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Stock markets torn between coronavirus risk, China trade perks

Jonathan Garber

U.S. equity markets were little changed Friday as the number of new coronavirus cases soared for a second day and the phase one trade deal between the U.S. and China went into effect.

The early action has all three of the major averages hovering just below their record highs.

China's National Health Commission said Friday the number of coronavirus cases rose by 5,090 to at least 63,851 as the death toll rose by 121 to 1,380. The outbreak could delay China's purchases of an additional $200 billion of U.S. products, which were promised in the partial trade agreement between the two countries. The pact goes into effect on Friday.

Among individual companies, Royal Caribbean fell after canceling 18 cruises in Southeast Asia and warning the coronavirus would weigh on its full-year earnings. Rivals Carnival and Norwegian Cruise Line fell in sympathy.

Tesla was lower after a Securities and Exchange Commission filing showed the electric-vehicle maker priced its secondary stock offering at $767 a share.

Pinterest slipped after Facebook announced the launch of a competing app.

On the earnings front, streaming service Roku posted fourth-quarter and full-year sales that topped Wall Street estimates and predicted 2020 revenue above expectations.

Travel platform Expedia reported adjusted fourth-quarter earnings that were ahead of analysts' forecasts and suspended its 2020 guidance due to uncertainty from the coronavirus.

Nvidia reported better-than-expected first-quarter revenue, boosted by demand from cloud-computing vendors, and set its current-quarter revenue target above forecasts.

Canopy Growth shares soared after the marijuana producer's fiscal third-quarter loss widened from a year ago, but not by as much as analysts were expecting.

Commodities were mixed, with West Texas Intermediate crude oil up 1.2 percent at $52.25 a barrel and gold down 0.1 percent at $1,578 an ounce.

U.S. Treasurys gained, pushing the yield on the 10-year note down 2.5 basis points to 1.592 percent.

In Europe, Britain’s FTSE was down 1 percent while France's CAC was little changed. Meanwhile, Germany’s DAX was the lone gainer, up 0.3 percent.


Asian markets finished mixed, with China’s Shanghai Composite and Hong Kong's Hang Seng adding 0.4 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively, while Japan’s Nikkei shed 0.6 percent.

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