This is a live blog. Here’s what’s happening:
8:20 am: Market losing momentum in recent days, strategist says
The market’s rip-roaring rally off the March 23 lows has lost some momentum in recent days, technical strategist Mark Newton said in a note. “While the trends remain quite positive near-term, there has been some slowdown in both breadth and momentum … and the rally into Tuesday’s highs ahead of Wednesday’s decline showed definite signs of negative momentum divergence while breadth has gotten weaker.” The major averages all rose more than 2% on Tuesday, but then dropped over 1% on Wednesday.
“The takeaway is that markets DO show evidence of some internal issues that “could” lead to a decline. However, this also could simply lead to minor consolidation that ends up leading equities higher into late April,” said Newton, managing member of Newton Advisors. —Imbert
8:16 am: Oil in the green after falling to its lowest level in more than 18 years
U.S. oil moved higher on Thursday, one day after settling at $19.87, a level not seen since February 2002. West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark, rose 19 cents to trade at $20.06, while international benchmark Brent crude traded $1.03 higher at $28.72 per barrel. If WTI can hold onto its gains throughout the session, it will be the contract’s first positive day in 5. Oil moved lower on Wednesday after the U.S. Energy Information Administration said that inventory surged by a record 19.2 million barrels for the week ending April 10 as the coronavirus pandemic continues to sap demand. Additionally, the IEA said in its monthly report that oil demand could fall by 29 million barrels per day in April, driving demand to its lowest level in 25 years. On Sunday OPEC and its allies announced a record 9.7 million bpd production cut beginning on May 1, but the move has done little to assuage traders’ fears about the slowdown in demand. Since the deal was finalized on Sunday WTI has dropped more than 12%. – Stevens
7:55 am: Global virus cases top 2 million, Trump to announce reopening guidelines
There have now been more than 2 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus worldwide, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The United States has the most confirmed cases with more than 630,000. Spain, Italy, German and France all have seen more than 100,000.President Donald Trump said on Wednesday night that he would release guidelines for states to reopen their economies on Thursday.There have been at least 138,008 deaths due to the virus worldwide, including more than 30,000 in the U.S., according to Johns Hopkins. — Pound
7:50 am: Schumer, Pelosi to continue talks with Treasury over additional virus relief
7:48 am: US jobless claims expected to hit 5 million, release due at 8:30 am ET
The Labor Department is scheduled to release at 8:30 a.m. ET its report on the number of Americans who filed for state unemployment benefits last week. Economists polled by Dow Jones expect initial claims for the week ended April 11 to total 5 million, a decline from 6.6 million in the prior week but still an eye-popping number on a historical basis. Thursday’s release could see the U.S. economy clinch an important milestone amid the coronavirus outbreak: the erasure of all of the nonfarm job gains since the throes of the Great Recession and financial crisis if claims exceed 5.662 million. — Franck
7:45 am: S&P 500 ‘back to expensive,’ says Bank of America
The S&P 500 is back to looking expensive, Bank of American equity and quant strategist Savita Subramanian said in a note to clients Thursday. Looking at 20 valuation frameworks, including trailing PE, EV/EBITDA and EV/sales, the firm found that the benchmark index is “richer” than average on many of these key metrics. The three exceptions are “lower than average Price to Free Cash Flow, cheaper relative to bonds and relative to gold.” From a momentum and value play standpoint Bank of America said health care, tech and communication services look the best, while materials, energy and consumer discretionary rank the worst. “Today’s valuations suggest S&P 500 annualized 10-yr price returns of 4%-5%. This is lower than average returns in prior decades and roughly half of the 8% annualized price return we’ve enjoyed since post-WWII (1947)…But if we consider total returns of 6% to 8% (assuming a dividend yield of 2% to 3%), US equities’ annualized returns are still very competitive with other similar-in-quality asset class returns,” Subramanian said. —Stevens
7:42 am: Morgan Stanley’s profit falls short, but trading beats estimates
Morgan Stanley on Thursday posted a first-quarter profit that missed analysts’ expectations, but the firm’s trading desks generated about $700 million more revenue than expected. The bank said in a release that earnings dropped 30% to $1.7 billion, or $1.01 a share, compared with the $1.14 estimate of analysts surveyed by Refinitiv. Shares of Morgan Stanley dipped 0.8% in premarket trading. – Son, Li
7:25 am: Stock futures point to modest gains at the open
Stock futures rose slightly on Thursday, following a big sell-off in the previous session, as both corporate results and economic data fueled concerns about an economic fallout caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average erased earlier losses and implied an opening gain of about 90 points. S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures also turned positive. Investors are bracing for Labor Department’s report on last week’s initial jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. ET, which economists polled by Dow Jones expected to total 5 million. — Li
— With reporting from Hugh Son, Jesse Pound, Fred Imbert and Lauren Hirsch.
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