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Stock market news live: Stocks erase rebound, dip into the red as coronavirus pandemic fears flare

Stocks tried to stage a rally on Wednesday, after an ugly 2-day rout shaved off trillions in market value before once again turning negative. Rising coronavirus cases across the world are keeping a lid on the upside, however, as the U.S. mobilizes a response to keep the illness from becoming a full-fledged pandemic.

(To see what’s happening in Thursday’s trading, click here)

4:07 p.m. ET: S&P, Dow close lower; Nasdaq stays in the green

Here’s where markets had settled as of 4:07 p.m. ET:

  • S&P 500 (^GSPC): -0.38% or -11.75 points to 3,116.46

  • Dow (^DJI):  -0.46% or -123.50 points to 26,957.86

  • Nasdaq (^IXIC): +0.17% or +15.16 points to 8,980.77

  • Crude oil (CL=F): -2.32% or -1.16 to 48.74 a barrel

  • Gold (GC=F): -0.53% or -8.80 to 1,641.20 per ounce

  • 10-year Treasury (^TNX): -1.50% or -0.0200 to 1.3100

3:29 p.m. ET: Travel and leisure stocks continue to lag

Travel and leisure stocks were underperforming again as fears of a potential coronavirus pandemic continued to hit markets.

  • TripAdvisor (TRIP): -7.0%

  • Royal Caribbean (RCL): -7.3%

  • Carnival (CCL): -7.4%

  • United Airlines (UAL): -6.2%

  • Norwegian Cruise (NCLH): -6.8%

  • Expedia (EXPE): -7.1%

  • MGM Resorts (MGM): -6.6%

  • Booking (BKNG): -3.4%

3 p.m. ET: 10-year treasury yield hits fresh record low

With about one hour left in Wednesday’s trading session, the U.S. 10-year treasury yield (^TNX) hit a fresh record of 1.302%, as investors flocked to safety amid growing concerns about the deadly coronavirus.

Here’s a check of markets, as of 3:04 p.m. ET:

  • S&P 500 (^GSPC): -0.14% or -4.41 points to 3,123.80

  • Dow (^DJI):  -0.34% or -92.61 points to 26,988.75

  • Nasdaq (^IXIC): +0.17% or +15.16 points to 8,980.35

  • Crude oil (CL=F): -2.40% or -1.20 to 48.70 a barrel

  • Gold (GC=F): +0.03% or +0.50 to 1,650.50 per ounce

1:41 p.m. ET: Stocks erase rebound, turn negative as coronavirus pandemic fears flare

Here’s where the markets were trading as of 1:41 p.m. ET:

  • S&P 500 (^GSPC): -0.47% or -14.74 points to 3,113.47

  • Dow (^DJI):  -0.56% or -150.63 points to 26,930.73

  • Nasdaq (^IXIC): -0.25% or -22.59 points to 8,943.02

  • Crude oil (CL=F): -0.96% or -0.48 to 49.42 a barrel

  • Gold (GC=F): -0.38% or -6.30 to 1,643.70 per ounce

12:45 p.m. ET: Two charts explain the market’s virus panic

The market’s recently whipsaw trading over the coronavirus has belied the fact that rates of new infections within China — the epicenter of the pathogen’s outbreak — are actually on the decline. So why are investors so freaked out?

The answer is that new infections outside of the Middle Kingdom are trending upward in a dramatic fashion. Via Capital Economics, here’s one graph that’s enough to make some traders lose sleep tonight:

New coronavirus cases spike externally.

The biggest worries right now are South Korea and Italy (which reported on Wednesday that new cases had doubled), but other regions are also trending higher:

New coronavirus cases spike externally.


12:30 p.m. ET: Stocks cling to narrow gains as new coronavirus fears bite

Wall Street has given back a chunk of the session’s gains in a volatile trading session, with Germany and the U.S. both sounding the alarm on the coronavirus’ seemingly inevitable path to becoming a pandemic. The Dow briefly slipped into the red before bouncing back, but all major indexes are well off the day’s highs.

Here’s where the markets were trading as of 12:30 p.m. ET:

  • S&P 500 (^GSPC): 3,145.01, up 16.80 or 0.54%

  • Dow (^DJI):  27,223.79, up 142.43 or 0.53%

  • Nasdaq (^IXIC): 9,052.02, up 86.41 or 0.96%

  • Crude oil (CL=F): $49.42 per barrel, down $0.49 or -0.96%

  • Gold (GC=F): 1,643.60, down $6.40 or -0.39%


10:30 a.m. ET: Oil clings to gains after EIA data

The brisk risk rally isn’t doing much for crude (CL=F), which is clinging to modest gains, even after U.S. data showed a smaller-than-expected rise in crude stocks. The Energy Information Administration’s weekly report also showed a steep decline in gasoline and distillates.

All told, the numbers would be bullish for oil, but coronavirus fears are undermining the case for rising global demand, and may prompt OPEC to cut production in order to prop up sagging prices.

10:25 a.m. ET: Netflix shoots higher in broad market rebound

Southampton, England - July 31, 2017: Using a television remote control with dedicated Netflix button, TV in the background.

Netflix (NFLX) investors are having a good day: The stock is soaring by over 4%, outpacing other high-flying tech (FAANG) cohorts like Facebook (FB), Amazon (AMZN), Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOG) — all of which are rising with the market’s comeback.

On Tuesday, Piper Jaffray reiterated its bullish “Overweight” $400 price target on the streaming giant’s stock. The firm cited Netflix’s ability to keep hiking prices while making content-hungry consumers eat the cost:

Netflix has the potential to continue to raise prices over the coming years, especially with domestic users. Our survey of nearly 1,100 U.S. Netflix subscribers shows that the majority would be willing to absorb a price increase today, with a weighted average price increase of $2.40/mo. While we do not expect Netflix to raise domestic pricing this year, we do expect the upcoming launch of HBO Max, at $15/mo, will validate the notion that Netflix has further pricing power. Despite the launch of new streaming services, Netflix continues to capture a significant portion of traditional content consumption dollars as that spending migrates to streaming.

Netflix last traded around 375.00, up nearly $15 on the day.

10:00 a.m. ET: New home sales surge in January

The housing market showed surprising strength last month, with single family home sales skyrocketing 7.9% to a near 13-year high. December’s figures were also revised higher, Commerce Department data showed.

Coronavirus fears are still keeping a lid on Wall Street’s gains, but the housing data’s a reminder that U.S. fundamentals remain strong in the face of weaker global growth.

9:30 a.m. ET: Stocks open higher

Stocks opened higher across the board, as the major indices look to snap a four-day losing streak. Crude oil fell below $50 per barrel and the 10-year treasury yield (^TNX) retreated from record lows.

Here’s were the main market moves, as of 9:30 a.m. ET:

  • S&P 500 (^GSPC): 3,149.22, up 21.01 points or 0.67%

  • Dow (^DJI): 27,228.14, up 146.78 points or 0.54%

  • Nasdaq (^IXIC): 9,028.47, up 62.85 points or 0.70%

  • Crude oil (CL=F): $49.42 per barrel, down $0.49 or 0.96%

  • Gold (GC=F): $1,637.70 per ounce, down $12.30 or 0.75%

7:30 a.m. ET: Earnings roll in, with mixed results

As investors stampede away from stocks amid coronavirus fears, the last batch of fourth quarter earnings are rolling in.

Home improvement giant Lowe’s (LOW) reported a disappointing fourth quarter. Fourth-quarter net sales beat expectations, but same-store sales fell short of estimates. Lowe’s reported adjusted earnings of 94 cents per share on $16.03 billion in revenue. Same-store sales rose a modest 2.5% and came below expectations of 3.6%. Shares of the company fell in pre-market trading.

Separately, Pizza chain Papa John’s (PZZA) delivered a fourth quarter earnings beat on the top and bottom lines, boosted by strong same-store sales amid a turnaround strategy to reinvigorate the brand.

The company reported adjusted earnings of 37 cents per share on $417.5 million in revenue during its fourth quarter. Same-store sales in the U.S. topped estimates for 2.3% and grew 4.1%.

7:20 a.m. ET: Stock futures point to mixed open

U.S. stocks futures were pointing to a mixed open for the major indices Wednesday, following the worst two-day drop for stocks in four years.

Here were the main pre-market moves, as of 7:20 a.m. ET:

  • S&P 500 futures (ES=F): 3,140, up 7.50 points or 0.24%

  • Dow futures (YM=F): 26,947, down 170 points or 0.63%

  • Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): 8,883.75, up 29.50 points or 0.33%

  • Crude oil (CL=F): $49.29 per barrel, down $0.61 or 1.22%

  • Gold (GC=F): $1,645.80 per ounce, down $4.20 or 0.25%

Stocks closed lower for the fourth consecutive day on growing concerns over the deadly coronavirus on Tuesday. The results have been ugly: The Dow’s (^DJI) 879 point plunge brought its two day losses to nearly 1,900 points, while the S&P 500 (^GSPC) wiped out $810 billion on Tuesday and a whopping $2.14 trillion in a week. Tuesday was the broader market’s first back-to-back 3% decline since August 2015.

As of Wednesday morning, there were more than 81,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus worldwide with roughly 2,770 confirmed deaths. Yet Europe continued to reel from the outbreak, with France reporting its second coronavirus death, Italy reporting its 12th and Greece also reported its first coronavirus case. Meanwhile, South Korea is still the worst affected outside of China, with more than 1,200 cases reported with about 12 deaths.

Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) called the virus a “serious public health threat.” The CDC also noted that the coronavirus is likely to spread to the U.S. and that it no longer a matter of if but when.

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 25: A sea of red hit the New York Stock Exchange as stock prices plunged for the second straight day on Tuesday, February 25, 2020 in New York City. Fueled by deepening concerns of the Coronavirus becoming a global pandemic, the S&P 500 fell roughly three percent, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost almost 900 points. (Photo by Scott Heins/Getty Images)

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