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1:44 pm: Oil on track for best day ever, jumping more than 20%
U.S. oil surged more than 20% on Thursday, putting it on track for its best day on record as it clawed back more than half of the losses from Wednesday’s swoon. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude gained 21.4%, or $4.37, to trade at $24.74 per barrel. International benchmark Brent crude rose 12.8%, or $3.18, to trade at $28.06 per barrel. Thursday’s jump came a day after WTI dropped 24.4% to settle at a more than 18-year low of $20.37. Traders attributed the turnaround as a snap-back reaction to WTI’s depressed prices, as well as hope that additional stimulus measures will prop up economies worldwide. Thursday’s gain notwithstanding, WTI is still on pace for its worst month on record. – Stevens
1:30 pm: US cases top 10,000, New York leads the surge
The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States surpassed 10,000 on Thursday, doubling over two days as states ramp up testing and the coronavirus sweeps across the country. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday morning that the state confirmed 1,769 new cases in the last day, bringing the number of confirmed cases in New York to 4,152. — Feuer
11:59 am: Trump highlights pharma companies in briefing
President Trump highlighted therapies from Gilead Sciences and Regeneron during a briefing about the pandemic. Trump said his administration is working with the FDA to speed up trials of these therapies to help treat the virus. Gilead’s remdesivir drug was previously used to treat Ebola. Shares of Regeneron are up more than 3% for the day, while Gilead Sciences has gained 2.5%. — Pound
11:46 am: Dow up 400 points after Trump details virus therapy progress
The Dow erased early losses and jumped 400 points after President Donald Trump gave clarity on the coronavirus treatment efforts. In a press conference, Trump said clinical trials are underway for coronavirus vaccines and he has directed the FDA to remove outdated rules to speed the process. The S&P 500 last traded 2% higher. — Li
11:38 am: Small-cap stocks climb
The Russell 2000 gained 2.3% in early trading, as the small cap index outpaced more modest gains by the S&P 500 and Dow and slightly trailed the Nasdaq Composite. The index has fallen 41% since Feb. 19. — Pound
10:54 am: Fed adds to programs aimed at keeping markets functioning
The Federal Reserve has taken a flurry of steps over the past several hours to shore up credit markets and keep liquidity flowing. Late Wednesday night, the U.S. central bank announced a plan that will provide loans to banks collateralized by money market funds. The move is important considering the tumult that the funds caused during the financial crisis. Then, on Thursday morning, the Fed said it will extend its currency swaps program to nine other central banks around the world as dollar demand surges. Also, the New York Fed stepped up its bond-buying program Thursday and Friday to entail $75 billion worth of Treasurys across the yield curve. Finally, New York said it will conduct an additional $10 billion worth of purchases in the mortgage-backed securities space “to address highly unusual disruptions in the market” that are “associated with the coronavirus outbreak.” – Cox
10:52 am: Tesla rallies after month-long tumble
Tesla shares jumped more than 15% in Thursday trading after Morgan Stanley upgraded the stock to equal-weight from underweight. Morgan Stanley said Tesla “has sufficient liquidity and access to capital during this time.” The electric automaker’s stock lost half its value in the past month, dropping from nearly $970 per share in February to just above $400 per share currently. – Sheetz
10:51 am: Uber stock pops after saying it has cash to last through coronavirus scare
Uber stock rose as much as 35% Thursday after the company held a call with investors and said it has plenty of cash on hand to get through the coronavirus crisis. CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said Uber is seeing growth in other areas of the business as rides fall dramatically as people stay home. Shares of Lyft, the company’s ride-sharing competitor, also rose more than 17% in the morning. – Bursztynsky
10:50 am: Wall Street analysts see buying opportunities amid more market volatility
- Morgan Stanley upgraded Tesla to equal weight from underweight.
- Bank of America downgraded Beyond Meat to underperform from neutral.
- Credit Suisse downgraded Clorox to neutral from overweight.
- Wells Fargo upgraded PNC to overweight from equal weight.
- Macquarie initiated PayPal as buy.
- Deutsche Bank initiated a catalyst call buy idea on Dollar Tree.
- Citi upgraded Blackstone to buy from neutral and added a 90-day positive catalyst watch.
- Bank of America downgraded Tilray to underperform from neutral.
- JPMorgan downgraded Estee Lauder to underweight from overweight.
- Credit Suisse named Diamondback Energy a top pick.
- Loop Capital upgraded Roku to hold from sell.
10:47 am: Bank of England cuts rates, announces QE
The Bank of England on Thursday announced additional action, including an interest rate cut and bond-buying program, to keep borrowing costs in check as countries prepare to increase spending to offset coronavirus impact. The central bank slashed rates by 15 basis points to 0.1%, and said it will increase its holdings of UK government bonds and sterling non-financial investment-grade corporate bonds by £200 billion to a total of £645 billion. – Li
10:43 am: ‘FAANG’ stocks all higher as market aims for morning rebound
Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google-parent Alphabet all traded higher around 10:30 a.m. ET as the broader equity market pared some of its recent slide. Facebook, Amazon and Netflix were each up at least 4% while Apple and Alphabet notched more modest gains.
Movie and TV streaming company Netflix and e-commerce giant Amazon have posted marked outperformance over the S&P 500 over the last week as more Americans heed the government’s call to isolate and work from home. Netflix and Amazon, up 5% and 13% over the last 5 trading sessions, respectively, are well ahead of the S&P 500’s 3.6% decline over the same time. — Franck
10:32 am: Battered hotel stocks on the rise
Some of the hotel and casino stocks, which have taken the hardest hits from the coronavirus, were in the green Thursday. MGM Resorts climbed 12.5%, while Wynn Resorts rose more than 10%. Marriott and Hilton also traded higher Thursday after losing 45% and 38% in March alone. In premarket trading the hotel stocks had been down more than 10%. The travel and tourism industry is seeking $150 billion in relief to help grapple with the pandemic that has ground travel to a halt. – Li
10:17 am: Ray Dalio says the coronavirus will cost US corporations up to $4 trillion
Ray Dalio, the founder of Bridgewater Associates, estimated the U.S. corporate losses will amount to $4 trillion due to the coronavirus pandemic. Globally, the outbreak will cost corporations $12 trillion, he added. Dalio said the fiscal stimulus package should be $1.5 trillion to $2 trillion at a minimum, depending on the form of the financial relief such as loan guarantees and credits. “What’s happening has not happened in our lifetime before … What we have is a crisis,” Dalio said in a “Squawk Box” interview. “There will also be individuals who have very big losses. … There’s a need for the government to spend more money, a lot more money.” – Li
10:14: Green across the board
Stocks are now higher across the board, with the Dow erasing an early 700 point loss. The 30-stock index is now up 178 points, for a gain of 0.9%. The S&P 500 is 1% higher, while the Nasdaq Composite is up nearly 3%. – Stevens
10:11 am: Nasdaq turns positive as tech stocks rise
The Nasdaq Composite gained 1.5% as some of the biggest tech stocks rallied. Netflix has jumped 6.8%, while Facebook rose more than 5%. Amazon, Apple and Alphabet have also posted gains so far. — Pound
9:37 am: Stocks move lower as Dow, S&P 500 fall 2%
The Dow is now down more than 500 points, adding to yesterday’s 1,338 point drop, which was a loss of 6.30%. The Nasdaq opened in positive territory, but couldn’t hold onto those gains, and is now 0.8% lower. The S&P 500 is down 2%. – Stevens
9:30 am: Stocks open modestly lower, Dow falls 130 points
After multiple sessions of huge moves in either direction at the open, Thursday’s start to trading was pretty quiet. The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened 130 points lower, for a loss of 0.65%. The S&P 500 fell 0.3% while the Nasdaq was up 0.2%. – Stevens
8:56 am: Economist: Next week’s jobless claims could hit 2 million as coronavirus halt slams labor market
Next Thursday’s look at weekly new jobless claims may show a tenfold spike to two million as the full force of the coronavirus halt in the U.S. economy slams the labor market, economist Ian Shepherdson told CNBC. “Looking at the states’ unemployment claims numbers that have been coming out over the last few days, it looks to me like the order of magnitude in most states seems to be about 10 times higher than the normal weekly numbers before the crisis,” the chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics said on “Squawk Box.” “That means next week’s jobless claims number could jump 200,000-something this week to two million next week.” – Stankiewicz
8:49 am: Dow briefly wipes out gains since Trump’s inauguration
With the coronavirus spreading economic mayhem across the globe, the Dow’s steep drop on Wednesday briefly pushed the 30-stock index below the level where it closed on Jan. 19, 2017, the day before Trump took office.
At session lows, Dow Industrials fell 2,319.92 points to 18,917.46 and nearly 600 points below its close of 19,732.40 a day before Trump’s inauguration. A surge in major market indexes in the last 10 minutes of trading on Wednesday pushed the Dow back above its pre-inauguration levels by a thin 166 points. – Franck
8:30 am: Weekly jobless claims higher-than-expected
U.S. jobless claims rose 70,000 to reach 281,000 for the week ending March 14. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones expected a reading of 220,000. Companies have just started what is expected to be an aggressive round of layoffs due to the slump in demand that the virus is causing. – Stevens
8:21 am: US dollar jumps to multi-year high
As the coronavirus outbreak continues to send jitters through the market, the dollar index jumped to 102.329, its highest level since Jan. 11, 2017 as investors look to have cash on hand. —Francolla, Stevens
8:18 am: Bank of America says the recession is already here: ‘Jobs will be lost, wealth will be destroyed’
Bank of America warned investors on Thursday that a coronavirus-induced recession is no longer avoidable — it’s already here. “We are officially declaring that the economy has fallen into a recession … joining the rest of the world, and it is a deep plunge,” Bank of America U.S. economist Michelle Meyer wrote in a note. “Jobs will be lost, wealth will be destroyed and confidence depressed.” The firm expects the economy to “collapse” in the second quarter, shrinking by 12%. For 2020, the firm expects GDP to contract by 0.8%. —Stevens
8:05 am: Hotel stocks slammed in premarket trading
Hilton and Marriott shares are poised for another brutal day, with both stocks falling more than 10% in premarket trading after posting double-digit declines on Wednesday. Hotels and other tourism companies are pushing for more than $100 billion in relief from the federal government due to the hit their business has taken from the
pandemic. Pershing Square Capital Management CEO Bill Ackman said on Wednesday that every major hotel stock would go to zero without significant government action, but that he is still buying Hilton shares. —Pound
7:50 am: Markets will be watching claims data for coronavirus fallout
Investors will be closely watching this morning’s jobless claims report, which could provide a first glimpse into the economic damage that the coronavirus is causing. However, the real picture probably won’t emerge until next week. Jobless claims for the week ended March 14 will come at 8:30, with economists surveyed by Dow Jones expecting a reading of 220,000, which would be up only slightly from last week’s 211,000. Companies, however, have just started what is expected to be an aggressive round of layoffs due to the slump in demand that the virus is causing. —Cox
7:47 am: Oil prices rebound after falling to 18-year lows
Oil prices bounced back on Thursday, one day after dropping to their lowest level in 18 years. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude jumped 10% to $22.43, while international benchmark Brent crude gained 4.6%. The relief rally comes one day after WTI fell 24.4% for its third worst day on record. Oil is getting hit on both the supply and demand side. The coronavirus outbreak and subsequent travel slowdown has led to soft demand for crude, while the market is set to be flooded with more oil beginning in April as OPEC+ nations increase their output in a fight for global market share. —Stevens
7:46 am: ECB announces massive stimulus package
The European Central Bank on Wednesday announced a new “Pandemic Emergency Purchase Program” that will use 750 billion euros to purchase securities to help support the European economy. “The ECB will ensure that all sectors of the economy can benefit from supportive financing conditions that enable them to absorb this shock,” the central bank said in a release. “This applies equally to families, firms, banks and governments. The Governing Council will do everything necessary within its mandate.” —Li
7:44 am: Stock futures point to more pain on Wall Street
With reporting from Will Feuer, Nate Rattner, Jeff Cox, Jesse Pound, Thomas Franck, Kevin Stankiewicz, Michael Bloom, Michael Sheetz, Jessica Bursztynsky and Gina Francolla.
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