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Stock market news updates: Wall Street reverses early losses, ends in the green as reopen hopes rise

·10 min read
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[Click here to read what’s moving markets heading into Thursday, May 14]

Stocks posted modest gains on Monday, with the Nasdaq and S&P 500 ending a choppy session in the green as a growing number of countries and U.S. states planned or began the process of phasing out stay-in-place measures that have hobbled the global economy.

The three major domestic equity indices tore higher last week, even as new corporate earnings results and economic data reports revealed more evidence of the devastation caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

However, investors have already begun pricing in a rebound later this year, even as health officials warn of a second wave of infections, and rising numbers of economists estimate a sharp rebound is increasingly unlikely given the severity of the economic damage.

“What’s happening in the market now is there are two mantras working. One is don’t fight the [Federal Reserve], and the other is the market is always four months ahead of GDP,” Barry Bannister, Stifel’s head of institutional equity strategy, told Yahoo Finance on Monday.

“In a sense, it’s reflecting an inflection upward in GDP sometime later this summer, call it August,” Bannister said — which could reverse if the rebound fails to materialize, he added.

That, however, remains a distinct possibility in the face of dire economic data that’s projected to get even worse. Friday’s jobs report from the U.S. Department of Labor showed employers cut a record 20.5 million payrolls in April, erasing a decade worth of jobs gains within that month alone. The unemployment rate hit 14.7%, jumping in just two months from February’s 50-year low to an all-time high, based on Bureau of Labor Statistics data back to 1948. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in an interview with Fox News Sunday, “The reported numbers are probably going to get worse before they get better.”

But as some analysts noted, the dismal data could serve as impetus for lawmakers to unleash further stimulus to help support Main Street workers and businesses – giving investors hope that such relief measures would eventually offset the economic damage imposed by the pandemic.

Ian Shepherdson, chief economist for Pantheon Macroeconomics, wrote in a note that his firm thinks “the key consequence of the jobs report—which, in truth, delivered no real surprises to markets—is that it will push Congress nearer to another substantial stimulus package.”

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 10: Celebrity Chef Brandon Fay, owner of the fast-casual takeout restaurant ‘Pasta By Hudson’ delivers pasta to healthcare workers in honor of Mother’s Day amid the coronavirus pandemic on May 10, 2020 in New York City. Fay has a cooking segment on Sunday mornings on CBS New York titled “Cooking with Brandon.”  COVID-19 has spread to most countries around the world, claiming over 282,000 lives with over 4.1 million cases. (Photo by Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images)
Celebrity Chef Brandon Fay, owner of the fast-casual takeout restaurant ‘Pasta By Hudson’ delivers pasta to healthcare workers in honor of Mother’s Day amid the coronavirus pandemic on May 10, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images)

Other strategists agree that swift fiscal and monetary support have been a key component of stocks’ recent moves higher — especially given the speed and breadth with which these relief measures have come.

Dubravko Lakos-Bujas, chief U.S. equity strategist at JPMorgan, said in a note that policymakers “injecting liquidity in key financial markets and lowering cost of capital (e.g. interest rates cuts, credit spread compression via various lending facilities and direct payments), will put a floor under equities.”

The Nasdaq was up 1.7% for the year to date as of market close Friday, outperforming the S&P 500 and Dow, which were down 9.3% and 14.7%, respectively, over the same period.

Still, stocks’ rallies after the recent batch of historically weak economic data and downward revisions to corporate earnings outlooks for this year have led at least some strategists to declare the stock market overvalued.

4:05 p.m. ET: Stocks end mixed to higher as tech, health shares bounce

Here were the main moves in markets as of 4:05 p.m. ET:

  • S&P 500 (^GSPC): +0.39 (+0.01%) to 2,930.19

  • Dow (^DJI): -109.33 (-0.45%) to 24,221.99

  • Nasdaq (^IXIC): +71.02 (+0.78%) to 9,192.34

  • Crude (CL=F): -$0.02 (-0.08%) to $24.72 a barrel

  • Gold (GC=F): -$14.20 (-0.83%) to $1,699.70 per ounce

  • 10-year Treasury (^TNX): +4.4 bps to yield 0.7260%

2:45 p.m. ET: Crude oil settles lower

June futures for West Texas intermediate crude oil (CL=F) settled lower by 2.4% to $24.14 per barrel Monday afternoon, paring some of last week’s 25% advance.

July futures for Brent crude (BZ=F), the international standard, also traded lower Monday afternoon, falling more than 3% to $29.60 per barrel.

12:44 p.m. ET: Stocks cut losses, Nasdaq and S&P turn into the green

The Nasdaq and S&P 500 indexes turned positive Monday afternoon, led higher by outperforming tech shares and bringing the tech benchmark further into positive territory for the year to date. The Dow, meanwhile, pared some earlier losses.

Here were the main moves in markets, as of 12:15 p.m. ET:

  • S&P 500 (^GSPC): 2,934.00, up 4.20 (+0.14%)

  • Dow (^DJI): 24,285.64, down 45.68 (-0.19%)

  • Nasdaq (^IXIC): 9,185.36, up 64.04 (+0.70%)

  • Crude (CL=F): $24.46 per barrel, down 28 cents cents (-1.13%)

  • Gold (GC=F): $1,696.90 per ounce, down $17 (-0.99%)

  • 10-year Treasury (^TNX): yielding 0.716%, +3.5 basis points

11:35 a.m. ET: AMC Entertainment stock surges after Amazon reportedly eyes a takeover bid

AMC Entertainment (AMC) shares rallied more than 30% during intraday trading Monday after U.K.’s The Daily Mail media outlet reported that Amazon (AMZN) had discussed a possible takeover bid for the movie theater company.

The original report initially sent shares as much as 56% higher earlier in the day. However, the stock pared gains following a subsequent report that the two companies were not discussing the reported deal.

9:48 a.m. ET: About 30% of S&P 500 companies have suspended guidance so far amid pandemic

About 150 of S&P 500 companies have so far suspended forward guidance as the coronavirus pandemic clouds the outlook, according to a Bank of America analysis. Of those companies pulling guidance, about half have been in the Consumer Discretionary and Industrials sectors.

Unlike in the past, investors have not rewarded companies that have offered financial guidance, however.

“Despite the fact that guiders have historically traded at a premium to non-guiders, companies which have suspended guidance have actually outperformed the market by 1.6ppt [percentage points] on average the following week (though underperformed by 70bp [basis points] on a median basis),” the analysts led by Savita Subramanian said in a note.

The tone so far on earnings calls has been “the weakest in years,” the analysis continued.

“The ratio of mentions of ‘better’ or ‘stronger’ vs. ‘worse’ or ‘weaker’ on earnings calls is the lowest since 2012, and mentions of optimism are at record lows (data since '03),” it said. Sentiment has been weakest in Financials and Real Estate, and least negative in Communication Services and Tech, according to Bank of America.

9:33 a.m. ET: Stocks open lower

Stocks extended lower Monday morning, holding onto overnight losses. The Materials and Financials sectors led declines in the S&P 500. American Express and JPMorgan Chase were the biggest decliners in the 30-stock Dow.

Here were the main moves in markets, as of 9:32 a.m. ET:

  • S&P 500 (^GSPC): 2,906.68, down 23.12 points (-0.79%)

  • Dow (^DJI): 24,112.09, down 219.23 points (-0.9%)

  • Nasdaq (^IXIC): 9,078.52, down 43.12 points (-0.47%)

  • Crude (CL=F): $24.80 per barrel, up 6 cents (+0.24%)

  • Gold (GC=F): $1,707.60 per ounce, down $6.30 (-0.37%)

  • 10-year Treasury (^TNX): yielding 0.676%, -0.5 basis point

7:54 a.m. ET: Marriott International sees 90% decline in April revenue per available room, extending 1Q decline

Marriott International (MAR) posted a first-quarter decline in revenue of 6.6% and a 90% drop in net income as travel and lodging demand dried up amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Like other companies across industries, Marriott saw much stronger trends in January and February than in March, and has continued to see weak travel trends in the current quarter.

For the first two months of the year, worldwide revenue per available room (RevPAR) grew 3.2%, excluding the Asia Pacific region, CEO Arne Sorenson said in a statement.

“As the pandemic moved around the world, we saw global RevPAR fall sharply, and, in April, worldwide RevPAR declined approximately 90%,” Sorenson said. “Currently, roughly a quarter of our worldwide hotels are closed.”

“The resilience of travel demand is evidence in the improving trends we see in Greater China. Occupancy at our hotels in the region reached 25% in April, up from less than 10% in mid-February 2020,” Sorenson added. “Looking at our occupancy and booking trends, it appears that lodging demand in most of the rest of the world has stabilized, albeit at very low levels.”

7:47 a.m. ET: Under Armour posts 23% drop in 1Q revenue as virus deals a blow to North American, Asia Pacific sales

Under Armour (UAA) posted a first-quarter net revenue decline of 23% to $930.2 million and a wider than expected adjusted loss per share as the pandemic hit the athletic-wear maker’s sales in North America and Asia Pacific.

Sales in the former – Under Armour’s largest contributor to overall revenue – fell 27.8%, deepening declines in this region from 2019. Sales in Asia Pacific plunged 33.7%, reversing an increase of nearly 25% in the same quarter last year. Overall inventory rose for the first time after six quarters of declines, underscoring the company’s difficulty in selling through items on hand.

CEO Patrik Frisk said in a statement that results had been tracking according to plan in Jan and February, but started to see significant declines starting in mid-March around the time that the pandemic began to accelerate outside of China.

7:11 a.m. ET Monday: Stock futures hold lower

Here were the main moves in the markets, as of 7:14 a.m. ET:

  • S&P 500 futures (ES=F): down 17.5 points, or 0.6%, to 2,911.00

  • Dow futures (YM=F): down 141 points, or 0.58%, to 24,145.00

  • Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): down 23.5 points, or 0.25%, to 9,194.75

  • Crude (CL=F): $24.27 per barrel, down $0.47 (-1.90%)

  • Gold (GC=F): $1,702.20 per ounce, down $11.70 (-0.68%)

  • 10-year Treasury (^TNX): yielding 0.691%, +1 basis point

6:05 p.m. ET Sunday: Stock futures tick down

Here were the main moves at the start of the overnight session for U.S. equity futures, as of 6:05 p.m. ET:

  • S&P 500 futures (ES=F): down 11.25 points, or 0.38%, to 2,917.25

  • Dow futures (YM=F): down 73 points, or 0.3%, to 24,213.00

  • Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): down 37 points, or 0.4%, to 9,181.25

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