Stocks rose Friday on the heels of a volatile session a day earlier as crude oil prices advanced. The latest batch of economic data released Friday morning showed increasing stress on the U.S. manufacturing sector, with durable goods orders down the most in six years in March.
The coronavirus pandemic showed further, but still tentative, signs of leveling off, with hospitalizations declining in the hardest-hit U.S. states of New York and New Jersey. Earlier this week, some southern states began a multi-phase economic reopening process. However, many medical experts have warned that easing social distancing restrictions across the country too soon could backfire and trigger another major wave of infections.
Still, weeks-long social distancing measures have ravaged the U.S. economy. Further signs of the devastating economic toll from the coronavirus pandemic emerged on Thursday, with the Labor Department reporting another 4.427 million individuals filed new unemployment claims last week. The new data marked the third straight week that new jobless claims fell on a week-over-week basis, but brought the total number of initial unemployment insurance claims over the last five weeks to more than 26 million.
“Net, net, jobless claims are warning that the worst isn't over yet for the American economy with businesses and consumers alike being sucked down into the abyss of the pandemic recession,” Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist for MUFG, wrote in a note Thursday.
Friday afternoon, President Donald Trump signed into law a $486 billion relief package to provide funds to small businesses and hospitals upended by the pandemic. The legislation, which boosts a vital small business aid program that ran out of funds last week, was cleared by the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives earlier this week.
4:05 p.m. ET: Stocks end higher, led by Tech sector
Here were the main moves in markets, as of 4:02 p.m. ET:
S&P 500 (^GSPC): +38.94 points (+1.39%) to 2,836.74
Dow (^DJI): +260.01 points (+1.11%) to 23,775.27
Nasdaq (^IXIC): +139.77 points (+1.65%) to 8,634.52
Gold (GC=F): -$6.50 (-0.37%) to $1,738.90 per ounce
10-year Treasury (^TNX): -2.3 bps to yield 0.588%
2:55 p.m. ET: Stocks rise, shaking off earlier losses
Here were the main moves in markets, as of 2:55 p.m. ET:
S&P 500 (^GSPC): +29.24 points (+1.05%) to 2,827.04
Dow (^DJI): +183.37 points (+0.78%) to 23,698.63
Nasdaq (^IXIC): +99.42 points (+1.18%) to 8,595.49
Gold (GC=F): -$4.80 (-0.28%) to $1,740.60 per ounce
10-year Treasury (^TNX): -1.2 bps to yield 0.599%
2:40 p.m. ET: Crude oil settles 2.7% higher
June futures for West Texas intermediate (CL=F) settled 2.7% higher to $16.94 per barrel on Friday, extending cumulative gains of more than 40% over the past couple sessions. However, the commodity still posted a weekly loss after a steep selloff earlier in the week sent May contracts deeply into negative territory.
12:30 p.m. ET: Trump signs new stimulus bill, providing aid to hospitals and small biz
President Donald Trump signed a $484 billion bill Friday to aid employers and hospitals cratering under the weight of the coronavirus pandemic, with the U.S. economy facing a wrenching recession. The Treasury has issued new guidelines for the widely maligned Paycheck Protection Program, which saw some larger-sized companies tap the fund for cash as smaller businesses — the intended demographic— got shut out.
10:30 a.m. ET: AT&T gains as CEO’s departure announced
Randall Stephenson, who’s oversaw AT&T’s controversial merger with Time Warner, will be leaving the company as of July 1 and will be replaced by COO John Stankey.
Stephenson had previously vowed to remain through the end of the year (which obviously isn’t the case now), which may spark speculation about whether he was pushed/lost the board’s support. Late last year, the company came under pressure from activist firm Elliott Management, which was pushing for the separation of CEO and chairman roles, among other management changes.
AT&T (T) is up 0.60% in morning trading, hovering just under $30 per share.
10:08 a.m. ET: Stocks erase earlier gains, Nasdaq turns negative
Stocks erased earlier gains around market open to trade roughly flat. The Nasdaq fell 16 points, or about 0.2%. Each of the S&P 500 and Dow were up less than 1 point, with declines in the tech-heavy Communication sector weighing on the former.
10:00 a.m. ET: April decline in consumer sentiment ‘indicates an ongoing recession’ University of Michigan
An index of consumer sentiment dropped by nearly 20% in April from March to 71.8, from 89.1 in March, according to the University of Michigan’s final April survey. The final headline index was little changed from the preliminary print of 71.0 released earlier this month, and was above consensus economist expectations for a drop to 68.0.
“The notable divergence between the two main components of the Sentiment Index remained large. The Current Conditions Index fell by 29.4 points in the past month and by 40.5 points in the past two months, whereas the Expectations Index has posted smaller declines of 9.6 points in the past month and 22.0 points from February,” Richard Curtin, surveys of consumers chief economist, said in a statement. “While the decline in both indices indicates an ongoing recession, the gap reflects the anticipated cyclical nature of the coronavirus.”
“In the weeks ahead, as several states reopen their economies, more information will reach consumers about how reopening could cause a resurgence in coronavirus infections,” he added. “Consumers' reactions to relaxing restrictions will be critical, either putting further pressure on states to reopen their economies, or exerting added pressure to extend the restrictions even if it has negative consequences for economic prospects.”
9:45 a.m. ET: Analysts see the beginning of the end to oil rout
The biggest market story of the week has been crude, which spooked investors by turning negative — only to skyrocket in subsequent sessions. The macro theme is still oversupply in a world where demand has been hit hard by the coronavirus, but some market observers think oil has stabilized for the time being.
Veteran commodity watcher Vandana Hari told Yahoo Finance on Friday that it was "hard to say" if the worst is behind us, but he does think there’s a “tentative floor” in oil. Still, Hari echoed other market participants who think U.S. producers are in deep trouble.
9:33 a.m. ET: Stocks open higer
Here were the main moves in markets, as of 9:33 a.m. ET:
S&P 500 (^GSPC): +14.13 points (+0.51%) to 2,811.93
Dow (^DJI): +119.8 points (+0.51%) to 23,637.1
Nasdaq (^IXIC): +0.34 points (+0.35%) to 8,524.29
Crude (CL=F): +$0.81 (+4.91%) to $17.31 a barrel
Gold (GC=F): +$9.00 (+0.52%) to $1,754.40 per ounce
10-year Treasury (^TNX): +0.7 bps to yield 0.618%
8:30 a.m. ET: Durable goods orders plunge by most since 2014 in March, missing expectations
Durable goods orders sank 14.4% in March, according to the Census Bureau’s preliminary monthly results, marking the biggest drop in six years. This was worse than the decline of 12.0% anticipated, according to Bloomberg data of consensus economist expectations. In February, durable goods orders rose by 1.1%.
Excluding transportation, durable goods orders fell 0.2% in March, or better than the decline of 6.5% expected. Durable goods orders excluding transportation fell 0.7% in February.
Non-defense capital goods orders, excluding aircraft, unexpectedly rose by 0.1% in March, while a 6.7% decline had been anticipated. This measure is used as a closely watched proxy of business investment plans.
7:20 a.m. ET: American Express net income slides 76% over last year as pandemic curbs consumer spending, drives higher provisions for losses
American Express (AXP) reported net income of $367 million, or 41 cents, for the fiscal first quarter, representing a drop 76% over last year’s $1.6 billion, or $1.80 per share.
The results were driven in large part by a significant build in the payment company’s provisions for losses of $2.6 billion, including a $1.7 billion reserve build to “reflect deterioration of the global estimated macroeconomic outlook as a result of COVID-19 impacts.”
American Express highlighted the impact the coronavirus pandemic was having on customer spending behavior, noting that the effects “accelerated in April” and “dramatically” impacted their volumes.
“The first two months of 2020 continued the strong momentum we have delivered over the past two years, but we’re now in a different world,” CEO Stephen J. Squeri said in a statement.
Overall first-quarter adjusted earnings per share were $1.98, or better than the $1.60 expected, according to Bloomberg data. First-quarter revenue of $10.3 billion missed consensus estimates for $10.6 billion.
7:07 a.m. ET Friday: Stock futures rise
Here were the main moves in markets Friday morning, as of 7:07 a.m. ET:
S&P 500 futures (ES=F): up 20.5 points, or +0.74% to 2,801.25
Dow futures (YM=F): up 160 points, or +0.69% to 23,497.00
Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): up 44.5 points, or +0.52% to 8,643.25
Crude (CL=F): +$0.41 (+2.48%) to $16.91 a barrel
Gold (GC=F): +$12.50 (+0.72%) to $1,757.90 per ounce
10-year Treasury (^TNX): -0.7 bps to yield 0.604%
6:03 p.m. ET Thursday: Stock futures little changed after volatile session
Here were the main moves at the start of the overnight session for U.S. equity futures, as of 6:03 p.m. ET Thursday evening:
S&P 500 futures (ES=F): up 1 point, or +0.04% to 2,781.75
Dow futures (YM=F): up 13 points, or +0.06% to 23,350.00
Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): down 11.75 points, or -0.14% to 8,587.00