People who lost their jobs wait in line to file for unemployment following an outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at an Arkansas Workforce Center in Fayetteville, Arkansas, April 6, 2020.
Nick Oxford | Reuters
Stocks rose for a second day even after data showed another 4.4 million Americans filed for jobless claims last week amid coronavirus shutdowns. Still, major equity averages are on track for modest weekly losses due to a steep sell-off earlier this week triggered by an unprecedented oil rout. Here’s what’s happening:
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1:15 pm: Stocks rebound after Gilead cites potential benefit in antiviral drug
Stocks recovered its losses swiftly after Gilead said that its antiviral drug aiming to treat the coronavirus may still benefit patients. The WHO said in a document published accidentally that the drug performed poorly in a Chinese clinical test. Gilead said in a statement that the WHO document had “inappropriate characterizations of the study.” “As such, the study results are inconclusive, though trends in the data suggest a potential benefit for remdesivir, particularly among patients treated early in disease,” the company said. The Dow last traded 220 points higher, after almost turning negative following the report.—Li
12:59 pm: Gilead antiviral drug reportedly fails in first trial
Gilead’s antiviral drug remdesivir to treat the coronavirus showed disappointing results in a Chinese trial, the Financial Times reported, citing draft documents published accidentally by the World Health Organization. The paper said remdesivir did not improve patients’ condition or reduce the coronavirus pathogen in their bloodstream. —Li
12:48 pm: Stocks cut gains rapidly after report says Gilead antiviral drug trial disappoints
Stocks pared gains in a sudden move after the Financial Times reported Gilead’s antiviral drug flopped in a trial to treat Covid-19. The Dow is now up only 180 points, after rising 400 points at its session high. Gilead’s stock dropped 6%. – Li
12:40 pm: Zoom shares jump 10% after reporting massive user growth
Shares of Zoom popped more than 10% Thursday after the company announced its daily users grew 50% in the past month. More than 300 million people used Zoom’s videoconferencing software on April 22, CEO Eric Yuan announced in a webinar. Zoom announced on April 1 it had 200 million people using its software in March, after several stay-at-home mandates were implemented, from about 10 million in December. – Li, Bursztynsky
12:30 pm: Markets at midday: Stocks rally for a second day as oil extends rebound from historic lows
Around midday, the major averages traded sharply higher as crude prices followed through in their rebound from the historic lows reached earlier in the week. The Dow traded more than 300 points higher, or 1.5%. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq also rallied more than 1% each. —Imbert
11:50 am: New York City’s top health official says city’s confirmed coronavirus cases are ‘tip of the iceberg’
Confirmed coronavirus cases in New York City are just “the tip of the iceberg,” New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot said Thursday, adding that “close to a million” residents have probably been exposed to Covid-19. More than 147,000 people in New York City have so far tested positive for Covid-19, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.— William Feuer
11:09 am: US issues new guidance for small business loans to make it harder for public companies to get funds
10:58 am: Energy stocks roar back as oil prices surge
Shares of energy companies rallied in a big way on Thursday alongside oil’s rebound. West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark, rose 30%, or $4.18, to trade at $17.96 per barrel after cratering earlier in the week from a hit to demand driven by the coronavirus slowdown. Noble Energy and Apache Corporation surged 12% and 13%, respectively. Occidental Petroleum shot up more than 8%, Devon Energy soared more than 11%, and Exxon Mobil rose more than 5%. — Fitzgerald
10:53 am: Wall Street analysts see upside in stocks like Amazon ahead of earnings
- BMO upgraded Chipotle to market perform from underperform.
- Goldman Sachs raised its price target on Amazon to $2,900 from $2,600.
- Evercore ISI named Disney a top pick.
- Raymond James downgraded Biogen to underperform from market perform.
- Citi downgraded Biogen to sell from neutral.
- Barclays downgraded L Brands to equal weight from overweight.
- Craig-Hallum upgraded Seagate to buy from hold.
- Morgan Stanley upgraded Gap to equal weight from underweight.
CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here. — Bloom
10:51 am: Stocks hit session highs, with Dow rising 400 points
The major averages followed oil prices higher on Thursday, hitting a session high in mid-morning trading. The Dow traded 400 points higher while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq advanced more than 1% each. U.S. crude prices soared about 30%. —Imbert
10:30 am: New home sales hit lowest level since 2013
March saw the lowest level of new home sales in the U.S. since July 2013, according to new data from the Commerce Department. Sales of new single-family homes fell by 15.4% to a seasonally adjusted level of 627,000 units. The median sales price was $321,400, down from $330,100 in February. — Pound, Reuters
10:02 am: CSX shares rise after earnings beat
Shares of railroad giant CSX gained more than 3% on Thursday after the company reported quarterly earnings that beat analyst expectations. CSX posted a profit of $1 per share, topping a Refinitiv estimate of 94 cents per share. CSX was among the best-performing stocks in the Dow Transports index, which rose more than 1.5%. —Imbert
9:55 am: S&P 500 average gains since March low are much bigger than losses
The S&P 500‘s rally from its late-March lows has happened in part because the index’s daily upside moves have been bigger than its downturns over the past month, data from Instinet shows. On average, the S&P 500 has averaged a gain of 3.6% since March 24 versus an average loss of 2.1%. “While obvious, the simplicity should not outweigh the importance,” said Instinet’s Frank Cappelleri. “This kind [of] scenario is what helps bullish patterns succeed and bearish patterns fade away … which is what we’ve seen happen over the last month of trading.” —Imbert
9:50 am: Cooperman says capitalism will likely be changed forever
9:45 am: Goldman raises Amazon target to Street high
Goldman Sachs has the new highest price target for Amazon on Wall Street. The bank’s analysts hiked their target to $2,900 per share, up from $2,600. In a note to clients, the analysts said the market is not pricing in the increased demand across its major business units. The stock is up 1.9% in early trading. — Pound
9:31 am: Stocks open slightly higher
Stocks rose a tad at the open as investors digested data showing jobless claims totaled 4.4 million last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed about 70 points, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite traded about 0.4% higher. The major stock averages are still headed for weekly losses after a steep sell-off earlier this week on an unprecedented oil rout. — Li
9:05 am: Gap drops after warning it might run out of cash
Shares of Gap dropped 5% in premarket trading after the apparel company warned it might not have enough cash for operations as its stores remain temporarily shut because of the coronavirus pandemic. Gap said in a securities filing that it must take further actions to find liquidity over the next 12 months, such as additional job cuts and new debt financing. It added that beginning this month, it stopped paying rent on its temporarily shuttered stores. The stock has tumbled 60% this year — Li
8:38 am: The US economy has now erased all job gains since the Great Recession
It took only five weeks for the U.S. economy to wipe out all the job gains it added over the last 11 years.
Coronavirus-induced business closures throughout the U.S. has fueled the number of Americans applying for state unemployment benefits. Last week, new jobless claims totaled 4.427 million, the Labor Department reported Thursday.
Combined with the four prior jobless claims reports, the number of Americans who have filed for unemployment over the previous five weeks is 26.45 million. That number exceeds the 22.442 million jobs added to nonfarm payrolls since November 2009, when the U.S. economy began to add jobs back to the economy after the Great Recession. —Franck
8:31 am: 4.4 million Americans filed for jobless claims last week
Another 4.427 million workers filed state unemployment claims in the week ended April 18, bringing the total number seeking benefits over the past five weeks to more than 26 million. There was little reaction from stocks and bonds following the jobs report.— Li
8:00 am: Oil jumps again, adding to comeback from historic lows
Oil rose for a second session on Thursday, rebounding from an unprecedented rout. West Texas Intermediate crude jumped 13.6% to trade at $15.68 per barrel. Brent crude traded $1.60, or 7.6%, higher at $21.94 per barrel. On Monday, the WTI contract for May delivery plunged below zero to trade in negative territory for the first time in history.— Li
7:42 am: Target sees ‘Cyber Monday’-sized online sales boom
Target CEO Brian Cornell said Thursday the retailer has benefited from a surge in online shopping, but warned it will have lower profits this quarter due to higher costs. Cornell said the online trend has worked in the discount retailer’s favor, and it expects to emerge from the coronavirus pandemic having gained market share. Since its fiscal first quarter began Feb. 2, Target’s same-store sales have risen more than 7%. So far in April, comparable digital sales have increased by more than 275% from a year ago.
Despite the strong comparable and digital sales, Target’s stock is down 5% in premarket trading.— Repko, Fitzgerald
7:35 am: Another 4.3 million workers expected to have filed unemployment claims
7:30 am: Stock futures flat ahead of weekly jobless claims
—CNBC’s Jessica Bursztynsky, Michael Bloom, Fred Imbert, Thomas Franck, Patti Domm, Melissa Repko contributed reporting.
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