaq Composite closed up 0.19% for its second positive day in three
  • Nasdaq is down 1.42% week to date
  • Russell 2000 small caps closed up 1.65% for their second positive day in three
  • Small caps are down 0.22% week to date. — Gina Francolla, Jesse Pound

FDA approves Gilead’s remdesivir as coronavirus treatment

Gilead Sciences said Thursday that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved its antiviral drug remdesivir for Covid-19 treatment for patients requiring hospitalization. The drug was previously authorized by the FDA for only emergency use. Gilead said remdesivir is now widely available in hospitals across the country. Shares of Gilead gained more than 4% in extended trading following the announcement. — Yun Li

Stocks close higher

The major indexes finished in positive territory Thursday after a choppy trading session. The Dow gained 154 points, or about 0.6%. The S&P 500 rose 0.5%, while the Nasdaq Composite was the relative laggard, advancing 0.2%. — Jesse Pound

White House economist optimistic about fall in continuing jobless claims

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We're not where we want to be, but we're on the road to recovery: NEC chief economist

White House economist Joseph LaVorgna told CNBC he was optimistic about the fall in continuing jobless claims, saying it portends good news about the U.S. economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

LaVorgna, chief economist at the National Economic Council, said the number has fallen by nearly two million in the last three weeks, even when adjusting for people who shifted from state unemployment insurance onto a longer-term federal program.

"We're not where we want to be. There's still a lot of pain out there for people, but we're making an improvement. We're making it much more quickly than people thought," he said on "Closing Bell." - Kevin Stankiewicz

Senate Republicans frustrated with Mnuchin, report says

Senate Republicans have grown frustrated at Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, believing that he is giving too much ground in negotiations with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the Washington Post reports. One Senate aide told the Post, "He negotiates harder with his own side than he does with her. Folks over here are sick of it." — Jesse Pound

Final hour of trading: Stocks rise on Pelosi stimulus optimism

Stocks were higher in the final hour after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said a deal on new coronavirus aid was "just about there." The Dow rose 126 points, or 0.5%. The S&P 500 traded 0.4% higher and the Nasdaq Composite eked out a small gain. —Fred Imbert

Bet on winners to guard against downturn, portfolio manager says

Phillip Toews, CEO and portfolio manager at Toews Corporation, said investors who want to stay fully invested in the market but also guard against a downturn should focus on some of the best-performing names of 2020, such as tech and home improvement stocks.

"The reason for that is if we do turn lower, I suspect that some of the sectors and asset classes that moved down most aggressively in the first quarter this year would do so again," Toews said. — Jesse Pound

Eurozone contraction 'highly likely' in fourth quarter, AllianceBernstein says

The resurgence of Covid-19 outbreaks in Europe will halt the region's economic recovery in the fourth quarter, said Darren Williams, the director of global economic research at AllianceBernstein. Many countries in Europe, including France and Italy, have re-imposed economic restrictions to slow the second wave.

"As that happens, it is almost inevitable that we will see a slowing of economic growth. In fact, I suspect it's highly likely now that the European economy will contract again in the fourth quarter this year," Williams said. "Nothing like what we saw back in the spring, but a contraction nonetheless."

Williams said he expected additional fiscal support from European governments in the months ahead. — Jesse Pound

Bank stocks on the rise as 10-year Treasury yield hits 4-month high

Shares of big banks were among the biggest gainers on Thursday amid rising Treasury yields. JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley gained about 3% each, while Citigroup and Bank of America rose 1.6% and 2.9%, respectively. The strength in bank stocks came as the benchmark Treasury yield hit a high of 0.853% Thursday, its highest level since June 9. — Yun Li

Stocks making the biggest moves midday

Las Vegas Sands — The casino stock jumped more than 8% after the company reported a smaller-than-expected loss for its third quarter.

Southwest Airlines – Shares of Southwest Airlines gained more than 4% after the carrier said it managed to cut cash burn even as it suffered its biggest ever quarterly loss.

General Motors — The automotive stock rose 2.9% amid strong demand for the newly announced electric Hummer.

Read more movers here. — Jesse Pound

Markets at midday: Stocks gyrate amid Pelosi comments

The major averages were slightly lower around midday, but traded off their lows as traders digested the latest comments from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi regarding U.S. stimulus negotiations. The Dow was down 15 points, or 0.1%. The S&P 500 also traded 0.1% lower and the Nasdaq Composite slid 0.6%. —Fred Imbert

Pelosi says 'just about there' on stimulus deal

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a press conference Thursday that "we're just about there" in regards to a stimulus deal. Stocks trimmed their losses following Pelosi's comments, with the Dow last down about 45 points. — Jesse Pound, Jacob Pramuk

Tesla retreats from highs

Tesla shares retreated from their early high on Thursday amid a broad market sell-off. The stock last traded up 1.2% at $427.10. Earlier in the session it traded as high as $445.23. — Pippa Stevens

Existing home sales surge in September

The National Association of Realtors said Thursday that sales of existing homes jumped by 9.5% to an annualized rate of 6.54 million units in September. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected a gain of 6.2% to 6 million units.

"Americans are splurging on spending for housing," said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the NAR, noting that they are also spending more on home improvements at retailers like Home Depot and Lowes. "Home prices are simply rising too fast." —Diana Olick

AT&T jumps 5% after revenue beat

Shares of AT&T popped more than 5% on Thursday after the company reported quarterly revenue that topped Wall Street expectations. Total revenue came in at $42.3 billion during the third quarter, exceeding analyst expectations of $41.59 billion, according to Refinitiv. The company also posted stronger-than-expected gains in new phone subscribers, lifted by offers for its HBO Max streaming service for free on certain phone plans. Its earnings matched estimates. — Yun Li

Paul Tudor Jones says bitcoin's rally still in the ‘first inning’

Longtime hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones has turned more bullish on bitcoin, saying it's the best inflation hedge. "I like bitcoin even more now than I did then. I think we are in the first inning of bitcoin and it's got a long way to go," Jones said on CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Thursday. He said he holds a "small single-digit investment" in the cryptocurrency. — Yun Li

Earnings season off to a strong start

We're now one quarter of the way through earnings season and a number of companies have posted blowout quarters, including some of of the reports on Thursday.

Snap-on Incorporated beat estimates by 51%, while Coca-Cola topped the Street's consensus by 20%. Here are how some other companies did:

  • Dow beat expectations by 51%
  • Freeport-McMoRan beat estimates by 45%
  • PulteGroup came in 20% above estimates
  • Nucor topped expectations by 31%
  • Fifth Third beat analyst estimates by 32%.

So far this earnings season 126 companies have reported quarterly results. Of those, 83% have topped expectations by an average of 19%. — Bob Pisani, Pippa Stevens

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

  • Goldman Sachs downgraded Peloton to neutral from buy.
  • Goldman Sachs removed Citi from the conviction buy list.
  • Baird upgraded Tesla to outperform from neutral.
  • JMP upgraded Tesla to outperform from market perform.

Pro subscribers can read more here. - Michael Bloom

Stocks open little changed

The major averages kicked off Thursday's session trading along the flatline as traders digested the latest news on U.S. fiscal stimulus talks, strong economic data and better-than-expected earnings. The Dow gained 0.2% along with the S&P 500 at the open and the Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.5%. —Fred Imbert

U.S. jobless claims come in much better than expected

The Labor Department said Thursday that initial weekly jobless claims came in at 787,000 for the week ending Oct. 17. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected gains to come in at 875,000. It was also the first time since March that initial claims came in below 800,000. —Fred Imbert, Jeff Cox

Peloton under pressure after Goldman downgrade

Peloton slid nearly 4% in premarket trading after Goldman downgraded the company to a neutral rating. The firm said that after the stock's record run, which has seen shares surge more than 400% over the last year, the near-term upside is already priced in.

CNBC PRO subscribers can read more here. — Pippa Stevens

Stimulus a question of 'when' not 'if,' says Fundstrat's Tom Lee

Stocks have seesawed while talks in Washington stretch on over an additional stimulus package as the coronavirus pandemic continues to take a toll on the economy. But Fundstrat's Tom Lee said that the market is wrongly treating stimulus as a binary event — rather it's a question of when, not if.

"If I had to describe equities over the past three days, it seems to be treating fiscal stimulus as a binary event. If it doesn't happen this week, it is bad. If it happens this week, it is good," he wrote in a note to clients.

A stimulus package is, of course, paramount to those who are relying on the benefits, but Lee believes stocks shouldn't be trading on perceived progress or lack thereof. "If a deal doesn't come together this week (possible and House Speaker Pelosi is optimistic), a deal will happen before year end. So while there are high stakes from a social net perspective, there should be less at stake for equities," he said.

Ultimately, he believes that if a deal isn't reached before the election, equities will be poised for a "pretty big" post-election rally. "The more we churn here, the most impressive the post-election surge," he wrote. — Pippa Stevens

American Airlines dips 2% after posting another big quarterly loss

Shares of American Airlines dropped 2% in premarket trading on Thursday after the carrier posted another big quarterly loss as the coronavirus pandemic hurt summer travel demand. The company trimmed its cash burn, however.

The carrier swung to a $2.4 billion net loss in the third quarter from a $425 million profit a year earlier. Revenue dropped 73% in the three months ended Sept. 30 to $3.17 billion from $11.9 billion a year ago. — Leslie Josephs, Yun Li

Chipotle beats estimates, but shares decline

Chipotle beat top and bottom line estimates during the third quarter, but higher costs due to a jump in delivery orders weighed on shares. The restaurant chain earned an adjusted $3.76 per share during the quarter, which was ahead of the $3.47 expected by analysts. Revenue came in at $1.6 billion, above the consensus estimate of $1.59 billion.

Digital sales more than tripled for the second straight quarter, and CEO Brian Niccol said that digital sales could exceed $2.5 billion this year, more than double last year's total. Online orders accounted for nearly half of all sales, and about half of Chipotle's digital customers chose to have their orders delivered.

Chipotle shares were about 4.5% lower during premarket trading. — Amelia Lucas, Pippa Stevens

Coca-Cola earnings beat expectations, shares rise

Shares of Coca-Cola popped more than 2% in the premarket after the beverage giant reported quarterly earnings that beat analyst expectations. The company posted an adjusted profit of 55 cents per share, topping a Refinitiv estimate of 46 cents per share. Coca-Cola's better-than-expected earnings came even as revenue declined by 9% on a year-over-year basis and organic sales dropped by 6%. —Fred Imbert, Amelia Lucas

Iran, Russia obtained U.S. voter information, officials say

National security officials announced Wednesday night that Iran and Russia had obtained voter registration information and are trying to influence the U.S. public ahead of next month's election. Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said that Iran has sent spoofed intimidating emails to Democratic voters. — Jesse Pound

Tesla jumps on earnings beat

Shares of Tesla jumped 5% during premarket trading on Thursday after the company reported its fifth straight quarter of profits. The electric vehicle company beat top and bottom line estimates for the third quarter, earning an adjusted 76 cents per share on revenue of $8.77 billion. Analysts surveyed by Refinitiv expected the company to earn 57 cents per share on $8.36 billion in revenue. The company had previously reported a record 139,300 vehicle deliveries during the quarter. — Lora Kolodny, Pippa Stevens

Stimulus talks drag on

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will resume stimulus negotiations on Thursday as they run out of time to reach a deal before the 2020 election.

In a 48-minute phone call on Wednesday, the negotiators moved "closer to being able to put pen to paper to write legislation" and left "better prepared to reach compromise on several priorities," Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said in a tweet. —Jacob Pramuk, Yun Li

Stock futures dip amid stimulus and U.S. election uncertainty

U.S. stock futures indicated slight losses on Thursday as traders remained worried about the ongoing stimulus talks and the upcoming presidential election. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures traded 42 points lower, or 0.2%. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures also dipped 0.2% each.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke for 48 minutes on Wednesday, a spokesman from Pelosi's said. The spokesman noted those talks bring "us closer to being able to put pen to paper to write legislation."

However, President Donald Trump tempered expectations around the talks, tweeting: "Just don't see any way Nancy Pelosi and Cryin' Chuck Schumer will be willing to do what is right for our great American workers, or our wonderful USA itself, on Stimulus."

Meanwhile, U.S. officials said Iran is taking steps to interfere in the U.S. presidential election, and Russia has obtained American voter information. Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said that Iran has been sending "spoof emails designed to intimidate voters, incite unrest and damage" President Donald Trump. The news briefly sent Dow futures down more than 100 points. —Fred Imbert, Tom Franck